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Mayer Brown, which has an office in Houston, opened an office in Mexico City on Aug. 12, after receiving approval from the Mexican government to do business in Mexico.

Partner Francisco Mendez, a former in-house lawyer at ExxonMobil Corp. who joined Mayer Brown in March, will head the office. Dallas Parker, a partner in Houston who leads the firm's Mexico Energy Reform initiative, said Mendez will work at the Mexico City office every week but maintain his residence in Houston.

Parker said he and others in the firm's global energy group, including Houston partners Alexandre Chequer, Jose Valera and Pablo Ferrante and associate Gabriel Salinas, will also travel regularly to Mexico City.

"Those of us on 'Team Mexico' think it's a very big deal," Parker said. "Obviously, [regarding] commodity prices, we would like to see them go the other way, but we've always viewed this as a long-term investment."

Parker said the firm sees opportunity in Mexico, where the energy industry is being reformed, in power projects and in the broad spectrum of the oil and gas industry. The work in Mexico City will be limited to those areas, he said.

"We want to take the experience we have from around the world in those special projects and take them to Mexico," Parker said.

Parker said Mendez has been spending a lot of time in Mexico since March, working on securing approval for the firm to do business in Mexico and building relationships. He said that networking has paid off, but he declined to identify firm clients working in the energy sector in Mexico.

Reprinted with permission from the August 13, 2015 edition of Texas Lawyer © 2015 ALM Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited