Managing Partner: Carlos Sierra
Partners: Viridiana Barquin, Misael Arellano, Julio Vargas, Fermín Aramburu
Number of other lawyers: 12
Transactional (Finance & Leasing of Aircraft, Engines & Other Assets): Carlos Sierra, Viridiana Barquin
Commercial Litigation (Administrative & Judicial Proceedings, Arbitration, Mediation, ADR, Aircraft Repossession & Insolvency): Carlos Sierra, Julio Vargas
Regulatory (Compliance, Operation, Authority, Contracts & Administrative Compliance): Carlos Sierra, Misael Arellano
Corporate (Foreign Investment, Corporate Structures, Tax & Liability Exposure): Carlos Sierra, Fermín Aramburu
Abogados Sierra, S.C. is the leading aviation law firm in Mexico accumulating more than 23 years of experience since it was founded in 1994. Through a strong understanding of its client’s cultures and objectives, the firm draws on the full breadth of its legal skills to provide result-driven and commercially conscious legal advice. The firm’s reputation has been endorsed by worldwide recognition amongst the most notable practitioners of the industry, leader awards and other valuable awards. Abogados Sierra is the leading aviation law firm in Mexico. The firm’s experience treasures the service rendered to only the best lessors, banks, financiers, airlines and most important aviation related players in the world.
Main Areas of Practice:
Aircraft & Other Assets Finance & Leasing:
The firm’s experience is second to none in this complex area of law as we conduct work for the largest lessors and financiers of aircraft in the world. Experience includes leasing and financing of commercial and corporate aircraft as well as helicopters where it has advised clients in large leasing and financing transactions for the acquisition of new and used aircraft, operating leases, sale and lease back, PDP financing of aircraft, JOLCO transactions, transfers of title, novation of leases, restructuring of transactions, constitution of security interests, registration of interests in Mexico and at the International Registry, etc. Lawyers have advised on many of the landmark transactions undertaken in Mexico to date. The firm’s transactional area has designed, structured and enabled complex cross-border and domestic transactions with the utmost professionalism and cohesive legal advice. The firm is closely involved in the development and implementation of the Cape Town Convention and Protocol in Mexico, it participates in the legal advisory panel of the Aviation Working Group integrated by the largest manufacturers or aircraft and engines as well as by banks and major leasing companies. The firm leads the Mexico Contact Group of such panel and is heading, along with the Mexican government, the project to amend the existing declarations made by Mexico to the Cape Town Convention and to adopt the Qualifying Declarations established by the 2011 ASU of the OECD. The firm’s role in this practice goes beyond such of the traditional local counsel as it works closely with its clients in designing the most effective leasing and financing structures and documentation to protect their interests and to mitigate the risk of placing high value aircraft in Mexico, providing advice in order to reduce the negative effects of a potential default and to reduce the duration and exposure that could be faced in court proceedings. The firm represents the highest number of lessors and commercial aircraft owners in Mexico.
The capacities in the regulatory aspects of aviation law are thorough. The firm has represented major international airlines, aircraft owners and operators in all aspects of regulatory, compliance, operational and corporate work associated with their operations in Mexico. In providing these services it has assisted airlines and other aircraft operators in the compliance of all corporate requirements to establish their operations in Mexico. This has included the design of the most adequate corporate structure to permit the carrier to operate in compliance with all requirements of Mexican law and to secure contracts, operating authority, traffic rights, slots, commercial agreements and other requirements of Mexican law. The firm’s regulatory department has achieved regulatory authorisations paramount to the industry, including, freedoms of the air, liberalisation and regulatory compliance. The firm has counseled the Mexican DGAC in sophisticated matters, such as the ratification of bilateral Air Service Agreements and the design of slot allocation rules and procedures. It has dealt with legal challenges to achieve the regulatory and operational goals of its clients in full adherence to applicable law.
Litigation, Arbitration & Mediation:
The firm has repossessed more than 200 large commercial aircraft from defaulting airlines in Mexico. In all cases, Abogados Sierra has recovered the assets promptly and to the full satisfaction of its clients. For the last 16 years, the firm has defended the rights of major creditors of the aviation industry throughout insolvency proceedings related to Mexican airlines. The firm’s experience has allowed it to provide preventive advice which clients have made part of their contracts and transactions. The firm has advised clients through major international arbitration, mediation and administrative proceedings. The practice includes commercial, civil, labour, concurso mercantil litigation and administrative proceedings.
Corporate Law & Foreign Investment:
The firm has advised many companies throughout the years, both aviation related and not, in the understanding and compliance of their corporate rights and obligations in Mexico. It has provided creative advice to worldwide companies with several subsidiaries, employees, manufacturing facilities and complex corporate structures. The firm has a strong corporate law practice, including M&A, cross-border transactions, corporate governance, foreign investment and antitrust law.
The firm has served as counsel to the most reputable passenger and cargo air carriers operating in Mexico as well as to the most important aircraft lessors, banks and manufacturers. It represents a vast majority of the major commercial aircraft lessors in the world and aircraft financiers, lenders and manufacturers; top cargo and passenger airlines with operations worldwide. Clients in the transactional practice area are mostly foreign entities engaged in the financing, leasing and other forms of acquisition of aircraft, engines and/ or related equipment. In the regulatory area, clients are mostly foreign air carriers conducting scheduled and non-scheduled operations to and from Mexico. In the litigation, arbitration and mediation area the firm represents foreign companies doing business in Mexico.