Overview

José Antonio Prado is a partner in Holland & Knight's Mexico City office. He focuses his practice on energy, real estate, infrastructure and corporate services. Mr. Prado has more than 15 years of experience working in the energy sector, representing Mexican state-owned entities and energy-related corporations. Most recently, he served as general counsel for the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) (2011-2013). From 2010 to 2011, Mr. Prado held the position of Legal Chief Compliance and Internal Affairs Officer for Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). He also served as general counsel for the hydrocarbons section at Mexico's Ministry of Energy (SENER) from 2009 to 2010. Prior to that position, Mr. Prado was the general counsel for Luz y Fuerza del Centra (LYFC) from 2007 to 2009; general counsel for Mexico and Latin America for Koch Industries and Invista from 2006 to 2007; general counsel for contracts and corporate affairs for PEMEX from 2001 to 2005; and senior associate for public bids, infrastructure and energy practice at Deloitte and Touche-Tomathsu Consulting Group from 2000 to 2001.

Mr. Prado is highly knowledgeable in the areas of oil, gas, electricity, liquefied natural gas (LNG), renewable energy, biofuels and government procurement. He is well-versed in public contracts, project finance and regulatory matters related to the energy and real estate fields. Mr. Prado counsels and represents Mexican state-owned entities in arbitration proceedings and in the termination of public agreements for lack of performance. He is also experienced in administrative, regulatory and judiciary challenges in respect to public bid contracts.

His depth of knowledge includes local and cross-border energy, infrastructure and real estate transactions. For transnational companies and foreign government clients, Mr. Prado negotiates contracts and amendments related to complex commercial ventures. He participated in the implementation and policymaking of the 2008 energy reforms in Mexico and was part of the executive branch's legal team that represented Mexico's president before the Supreme Court of Mexico on the constitutional challenge against Pemex laws and enacted regulations.

For many years, Mr. Prado has represented state-owned entities in large infrastructure projects, including the regulatory and transactional applicable provisions. He developed new templates and clauses included in the Comisión Federal de Electricidad's (CFE) independent power producer (IPP) projects and is highly knowledgeable in public procurement laws and regulations. Mr. Prado also advises clients on all matters related to corporate organizations, mergers, acquisitions and privatizations. His experience includes the representation of a wide range of clients in the structuring, negotiation and implementation of energy and infrastructure projects, including highly complex negotiations and settlements to attain access rights and easements (derechos de via) under both civil and agrarian law.

Additionally, Mr. Prado is highly experienced in implementing and coordinating commercial litigation and infrastructure arbitration proceedings.

Experience

  • Designed new oil and gas agreements for the Mexican oil industry
  • Designed and implemented regulations related to the up, mid and downstream of oil and gas operations
  • Represented the Mexican government in the constitutional challenges resulting from the 2008 oil and gas energy reforms
  • Represented oil, gas and electricity entities in a wide range of disputes and negotiations regarding infrastructure, public contracts and energy matters
  • Negotiated and implemented the Manzanillo LNG port project

  • Negotiated and implemented numerous wind, solar and hydro projects 
  • Designed new legal strategies for the incorporation of new natural gas and renewable resources for Mexican electricity entities

  • Advised Oak Creek Energy Systems, Inc., a California-based wind projects developer, in the development, project finance and sale of the first two construction-ready stages of its Tres Mesas Wind Project to funds managed by Goldman Sachs and Corporativo GBM
  • Represented a wide range of international entities at public bid contests and agreements 
  • Executed independent power producer (IPP) (conventional and renewable energy) new generation projects and agreements 
  • Reviewed and archived public contracts related to infrastructure, electricity, oil and gas

Credentials

Education
  • Instituto Panamericano Alta Dirección de Empresas, MBA
  • Tulane University Law School, LL.M.
  • Universidad Panamericana, J.D., summa cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Mexico
Memberships
  • Mexican Law Bar
  • Mexican Academy for Energy Law
  • National Association for In-House Counsels
Honors & Awards
  • Latin American Corporate Counsel Association (LACCA) Approved Attorney, Energy, Mexico, 2015-2020
  • IFLR1000, The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms, Notable Practitioner, M&A, 2019
  • The Legal 500 Latin America, Energy and Natural Resources, 2015, 2016, 2018; Corporate/M&A, 2016
Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Spanish

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News