Salvador Fonseca is a partner in Holland & Knight's Mexico City office with more than 22 years of experience representing corporate and individual clients in complex international and domestic arbitration and litigation. Mr. Fonseca coordinates the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice in Mexico.

Mr. Fonseca has vast experience in international and local commercial arbitration. In addition, he is well-versed in civil, commercial and administrative litigation before local and federal courts in Mexico. Mr. Fonseca has obtained many favorable rulings in high profile and precedent-setting cases, including matters dealing with international trade and investment.

In addition, Mr. Fonseca has participated in arbitrations under the rules of the major arbitral institutions and is knowledgeable in dealing with dispute boards and other methods of solving disputes. He has served as sole arbitrator and chairman of arbitral tribunals in several international and local cases, including cases under the arbitration rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Mexican Nacional Chamber of Commerce (CANACO), the Mexico Arbitration Center (CAM) and other rules, including a case administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Fonseca led the dispute resolution practice in Mexico City for an international law firm.


  • Lead counsel to a global port operations company in a US$300 million-plus construction arbitration regarding a port in the Mexican Pacific
  • Lead counsel to an important regional construction company in arbitration administered by the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) regarding an infrastructure project in Central America
  • Lead arbitration counsel to a global pharmaceutical company in a dispute regarding indemnities for breaches to warranties and representations and undisclosed liabilities derived from the purchase of a group of companies in diverse countries in Latin America
  • Counseled a Spanish construction company regarding a multimillion dispute with a subcontractor regarding the revamping of a unit of a refinery
  • Lead counsel to a major hospitality company in arbitration regarding a contractual dispute concerning the split of a group of hotels and the rights to a timeshare club; the case settled favorably to the client in mediation
  • Counseled a Mexican public corporation in one of the largest international construction arbitrations in Latin America under the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) rules involving claims in excess of US$1 billion related to an oil and gas project in Mexico, and in subsequent setting aside proceedings pending before the Supreme Court of Justice in Mexico
  • Successfully represented a global carrier company in multimillion ICC arbitration related to its Latin American operations
  • Counseled a Canadian oil and gas company in an ICC arbitration regarding the construction of a pipeline and related litigation against a surety company before federal courts in Mexico
  • Represented two major Spanish real estate companies, operating under a special purpose company, in arbitration regarding a large real estate seaside development in Mexico
  • Represented a U.S. real estate development company in arbitration under the ICDR rules in the English language regarding a project in Mexico
  • Advised a Spanish construction company in arbitration regarding a project in Mexico of a sulfur treatment plant
  • Represented a major shipping company in an arbitration related to a stock purchase agreement
  • Represented a U.S. company in a multimillion-dollar arbitration of corporate disputes against its Mexican counterparts
  • Participated in the representation of an American franchisor against its Mexican counterpart in a US$10 million-plus international arbitration
  • Successfully argued for recognition and enforcement of multiple arbitration award judgments in Mexico and overseas in application of the New York and Panama Conventions

  • Successfully represented U.S. corporations in diverse administrative and amparo lawsuits before federal courts in Mexico, challenging the trade restrictions imposed by the Mexican government on the importation of corn and fructose on the basis that such measures were in violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
  • Represented banks, investment funds and other national and international financial institutions in numerous matters before Mexican courts
  • Representing a global bank regarding bankruptcy proceedings in Mexico initiated by a large debtor in the real estate/mortgage business under the concept of a pre-negotiated restructure plan
  • Successfully represented an international chemical company sanctioned with the largest fine imposed at the time by the Federal Competition Commission in a case of first impression for both the Mexican Federal Competition Commission and Mexican courts
  • Advised an international engineering corporation regarding corporate compliance issues in Mexico and the implications for its Mexican operations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Counseled a U.S. company in a title insurance litigation
  • Successfully argued for recognition of several U.S. judgments in Mexico in an application of the Hague Convention
  • Participated in the deposition of witnesses in Mexico in connection with U.S. court proceedings applying the Hague Convention on the taking of evidence abroad in civil and commercial matters
  • Advised diverse multinational companies regarding Mexican class action regulations regarding a large project in Mexico


  • New York University School of Law, LL.M.
  • Universidad Panamericana, LL.M.
  • University of Guadalajara, J.D., with honors
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Mexico
  • Mexican Bar Association
  • National Association for Corporate Counsel ANADE, Dispute Resolution Committee, Vice Coordinator
  • International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), Mexican Advisory Committee, Chair
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Mexico, Arbitration Commission; Arbitrator Proposals Committee
  • The Journal of International Law and Politics, New York University School of Law, Graduate Editor
Honors & Awards
  • Latin American Corporate Counsel Association (LACCA) Approved Attorney, Litigation, Mexico, 2019-2020
  • Chambers Global ­– The World's Leading Lawyers for Business guide, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration, 2019, 2020
  • Best Lawyers in Mexico, 2019, 2020
  • Chambers Latin America – Latin America's Leading Lawyers for Business guide, Mexico, 2017
  • Chambers Latin America – Latin America's Leading Lawyers for Business guide, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration, 2017, 2019, 2020  
  • The Legal 500 Latin America, Dispute Resolution, 2016, 2019; Energy and Natural Resources, 2018; International Arbitration, 2019
  • The Legal 500 Latin America, Mexico, 2016
Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Spanish


Speaking Engagements