Haynes and Boone in the American Lawyer: International Firms Flock to Mexico

07/08/2014


Since December, when the Mexican government passed sweeping constitutional reforms to create a more competitive business climate, change has come at a dizzying pace. New tax, education and labor laws have been enacted, the telecom sector is being revamped, and the country's competition laws are being rewritten. Most significantly, the government is set to end its monopoly on the energy sector this year, opening its competition for the first time in 75 years...

One point of fricition is billing rates. The rate for top Mexican lawyers rarely exceed $500 an hour. "If we were to use our U.S. rates we would basically be out of the market," said Luis Moreno Trevino, a Mexican lawyer at Haynes and Boone, LLP. Instead, he says, they apply a Mexican market rate for 90 percent of the office's matters...

The limited energy opportunities in Mexico in years past may help explain why so few Texas firms have set up shop there, despite the close connection between the two regions. Haynes and Boone is the only Texas firm with such a significant presence. "I think the fact that Mexico is so much a part of daily economic life in Texas, some Texas firms think they can manage without an office there," said Haynes and Boone Houston Partner George Y. Gonzalez. "But I don't think that will be a successful mode over long terms. Relationships are important."

Excerpted from the American Lawyer, July 8, 2014. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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