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Thought Leaders

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Roberto Hernandez-Garcia

Roberto Hernandez-Garcia

COMAD SCFebo 29Col. Crédito ConstructorMexico CityMexico03940

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Roberto Hernández-García 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”.

Questions & Answers

Roberto is experienced in national and international construction projects. He has acted as counsellor in transactional and dispute work in projects related to transmission lines, substations, highways, trains, airports and oil facilities, among others. He has served as co-chair of the IBA international construction projects committee; chair of the ICC Mexico construction disputes committee; and member of the ABA Forum on Construction Law international construction steering committee. He is consulting editor of Construction and Infrastructure Disputes; and a fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and the International Academy of Construction Lawyers.

How do you see the construction industry in Mexico?

Construction law in Mexico is fascinating, as the evolution of construction law itself is very poor and many cases are a real challenge. There are outstanding projects, and outstanding legal and technical professionals, but the legal principles of construction are still working to be better on both the private and public sides.

Recent situations such as the cancellation of the new Mexico City project have impacted the industry from both economic and legal points of view. The new government is also pushing for two major infrastructure projects with big challenges, but the old practices remain. That is why I decided to write the first book about construction law in Mexico.

What will you cover in your new book and when will it be published?

Believe it or not, many people in the construction industry in Mexico say that construction law doesn’t exist there. My first task is to demonstrate that it exists and is more alive than ever, and that there are construction disputes that shall be attended to and resolved as soon as possible. Dispute resolution and dispute avoidance are two major things that have to evolve for better results in our projects. We don’t need new projects if we don’t find the way to do them in a technical/legal cost-effective way for the benefit of the country. The book will be available in Spanish by the end of the year, but we are looking to translate it next year.

Do you think dispute avoidance is really the new trend in the industry?

Experience has demonstrated that construction disputes can be highly complex and very unpredictable. There have been many efforts by institutions to create good practices for reducing costs and generating more efficient construction arbitrations. Clients suffer to pay excessive amounts in fees. This shows the industry is crying out for a change. In each arbitration or litigation case counsellors find a professional challenge, and we can put all our efforts and resources to prepare and present extremely good cases. However, the costs of these cases are bleeding an industry that, for many countries, will slow down in the coming years. That has already started. I think dispute avoidance will be not only a trend but also a need: disputes will always exist, but we need to solve them in a more efficient, cost-effective way.

Tell us about your experience as a dispute board member.

For several years I have been appointed as a dispute board/panel member for various projects in Honduras, El Salvador and Peru; I now have experience in several projects. In Honduras and El Salvador, they have been related to transportation infrastructure financed by international organisations; in Peru I participated as a dispute board member in projects for the 2019 Pan American and Para Pan American Games in Lima. I think dispute boards are the future of dispute resolution in Latin America. I am sure that having a good dispute board can avoid a series of controversies on a project that in other circumstances could become a large litigation or arbitration. Experience has shown that dispute boards are effective. They are not perfect – though neither are litigation or arbitration – but I think they are being well received and accepted in the continent. We have to make them stronger.

Which has been your most interesting construction case so far, and why?

I think the new Mexico City Airport was a terrific experience. Working on the most important airport project in the world at that time, valued at $13 billion, was a fantastic challenge. We were working for the project manager and could therefore have a general view of the project. Regretfully, the project was cancelled by the Mexican government for reasons we still don’t understand, but we worked on matters that don’t come up in every project: contractual matters, claims, conciliation, arbitration, litigation and ADR. From a legal point of view, the project taught us a lot – both when it was going ahead and when it was cancelled, since we literally lived with all the issues that are raised by the public works regulation, such as suspension, termination for convenience and the final close-out. This was like a fast-track post-doctorate diploma in Mexican construction law, giving us a new way to see things in our country. Many lessons learned indeed.

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

Advising contractors on major projects gives you an idea of the big picture of the industry’s problems. I love it when we can solve an issue for a client, and they are happy and satisfied with our work. It is a tough industry since there are no parties for success or celebrations after an arbitration is won. The industry is just used to saying “good job” and then moving on to the next case. You have to love the industry to understand how it works. In some ways it’s cruel, but when you know how things work here it’s fascinating.

In 2019 you were made a fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers (ACCL), and the International Academy of Construction Lawyers (IACL). What does this mean to you?

For years I have attended construction conferences in the USA and we work a lot with large US contractors in Mexico, but I never expected to become part of the most prestigious association of construction lawyers in the US. It is an incredible honour, as I know that ACCL fellows are outstanding lawyers in their countries – receiving me as they did was one of the best professional and personal experiences in my life. I’ll never forget the gala when I was inducted, with so many friends and colleagues expressing how happy they were that I was part of the group. Maybe they didn’t know that I was happier than any of them.

Being a fellow of the IACL, meanwhile, is the result of many years spent working in international construction projects. These are the world’s top guys in the industry, and being part of this group is itself a challenge due to the level of knowledge they have and want to maintain in such group.

What would you still like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?

I want to contribute as much as I can to the world of construction law using my professional experience, and my academic and publishing background, so that the new generation can make things better. Construction isn’t just bricks – it’s the achievement of dreams, needs and a better future for the countries and the world.

Global Leader

Construction 2019

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

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”.

Biography

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.

Government Contracts 2019

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Roberto Hernandez-Garcia impresses market sources with his remarkable ability in public procurement relating to major construction projects.

Biography

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.

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Roberto Hernández-García is an impressive litigator with considerable experience assisting clients in the construction and public procurement sectors. 

Biography

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 Túnel 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’s 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 Hernández 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 Peru; 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 governments of Colombia, Guatemala, Paraguay and Chile, among many others in matters related to public procurement, construction and compliance.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Roberto Hernández Garcia is hailed by peers who say, "He's the best – everyone recommends him because he does excellent work for major contractors." 

Biography

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 Túnel 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’s 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 Hernández 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 Peru; 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 governments of Colombia, Guatemala, Paraguay and Chile, among many others in matters related to public procurement, construction and compliance.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Roberto Hernández García is an expert in procurement matters, regularly acting in high-value bidding and tendering proceedings.

Biography

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 Túnel 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’s 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 Hernández 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 Peru; 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 governments of Colombia, Guatemala, Paraguay and Chile, among many others in matters related to public procurement, construction and compliance.

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