Hugo Cuesta Leaño


Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara
Law Degree, 1988. Graduated with Honors

University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
Master's Degree in Commercial Tax Law and International Practice, 1989. (LLM)

Postgraduate degrees
University of Salzburg (Austria)
Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)
Rice University (Texas, U.S.)


Spanish English French


Partner and CEO of Cuesta Campos Abogados, Hugo Cuesta focuses his practice in international transactions, including corporate, M&A, business law and corporate governance. He has represented foreign entities doing business in Mexico and Mexican entities doing business abroad for over 25 years. Hugo Cuesta is Mexican counsel on international projects and business transactions, advising multinationals on their legal needs in Mexico.

He has advised leading companies in their industries such as Flex, Jabil, Nike, BBVA, Gencom, Rappi, ZF Zachs, Electrifil, Corteva, Wizeline, Bright Machines, and Daimler, Lixil, Creditea, among others, which provides him with an impressive expertise in the field.

Mr. Cuesta is former vice chair of Meritas Law Firms Worldwide and Vice Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM).

Mr. Cuesta plays an important role on the negotiation of international treaties where Mexico is a party, as he coordinates de Investment and Dispute Resolutions Chapter of the Next-Door Room on the negotiations of the USMCA, FTA EU-MEX and the Pacific Alliance agreement.

Hugo continuously provides his perspective and insights on the Mexican economy and trends in legal services and is frequently invited by business publications such as Forbes (Mexico, U.S. and Japan), Foreign Policy, Mexico Business Publishing and other important national and international newspapers and magazines. He is also a regular speaker in a number of international forums including American Chamber of Commerce, Meritas Law Firms Worldwide, Mexican Department of Economic Development, among others.

Mr. Cuesta is listed in the "rankings" of Mexican lawyers recommended by the prestigious English publications Legal 500, Chambers & Partners and Latin Lawyer 250. He is a member of the Anti-Corruption Committee of the International Bar Association. Board member of several leading multinationals in their industry and Nnonprofit entities. Hugo Cuesta a teacher of Legal Ethics at the Universidad Panamericana and a professor at IPADE Business School.

Representative Matters

Legal representation of Mexican developers in the operation of Hyatt hotels.
Advising Daimler in Mexico on the negotiation and structure of a JV with Nissan.
Legal representation of Kapsch TrafficCom.
Compliance with corporate obligations of Nike Mexico.
Advising and representation of Flextronics in important real estate projects, acquisitions and compliance with corporate governance policies.
Advising Subway in relation to its franchises.
Documentation of collateral loan guarantees from Bank of America, JP Morgan, Bank of Montreal, among others, using assets in Mexico.
Design and formalization of loan structures of the Wells Fargo bank to the Mexican subsidiaries of foreign multinationals.
Legal advice to Canon about its financial and leasing services.
Restructuring of the Mexican operations of Seamar Diver.
Advice to ZF Sachs in the corporate structure of Mexico.
Advising JP Morgan in securities lending operations.
Advice to a renowned hotel chain during the bankruptcy process of Mexicana de Aviación.
Legal representation of Audi in the acquisition of Ducati.
Advice to the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in the implementation of the recent energy reform in Mexico.
Legal representation of several PEMEX and CFE suppliers in several bidding projects in Mexico.

Associations and Memberships / Community

Meritas Law Firms Worldwide - Vice President and Board Member
International Bar Association - Mmember of the Anti-Corruption Committee
New York State Bar Association - Member of the Anti-Corruption Committee
American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM Mexico City) - Counselor
American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM Guadalajara) - Former Vice President

Seminars and Presentations

Panelist in the session "NAFTA: The State of Play", together with Marc-André Blanchard, and Rufus H. Yerxa, at the Annual Meritas Law Firms Worldwide Convention in Miami. - May 2018
Co-exhibitor of the Webinar organized by Meritas titled "Renegotiating NAFTA, What's on the Table?", With two experts in the subject of the United States and Canada. - September 2017.
Panelist along with Senator Angela Ellard, and other experts, at the NAFTA discussion table at the Meritas Annual Convention Law Firms Worldwide in Washington D.C. - April 2017.
Interviewed by Panorama for Forbes USA Magazine for the Forbes Centenario edition, on the Mexican economy, their perceptions of the private sector as well as entities and key sectors for the development of Mexico. - May 2017.
Conference on the panorama of presidential elections of the United States in 2016 "Presidential elections in USA, Scenarios and Implications for Mexico", in two events:
- Flex Board Meeting in Mexico, for Mexican and foreign vice presidents of the company.
- Meritas Board of Directors Council Firms Worldwide in Chicago. - September 2016
Interviewed by the editor of the magazine Strategy Magazine (based in Chicago) on Mexico and the main economic sectors, as well as on the prospects of the elections in the United States. - September 2016.
Interviewed by The American Lawyer for the Focus Latin America supplement published in June 2016, with an opinion on the Mexican legal market and trends in the main industries in Mexico.
Weekly opinion on the radio program Zona 3 on 91.5 FM with Guillermo Velasco, with the capsule entitled "Parenthesis".


Author of the book "The Crisis of the Half of Life", published in September 2017.
Co-author of the second edition of the "Doing Business in Latin America Guide", published by Meritas Law Firms Worldwide at the end of 2017.
Co-author of the article "NAFTA, A Reality Check", published in the Association of Corporate Counsel in June 2017.
Co-author of the article "Mexico: Emerging Market, Opportunities for New Investments" published by Financier Worldwide in March 2017.
Co-author of the first edition of the book "Foreign Direct Investment", chapter Mexico, published by The Global Legal Post. - November 2016. 


Chambers & Partners – Eminent Practitioner
“Partner Hugo Cuesta Leaño garners praise from clients, who enthuse: "He is a very knowledgeable lawyer and always follows up with his clients. "He is often retained by notable financial entities to advise on transactions.”

Legal 500 Latin America - Recommended Lawyer
"Hugo Cuesta Leaño and Azucena Marín Díaz deeply know the needs of their clients, are really involved in matters, providing advice in a timely manner."

Latin Lawyer 250
"The managing partner Hugo Cuesta directs the practice of banking and financial law. According to a colleague at an American firm, "[Hugo] perfectly understands the laws related to loans and guarantees, and his recent reforms, which he explains very well to the audience in the United States."

IFLR1000 qualifies Hugo Cuesta as "leading lawyer" in Mergers and Acquisitions, and in Banking and Financial Law.

He has been named "region's leading business lawyer" by the "Latin American Corporate Counsel Association" (LACCA) in Mergers & Acquisitions and Anticorruption / Compliance.

Specialty areas

Corporate Law
Mergers and acquisitions
Banking and Finance