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Interview Series

Alejandro Ripoll

Ramos, Ripoll & Schuster , Mexico

26 Apr 2018

Mexico - Mexico City

News:

So far, 2018 has been an exciting year for Ramos, Ripoll & Schuster. The highlight was the incorporation of the partner Edmundo Elías-Fernández, along with his team. He is a former Baker McKenzie partner, who led their foreign trade practice team worldwide. Edmundo is part of the group of professionals that assist the Mexican government in the current negotiations of NAFTA, the Free trade agreement between USA, Mexico and Canada. This incorporation strengthens our foreign trade practice.

Also, in January we moved to a new office in Mexico City, where we have new facilities. In the Guadalajara office we are currently expanding into a second floor, so now we will have over 1400sqm of office space.

As for the size of our firm, we grew 25% in size (admission of new members) meaning we now are over 80 professionals. For third year in a row, our Firm was ranked by Best Place to Work Institute, this year ranked in place 11, of the 100 companies between 50 to 500 employees.

 

Cases:

Several important matters were handled this year. One of them was that we assisted Saverglass, a French company that is also one of the largest glass bottles manufacturer in the world and that is now established in Mexico. This company built a very big facility in the Guadalajara region, and we assisted them in their process of establishing in Mexico.

Also, we assisted IEE which is a company based in Luxembourg that manufactures automotive parts. They are now also established in Mexico and we helped them in the process of establishing in Mexico, including the incorporation of the company, the negotiation of the facility, the hiring of the personnel, customs structure, and all the regulatory facilities.

During this year, we also opened the sports law practice team, and we now represent the Soccer association in Mexico, some world-known soccer players and managers. This practice is developing well, I can say.

With respect to litigation, this year we are managing one of the biggest hostile corporate takeovers in Mexico. It is a very important hostile takeover and we are representing the majority of the shareholders that were diluted at this event.

Practice areas:

By number of attorneys and billing, it would be litigation with 50% of the billings of our firm, then it would be mergers and acquisitions and corporate law with around 25%, energy and infrastructure practice team, which has a market share in the firm of around 15% and other practices like labour law, IP, regulatory would be the remaining 10%.

Jurisdictions:

Definitely it would be the US and Canada and China recently. Actually, one of the important matters this year was negotiating for one Chinese construction company, the fourth biggest construction company in the world. We helped them link the construction of the port terminal in Veracruz, this port serves to connect Mexico with EU, the Atlantic side of Mexico.

Also, there is a lot of cross border transactions with China and I would also say Europe, there is a French, Spanish investment in Mexico and we also do a lot of operations with them.

Cross border work with another LL member:

We did have a transaction with our friends in Spain. It was the establishment of a Spanish clothing franchise  in Mexico and we assisted our friends at Ventura Garcés with this transaction.

We have also worked with our friends at Bell Nunnally. Mainly helping their clients in cross border transactions.

Additionally, our IP practice team has worked with our colleagues in Latin America and China, in the registry of our client’s trademarks. 

 

Legalink: Mexico conference

We are working very hard to have a nice strong programme for the attendees, not only the business meeting but also the touristic agenda. The first thing I would like to say is that it is the first meeting that will begin starting Wednesday. We are going to start with a conference open to the public regarding cryptocurrency fintech regulation, where several of the Legalink members who applied to participate at the conference are going to act as panellists and each jurisdiction will have a participation to expose the cryptocurrency regulations in the jurisdiction. It is going to be an event where Legalink members will be face to face with businessmen and entrepreneurs in Mexico. This conference has five panels and at the end there is going to be a networking meeting.

On Thursday, we are going to begin with the regional group meetings on Thursday morning and on Thursday afternoon we are going to have a conference with respect to Chinese investment in Mexico and Latin America. So, all Latin American friends will be able to learn about the Chinese investment policies and how One Belt One Road initiative is working in the region.

On Friday, we have confirmed a WTO chair and former ambassador to Mexico. He will discuss what is happening in WTO and the current political spectrum of the WTO, also US possibly stepping down from the WTO and the effect worldwide. In the afternoon we will have the practice groups meetings as in the other years. So, I think this is going to be a conference that will work for all the Legalink members.

The gala dinner is going to be a fabulous dinner in a very typical Mexican establishment called “Cortijo”, which is similar to bull fighting arena. We will have a show with the national sport of Mexico called “charreria”, that involves horses. Members are going to live a one-hour show of this sport in Mexico along with traditional dancing and “mariachi” at the dinner. So, I think is going to be a wonderful dinner, nothing similar to what they have experienced, even though some may already visited Mexico before.

On Saturday, we are going to have the administrative meeting of Legalink in the morning and in the afternoon, after having lunch, we are going to visit Teotihuacán, an ancient Mesoamerican city where the biggest pyramids in the region are established. At night, there is wonderful light show at the pyramids and we are also going to participate in that show. We are going to have dinner at the traditional “taqueria”. We are going away from the fancy and go to the real Mexico, so the members can live the experience of eating real tacos made in Mexico.

 

 

On Sunday, we are visiting the Chapultepec Castle, which is an indisputable trace of the historical and architectural wealth of Mexico, a combination of neoclassical and neogothic architecture that converges in its walls, gardens and halls different key moments of our past. Additionally we are visiting Anthropology museum, and the historical centre of Mexico City.

 

Legalink:

We are very happy being part of Legalink and representing Legalink in Mexico. We think that the biggest strength of Legalink are its members. We feel very comfortable every time we work with the members and I think it is the most positive matter in Legalink: strengths of its members. At every conference I meet new people and I am very happy to have them as our partners worldwide.

I think we can improve the networking and the reference between all the firms. I think there is something we can do – in the social media. I think we have a very big organization with every firm individually generating a lot of content and I think we can do that together, to share this knowledge, the content, and having Legalink being more present in social media worldwide with this content already produced by the firms.

Spare time:

I would say travelling and spending time with my family. Normally in weekdays we are completely devoted to our clients, time and mentally-wise, and in the spare time definitely spending time with my wife and family.