Roberto Hernandez-Garcia
Firm:
Office:
Febo 29
Col. Crédito Constructor
03940
City:
Mexico City
Country:
Mexico
Tel:
+52 55 5661 3733

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Construction

Roberto Hernández-García is the managing partner of prestigious law firm COMAD, SC in Mexico City. He has been involved in high-profile construction projects and disputes for almost three decades in the sectors of energy, trains, tunnels, highways, metros and airports among others in Mexico and Central America. He has been co-chair of the international construction projects committee of the IBA, and the founding chair of the construction and infrastructure disputes of the International Chamber of Commerce, Mexico. He also often acts as dispute board and proposed arbitrator in construction disputes.

What motivated you to pursue a career in construction law?

In my early 20s, I started to advise a very active and prestigious international construction company in Mexico. At first, I attended just contractual matters, but then the company started to need more complicated matters such as bid challenges, claims, expert determinations and arbitrations. We provided good results to such company and thus we obtained an important reputation in this market. As a consequence of that, I was invited to participate in national and international specialised groups within the IBA, the ABA and the ICC and I realised I love the construction law issues and players. And here we are almost 30 years after that: we are one of the most recognised construction law players in the Mexican market.

What did you find most challenging about entering the construction market?

It is a market that is very complicated for a few reasons. First, there are many players (designers, employers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, authorities), and you have to understand that each one has a different interest and a different motivation – but at the same time, all of them intend to complete a common avenue: a project. Second, although there are many common issues across the world regarding engineering and construction, others are very local, and these complement each other. Third: the market is very aggressive and at the very same time, very cohesive. This market is full of known matters and surprises at the same time.

Which qualities make for a successful construction lawyer?

I think a real construction lawyer is one who likes, admires and investigates technical issues regarding engineering and construction, and therefore first pursues the understanding of the problems in order to achieve the success of a project, instead of looking for disputes. A construction lawyer likes being onsite, and does their best to understand technical matters and then apply them to the principles of law and the legal roots and consequences. I think this is a specific breed in the legal market, and clients know perfectly well the difference between a real construction lawyer and a lawyer with other specialities who is involved in a construction case.

How does COMAD SC stand out from competitors in the market?

I think we are different in the sense that we look to the project not from our desks, but from the site perspective. The project is not only the contract documents. The project is the reality of: where is the project going to be executed? What are the local matters that may affect it? What are the risks and regulations? Who is your counterpart and what role does it play? How important is the project? What kind of external influences, such as politics or economy, might affect the project? After that, you try to look for a solution. We go to the sites; understand the issues; and try to be practical, and propose and provide solutions that are market-oriented and not theory-oriented.

In what ways has your work as the co-chair and chair of IBA and ICC committees enhanced your work as a construction lawyer?

These groups, as well as the ABA forum on construction law, have been an extraordinary opportunity to learn the international construction issues, and know some of the brightest minds in the industry. In some way, construction lawyers are like a big family of known guys that act in different positions (counsellors, arbitrators, dispute boards, etc), so we find each other very often in projects, conferences, etc.

Being the first Latin American co-chair of the international construction projects committee (ICP), and the founder of the construction disputes committee of ICC Mexico, has been a great privilege to serve to the industry and be part of the international construction law community.

What publications are you most proud of and why?

I have coordinated five collective books. One in Mexico (Public Procurement) with the Mexican Bar Association; three in England (Public Procurement, Construction Disputes and Anticorruption) with Globe Law and Business, and one in Peru (Dispute Boards) with Castillo Freyre.

Next year, I will publish my first single-author book in Spain (Construction Law).

Every publication has been a great effort and each one has a special space in my career and also for my firm’s development. I sincerely hope that such publications are of use and research for interested readers.

What advice would you give to younger practitioners who hope one day to be in your position?

I think that young practitioners have to be very focused on the construction law matters, attending specialised groups and working with construction lawyers or construction companies. You have to understand the industry, get the most information from it, and this is the basis for your career.

Where, in your opinion, does the future of the practice area lie?

It is a very interesting question mainly because of the trends in technology in the construction industry. There are forecasts related to the reduction of humans in the engineering, construction, supervision and disputes processes in construction. I think this will dramatically change the role of construction lawyers. We have to be much more focused to read these changes, and how will construction lawyers may use, adapt or modify their roles and expectations. It is going to be a very interesting challenge, however not straightforward and clear yet.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Mexico - Administrative Litigation

Roberto Hernández-García is a Mexican attorney specialised in public and private construction projects, public procurement, and dispute resolution related to these areas of practice. He is a managing partner of COMAD, SC, a prestigious boutique law firm established in 1965 and based in Mexico City, with a focus on public procurement, construction and compliance in these areas.

Since 1989, he has advised top-class European, American and Mexican construction, engineering and architect firms in relevant construction projects in Mexico and Central America in the energy, oil, health, water, sewage, gas, petrochemical, parks, transportation, airports and building sectors, among others.

Mr Hernández has been involved in many relevant complex construction projects, acting in different capacities. Such projects include the Central American Transmission line (SIEPAC); the Tunel Emisor Oriente (a 62-kilometre sewage tunnel in Mexico City and surrounding states); the Mexico City Metro Line 12; the Panama Canal; the construction of one of the most important buildings in Mexico City; and the design and build of the largest brewery plant in Latin America, the New Mexico City Airport and the Mexico-Toluca train.

One of Mr Hernández’ strengths in the construction area is his experience in dispute boards in Central and Latin America. He is the only Mexican and one of the very few Latin Americans appointed as sole adjudicators in projects in the region, and has been requested to speak and train in several Latin American countries on the topic because of his specific expertise.

Mr Hernández is a former chair of the international construction projects committee of the International Bar Association (IBA) and the current chair of the construction disputes committee of ICC Mexico. Mr Hernández is a member of the steering committee of the Division 8 Construction Forum of the American Bar Association (ABA), and he is a member and fellow of the Dispute Board Federation.

Mr Hernández is also certified by the Mexican Institute of Technical Auditing as an auditor of construction and infrastructure projects.

Mr Hernández has published several books as consulting editor and co-author, including International Public Procurement: A Guide to Best Practice, and Construction and Infrastructure Disputes, both published by Globe Law and Business in London, England, and Dispute Boards in Latin America, published in Perú; he was also the consulting editor and co-author of the book Legal Aspects of Public Procurement in Mexico, published by the BMA; and he was a co-author of the book International Construction published by the ABA. He has been invited as a speaker in several countries by international institutions and organisations such as King’s College London, the IBA, the ABA, the ICC, the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences, the University of Lima, the Canadian Commercial Corporation, the OECD, the government of Brazil and the government of Colombia, among many others in matters related to public procurement, construction and compliance.

WWL says: Roberto Hernandez is highly experienced in administrative law matters and focuses his practice on offering clients in-depth advice in sectors such as construction and IT.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Mexico which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Construction: Lawyers

Roberto Hernández-García is a Mexican attorney specialised in public and private construction projects, public procurement, and dispute resolution related to these areas of practice. He is a managing partner of COMAD, SC, a prestigious boutique law firm established in 1965 and based in Mexico City, with a focus on public procurement, construction and compliance in these areas.

Since 1989, he has advised top-class European, American and Mexican construction, engineering and architect firms in relevant construction projects in Mexico and Central America in the energy, oil, health, water, sewage, gas, petrochemical, parks, transportation, airports and building sectors, among others.

Mr Hernández has been involved in many relevant complex construction projects, acting in different capacities. Such projects include the Central American Transmission line (SIEPAC); the Tunel Emisor Oriente (a 62-kilometre sewage tunnel in Mexico City and surrounding states); the Mexico City Metro Line 12; the Panama Canal; the construction of one of the most important buildings in Mexico City; the design and build of the largest brewery plant in Latin America, the New Mexico City Airport and the Mexico-Toluca train.

One of Mr Hernández’ strengths in the construction area is his experience in dispute boards in Central and Latin America. He is the only Mexican and one of the very few Latin Americans appointed as sole adjudicators in projects in the region, and has been requested to speak and train in several Latin American countries on the topic because of his specific expertise. Projects include: Highways, bridges and sport facilities for international sport  games.

Mr Hernández has served as co-chair of the international construction projects committee of the IBA (ICP); chair of the construction disputes committee of ICC México. Currently he serves as a member of the steering committee of division 8: international construction, devised by the ABA's forum on construction law. He is also a member of the anticorruption group of the International Federation of Construction Chambers (FIIC)

Mr Hernandez is a fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and a fellow of the International Academy of Construction Lawyers.

Mr Hernández has published several books as consulting editor and co-author, including International Public Procurement: A Guide to Best Practice, Construction and Infrastructure Disputes and Anticorruption Laws and Regulations: A Global Guide, all of them published by Globe Law and Business in London, England, and Dispute Boards in Latin America, published in Perú; he was also the consulting editor and co-author of the book Legal Aspects of Public Procurement in Mexico, published by the BMA; and he was a co-author of the book International Construction published by the ABA. He has been invited as a speaker in several countries by international institutions and organisations such as King’s College London, the IBA, the ABA, the ICC, the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences, the University of Lima, the Canadian Commercial Corporation, the OECD, the government of Brazil and the government of Colombia, Guatemala, Paraguay and Chile, among many others in matters related to public procurement, construction and compliance.

WWL says: Roberto Hernandez-Garcia is a premier name in the international construction market. Sources relate that he is “the number one construction lawyer in Mexico” and that he “does excellent work for major contractors”.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Construction which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Mexico - Construction & Real Estate

Roberto Hernández-García is a Mexican attorney specialised in public and private construction projects, public procurement, and dispute resolution related to these areas of practice. He is a managing partner of COMAD, SC, a prestigious boutique law firm established in 1965 and based in Mexico City, with a focus on public procurement, construction and compliance in these areas.

Since 1989, he has advised top-class European, American and Mexican construction, engineering and architect firms in relevant construction projects in Mexico and Central America in the energy, oil, health, water, sewage, gas, petrochemical, parks, transportation, airports and building sectors, among others.

Mr Hernández has been involved in many relevant complex construction projects, acting in different capacities. Such projects include the Central American Transmission line (SIEPAC); the Tunel Emisor Oriente (a 62-kilometre sewage tunnel in Mexico City and surrounding states); the Mexico City Metro Line 12; the Panama Canal; the construction of one of the most important buildings in Mexico City; and the design and build of the largest brewery plant in Latin America, the New Mexico City Airport and the Mexico-Toluca train.

One of Mr Hernández’ strengths in the construction area is his experience in dispute boards in Central and Latin America. He is the only Mexican and one of the very few Latin Americans appointed as sole adjudicators in projects in the region, and has been requested to speak and train in several Latin American countries on the topic because of his specific expertise.

Mr Hernández is a former chair of the international construction projects committee of the International Bar Association (IBA) and the current chair of the construction disputes committee of ICC Mexico. Mr Hernández is a member of the steering committee of the Division 8 Construction Forum of the American Bar Association (ABA), and he is a member and fellow of the Dispute Board Federation.

Mr Hernández is also certified by the Mexican Institute of Technical Auditing as an auditor of construction and infrastructure projects.

Mr Hernández has published several books as consulting editor and co-author, including International Public Procurement: A Guide to Best Practice, and Construction and Infrastructure Disputes, both published by Globe Law and Business in London, England, and Dispute Boards in Latin America, published in Perú; he was also the consulting editor and co-author of the book Legal Aspects of Public Procurement in Mexico, published by the BMA; and he was a co-author of the book International Construction published by the ABA. He has been invited as a speaker in several countries by international institutions and organisations such as King’s College London, the IBA, the ABA, the ICC, the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences, the University of Lima, the Canadian Commercial Corporation, the OECD, the government of Brazil and the government of Colombia, among many others in matters related to public procurement, construction and compliance.

WWL says: Roberto Hernandez-Garcia stands out as one of the most prominent construction lawyers in the country. He is much respected for his exceptional work on both public and private construction projects as well as related public procurement issues.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Mexico which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Mexico - Government Contracts

Roberto Hernández-García is a Mexican attorney specialised in public and private construction projects, public procurement, and dispute resolution related to these areas of practice. He is a managing partner of COMAD, SC, a prestigious boutique law firm established in 1965 and based in Mexico City, with a focus on public procurement, construction and compliance in these areas.

Since 1989, he has advised top-class European, American and Mexican construction, engineering and architect firms in relevant construction projects in Mexico and Central America in the energy, oil, health, water, sewage, gas, petrochemical, parks, transportation, airports and building sectors, among others.

Mr Hernández has been involved in many relevant complex construction projects, acting in different capacities. Such projects include the Central American Transmission line (SIEPAC); the Tunel Emisor Oriente (a 62-kilometre sewage tunnel in Mexico City and surrounding states); the Mexico City Metro Line 12; the Panama Canal; the construction of one of the most important buildings in Mexico City; and the design and build of the largest brewery plant in Latin America, the New Mexico City Airport and the Mexico-Toluca train.

One of Mr Hernández’ strengths in the construction area is his experience in dispute boards in Central and Latin America. He is the only Mexican and one of the very few Latin Americans appointed as sole adjudicators in projects in the region, and has been requested to speak and train in several Latin American countries on the topic because of his specific expertise.

Mr Hernández is a former chair of the international construction projects committee of the International Bar Association (IBA) and the current chair of the construction disputes committee of ICC Mexico. Mr Hernández is a member of the steering committee of the Division 8 Construction Forum of the American Bar Association (ABA), and he is a member and fellow of the Dispute Board Federation.

Mr Hernández is also certified by the Mexican Institute of Technical Auditing as an auditor of construction and infrastructure projects.

Mr Hernández has published several books as consulting editor and co-author, including International Public Procurement: A Guide to Best Practice, and Construction and Infrastructure Disputes, both published by Globe Law and Business in London, England, and Dispute Boards in Latin America, published in Perú; he was also the consulting editor and co-author of the book Legal Aspects of Public Procurement in Mexico, published by the BMA; and he was a co-author of the book International Construction published by the ABA. He has been invited as a speaker in several countries by international institutions and organisations such as King’s College London, the IBA, the ABA, the ICC, the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences, the University of Lima, the Canadian Commercial Corporation, the OECD, the government of Brazil and the government of Colombia, among many others in matters related to public procurement, construction and compliance.

WWL says: Roberto Hernandez-Garcia is praised for his first-rate government contracts practice which spans a wide array of sectors including construction and infrastructure.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Mexico which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Government Contracts

Roberto Hernández-García is a Mexican attorney specialised in public and private construction projects, public procurement, and dispute resolution related to these areas of practice. He is a managing partner of COMAD, SC, a prestigious boutique law firm established in 1965 and based in Mexico City, with a focus on public procurement, construction and compliance in these areas.

Since 1989, he has advised top-class European, American and Mexican construction, engineering and architect firms in relevant construction projects in Mexico and Central America in the energy, oil, health, water, sewage, gas, petrochemical, parks, transportation, airports and building sectors, among others.

Mr Hernández has been involved in many relevant complex construction projects, acting in different capacities. Such projects include the Central American Transmission line (SIEPAC); the Tunel Emisor Oriente (a 62-kilometre sewage tunnel in Mexico City and surrounding states); the Mexico City Metro Line 12; the Panama Canal; the construction of one of the most important buildings in Mexico City; the design and build of the largest brewery plant in Latin America, the New Mexico City Airport and the Mexico-Toluca train.

One of Mr Hernández’ strengths in the construction area is his experience in dispute boards in Central and Latin America. He is the only Mexican and one of the very few Latin Americans appointed as sole adjudicators in projects in the region, and has been requested to speak and train in several Latin American countries on the topic because of his specific expertise. Projects include: Highways, bridges and sport facilities for international sport  games.

Mr Hernández has served as co-chair of the international construction projects committee of the IBA (ICP); chair of the construction disputes committee of ICC México. Currently he serves as a member of the steering committee of division 8: international construction, devised by the ABA's forum on construction law. He is also a member of the anticorruption group of the International Federation of Construction Chambers (FIIC)

Mr Hernandez is a fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and a fellow of the International Academy of Construction Lawyers.

Mr Hernández has published several books as consulting editor and co-author, including International Public Procurement: A Guide to Best Practice, Construction and Infrastructure Disputes and Anticorruption Laws and Regulations: A Global Guide, all of them published by Globe Law and Business in London, England, and Dispute Boards in Latin America, published in Perú; he was also the consulting editor and co-author of the book Legal Aspects of Public Procurement in Mexico, published by the BMA; and he was a co-author of the book International Construction published by the ABA. He has been invited as a speaker in several countries by international institutions and organisations such as King’s College London, the IBA, the ABA, the ICC, the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences, the University of Lima, the Canadian Commercial Corporation, the OECD, the government of Brazil and the government of Colombia, Guatemala, Paraguay and Chile, among many others in matters related to public procurement, construction and compliance.

WWL says: Roberto Hernandez-Garcia focuses his practice on a wide array of public procurement and projects matters, areas in which he is a go-to figure in the Mexican market.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Government Contracts which can be purchased from our Shop.

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