Diego A. Andrade

AREAS OF PRACTICE

  • International Trade and Arbitration
  • Corporate and Cross-border Transactions
  • Mexico and Latin America

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

Diego has been practicing law since 1992 with a focus on international trade, arbitration, public tenders in Mexico and Latin America, corporate, contracts, competition law, cross-border transactions, FCPA and UKBA compliance investigations in Latin America. He has been in private practice with prestigious law firms in Mexico, European Union (EU), and the US and has extensive in-house experience working across different industries and countries. Throughout his career he has acted in different capacities in public and private functions, including as external governmental advisor during the negotiation of the Mexico – EU Free Trade Agreement, as attorney of the Mexico Federal Economic Competition Commission and as in-house counsel in charge of Latin America for major multinational corporations in the automotive, nutritional, pharmaceutical, energy, and utilities sectors.  Throughout his career Diego has negotiated major settlements, created debt schemes in Latin America, and secured major contracts in high-profile tenders throughout the Americas.  He coordinates attorneys in several jurisdictions, including international antitrust and concentrations.  Diego is fluent in Spanish, English, German, and French, and has a working knowledge of Portuguese.

As Head of the Firm’s International Trade Practice Group, Diego provides guidance navigating the inherent complexities of business in Latin America, conducts due diligence in the Americas, and protects clients from exposure to commercial risk including compliance, sanctions, expropriation, and frivolous litigation. Diego advises US and foreign corporations starting operations in Mexico and Latin America and provides strategic support to domestic corporate attorneys advising foreign clients doing business in Texas.

The Firm’s International Trade Practice Group provides comprehensive advice to clients with global commerce needs and a one-stop shop for legal services by coordinating with a vast network of foreign law firms in Latin America, EU, and other Regions of the Globe. Diego manages the Firm’s alliance with one of Mexico City’s leading law firms, IHMA Abogados y Consultores, S.C, which is home to a team of lawyers trained in both the US and Mexico.  This strategic alliance allows us to provide integrated legal services in cross-border transactions and comprehensive legal advice in any trade or labor matter governed by the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA) that replaced NAFTA.

As a matter of principle, Diego favors constructive working relationships with a strong hands-on approach and proactive application of the law.  Leger Ketchum & Cohoon, PLLC is driven to implement solid, cost-efficient, and positive solutions tailored to the business needs of each client.

EDUCATION BACKGROUND

  • LL.M. – The University of Chicago Law School – 1996
  • Dr. Jur. – Universität Wien – 1994 (International and EU Law)
  • J.D. – Universidad Iberoamericana – 1992 (México)

HONORS AND AWARDS

  • Global Law Experts, UK, GLE Awards, Nomination for Mexico Arbitration Expert, 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Global Law Experts, UK, GLE Awards, Nomination for Corporate Firm of the Year, Mexico, 2020
  • The Lawyer Network, UK, Mexico Arbitration Nomination, 2020
  • Acquisition International, AI Global Media, UK, issue 12, 2019, interview “Going Above and Beyond for Clients”
  • Leaders in Law, UK, Mexico listing 2019
  • International Advisory Experts, UK, Mexico listing 2018
  • Who’s Who Legal – ABA Section of International Law, Law Business Research, publication on Brazil, 2009, interview Corporate Counsel Q & A

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Mexico Bar Association (BMA)

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Admitted to Mexico Bar
  • Affiliated to State Bar of Texas as Foreign Legal Consultant, certified by the Supreme Court of Texas

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Represented and advised a UK based FTSE 250 company in securing temporary power projects through public tenders and securing power rental solution contracts in Latin America. Managing commercial risk and liability exposure in the region, including FCPA and UKBA compliance
  • Conducted due diligence and extensive FCPA and UKBA compliance investigations in Latin America subsidiaries of US, UK and EU based foreign investor companies doing business in Mexico, Central and South America
  • Negotiated for placement of a foreign investor as eligible creditor to participate in the structuring of a major novation scheme of commercial debt for financial debt with the Venezuela State Oil company PDVSA. Closed on a note agreement covering senior guaranteed promissory notes and a Placing Terms Agreement (PTA) with the issuer and arranger of said securities. The PTA covered up to $850,000,000.00 USD PDVSA linked notes under a secured note program arranged by a financial intermediary specialized in exchange traded products
  • Successfully coordinated counsel in various Latin America jurisdictions to collect millions of USD of debt owed by State companies in Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela
  • Successful Acquisition of a client-competitor business following clearance from Competition Authorities in Brazil and Mexico
  • Reorganization, disincorporation, and incorporation of several corporate entities in the Americas to enhance market access and client competitiveness in the energy, utilities, pharmaceutical, nutritional and automotive industries
  • Terminated and renegotiated supplier, distributor, agency, and consultancy agreements in the Latin America Region
  • Coordinated defense strategy with outside counsel against employment claims in several Latin America jurisdictions
  • Participated in settlement negotiations with several Latin American private parties and public agencies to prevent recourse to dispute resolution through international arbitration or transnational litigation;
  • Extensive exposure to administrative legal procedures in several Latin American countries, bids, tenders, licenses and challenges to acts of authority, including but not limited to, challenges to import duty reclassifications, expropriation and inadequate compensation
  • Represented and drafted Master Services Agreements (MSA) for a privately held UK based energy consulting company engaged in asset management, inspection, service solutions, supply, and repair of key equipment on oil rigs and drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Advised foreign companies doing business in Mexico in properly dismantling their outsourced employee base, minimize exposure to special service company registration requirements and transition into full employer status with payroll management obligations in compliance with the May 23rd, 2021 Mexican Decree forbidding the practice of outsourcing
  • Represented foreign investors doing business in Mexico and Mexican investors doing business in Texas in routine corporate, contractual and real estate transactions
  • Coordinated multijurisdictional counsel to protect trademark and patent infringement rights and contain adverse litigation in Latin America, prevailing in a multimillion frivolous lawsuit filed in a Latin American country against a US based Fortune 500 company
  • Purchased land, negotiated turn-key contracts, and supervised legal aspects of construction site development to build a new industrial plant for a tier 1 supplier in the automotive industry in Saltillo, Coahuila, México
  • Purchased land to expand industrial facilities in Toluca, México and defended an automotive supplier company against attempted governmental expropriations of land contingent to its new industrial site
  • Negotiated and purchased real estate and warehouses in Detroit, MI and Smyrna, TN, USA for a Mexico based automotive supplier venturing and expanding into the US market
  • Reviewed and implemented joint ventures, licensing, and know-how agreements between German companies and a Mexico based supplier to the automotive industry
  • Contracted for the purchase of private aircraft in the US State of Kansas and managed aviation registration requirements for the Mexico based airplane owner
  • Counsel to Mexican Government in negotiating and drafting the European Union-México Free Trade Agreements. Successful representation of the client led to the signature and entry into force of an interim FTA and the final FTA between México and the EU
  • Managed caseload of the Mexican Antitrust Authority (COFECE) which is the local equivalent to US Federal Trade Commission. Drafted resolutions to merger notification filings under 1993 Mexican Competition Act. Conducted investigations in several industries to assert findings of vertical restraints, price fixing, tying agreements, and other unlawful restraints on trade. Review and implementation of natural gas Privatization Guidelines for the Mexican State Oil Monopoly, PEMEX
  • As a trainee, managed Latin America case docket of the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris

Diego A. Andrade

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