2021 Latin Lawyer Elite firm
Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes SC is one of Mexico’s busiest transactional firms, with some of the country’s most recognised dealmakers in its partnership. Lawyers are known for handling complex, multijurisdictional M&A work. In addition, the firm has very strong capital markets and banking and finance teams, and an increasingly prominent private equity offering. Transactional prowess is accompanied by broader expertise in areas such as antitrust, telecoms, real estate and energy.
A diversified offering has placed Mijares in a good position to face off external challenges associated with Mexico’s faltering economy. With this in mind, the firm has made concerted efforts in recent years to fortify its capabilities in counter-cyclical practice areas (particularly in contentious areas), but the corporate and M&A and corporate finance units at its core are busy even during quiet periods for the Mexican market as a whole. This was the case in 2020, a year marked by a severe economic contraction, as the firm worked on notable M&As, bond issuances and financings.
Many of this firm’s clients are international and leading names: investment manager BlackRock turns here, as does Spanish infrastructure heavyweight OHL. The firm counts some prominent local names among its clients too – not least Grupo Televisa, the world’s largest Spanish-language media group, which turns to Mijares for all its activities in Mexico and has been a client for decades. Ricardo Maldonado sits on the company’s board. Another Mexican client keeping this firm busy is construction group ICA, which turns here for litigation counsel. Pemex and Grupo Alfa are other big-name Mexican clients. Sempra Energy subsidiary IEnova is a prominent client for energy work. Banking clients, both local and international, are plentiful and include Banamex and HSBC.
Mijares takes a considered approach towards growing its partnership, avoiding growth for growth’s sake, often favouring internal promotions (several partners began as trainees), but also making well-timed laterals to build its service offering in line with client demand. In recent years, this policy has seen it build its litigation, environmental and corporate crime and compliance practice groups. In 2020 the firm bolstered its tax litigation offering bringing two partners from EY Law (Mexico) and also strengthened the corporate, capital markets, competition and intellectual property areas with internal promotions. Mijares further boosted the M&A and banking teams with a partner promotion round in 2021.
With just over 25 years in the market, Mijares is one of the younger legal heavyweights in Mexico. Its leaders want to build an institution with strong foundations. They try to involve different viewpoints in law firm management and have created various committees to take responsibility on areas such as IT, personnel and marketing. The firm also recently introduced a welfare and health committee. Mijares also stands out for having a higher number of women partners than some of its competitors. This commitment to diversity was strengthened at the start of 2020, as the firm launched a diversity committee, with the help of an external advisor. Mijares also has internal protocols in place, with a training programme to educate staff on diversity.
Meanwhile, the firm worked hard to attract and retain talent with different initiatives in 2020: its antitrust team was involved in organising the fourth annual MootComp – a competition intended for law and economics students that aims to promote interdisciplinary collaboration. The firm also worked alongside fellow Affinitas alliance members and NGO Laboratoria, a non-profit organisation that trains low-income women with technological skills, to organise the first regional Hackathon in Latin America. The event, in the form of a competition, offered in-house counsel an opportunity to solve challenges through the use of technology. These challenges were tackled by the graduates of Laboratoria with the mentorship of Affinitas member firms.
Partners are financially incentivised to share work with associates, who are pooled between practice areas to give them a broad range of experience. The thinking is that by not confining lawyers to one specialism, they will be better able to assess the different moving parts that go into any one transaction. Associates also benefit from the emphasis Mijares places on lawyers building their experience in foreign law firms and universities. This has produced an international outlook and approach and has helped the firm cement its reputation as one of the finest in Mexico.
Alliances & networks
Mijares is a member of the aforementioned Affinitas alliance, which also comprises the following firms from Pacific Alliance nations: Barros & Errázuriz Abogados in Chile, Gómez-Pinzón Abogados in Colombia and Miranda & Amado Abogados in Peru. The group has forged tighter links in recent years, which it is leveraging to pull in work from Asian investors targeting the trade bloc.