Overview

Juan M. Alcalá is a trial attorney and co-chair of Holland & Knight's Energy and Natural Resources Industry Sector Group. He focuses his practice on international litigation and arbitration with a particular emphasis on disputes involving Latin America, including matters pending in international tribunals, foreign courts and U.S. courts. Mr. Alcalá also has extensive U.S. trial and appellate experience, having tried multiple cases to verdict and settlement and appearing as strategic appellate counsel in several dozen high-exposure cases.

Mr. Alcalá's representation spans across various industries. In the energy sector, he has represented energy and energy-related companies in commercial, environmental and intellectual property (IP) disputes. In addition, Mr. Alcalá represents auto, tire, medical device and other manufacturing companies in product liability cases; financial institutions in asset recovery and complex investment disputes; software companies in trade secret, copyright and trademark disputes; and several other middle-market clients in a wide range of business and real estate disputes.

Mr. Alcalá's experience in resolving disputes, his fluency in Spanish, his cultural affinity to Latin America and his command of both the common-law and civil-law traditions allow him to counsel clients regarding a host of litigation-related issues, including assessing potential claims involving foreign assets and counseling clients entering foreign markets or expanding operations in foreign jurisdictions with regard to risk assessment and mitigation.

In the community, Mr. Alcalá supports various nonprofits that focus on supporting young Latinos in socioeconomically disadvantaged circumstances.

Representative Experience

  • Representing downstream affiliate of a major oil and gas company in amparo proceeding filed against the 2021 amendments to Mexico's Hydrocarbon Law
  • Representing a global energy company in a multibillion-dollar environmental dispute pending in South America arising out of exploration & production (E&P) operations
  • Evaluated various commercial and investment treaty claims relating to energy infrastructure and natural resources investments in Latin America and Texas
  • Represented a global lubricant company in International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration against allegations of fraud and breach of contract relating to $180 million sale of a manufacturing plant in Mexico
  • Represented a Spanish construction company in post-arbitral proceedings relating to the recognition and enforcement of an ICC arbitration award involving construction of an ethanol plant
  • Represented a global lubricants company in licensing dispute with a South American manufacturer concerning intellectual property issues subject to American Arbitration Association (AAA) arbitration
  • Represented a global energy company in a defamation case brought by indigenous communities in South America
  • Represented an independent commodities trading company against a marketer and distributor of chemicals and refined products in a breach of contract dispute involving the sale of ethanol to Colombia
  • Represented a Mexican manufacturer of hazardous material containers involved in an ICC dispute over a breach of joint venture agreement
  • Represented a solar development company against a former member and manager in a multimillion-dollar shareholder derivative lawsuit
  • Represented a solar development company in a breach of contract dispute against a turnkey solar provider involving the development of a photovoltaic solar generation project in Louisiana
  • Represented an energy-efficiency firm against former employees in disputes involving enforcement of restrictive covenants
  • Represented an energy-efficiency firm in a trade-secret case arising out of a request for a government contract pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act
  • Representing a provider of measurement-while-drilling services and products in breach of contract case against directional drilling company
  • Counseled a Mexican manufacturer of hazardous containing drums with respect to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Counseled a provider of measurement-while-drilling services and products with respect to its entrance into the Latin American market

  • Representing a South American bank in $27 million dispute seeking to set aside arbitration agreement and revive previously settled claims
  • Represented a South American bank in a $40 million commercial dispute brought by shareholder who alleged Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) violations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, violations of the Hacking Act and other claims
  • Represented a South American bank in parallel bankruptcy proceedings in Mexico and New York
  • Represented a construction company against a privately held custom financial services company in a multimillion-dollar dispute involving allegations of fraud and breach of contract relating to a factoring agreement
  • Representing lender with regard to commercial loan valued at approximately $6 million

  • Representing a major auto-manufacturer in commercial dispute with Mexican distributor
  • Represented a major auto manufacturer in hundreds of product liability cases pending in U.S. state and federal courts that involved events and parallel proceedings taking place in Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia and Panama
  • Represented a tire manufacturer in its discovery and investigation efforts related to dozens of product liability cases pending in U.S. state and federal courts that involved events taking place in Mexico
  • Provided strategic appellate counseling and advice to an automotive manufacturer in more than a dozen product liability trials

  • Represented English company in a global technology outsourcing dispute centered on claims of fraud in the inducement; matter resolved favorably for client with a settlement valued at more than $50 million
  • Represented a wiring systems manufacturer involved in an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) dispute against the manufacturer of lightweight metals technology relating to the purchase of various assets in Mexico
  • Represented a wiring systems manufacturer involved in an International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) dispute against a private equity investor relating to the purchase of certain assets in Brazil
  • Counseled an imaging technology and pattern recognition company during the negotiation of a nondisclosure agreement with a Mexican entity
  • Represented a provider of education software, data systems and educational assessment tools against the Texas attorney general in a trade secret dispute involving the Texas Public Information Act, which resulted in a partial bench trial and favorable settlement
  • Defended an appeal of an arbitration award in a federal case that involved allegations of fraud and fraud in the inducement against multinational networking and telecommunications company

  • Represented a fashion company involved in a commercial dispute with a Mexican distributor
  • Represented a U.S. beverage company in a multimillion-dollar International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) dispute with a Mexican licensee and distributor
  • Represented a container manufacturer in a product liability matter pending in a Texas state court that involved dispositive issues of Mexican corporate law
  • Counseled a global pharmaceutical company involved in a clinical trials matter with local laws in Argentina, Mexico and Colombia
  • Represented a South American investor involved in a closely held corporation dispute arising out of an investment in a restaurant franchise
  • Represented one of the largest South American fruit distributors in North America in a dispute involving breach of contract for improper fumigation

  • Obtained a multimillion-dollar jury trial verdict in a real estate development case that involved claims of fiduciary duty and fraud, and successfully defended the jury's liability findings and actual damages award on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Represented a creditor in a pre-bankruptcy distressed asset case and acted as an adversary involving fraudulent conveyance and receivership issues in a multimillion-dollar single asset proceeding concerning one of the largest malls in Houston
  • Represented a restaurant management company in a real estate dispute that culminated in a bench trial award releasing the company from its lease
  • Representing a construction company in a personal injury case

  • Represented a large reinsurance company in an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration involving a contractual dispute with a Mexican soccer team
  • Defended a document management company in a jury trial against allegations of fraud and breach of contract made by a subcontractor

Credentials

Education
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D.
  • Yale University, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • All State Courts in Texas
  • All Federal Courts in Texas
Memberships
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, Deputy Regional President, 2020-Present
  • State Bar of Texas, International Law Section, Chair, 2021-2022; Chair-Elect, 2020; Council Member, 2019-2020
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business at the University of Texas, Advisory Board Member, 2010-2017
Honors & Awards
  • IFLR1000, The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms, Leading Lawyer, Energy and Infrastructure 2013-2015, 2017, 2018; Mergers & Acquisitions, 2017, 2018
  • The Legal 500 Latin America, Litigation/Arbitration, 2013, 2018
  • Minority Powerbroker, Law360, 2015
Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Spanish

Speaking Engagements

News