Holland & Knight has built up one of the more stable offerings by a US firm in Mexico, in part because of its historical ties to the country. It previously had a joint venture with a Mexican firm for many years, giving it a strong understanding of the local market.
Holland & Knight significantly boosted its capabilities in Mexico when it merged with Thompson & Knight LLP, adding an office in Monterrey and 13 lawyers.
Strong banking and finance and capital markets teams remain at the core of this firm. The latter is at the forefront of complex real estate financing in Mexico. The firm also displays notable strength in the areas of labour, telecoms & media, trade, energy and disputes.
Luis Rubio continues to helm the firm’s Mexican operations. The year 2020 saw Holland & Knight LLP appoint a former Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade at the Department of Commerce in the Obama administration, to co-head its international trade department. He will work closely with Holland & Knight’s Mexico City office to assist companies looking to conduct their business operations in the region.
The Mexican office bolstered its banking & finance practice by promoting a senior counsel to partner. It also promoted an IP lawyer to senior counsel. It however lost a disputes partner and an energy partner in 2020, and also saw the departure of a senior counsel from its environment practice.
Holland & Knight reported a strong performance in the areas of international trade and disputes in 2020. Having a diversified service offering has helped the firm (and helped its clients navigate the covid-19 crisis) and allowed it to maintain its workflow, despite a marked reduction in deal volume.
Despite a tricky business climate, the firm notes there has been an increase in interest, among US companies, in investing in Mexico (as part of near-shoring initiatives), which has been a source of work for the firm.
This year the firm established a Latin America covid-19 response team to address any issues clients have been facing as a result of the pandemic. The firm has hosted webinars, delivered legal update meetings, has produced publications and has disseminated client alerts.
Being close to their clients has clearly paid off. One high-profile client from the tech sector was impressed by their speed of delivery and the firm’s understanding of their business.
Telecoms giant Telefónica, US hospital waste processor Stericycle, telecoms infrastructure company American Towers, real estate investment trust FIBRA Uno are all major clients. Santander has also sought the firm’s services, as has Amazon.
Following Holland & Knight’s merger with Thompson & Knight, the firm now has 30 offices including two in Mexico (Mexico City, Monterrey) and one in Colombia. With the firm’s roots in Florida, its Latin American practice is run out of Miami.
Alliances & networks
Since 2000, the firm has had an alliance with Tinoco Travieso Planchart & Núñez in Venezuela.