Law firm Fisher Phillips expands to Mexico amid labor law changes, nearshoring

Published 08/03/2023

Atlanta-founded law firm Fisher Phillips will establish three offices in Mexico with a team of lawyers from Deloitte, it said on Monday, citing "surging" demand for labor and employment advice in the country amid updated trade deals and manufacturing shifts.

The labor and employment-focused law firm, which has about 550 lawyers and nearly 40 U.S. offices, will open an anchor office in Mexico City. It will also launch satellite outposts in Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city, and the central state of Queretaro, which the firm said are emerging manufacturing hubs.

The new offices are Fisher Phillips's first locations outside of the United States.

Germán de la Garza de Vecchi, who previously led Deloitte's Mexican legal practice, joined Fisher Phillips to lead the three new offices. His team of about 30 lawyers in Mexico also moved to the firm.

A Deloitte representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"The evolving landscape of Mexico's labor and employment laws, modernization of trade agreements, and the growing trend of companies near-shoring production closer to North American markets have fueled an increased demand for cross-border legal services," John Polson, chairman and managing partner of Fisher Phillips, said in a statement.

Nearshoring refers to the trend to move production closer to North American buyers and away from Asia, where supply-chain snarls during the coronavirus pandemic overshadowed the region's low-cost advantage.

Technology supplier Bosch Group, for example, announced plans last September to construct a 4.3 billion peso ($215 million) plant in Queretaro that would create more than 900 jobs.

Tesla plans to build a new assembly plant in northern Mexico, the country's president announced in February. Online fashion giant Shein is exploring plans to build a factory in Mexico, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in May.

The nearshoring trend is further testing a trade deal known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which has been in effect since July 2020. The agreement has tougher labor rules than its predecessor and underpins new Mexican laws that empower workers to push for better wages and conditions.

The labor law reforms and the companies opening in Mexico have created a lot of work for labor and employment lawyers in Mexico, said de la Garza de Vecchi, who advises large international companies.

Fisher Phillips said de la Garza de Vecchi has spent years "cultivating credibility" with union leaders and has advised regulators on labor law reform.

His team previously worked together at a Mexican law firm, which Deloitte absorbed about three years ago.

Former Deloitte members joining Fisher Phillips include Octavio Novaro Holguín, Victor Manuel Ávila, Andrea Brizio Rivas, Hector Cuevas, Víctor Manuel López, Ilyana Barrera and Christian Morales.

The team, which de la Garza de Vecchi said totals about 60-70 lawyers and professionals, will advise large international clients on matters including employment law disputes and labor negotiations.

Learn more about why will manufacturing in Mexico be a competitive advantage for you.

Source: Reuters

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