Julián J Garza C is a partner at Nader Hayaux & Goebel who specialises in banking and finance, M&A, capital markets, telecoms and structured and project finance. He has advised on some of the largest structured finance and capital markets transactions in Mexico, representing both sponsors and financial intermediaries. His mergers and acquisitions practice extends to a variety of industries, including real estate, telecoms, financial intermediaries and infrastructure facilities. He also advises on foreign investment acquisitions and joint venture transactions. Julián has strong international experience and regularly advises US and other international clients on their local operations or investments in the Mexican market.
Questions & Answers
Thought Leaders 2024 - Interview with Julián Garza Castañeda
Can you briefly describe your career to date?
I obtained my law degree in 1997 from Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City and my LLM degree in 1999 from the University of Texas at Austin. I joined Jáuregui, Navarrete & Nader in 1994 as a law clerk, became an associate in 1998 and a partner in 2007. In 2011, I became a founding partner of Nader, Hayaux & Goebel, where I continue my private legal practice focused primarily on banking and finance, M&A in a variety of sectors and industries, and capital markets.
I have also had the honour to teach at both the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City and the University of Texas at Austin.
What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer in the field of banking and finance?
Banking and financial law appealed to me from a very young age. Banking regulatory work is very technical in nature and requires significant expertise. I have always enjoyed learning more about financial systems and institutions. I have found credit and financial transactions extremely interesting for similar reasons; mainly my interest in finance matters. My banking and finance practice led me to explore securities laws and had a chance to become an expert on public and private issuances and offerings. Again, the technical aspects of such practice are outstanding.
At the same time, my M&A practice has given me amazing experiences. It is in such area where I have found the most enriching and innovative solutions to legal problems. I always had an inclination towards commercial and M&A law, understanding businesses and helping them achieve their goals through sales, acquisitions, mergers and a vast number of other sort of transactions. M&A negotiations and drafting are a terrific learning experience.
Overall, the opportunity to serve my clients through a detailed and thorough analysis of the issues at hand, identifying legal risks, finding solutions and assisting them in the entire legal process of a transaction, is what I have enjoyed the most. A result of that has been the creation of very solid professional and personal relationships.
What has been the most challenging banking and finance transaction you have worked on and why?
I cannot point to only one. There have been a number of matters that have marked my career for a variety of reasons and at very different times. To name a few: (i) the first Mexican securitisation of PPP receivables for an infrastructure project; (ii) the creation of multiple institutional private equity funds amounting to billions of US dollars in a time when Mexico was commencing to receive such type of investments; and (iii) the sale of a Mexican bank, among a number of other complex financial institutions.
Have you identified any banking and finance trends in the Mexican legal market in the past year?
Highly structured finance to fund transactions, particularly in favour of companies with solid account receivables that may be subject to securitisation structures. Financings through the issuance of international and local private bond offerings should continue to be interesting, subject to market conditions. Vast financings in the Mexican real estate sector, including hospitality and industrial facilities. Venture capital through financing structures. Consolidation of financial players in the fintech industry and development of new products as a result of the increase of high-end technology in the financial industry.
What are the greatest challenges for banking and finance lawyers in Mexico currently?
Understanding the needs of your client not only from a commercial perspective but also institutional. Notwithstanding the challenges that we are facing, both local and global, there are multiple opportunities in the banking and finance sectors for transactions in a number of industries, as well as in regard to regulatory financial work. In finance deals, we are developing innovative and even more solid structures for lenders. Structured finance is growing again considerably. Also, private offerings to obtain debt or equity funds are finding their way in the market even though current market conditions.
I think what is more important is constant and effective communication with the clients. To really accompany them in the process of entertaining their legal and business needs. It is more important than ever and it definitely adds value.
How do you think the results of Mexico’s upcoming presidential election will impact banking and finance transactions in Mexico?
I do not think they will have a direct significant impact. Certainly, the political climate may influence the appetite to grant or receive financings; however, I think the trends in banking & finance will be more determined by the international economic environment, investment opportunities in Mexico and the strength of Mexican corporates to grow at a steady pace.
How do you expect your practice to evolve over the next five years, especially considering the influence of artificial intelligence (AI)?
More complex financial and lending structures, including in securitisation transactions; consolidation of the financial markets and financial institutions, which will continue to prompt M&A activity in such sectors; more development of fintech industries and artificial intelligence, which will require innovative legal work; increase of venture capital investment in such entities and other sectors; private debt and equity offerings; speculative M&A transactions; and significant growth in restructuring and workout matters.
What three recommendations or notes would you share with younger lawyers stepping into the field of banking and finance?
1. Study hard and always make a deep analysis of any given legal issue or consultation. Never provide light advice but rather a sound and effective one. 2. Always act as a lawyer, particularly when writing to the clients; be careful with the words that are used, be formal and avoid mistakes in the presentation of any given matter. 3. Always treat clients and colleagues with respect and be very receptive to the client needs and create effective communication channels.
What do clients look for when selecting you as a lawyer?
The three things mentioned in my response to question 6. Also, focus, thoroughness, being pro-deal and have the best interest of the client in mind at all times.
How would you like to see Nader, Hayaux & Goebel develop in the coming years?
Thanks to our clients, colleagues and partners, Nader, Hayaux & Goebel is an elite top-tier firm focused on a variety of practices, offering clients solutions to all their business needs. We will continue to be a firm focused on all the practices where we excel and in which we are the best alternative for our clients. I want to see my firm maintaining and affirming its position as the top choice for complex and sensitive work. I also want to see certain practices further develop, including tax, antitrust and compliance.
While achieving the foregoing, I also want to see my firm continue to maintain its collaborative and inclusive environment that, together with the type of work that we do, is very attractive to our associates. We are very fortunate to retain the most outstanding attorneys, who are the basis of our quality in service and to whom we provide support through different initiatives.
You have enjoyed a distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
There are many goals to accomplish. Being a transactional lawyer always offers substantive challenges. I am certain that as long as I can maintain the trust of my clients I will have more complex and interesting deals and matters ahead of me. I want to make a difference in the legal profession both in the manner in which services are rendered (as explained previously) and in the breakthroughs that we sometimes have a chance to be a part of an innovative transaction, a deal that is unique in its nature, a new structure or a new point of view on a legal matter.
Ultimately, I want to be seen not only as a responsible and talented attorney but rather as a trusted adviser. I think that is the highest recognition you can receive in a legal career.