Understanding the Nuances of Mexican BusinessTue, 09/01/2015 - 16:29
Q: Since its foundation in 1985, what have been Gastélum Abogados’ main achievements, and how did the firm acquire such national and international prestige?
CG: Gastélum Abogados has been providing various advisory services for a wide range of national and international law subjects over many years. In particular, the firm has been advising global clients on the legal aspects of their interests in Mexico. Our lawyers specialize in several branches of the law, foreseeing and supporting needs related to the entrusted business. Our area of litigation has defended the interests of national and international corporations in corporate and investment matters, as well as contract compliance, collections for services rendered, and strategic fiscal planning for operations or products of a corporation or group.
ML: Having started out as the representatives in litigation for a major international equity fund, and due to the diversity of the investments of such a fund, we expanded our areas of expertise, positioning our company as strong advisors in many sectors, such as construction and real estate, energy, airports, finance, and manufacturing. As a consequence, our experience is not only in the Mexican market, but also at the international level, having consolidated strategic alliances with more than five firms throughout the world, among them Chavarri Abogados, based in Spain.
Q: When did the firm decide to enter the automotive industry, and what have been your defining projects in this sector?
CG: At the beginning of the 1990s we were invited by a Mexican-German firm that specialized in elevators for the automotive sector, defending its interests against Volkswagen and Audi for several contractual breaches. Later, we participated in assessing a corporation that specialized in plating in several aspects of their operations, particularly in their association with a foreign investor. Given our experience, we were invited to participate as counselors to two of the leading companies in the industry during the year 2000.
ML: Aside from having years of experience in this sector, we offer a privileged and personalized service. Our team is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and is equipped to oversee and study the different areas of law applicable to the sector. Furthermore, the partners are always deeply involved from the start, and interact constantly with the rest of the lawyers, conducting mock trials and discussions, bettering our services and giving our clients the necessary attention.
Q: Has Gastélum Abogados participated in the trend in M&A operations in the automotive industry, and what challenges has it presented to the firm?
ML: As a firm, we have had the opportunity to assist clients in M&A operations in several industries. Firms generally look for growing markets and stable conditions in order to consolidate their position. Today, that is the case for the automotive industry in Mexico, which is the second largest formal industry in the country, creating an attractive opportunity for foreign investors.
CG: Gastélum Abogados has been researching the industry and monitoring rapid changes in order to advise our clients in a timely and informed manner. For example, we tailored a joint venture operation for one of our clients participating in the plating sector of the automotive industry, allowing for a foreign investor to enter the market under the most favorable conditions. For us, it is important that the M&A operation is tailored to fit the client’s individual profile.
Q: What are your priorities for 2015 and how much participation does the firm seek to have in the automotive industry over the next few years?
CG: For many years, Gastélum Abogados has been known particularly for litigation in the aeronautics industry. However, we have also fortified other areas of expertise and are ready to expand to different areas of law and new industries to broaden our client base. We are investing our resources with a rigorous focus on those industries we know are continuing to grow at very fast rates, such as the energy, hotel and service industries, and of course, the automotive industry.
ML: We are also considering opening offices in the Bajio region and the north of the country. Today, we have strategic alliances all around the world, but we also have collaborations in the main cities of different states throughout the country, such as Nuevo Leon and Baja California, showing that we are truly focused on the automotive industry.