Dario Oscós is widely endorsed for his in-depth insights into creditor rights, insolvency and restructuring proceedings.
Darío U Oscós is a legal counsel and practitioner specialising in insolvency, restructuring, creditor rights, litigation, arbitration and mediation, in both domestic and international litigation within a wide variety of industries that range from civil, commercial, corporate, banking, securities, energy, oil, gas, construction, industrial property, copyright and finance to telecommunications. He has experience of torts, material, moral punitive and exemplary damages. He has prosecuted before constitutional, federal and state courts in all levels of appeal. He is an arbitrator, mediator and Mexican legal expert in cross-border cases.
What inspired you to work in restructuring and insolvency?
Restructuring and insolvency work involves a dilemma: first phase, identify factual grounds of a distressed situation; second phase, discover a legal and financial way out from different perspectives; and third phase, enforcement of the chosen option. The Mexican economy has undergone systemic financial crises. Most often from inbound domestic causes but also from outbound foreign causes. I am part of a generation that has lived with frequent, strong and deep devaluations in Mexico of the peso against stronger foreign currencies which has eroded the country’s economy, and caused major and massive financial distress situations for both entrepreneurs and consumers. This experience has inspired me to understand, accept the challenge from the maze or even the seven-headed monster, and to face and overcome an insolvency situation.
How has the market changed since you first started practising?
It has moved from tough, time-consuming and costly cases to more efficient, simple, easy and time- and cost-effective resolutions.
Insolvency since the great depression has become a worldwide concern. International organisations such as UNCITRAL Working Group V Insolvency, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, other organisations including the insolvency section of the International Bar Association, the International Insolvency Institute and INSOL International, and a number of insolvency practitioners and academics recognise the importance of the insolvency phenomenon in the economy, both international and domestic. They constantly create, test and improve legal tools for better insolvency regimes that are more efficient and effective at an international or domestic level.
What types of legal liabilities do directors and officers of insolvent companies have in Mexico?
Civil and criminal, both with indemnity recovery to the estate insolvency debtor. Voidance of fraudulent transactions under some circumstances, including those executed by related persons.
In your recent experience, what are the key practical considerations companies should bear in mind when undertaking insolvency proceedings?
Carry out pre- and post-due diligence with the opinion of legal and financial experts, pre-package seeking a reorganisation plan or settlement plan, prevent voidance transactions pre- and post-insolvency, disclose relevant information and commit debtor financing with secured priority, and prevent process disruption from the creditors’ opposition.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected restructuring and insolvency in Mexico?
Due to courts closing and the rejection of insolvency cases by federal courts, the following occurred: (i) more out-of-court settlements through more efficient, simple, easy, and time- and cost-effective settlements or restructurings; (ii) acceptance of the status quo of many enterprises under financial distress expecting to overcome the economic crisis, which in fact has eroded their situation; and (iii) creative insolvency protection in foreign jurisdictions as a member within a group of companies adjudicated under US Chapter 11, for example Aeromexico Airlines. Aeromexico had access to financing and a reorganisation plan under Chapter 11 proceedings.
What’s been your most interesting case to date, and why?
A case involving IFS Financial Corp, a consolidated group of companies of debtors adjudicated in bankruptcy in the US. It relates to recognition and enforcement of a US bankruptcy adjudication of IFS group companies in Mexico under the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency as well as recognition and enforcement in Mexico of a number of adversary-related insolvency judgments recognised under the umbrella of the foreign US main proceeding in Mexico. The case comprised (i) direct court-to-court cross-border procedural cooperation, (ii) service of process of defendants in Mexico, (iii) taking of evidence in Mexico, including documentary and witness, (iv) bankruptcy estate assets collected in Mexico and sent back to the main US bankruptcy estate and (v) enforcement of final voidance judgments from actions brought at all levels of appeal, including constitutional, before Mexican courts as secondary recognition proceedings.
What distinguishes Oscós Abogados from its competitors in the market?
Oscós Abogados has trust and confidence in its professionals. The firm has personal and direct involvement in cases. It has well-known achievements that have concluded distressed situations in the best interest of clients. Oscós Abogados is creative in its legal and financial strategies, from the legal analysis to its efficient implementation. Oscós Abogados, from beginning to end, prioritises client-oriented service and performance.
What advice would you give to younger practitioners hoping to start a career in restructuring and insolvency law?
Bear in mind that insolvency, by definition, is a matter of a distressed situation. It is like a fraught situation in life that may prove fatal. It is often complex with a mix of issues concerning different topics, mainly legal, economic and financial. One must understand the facts and legal implications, then overcome the challenge and find the right solution and implement it. All the processes and its outcomes are like painting a masterpiece. Enjoy, and become a restructuring and insolvency law expert who cures, or ends with dignity, the distressed financial situation.