Ismael Reyes Retana Tello | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Ismael Reyes-Retana Tello
Ismael Reyes-Retana Tello

Ismael Reyes Retana Tello

Partner, Mexico City

T +52 55 5540 9661

T +52 55 5540 9600

E ireyes@whitecase.com

in LinkedIn profile

“A ‘great professional’, Reyes-Retana leads on regulatory and administrative litigation in the sector and ‘has all the necessary knowledge on telecommunications issues’”.

The Legal 500 2014

Overview

Ismael focuses on regulatory matters and administrative litigations, mainly related to the telecommunications sector.

Clients seek his counsel for his unique insider's perspective, gained through 25 years' experience working in the public sector, collaborating with agencies and entities of the Federal Public Administration.

Clients who benefit from Ismael's experience include major financial institutions and corporations, such as Telefónica, Televisa, KCSM, Satmex, the Confederation of Potato Producers, Cablevisión, Sicpa and NIC México, as well as sovereign governments, executives and directors.

Recent matters include Ismael's successful representation of the Mexican division of Telefónica, in a case heard by the Mexican Supreme Court, in which the court's ruling set a landmark precedent for the telecommunications industry in Mexico.

A noteworthy item in his experience is the achievement of novel injunctions in constitutional matters in which several aspects –new to Mexican Law- have been involved, such as, the defense of collective and fuzzy rights and innovative means to secure standing of his clients in Courts.

During his time in the public sector, Ismael became a leading specialist in constitutional and administrative law in Mexico, acting first as Director General of Legal Studies of the Presidency, then as Deputy Legal Counsel to the President, and until 2008 as Federal Deputy Attorney General for Tax Matters and Deputy Counsel to the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (Subprocurador Fiscal Federal).

Ismael served for nine years as the Presidential delegate before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, managing constitutional controversies, and preparing legislative bills. While working for the Office of the Counsel to the President and the Office of the Federal Attorney General for Tax Matters, he helped to develop several initiatives of constitutional and legal reform, and to draft Presidential decrees.

Formerly a respected academic, Ismael served as Professor of Constitutional Law at the Universidad Panamericana and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Professor of Mexican Law History at the Universidad Iberoamericana, and Professor of Human Rights at the Instituto Nacional de Capacitación Penitenciaria.

Ismael is an author of several articles in specialized magazines and newspapers, co-author of several books, and he was Publishing Advisor for the Reforma newspaper in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

Ismael has worked on a Pro Bono basis for Aid for Aids, Fundación Angélica Fuentes, Fundación Nantik Lum, Festival del Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México and Comisión de Solidaridad y Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (Indígenas Rarámuris). He is trustee of the Board of Contemporary Art Patronage. (Patronato de Arte Contemporáneo).

Bars and Courts

  • Authorized to practice law in Mexico

Education

  • Diplomatic Studies, Instituto Matias Romero
  • Program on Human Rights (Diplomado en Derechos Humanos), Universidad Iberoamericana
  • Attorney at Law (Abogado), Universidad Panamericana

Languages

  • Spanish

Experience

Mexican Federal Court Orders Government to Continue Teacher Evaluation, 2015

Ismael represents Aprender Primero, A.C., a Mexican NGO whose primary purpose is the promotion and defense of the right to education, in a constitutional trial against the controversial announcement by Mexico's Ministry of Education to suspend teachers' evaluations indefinitely. Teachers' evaluations are a key pillar of the government's education reform as well as a constitutional obligation to ensure the quality in the education rendered by public schools. The suspension of evaluations was widely interpreted by civil society groups as the government giving in to blackmail by certain sectors of the teachers' union on the eve of an election day, as well as a violation of the Federal Constitution. We challenged the suspension of the evaluations by means of a constitutional remedy ("amparo") and secured an injunction by a Federal Judge to order the continuation of the evaluations in light of the apparent constitutional violations. With this injunction, the Federal Court ordered the Government to retract the suspension and proceed with the evaluations.

Mexican potato farmers protecting local crops, 2014

Ismael obtained a precedent-setting injunction against the import of fresh potatoes into Mexico and is pursuing an innovative constitutional appeal against a government policy that Mexican potato producers fear could have a devastating impact on their crops.

Phone rates victory for Telefónica at Mexican Supreme Court, 2012

Ismael successfully represented the Mexican division of Telefónica, one of the world's largest telecommunication conglomerates, in a case heard by the Mexican Supreme Court. The court ruled that mobile termination rates which the Ministry of Communications and Transports (MCT) required Telefónica to charge should be voided. The court's ruling set a landmark precedent for the telecommunications industry in Mexico because it recognized the full independence of the Federal Telecommunications Commission (FTC) from the MCT, and gave mobile carriers more legal certainty.

'Plan' victory for Grupo Telefónica at Mexican Supreme Court, 2012

Ismael also represented Grupo Telefónica in a litigation that obtained a favorable ruling, pursuant to which several dispositions of the Plan Técnico Fundamental de Interconexión e Interoperabilidad ('Plan') issued by the FTC, were declared unconstitutional. Accordingly, Grupo Telefónica is the only telecommunications service provider in Mexico that is not required to comply with certain obligations set forth in the Plan. The Mexican Supreme Court issued a book entitled "Relevant Decisions", which describes the aforementioned litigations as the cornerstone for setting innovative precedents and criteria regarding the authority of the FTC as regulator of the telecommunications sector.

Representations against National Departments, States and Municipal Governments, 2008 – 2013

Ismael has been active in other defense pleadings representing entities of the financial system against acts of the National Banking and Securities Commission, the Ministry of Treasury and the National Insurance and Bonding Commission, as well as state and municipal governments. He obtained a number of notable favorable rulings, including in two legal actions (amparos) filed on behalf of almost all Mexican banks against legislation of the Federal District and the municipality of Guadalajara.

Publications

  • Ismael wrote the foreword to "El Chamizal, a 50 años de su devolución", Edited by the General Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, 2014.
  • Authored an essay entitled "Endorsement of Broadcasting Concessions" for the Telecommunications Law Volume of the Obra Jurídica Enciclopédica, a collection of 43 volumes, published by Editorial Porrúa and the Escuela Libre de Derecho in tribute to the 100-year anniversary of the Escuela Libre de Derecho Law School.
  • Energy reform: Notes about the constitutionality of a the employment of third parties in refinign activities, Jurípolis, 2009, (La reforma energética: Apuntes sobre la constitucionalidad de la contratación de terceros en actividades de refinación)
  • Reflections regarding the interference of the Senate in the designation of employees of the Union, Nuestra Democracia, 2007, (Reflexiones en torno a la injerencia del Senado en el nombramiento de los empleados de la Unión)
  • The Federal Court of Tax and Administrative Justice LXX years after the Tax Law Enactment, Ed. Tribunal Federal de Justicia Fiscal y Administrativa, México, 5 volumes , 2006, (Tribunal Federal de Justicia Fiscal y Administrativa a los LXX años de la Ley de Justicia Fiscal) (collective work)
  • Historical development concerning the Presidents ability to make observations regarding the Federal Expense Budget, Revista Mexicana de Justicia , 2006, (Evolución histórica de la facultad del Presidente de la República para formula observaciones al Presupuesto de Egresos de la Federación)
  • The scope of the resolution related to the constitutional controversy 91/2003, Nuestra Democracia , 2005, (Alcances de la resolución de la controversia constitucional 91/2003)
  • Notes about the impacts of the resolutions regarding constitutional controversies and unconstitutionality actions, Jurípolis, 2005, (Apuntes sobre los efectos de las resoluciones en las controversias constitucionales y acciones de inconstitucionalidad)
  • Renewal of the judicial review system, Nuestra Democracia, 2005, (La renovación del sistema de control constitucional)
  • Proposals and diagnosis about the law enforcement system, Ed. Themis y Barra Mexicana de Abogados, 2 volumes, 2004, (Diagnóstico y propuestas sobre los sistemas de impartición de justicia)

Awards & Recognition

Leading Lawyer, The Legal 500 2014 – Latin America