White & Case loses Monterrey executive partner to spin-off firm

The office executive partner of White & Case’s Monterrey office has left to join former White & Case partner Thomas Heather’s firm in Mexico City.

Eugenio Sepúlveda Cosío joined finance boutique Heather & Heather on 1 June as counsel, Heather has confirmed to The Lawyer. Sepúlveda Cosío is an M&A lawyer who has led White & Case’s Monterrey office for several years.

Heather, a former banking partner and head of restructuring for Latin America, left White & Case in 2010 to set up Heather & Heather alongside his sons Andrew and Thomas (25 January 2010). The firm has focuses on banking and finance work, insolvency and restructuring, M&A, structured finance, capital markets, as well as international arbitration.

The news comes weeks after it was revealed that four partners are set to leave White & Case’s Mexico City office to launch a firm that will focus on administrative litigation matters (24 May 2012). White & Case has since made efforts to bolster its litigation offering by hiring litigation partner Carlos Lugo in the firm’s Monterrey office. 

Following Sepúlveda Cosío’s departure, real estate partner Jorge de la Garza, who joined the firm’s Monterrey office from Thompson & Knight last year (14 February 2012), will take over as office executive partner, a White & Case spokesperson has confirmed.

Sepúlveda Cosío will continue to have links with White & Case as his brother Alberto Sepúlveda Cosío is a key partner in the firm’s Mexico City office, having been office executive partner until earlier this year, when Vicente Corta took up the role. Alberto and Eugenio have both played a key role in cementing White & Case’s reputation in Mexico. It is believed that Alberto will continue to work as a partner at White & Case.

White & Case was one of the first foreign law firms to enter the Mexican legal landscape, having originally opened its doors in Mexico City in 1991. Later in 2002 it became one of the first foreign law firms to open an office in Monterrey, Mexico’s second-largest city (19 March 2012).

Commenting on Eugenio’s appointment, Heather said: “We can confirm that Eugenio joined our firm on 1 June. For several decades we’ve had a professional and amicable relationship with the Sepúlveda family.

“We’re honoured to have a lawyer of Eugenio’s experience and reputation working for our firm. He’ll reinforce our young, hard-working and innovative team.

“We’ll continue to have an excellent relationship of mutual respect with Alberto and with White & Case.”

The latest departures are indicative of the growing restlessness in the Mexican legal market as a whole. Earlier this year DLA Piper scooped the entire legal team from Thompson & Knight’s Mexico City office (14 February 2012).