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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Vanessa Franyutti Johnstone

Vanessa Franyutti Johnstone

Nader Hayaux y Goebel SCTorre Arcos, Paseo de los Tamarindos No. 400-B7th Floor, Colonia Bosques de las LomasMexico CityMexico05120

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Vanessa Franyutti Johnstone is recognised as a prominent name in Mexico for real estate financing and investment.

Questions & Answers

Vanessa specialises in real estate finance and investment, projects and project finance, energy, structured finance, financing of public entities, and M&A. She has particularly strong experience in financing and investments in the hospitality sector as part of a wide real estate practice that also covers the retail, residential and industrial markets. Her hospitality work includes advising on investments in hotels, mega-developments, and fractional and timeshare regimes, as well as their related financing.

What attracted you to a career in real estate and construction law? 

I love to see the physical result of my work; it is satisfying to be able to see your advice contribute to the development of something very “concrete” that creates a workspace, recreational area or home for people to enjoy. 

What has been your most interesting case to date and why? 

Early in my career, and a lot of what I know about construction and development, stemmed out of a project that today is a landmark office and commercial space building in Mexico City. My firm’s advice consisted of acting as project counsel to a joint venture formed by a successful foreign real estate investor and a well-known Mexican construction firm. We advised on all the joint venture formation documents and negotiations with neighbours, and then continued to negotiate all construction contracts and advise on certain permitting aspects for the project. The development was, at the time of its construction, the tallest and largest triple AAA class, high-rise office and commercial space in Mexico City.

What pre-existing economic issues will the covid-19 outbreak exacerbate in Mexico? How do you envisage this impacting the real estate and construction sectors? 

A new presidential period commenced on December 2018. Changes in government in Mexico have historically caused an initial slowdown of projects for the first year, while new ground rules are set. This particular change brought about a government with a very different ideology from previous governments, causing a more intense slowdown than in other instances. This factor, in addition to covid-19, has definitely exacerbated caution in the investment and development of real estate and other projects in the country.

What was the greatest challenge you faced when advising the government on the implementation of PPP schemes in Mexico? 

When the first PPP schemes were developed in Mexico, governmental entities directing social infrastructure were not used to dealing with long-term private investment in projects. Other than certain toll road concessions, energy and oil and gas projects, government projects were developed on a short to medium-term basis and through public procurement; therefore, laws regulating public bids and contracts were aimed at these types of projects and were not adequate for long-term leveraged projects. Trying to fit PPP projects within this set of rules and changing the short-term mindsets of government agencies and public servants was definitely one of the greatest challenges in my career; however, it had very satisfying results as many of the terms included in those projects have now been picked up in PPP laws and are used in current projects.

In what ways have major infrastructure projects in Mexico been adversely impacted by covid-19? 

Covid-19 has, in general, caused many businesses to suffer and investors to take additional precautions. In Mexican infrastructure, however, the tendering of new projects has continued on behalf of the government. These tenders have seen many keen developers participating to obtain such contracts. However, toll road and other non-subsidised transit projects have definitely suffered with less traffic and fewer passengers using the roads or public transport. Furthermore, existing holders of projects with monthly or quarterly payments coming out of the budgets are concerned as to whether the government will be able or willing to pay under long-term contracts. Furthermore, projects in the energy sector have taken the toll of the change in governmental policies; the current Mexican administration has taken out many measures that threaten future investment in these projects, as well as their continued existence. 

What makes Nader Hayaux & Goebel stand out from its competitors in the market? 

Our firm is one of excellence that thrives on teamwork, both within our institution and with our client. We like to offer practical solutions to our clients, but will not sacrifice legal compliance or principles for the sake of practicality. We advise our clients on the best possible solutions to their problems, and keep them informed of the risks involved. We thrive on resolving complex matters, but we always try to do so in the simplest way possible. 

What advice would you give to lawyers hoping to one day be in your position? 

Enjoy your work and give it all you have, but also learn to enjoy moments in which work is a little slow. Work hard, never let your ego get in the way, and never be afraid to give your opinion on matters.

Global Leader

Banking - Finance 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Vanessa Franyutti Johnstone is a key name in the banking market, well versed in advising clients in the hospitality sector on financing and investment matters.

Biography

Vanessa specialises in real estate finance and investment, projects and project finance, energy, structured finance, financing of public entities and M&A. She has particularly strong experience in financing and investments in the hospitality sector as part of a wide real estate practice that also covers the retail, residential and industrial markets. Her hospitality work includes advising on investments in hotels, mega-developments, fractional and timeshare regimes, as well as their related financing.

Vanessa is also an expert in projects and public–private partnerships, including energy and infrastructure projects. She was instrumental in implementing the PPS scheme in Mexico, advising both the national government and the government of the state of Mexico on the structuring, bidding and implementation of the first PPS projects, and has since been involved in major hospital, road, water, and prison PPP projects. Vanessa has also advised clients on the preparation of unsolicited proposals and bids under the Mexican PPP law.

Her international experience is substantial, and she is fluent in English. She regularly advises multinational and national clients, particularly major hotel, tourism and leisure groups, on real estate investments and development in Mexico, as well as in forming bidding consortiums and other aspects of infrastructure and energy projects in Mexico. She also advises financial institutions participating in tourism, energy and infrastructure.

Vanessa has also advised LCA Capital in many real estate transactions. She provides ongoing advice to Marriott and FibraHotel, a Mexican real estate investment trust, in its multiple business class hotel acquisitions. She also advised the Ministry of Transport and Communications on various road concessions and project restructurings and has advised GIA+A on various infrastructure transactions.

Vanessa is ranked in band one in projects and band two in real estate, by Chambers Latin America, where she has been described as a key partner who is praised for her “top-notch real estate legal talent” by market commentators. Clients praise the contributions she makes to deals, stating: “She brings an awful lot of strength to our conversations regarding Mexican real estate issues,” going on to describe her as “an intelligent and resourceful lawyer who provides an excellent service”. Vanessa obtained her LLM from the University of Chicago Law School, having graduated as an attorney from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México with honours.

WWL Ranking: Recommended
WWL Ranking: Recommended

National Leader

Mexico - Banking 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Vanessa Franyutti Johnstone is a respected figure in the market, distinguished for her deep expertise in financing and investment matters in the hospitality and real estate sectors. 

Biography

Vanessa specialises in real estate finance and investment, projects and project finance, energy, structured finance, financing of public entities and M&A. She has particularly strong experience in financing and investments in the hospitality sector as part of a wide real estate practice that also covers the retail, residential and industrial markets. Her hospitality work includes advising on investments in hotels, mega-developments, fractional and timeshare regimes, as well as their related financing.

Vanessa is also an expert in projects and public-private partnerships, including energy and infrastructure projects. She was instrumental in implementing the PPS scheme in Mexico, advising both the national government and the government of the state of Mexico on the structuring, bidding and implementation of the first PPS projects, and has since been involved in major hospital, road, water, and prison PPP projects. Vanessa has also advised clients on the preparation of unsolicited proposals and bids under the Mexican PPP law.

Her international experience is substantial and she is fluent in English. She regularly advises multinational and national clients, particularly major hotel, tourism and leisure groups, on real estate investments and development in Mexico, as well as in forming bidding consortiums and other aspects of infrastructure and energy projects in Mexico. She also advises financial institutions participating in tourism, energy and infrastructure.

Vanessa has advised LCA Capital in many real estate transactions. She provides ongoing advice to Marriott and FibraHotel, a Mexican real estate investment trust, in its multiple business class hotel acquisitions. She also advised the Ministry of Transport and Communications on various road concessions and project restructurings and has advised GIA+A on various infrastructure transactions.

Vanessa is ranked in band one in projects, and band two in real estate, by Chambers Latin America where she has been described as a key partner who is praised for her "top-notch real estate legal talent" by market commentators. Clients praise the contributions she makes to deals, stating: "She brings an awful lot of strength to our conversations regarding Mexican real estate issues," going on to describe her as "an intelligent and resourceful lawyer who provides an excellent service”. Vanessa obtained her LLM from the University of Chicago Law School, having graduated as an attorney from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico with honours.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Vanessa Franyutti Johnstone is recognised as a prominent name in Mexico for real estate financing and investment.

Biography

Vanessa specialises in real estate finance and investment, projects and project finance, energy, structured finance, financing of public entities and M&A. She has particularly strong experience in financing and investments in the hospitality sector as part of a wide real estate practice that also covers the retail, residential and industrial markets. Her hospitality work includes advising on investments in hotels, mega-developments, fractional and timeshare regimes, as well as their related financing.

Vanessa is also an expert in projects and public-private partnerships, including energy and infrastructure projects. She was instrumental in implementing the PPS scheme in Mexico, advising both the national government and the government of the state of Mexico on the structuring, bidding and implementation of the first PPS projects, and has since been involved in major hospital, road, water, and prison PPP projects. Vanessa has also advised clients on the preparation of unsolicited proposals and bids under the Mexican PPP law.

Her international experience is substantial and she is fluent in English. She regularly advises multinational and national clients, particularly major hotel, tourism and leisure groups, on real estate investments and development in Mexico, as well as in forming bidding consortiums and other aspects of infrastructure and energy projects in Mexico. She also advises financial institutions participating in tourism, energy and infrastructure.

Vanessa has advised LCA Capital in many real estate transactions. She provides ongoing advice to Marriott and FibraHotel, a Mexican real estate investment trust, in its multiple business class hotel acquisitions. She also advised the Ministry of Transport and Communications on various road concessions and project restructurings and has advised GIA+A on various infrastructure transactions.

Vanessa is ranked in band one in projects, and band two in real estate, by Chambers Latin America where she has been described as a key partner who is praised for her "top-notch real estate legal talent" by market commentators. Clients praise the contributions she makes to deals, stating: "She brings an awful lot of strength to our conversations regarding Mexican real estate issues," going on to describe her as "an intelligent and resourceful lawyer who provides an excellent service”. Vanessa obtained her LLM from the University of Chicago Law School, having graduated as an attorney from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico with honours.

Mexico - Project Finance 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Vanessa Franyutti Johnstone draws high praise for her broad expertise in financing and investment in infrastructure, real estate and M&A transactions. 

Biography

Vanessa specialises in real estate finance and investment, projects and project finance, energy, structured finance, financing of public entities and M&A. She has particularly strong experience in financing and investments in the hospitality sector as part of a wide real estate practice that also covers the retail, residential and industrial markets. Her hospitality work includes advising on investments in hotels, mega-developments, fractional and timeshare regimes, as well as their related financing.

Vanessa is also an expert in projects and public-private partnerships, including energy and infrastructure projects. She was instrumental in implementing the PPS scheme in Mexico, advising both the national government and the government of the state of Mexico on the structuring, bidding and implementation of the first PPS projects, and has since been involved in major hospital, road, water, and prison PPP projects. Vanessa has also advised clients on the preparation of unsolicited proposals and bids under the Mexican PPP law.

Her international experience is substantial and she is fluent in English. She regularly advises multinational and national clients, particularly major hotel, tourism and leisure groups, on real estate investments and development in Mexico, as well as in forming bidding consortiums and other aspects of infrastructure and energy projects in Mexico. She also advises financial institutions participating in tourism, energy and infrastructure.

Vanessa has advised LCA Capital in many real estate transactions. She provides ongoing advice to Marriott and FibraHotel, a Mexican real estate investment trust, in its multiple business class hotel acquisitions. She also advised the Ministry of Transport and Communications on various road concessions and project restructurings and has advised GIA+A on various infrastructure transactions.

Vanessa is ranked in band one in projects, and band two in real estate, by Chambers Latin America where she has been described as a key partner who is praised for her "top-notch real estate legal talent" by market commentators. Clients praise the contributions she makes to deals, stating: "She brings an awful lot of strength to our conversations regarding Mexican real estate issues," going on to describe her as "an intelligent and resourceful lawyer who provides an excellent service”. Vanessa obtained her LLM from the University of Chicago Law School, having graduated as an attorney from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico with honours.

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