Ritch Mueller remains a market leader by focusing on a simple strategy: provide clients with the best quality of service possible. This straightforward policy ensures that this eminent transactional firm is one of the first ports of call for banking and finance and M&A transactions in Mexico, making it one of the busiest dealmakers in the market. Remarkably, it remained busy handling deals in 2020, despite the exceedingly tough economic conditions.
Ritch Mueller is home to some of the country’s finest transactional lawyers. Hands-on partners demonstrate excellence in banking, capital markets and M&A, all in Mexico’s most important sectors, be it infrastructure, energy or real estate. They are particularly visible in the finance sector, thanks to a core client base of international banks and stock brokerages. The firm eschews commoditised work and its strict focus on sophisticated deals and new financial structures certainly makes it stand out from the competition.
Because Ritch Mueller is a transaction-focused firm, no one client accounts for more than 5% of the firm’s income and its core client list can vary year on year depending on where deals come from. Ritch Mueller stands out from its competitors for nearly always representing the lenders in banking transactions, and banks, investors and stock brokerages dominate the client list. Some of the largest clients that routinely turn to this firm are Citibank, Santander, BBVA Bancomer, Cubico Sustainable Investments and BlackRock. Ritch Mueller is underwriters’ counsel for Cemex in Mexico’s sovereign financings. Chilean retail giant Falabella, Mexican food and drink companies Femsa and Grupo Lala, Argentine steelmaker Ternium, General Electric and France’s AXA Group are also clients.
Ritch Mueller has no desire to be full service, but it is deepening its level of expertise in those areas it knows best. In 2020 it made two promotions, upping the partner count in its banking and finance and capital markets practices. These promotions have certainly helped to compensate for certain recent departures, including that of a name partner.
Complementing its transactional focus are commendable efforts in environmental law and tax. Both these practice areas were established in recent years with lateral hires. The tax practice group has already earned a name for itself and attracts work independently. The firm has also developed a strong antitrust practice under the leadership of two home-grown transactional lawyers.
With the firm’s entire legal staff on hand to guide clients through transactions and therefore plenty of collaboration between practice areas, Ritch Mueller has the edge over its rivals. It maintains close relations with the top international firms working in Mexico, in part owing to the number of lawyers who have completed foreign associate programmes at top New York firms.
Ritch Mueller, led by managing partner Gabriel del Valle, favours a democratic, consensus-driven approach. The firm’s executive committee, comprised of five senior partners, is more active than ever in helping to run the firm alongside del Valle. The firm’s personnel committee and marketing committees also play active roles.