Enrique Espejel | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
 Enrique Espejel
 Enrique Espejel

Enrique Espejel

Partner, Mexico City

T +52 55 5540 9683

E eespejel@whitecase.com

“He is knowledgeable and experienced both domestically and internationally, and we appreciate the personalised treatment he provides.” They go on to add: “He is an excellent lawyer who is understanding and assertive in communications and in pursuing client interests.”

Chambers 2016

Overview

Enrique is the head of the Civil and Bankruptcy Litigation Practice in Mexico. He is widely recognized as an important figure in the dispute resolution market, advising a notable client roster in high-profile cases. He is a leading litigator, particularly in bankruptcy proceedings and in complex, high-stakes commercial litigation, including complex financial cases in federal and state courts throughout the country. Enrique´s experience includes international commercial arbitration and multijurisdictional litigation, representing national and international clients, mostly global companies, banks, investment banks, investment advisers, insurance companies, hedge funds and other providers of financial services, as well as security agents, trustees, creditor groups, bondholders, public corporations, credit insurers and Mexican public institutions, among others.

Since the enactment of the current Mexican Bankruptcy Law or 'Ley de Concursos Mercantiles' in 2000, Enrique has successfully achieved several court precedents in Mexico related to bankruptcy and insolvency matters, as has established himself as one of Mexico's leading restructuring and insolvency litigators. He has extensive experience representing both debtors and creditors in complex insolvency cases and in matters related to liquidation and distribution of the estate.

His practice in bankruptcy and opinions in the field were also a reference point for the drafting of the most ambitious amendment ever to the Mexican Bankruptcy Law. This legal reform was completely approved by Mexican lawmakers and came into effect in January 2014.

Enrique regularly represents major creditors, debtors, ad hoc creditor and lender groups, steering committees, trustees, strategic and financial investors, and governmental entities in a wide variety of industry and market sectors.

In addition to trying commercial cases, Enrique also has experience in investigations of potential antitrust violations representing parties before the Mexican competition agency. His white collar and compliance experience includes conducting internal corporate investigations and representing and advising Mexican, US and other foreign multinational companies and their governing boards and committees in civil matters involving fraud, accounting, and regulatory issues, often in the context of investigations and enforcement actions. He has substantial experience in matters involving local and cross-border litigation related to Mexican anti-corruption laws and regulations, as well as to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-corruption laws.  This experience includes creating and assessing compliance and training programs, conducting risk assessments and compliance audits, as well as conducting and evaluating anti-corruption due diligence and compliance in the context of foreign investments and mergers and acquisitions.

Enrique also has substantial experience in the strategic, forensic auditing of litigation cases and potential claims, providing support to general counsels and in-house counsel in need of reorganization, evaluation and control of their litigation departments.

He lectures on insolvency-related subjects and on the bankruptcy of financial institutions in Mexico at the graduate programs of the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) and the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León.

Enrique is a member of a number of professional associations, including the International Bar Association and ICC (Mexico), and is a regular contributor to the Firm's industry alerts.

Bars and Courts

  • Authorized to practice law in Mexico

Education

  • Attorney at Law (Abogado), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Languages

  • Spanish
  • English

Experience

Compañia Mexicana de Aviacion's US$1billion bankruptcy

Enrique acted as lead counsel and represented major lessors Aviation Capital Group, Engine Lease Finance Corporation, International Aero Engines, Boeing Capital Leasing Limited, Boeing Capital Corporation, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and The Boeing Company in the most complex bankruptcy in Mexico and a simultaneous ancillary proceeding before the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, involving more than US$1 billion in debt, filed by Compañia Mexicana de Aviacion, S.A. de C.V., Mexico's first and largest airline.

Banco Nacional de Mexico, S.A. (Banamex)

Acting as litigator, Enrique represented Banamex in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, as well as in complex multimillion-dollar litigations brought to recover delinquent corporate loans and credits. He also successfully represented Banamex against multimillion-dollar claims arising from alleged breach of credit and contracts, as well as from deposits.

Banco Union, S.A. and Banco Obrero, S.A.

Enrique was a key member of the team of counsels which represented the appointed receiver in the first bankruptcy/liquidation proceedings of banking institutions in Mexico's history. This landmark case served as a model for subsequent banking institution liquidation proceedings, and led to an amendment to the Mexican Credit Entities Act.

The first multimillion-dollar cross-border pre-arranged 'concurso'

Enrique represented Bank of America, N.A. and Banc of America Securities Limited, California Commerce Bank and Deutsche Bank, A.G. and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. in the first multimillion-dollar cross-border pre-arranged 'concurso'. His work on this matter resulted in the successful restructuring of one of Mexico's largest paper products manufacturers.

Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank AG (HVB) and Commerzbak AG

Enrique has counselled and represented HVB and Commerzbank AG in complex insolvency proceedings, successfully helping to achieve credit claims recognition.

Grupo Tribasa, S.A. de C.V. (TRIBASA) and Triturados Basalticos y Derivados, S.A. de C.V. (TBD)

Enrique was a key member of a group of counsels to major lenders of one of the financial institutions which filed the involuntary petition of reorganization of a leading construction company in Latin America, TRIBASA and its subsidiary TBD, achieving a successful restructuring agreement -- the first of its kind in México -- involving claims of approximately US$1.3 billion.

Instituto para la Protección al Ahorro Bancario (IPAB), the Mexican FDIC

Enrique was a key member of the team which acted as manager of the legal staff in charge of the liquidation of seven banks in distress, and directed credit recovery efforts, as well as the realization and sale of the banks' assets.

Citibank NA, Citibank International plc and Citibank (Mexico), S.A. (Citibank Mexico)

Enrique successfully represented Citibank NA and Citibank International plc in multimillion-dollar cross-border insolvency cases. He also represented Citibank Mexico in several multimillion-dollar arbitrations related to investments and deposits managed by CONFIA, S.A., and counselled Citibank Mexico in litigation against large corporations in default of their credit payment obligations.

Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua, S.A.B. de C.V. (GCC)

Enrique counselled major creditors in matters related to the restructuring and potential insolvency proceeding of GCC, a leading producer and supplier of cement, aggregates, concrete and construction-related services in Mexico and the United States.

Grupo Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. (now Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (KCSM))

Enrique served as counsel and litigator in the complex agency and regulatory litigation of KCSM, the principal Mexican cargo railroad. He was also a key member of the team of counsels which represented KCSM before the Mexican Antitrust Commission regarding an investigation into railroad transportation services.

Pfizer Inc.

Acting as counsel and litigator, Enrique successfully represented Pfizer, the world's leading pharmaceutical company, as well as its Mexican subsidiaries, in a number of commercial and regulatory cases.

Société Générale (SG)

Enrique successfully advised SG on a multimillion-dollar debt recovery in cash from a major Mexican manufacturer of copper-based and electrical products.

Visteon Corporation

Enrique advised on Visteon Corporation's restructuring and its Mexican subsidiaries.

Speaking Engagements

Speaker on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) topics at the School of Management of the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), Chihuahua Campus.

Speaker at the Ernst & Young conference focusing on the tenth anniversary of the enactment of the Mexican Business Reorganization Act.

Publications

  • Commercial Arbitration; its application to the Mexican Financial System
  • The prepackaged business reorganization proceeding; its applicability and admissibility as a method to resolve the insolvency of Controladora Comercial Mexicana (COMERCI)
  • Topics on Commercial Insolvency Law in light of the professional practice that should be reviewed in an amendment of the Mexican Business Reorganization Act
  • Mexicana Airlines Files for Bankruptcy
  • A Bankruptcy Dilemma: Reorganization or Liquidation
  • Of Carts and Horses: Is There Room for Attachment or Enforcement Ahead of Recognition of Arbitral Awards in Mexico?
  • Minimizing the "Vitro Effect": Mexican Lawmakers Approved the Most Ambitious Bankruptcy Law Reform Since its Enactment In the Year 2000, Aiming to Ensure Creditors' Rights

Awards & Recognition

Recommended Lawyer, The Legal 500 Latin America, 2012-2015

Dispute Resolution - Mexico

Laurel de Oro

Enrique received this community service award for supporting the education of underprivileged children and youngsters through Colegiacion Universitaria, A.C., a charity association of which he is a founding member.