Firm Profile

Galicia Abogados

Mexico

Strong transactional and regulatory offering

LL 250 Elite

Established: 1994

Partners: 39

Lawyers: 163


Female partners: 15%

Partner to associate ratio: 3.3

Work areas
15

This firm is elite for services in the following work areas.

Galicia has earned prestige for its elite blend of specialised legal advice, regulatory know-how and litigation expertise. The firm’s excellence across various practice areas, has given it a competitive edge in Mexico’s legal market and a glowing reputation that precedes it. Sharpening the non-transactional areas of the firm has propelled it to success as a multidisciplinary outfit that is never short of work, even when political thunderclouds loom.

Galicia is proud of its collaborative approach, and it is that very knack for rallying together that has allowed it to consistently hold an impressive client book of top-tier names even amid major government disruptions. In the sunset of the current administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), Galicia has employed its regulatory prowess and steady hand with legal complexities to guide its clients through polemic political decisions, such as the controversial move of reclaiming state ownership of privately held energy companies. As is usual for this firm, its tight relationship with big-name companies ensures a steady stream of work even during tough periods. As such, the firm consistently remains among the top three busiest Mexican firms for dealmaking, while its close ties with prestigious international firms ensure a consistent in-flow of work too.

Galicia’s growing team includes seasoned dealmakers with countless multi-jurisdictional, multibillion-dollar deals to show for it. In the latest deal-making period, the firm has reported an uptick in transactions than in previous years. Indeed, the nearshoring trend has called on both transactional and non-transactional areas of the firm. Commercial giants, such as Tesla, are among the calibre of clients repositioning themselves in Mexico, creating ample work for Galicia’s varied departments. Cross-over between areas such as energy and corporate are predicted to be more common, as environmental experts are hired to check the viability of large commercial infrastructure projects. Additionally, Galicia is honing a supply chain assessment department, geared towards clients restructuring or relocating their supply chain operations.

The firm is no stranger to big-name clients, having giants such as state-owned oil group Pemex, Brazilian miner Vale and Italian energy group Enel on its client roster. Several of the firm’s lawyers have backgrounds at leading New York law firms, making attracting top-tier clients an easy feat for Galicia. A recent study, 'Who Represents Latin America’s Biggest Companies', conducted by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association (LACCA), which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer, found that Galicia was the most popular Mexican firm among Latin America’s 100 largest companies. The firm has represented around one third of the region’s largest businesses.

Galicia’s formula of combining transactional prowess with solid regulatory and contentious practices is not just a strategy at the firm but an institution. Its commitment to this approach has hoisted it to notable success, allowing it to allocate non-transactional talent to practice areas where day-to-day deal-making has slowed – such as energy. Litigation is one of the firm’s fastest-growing areas, thanks to a rise in cases challenging contentious government decisions and reforms. In 2022, litigation work accounted for around 35% of the firm’s revenue, proving the sincere efforts that Galicia has made to prune this area. Complementing Galicia’s regulatory and transactional foundation are its specialised offerings in relevant sectors of the economy, such as fintech, real estate, healthcare, infrastructure and life sciences, among others. Over recent years, this elite firm has made efforts to grow those areas by adding new talent on both senior and junior levels, ensuring the firm is ready to assist on the volume of work at its disposal in those sectors.

Since the launch of its multidisciplinary environmental, social and governance (ESG) practice several years ago, the firm has made this focus a core part of its strategy that has placed it at the forefront of some of Mexico’s most relevant sustainable transactions. Meanwhile, clients increasingly enlist the firm for compliance advice on their own ESG policies. Galicia has expanded outwards from its robust core, strengthening non-transactional areas with the highest concentration of work, such as tax, antitrust, labour and technology. The latter area has seen plenty of work thanks to the growing popularity of fintech and start-up transactions. Areas such as real estate and telecoms are also magnets for foreign investment, while disputes cases have increased across various departments amid government changes.

Galicia is more than a year into its new management under the co-leadership of José Visoso and Christian Lippert. The transactional partners took on the role in 2022 after name partner and eminent figure Manuel Galicia announced his decision to step down from the managing partner position after 27 years at the helm. Manuel Galicia, who during his leadership oversaw the structuring of one of Mexico’s first-ever modified lockstep compensation systems, remains active in a chairman position, from which he assists the executive committee in decision-making. The firm has also organised business development bootcamps to help hone its commercial capabilities, while the outfit became one of the first Mexican firms to incorporate a general counsel too. Galicia is also conscious of the important of recognising young talent and thus the outfit made five promotions between 2022 and 2023.

With the management overhaul, the law firm has also made strident efforts to recognise diversity at the firm. Around 38% of all committee positions are held by women – from all levels of the firm – while partner and environmental law head Mariana Herrero is the first female member to sit on the firm’s executive committee. Around 10 departments within Galicia’s full-service offering are also headed up by women. Diversity has long been a subject with substantial importance to Galicia. Among its strides in this arena, it has introduced extended parental leave policies for its lawyers in recent years. This is one of many initiatives that the outfit has implemented to promote a more equal and flexible working culture. Such efforts are a key component of talent retention at the firm.

An adjusted lockstep compensation model underscores Galicia’s collaboration-oriented structure. Associates have formalised career plans and have access to a mentoring programme and a flexible working initiative. Meanwhile, the firm has inaugurated a new collaboration committee, charged with sharpening the firm’s capabilities as a unit. With investment in AI and state-of-the-art technology, the firm aims to grow its office space by 30% within the following year. The firm has earmarked investment for cybersecurity resources too.

In addition to its efforts to modernise operations, the firm hones an international outlook by encouraging associates to gain experience abroad, with advisers often completing stints in law firms in the US, France, Spain and Brazil, while many have LLMs from leading international institutions. Genuine efforts have been made to make Galicia an enjoyable place to work, with staff well-being taking priority.

Offices

Alongside its Mexico City base, the firm has a growing office in Monterrey. Efforts are underway to expand the size of its offices in Mexico.

Management

José Visoso and Christian Lippert jointly lead the firm as co-managing partners after Manuel Galicia stepped back from his managerial duties officially in early 2022. Manuel Galicia now sits on the executive committee as chair alongside the co-managing partners and fellow members Alejandro de la Borbolla and Guillermo Pérez Santiago, who were re-elected in 2021. The committee’s sixth member, Mariana Herrero, is the first female lawyer on the committee.

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