2021 Latin Lawyer Elite firm
After over 30 years in the market, González Calvillo has established itself as one of Mexico’s foremost full-service firms. It possesses reputed corporate and finance practices and a solid offering across several non-transactional areas of law. It is a dealmaking firm at its core and prides itself on focusing on the most critical issues and looking for effective solutions while refusing to bring any ego to the table.
This approach is certainly valued by clients. They describe the firm’s lawyers as professional, responsive, committed, talented and praise the expertise of attorneys at all levels of seniority.
The firm’s highly skilled transactional team, who move easily between finance, capital markets and M&A deals, are supported by lawyers with specialist knowledge of regulated industries such as oil and gas, power generation and telecoms. González Calvillo adds further value with strength in litigation, environment, IP, antitrust, regulatory law and labour. The firm’s litigation team, which was established over 15 years ago, is particularly impressive for a firm that has transactional work at its core. It complements the firm’s dealmaking expertise because many clients embroiled in a dispute favour the firm that negotiated the initial deal.
Meanwhile, the firm has also been careful to avoid expanding into new practice areas for the sake of it. For example, partners view not having a tax consulting practice as advantageous, as it has allowed the firm to sustain its working relationships with tax boutiques and professional services firms.
González Calvillo reports strong performance in 2020, despite the economic slowdown caused by the covid-19 pandemic. The firm notes its dispute resolution practice was particularly busy advising on restructuring matters. González Calvillo also worked on several notable transactions, despite the overall fall in deal volume in Mexico.
The firm also worked hard perfecting internal structures in 2020, consolidating its transition to a more collaborative approach to its corporate governance and implementing a compensation formula that encourages collegiality, stability and cohesion. These changes reflect González Calvillo’s commitment to finding a balance between the interests of its older and younger partners and their respective roles in top-level decision-making. All of this is being done to make sure González Calvillo can hold on to the successful position it currently occupies in Mexico’s legal market for the long term.
González Calvillo is set to strengthen its existing practice areas in 2021. It plans to consolidate its labour and data privacy teams and the regulatory side of its banking & finance practice area, with a particular focus on fintech. Partners also foresee that the firm will be busy in 2021 advising on bankruptcies and restructurings.
The firm is acutely focused on championing the interests of its hardworking and talented associate base. Above all else, it wants to maintain a working culture that underpins core values such as integrity, fairness and transparency. With that in mind, new committees focused on compensation and talent were established recently. Meanwhile, the firm has invested considerable resources into fostering a strong internal culture and recently created a pro bono committee to lead all pro bono efforts and manage relationships with the clearing houses. González Calvillo is also currently developing and implementing an internal policy along with an external consulting firm, to identify, analyse and prevent psychosocial risks in the firm.
The firm makes regular promotions, and this was no different this year: two senior associates were promoted to partner and another three to counsel, bolstering González Calvillo’s capital markets, project finance, data privacy, litigation and environmental practices. These promotions were accompanied by the hire of an antitrust counsel in 2021.
González Calvillo has good relations with prestigious international law firms and every year has several associates on placement at top firms. It is an outward-looking firm with an eye for new opportunities and was a key architect in the founding of the Brazil-Mexico Business Council in 2019, which came about following bilateral agreements between the governments of Brazil and Mexico and is composed of some of the most important companies doing business in those countries.
The firm represents a strong showing of natural resources players. Chevron and US petroleum company Andeavor are both core clients here. The firm’s clients come from a broad range of sectors and include Australian private equity investor IFM, science conglomerate DuPont and German manufacturer Siemens. The firm also represents many of Mexico’s biggest companies, including Pemex, Grupo México and América Móvil.
The managing partners are Jorge Mondragón and José Ignacio Rivero who are supported by a steering committee which includes partners José Victor Torres, Jorge Cervantes, Edgar Grajeda Muñóz, Cristina Massa and Hernando Becerra de Cima.