Gardere Strengthens Presence in Mexico, Names Roberto Arena Executive Partner


Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, which has historically operated in Mexico through a joint venture arrangement with its longtime joint venture partner, Arena y Asociados S.C., entered into an agreement on July 1, 2014 for their joint venture entity, Gardere, Arena y Asociados, S.C. ("Gardere Arena") to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Gardere, and for the separate legal operations of Arena y Asociados to be combined with those of Gardere Arena. Roberto Arena, formerly the Managing Partner of Arena y Asociados, has also been named the Executive Partner of the Gardere Mexico City office and as a member of Gardere's Board of Directors.

"Latin America, and in particular Mexico, has been an ongoing strategic focus for our Firm," says Gardere Chair Holland N. O'Neil. "As we continue to assist our clients operating in Mexico with navigating the recent substantial energy, telecom, financial and tax reforms, this agreement further deepens our capabilities to serve regional and multinational companies throughout Latin America."

Texas-based Gardere, with offices in Austin, Dallas and Houston, first established its presence in Mexico City in 1992 and joined with Arena y Asociados, S.C. in a civil partnership in 1996. Today, Gardere's Mexico City practice has expanded to a team of over 20 legal professionals, anchored by four partners in Mexico City: Mr. Arena, Fernando Camarena, Marco Nájera and Daniel Aranda, who provide legal expertise in the areas of antitrust, corporate and M&A, dispute resolution, energy, hospitality, insurance, international trade, real estate, finance, procurement and tax. The attorneys in this office are consistently recognized by Chambers Latin America, The Legal 500 Latin America and Tax Directors Handbook. According to Chambers' 2014 publication, Gardere's Mexico City office is the "leading cross-border tax firm with some of the most recognized tax experts."

"This agreement reaffirms our commitment to providing top-notch legal services throughout Mexico and Latin America," says Gardere Chief Executive Officer Steve Good. "With the reforms taking place in Mexico, the timing couldn't be any more perfect to solidify and strengthen our bonds with our Mexico City office partners."

Mr. Arena was the driving force behind creating the joint venture with Gardere almost 20 years ago and was instrumental in creating this new, stronger relationship.

"We are very excited with the terms of our renewed, although not new, relationship with Gardere, which is one the oldest U.S. firms in the Mexican legal market," says Mr. Arena. "The timing of this combination is perfect indeed, considering that Mexico, as a consequence of the energy, telecom, labor and financial reforms, is to begin, from our perspective, a new era of economic development that will require increasingly sophisticated cross-border services of the sort our Firm has provided in the legal market to top national and foreign clients."

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