Ritch Mueller y Nicolau's secret to success is simple: high-quality service and exemplary transactional prowess. That formula is topped off with iron-clad client relationships. This straightforward policy ensures that this eminent transactional firm is kept busy with some of Mexico’s most relevant finance and M&A deals. The aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic and conflicting socio-political factors did not dent the firm’s ongoing deal-making streak in the past two years.
If you are looking for Mexico’s finest transactional lawyers, you can find them at Ritch Mueller. This group of hands-on partners are highly capable in banking, capital markets and M&A work across Mexico’s most prominent sectors, from energy to real estate. Thanks to a loyal client base of international banks and stock brokerages, this firm is a particularly powerful force in the finance sector. Ritch Mueller’s impenetrable focus on sophisticated deal-making allows it to stand out from competitors.
This strict transactional focus means that no one client accounts for more than 5% of Ritch Mueller’s income, which allows more flexibility to welcome a more variable set of clients through the door. Unlike other firms, Ritch Mueller almost always features on the side of the lender in finance transactions and the outfit regularly represents banks, investors and stock brokerages. Some regular names include Citibank, Santander, BBVA Bancomer, JP Morgan and BlackRock. Chilean retail giant Falabella, Mexican food and drink companies Femsa and Grupo Lala, Brazilian petrochemicals company Braskem, Argentine steelmaker Ternium, Italian electric company Enel and France’s AXA Group are all clients too.
Research conducted into ‘Who represents Latin America’s biggest companies?’ by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association (LACCA), which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer, found that Ritch Mueller was the second busiest firm among the largest 100 companies in Latin America.
Ritch Mueller has no intention of straying away from its transactional focus but also has no trouble deepening its bench in key areas where demand sees fit. The firm kicked off 2022 by making four partners, and for the first time ever made two partners at the same time, strengthening the corporate, banking, disputes and tax areas.
Environmental law, energy and tax are areas that complement the firm’s transactional prowess. Ritch Mueller has built up these areas over the years through lateral hiring, while those departments have seen promotions too. Government attempts to reform the energy sector stalled some infrastructure activity in the energy sector in 2022, but the firm’s breadth of knowledge has been far-reaching enough to replace that work with deal-making in areas with increased demand, such as fintech. The tax practice group has already earned a name for itself and acts more independently, with advisory and disputes expertise on show. The firm has also developed a strong antitrust practice under the leadership of two home-grown transactional lawyers too.
Ritch Mueller has impressed with its deal-making in recent times, covering a wide range of industries. In 2022, it advised Mexico’s largest data centre operator KIO Networks in the divestment of its entire stock to US private equity investor I Squared Capital. The Mexican firm also helped Mexico’s Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua (GCC) issue US$500 million worth of sustainability-linked notes. Meanwhile, it helped Mexican start-up Kaszek as a key investor in a US$111 million funding round in Chilean fintech Xepelin.
With the firm’s entire legal staff on hand to guide clients and therefore plenty of collaboration between practice areas, Ritch Mueller has a strong competitive edge. It maintains close relations with the top international firms working in Mexico, which is in part thanks to the number of its lawyers that have gained experience at top New York firms.
Ritch Mueller has worked on increasing diversity within the firm, creating a flexible programme for both working mothers and fathers. The firm has shown its commitment to the cause by bringing in an external consultant to advise on diversity issues. Ritch Mueller has a commendable awareness that poor diversity is a widespread issue across Mexican firms and has dedicated time to creating initiatives. A strong mentorship scheme is also running into its fifth year.
Ritch Mueller scored highly throughout the research for the Latin Lawyer 250 and debuts as an Elite firm in 2022 in recognition of its transactional focus, stellar reputation in deals, deep bench and wide breadth of areas, client satisfaction and commitment to diversity in the legal profession.
Helmed by managing partner Gabriel del Valle Mendiola, Ritch Mueller favours a democratic, consensus-driven approach. The firm’s executive committee of five senior partners is more active than ever assisting del Valle in the firm’s operations.