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Enrique Ávila

Partner

eavila@gcsc.com.mx
Tel: (5255) 5202-7622

Enrique Ávila has over 18 years of experience providing strategic legal advice to companies from a broad range of industries, including state-owned companies, in both domestic and cross-border corporate and transactional matters. He is renowned for his business understanding and pro-deal approach. His areas of expertise include corporate; finance; mergers and acquisitions; joint ventures; strategic alliances; private equity; foreign investment; and regulatory compliance concerning data privacy and e-business.

Thought Leaders 2018 - Interview with Enrique Ávila

Why did you decide to enter the legal profession?

At an early age, I was drawn to solve all sorts of conflicts among people. Thus, I was encouraged by high school professors to apply for law school and learn in a much more in-depth manner about the existing principles and procedures for when conflicts arise as a result of a breach of contract or violations of the law. Early on in the second year of law school, I had the opportunity to join a prestigious law firm in Mexico City, where practising law only strengthened and solidified my commitment and purpose as a lawyer.

Where did your interest in corporate/M&A grow from?

When I started practising law, I learned very quickly that the law and legal advice is not only useful for solving conflicts, but it is also the foundation for all types of long-lasting, successful businesses and ventures in the form of companies, trusts and other incorporated and unincorporated entities, which I found – and still find – very fascinating. Moreover, my interest in M&A grew at a fast speed, when I discovered that structuring a transaction to develop a client’s business required not only of some of my corporate experience but also involved other practice areas.

What changes have you recently noticed in terms of client’s legal service expectations?

I have noticed that clients predominantly want their firms to be objective driven throughout transactions, demanding efficiency. Considering the speed at which economic, political and social events occur at present and the impact they have on the business environment – industry, country or region-wise – as well as the time frame under which a transaction needs to be fully completed, firms need to ensure the client’s interests are always a top priority.

What is the greatest challenge for corporate and M&A practitioners in your jurisdiction?

That not one size fits all; that is, every single transaction is different in nature, given the parties, background, interests and applicable regulations. Therefore, the challenges cannot be foreseen. Moreover, dealing with uncertainty amid the political environment has become a skill lawyers have acquired to keep businesses moving forward. As lawyers, we are often obliged to find solutions to complex problems and create appropriate business conditions when there may be none.

What has been the impact of Donald Trump’s presidency on Mexico’s M&A environment?

Despite his rhetoric and all expected outcomes, the past year has been active in terms of M&A transactions in our country. Even though US investments prevail in Mexico, investors of other countries and regions have shown a remarkable and constant interest in doing business in the country, either by purchasing existing businesses, starting their own or co-investing with domestic companies or individuals. Additionally, the telecoms and energy reforms enacted during the current administration in Mexico have created an enormous appetite in foreign and domestic companies to invest in Mexico. Nevertheless, we still need to see the impact of the US tax reform and the consequent repatriation of funds as well as what effect this may have on the development of business.

Have you noticed a shift in the way of doing business, or in the way your clients approach corporate and M&A decisions given the uncertainty of the current business and political environment in Mexico?

I must say that clients are indeed cautious about what the likely outcome of the NAFTA renegotiations may be; however, they are confident that in the meantime, business must go on as usual. Whatever the outcome may be, clients remain close to us, as corporate and business structuring in times of uncertainty is key to adapt to the new prevailing circumstances.

What makes you stand out to your clients?

My affection for their business and understanding of their goals, purpose and interests, which makes me responsive and able to design and implement tailored legal strategies that meet their specific needs.

What factors do you consider fundamental to the delivery of better legal services?

The ability of lawyers to adapt to the current uncertain business environment, and find solutions in a short time frame, are skills that are fundamental for any successful law firm. In such regard, offering clients multidisciplinary teams provides additional tools for them to face these challenges in as strong a position as possible.

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