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Portrait ofDerek Woodhouse

Derek Woodhouse

Senior Partner
Head of Energy &Climate Change

Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow, S.C.
Paseo de la Reforma 115
Piso 19
Col. Lomas de Chapultepec
11000 Mexico City
Languages Spanish, English

Derek is a Mexican lawyer specialized in energy, infrastructure and public private partnerships (PPP). He started his professional career in 1992 as part of the Mexican Federal Government, where he spent 2 years in the Energy Ministry and 6 in the newly created Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE). He became the Deputy General Director of Legal Affairs at CRE and then Chief of the Power Reestructuring Unit, working on the legal and regulatory reforms that allowed private participation in the Mexican natural gas and power sectors throughout the 90s.

In 2000 he was recruited by CMS in London, where he advised governments, banks and private companies on the design, financing and development of energy and infrastructure projects in Europe, Asia and America, incluidng the adoption in Mexico of the UK’s PFI in 2004 know as the PPS program.

He came back to Mexico City in 2005 to head the infrastructure practice of a New York based law firm. In 2009 he founded Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow SC, which is now part of CMS, and has been advising the Mexican Federal Government on power and PPP reforms and on pathfinder projects including the first wave of PPS, the Federal Prison Program, the electricity reform of 2013/2014 and the Mayan Train. He has also been advising sponsors, lenders, contractors and project companies in relation to infrastructure projects typically funded on a project finance basis in a variety of sectors including power, roads, health, transportation, education, custodial and national defence.

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Relevant experience

  • Mexican Energy Ministry (SENER) on the implementation of the power sector reform of 2013-2015, entailing the creation of a new wholesale electricity market, the restructuring of the Federal Electricity Commission, and the drafting of the new electricity market rules including the Market Bases and the firts 17 Manuals.
  • Mexican System and Market Operator (CEANCE)  on the implementation of the first long term auctions for electricity coverage agreements, which attracted an investment of 9 billion US in renewable projects, and the drafting of a Manual for energy storage systems meant to become part of the market rules.
  • EDF Renewable, Zuma Energía, Saavi Energía, Mitsui & Co. Power Americas, Grupo México, Macquarie, Caisse de Depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ), CKD Infraestructura México (CKD IM), Pepsico, Walmart, Suburbia et al on power sector regulations, power purchase agreements, electricity coverage agreements, project financing and project acquisition.
  • Mexican National Fund for Turism (FONATUR)  on the design and implementation of the Mayan Train project, including the design and award of the contract for the acquisition of rolling stock, railway systems, workshops and garages, and the design and award of the contract for the operation and administration of the Mayan Train.
  • Mexican Wind Power Association, Mexican Solar Power Association, Zuma Energía, FRV, Enel, Grupo Peñoles, CDPQ, CKD IM et al on the analysis and preparation of a legal strategy to combat the ammendments to existing regulations for clean energy certificates, issued by CRE in 2019.
  • Mexican Wind Power Association, Mexican Solar Power Association, Zuma Energía, FRV, Enel, Grupo Peñoles, CDPQ, CKD IM et al on the analysis and preparation of a legal strategy to combat the modifications to the existing regulations for wheeling charges for selfsupply legacy projects issued by CRE in 2020.
  • Walmart, Troy Energía, XiiX Energy, Solar Century, Aleph Capital, Ammper Energía, Thermion, Energía del Pilar, Banverde Solar, CDPQ, CKD IM et al. on the analysis and preparation of a legal strategy to combat the Reliability Policy issued by SENER in 2020, as well as the amendments to the Electricity Industry Law approved by Congress in 2020.
  • FONATUR  on the design and implementation of a national program (FONATUR SOLAR) for developing solar and energy storage projects in land owned by FONATUR throughout Mexico in order to generate and sell electricity products and ancillary services and use the revenue to acquire electricity products and ancillary services required for the operation of the Mayan Train.
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Awards & Rankings

  • The Legal 500, Latin America, Mexico, Energy and Natural Resources, Leading Individual, 2017 - 2023.
  • The Legal 500, Latin America, Mexico, Projects and Infrastructure, Recommended Lawyer, 2023.
  • Chambers and Partners, Global, Energy & Natural Resources, 2019 - 2023.
  • Chambers and Partners, Latin America, Mexico, Energy & Natural Resources, 2017 - 2023.
  • IFLR1000, Highly Regarded, Mexico, Banking and Finance, Project Development and Project Finance, 2022.
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  • Harvard University, Center for International Development, International Program on Privatization, Regulations and Corporate Governance, Postgraduate Studies, Boston, 1999.
  • George Washington University, International Law Institute, Introduction to the United States Legal System, Postgraduate Studies, Washington D.C.,1997.
  • Escuela Libre de Derecho, Law Degree (J.D.), Mexico City, 1996.
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Renewable energy in Mexico
1. Introduction  The Mexican energy market has undergone significant transformations and challenges from 2019 to the present day. Over the past few years, the Mexican government has maintained a cautious...
Hydrogen law, regulations & strategy in Mexico
1. Current State of Hydrogen Projects in Mexico Hydrogen penetration in Mexico in both projects and regulation is scarce. As is the case for most energy transition matters, Mexico has had a scientific...
Law and regulation of consequential damages clauses in the energy sector...
1. Do the words “consequential loss” have a given meaning in law? No. Under Mexican law, the term “consequential loss” has no meaning. The Mexican Federal Civil Code (“the code”) outlines...
Law and regulation of Covid-19 tax relief in Mexico
Information provided by the IBA Taxes Committee members. Value Added Tax N/A Corporate Income Tax N/A Social Security Contributions or Payroll Tax N/A Other relief measures N/A Additional comments Mexican...
CMS Webinar: The State of Renewables in Latin America
Demand for renewable energy has been on the rise for years now. With it’s natural potential, governmental support and increasing investments, Latin America is an important region for the development...
Here’s a selection of our energy sector credentials in Mexico: Kino - On the acquisition of a Portfolio that includes 8 projects with a capacity of 1,712 MW mostly comprised of project in execution with a total of 1,283 MW and 429 MW already in operation by wind and solar technology, located in Coahuila, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas and Jalisco, which are characterized by favorable resources and supporting renewable energy de­vel­op­ment.  Brook­field Renewable - On the acquisition of several photovoltaic assets in different phases, such as operational, under construction, secured tariff, owned by X-Elio.  Energy Infrastructure Plan - The Mexican Federal Government present an Energy Infrastructure Plan, that consist in 137 infrastructure projects, including electricity and oil and gas sector, with a first capital investment of 100 million dollars of the private sector, commented by Alfonso Romo Head of President’s Of­fice.  Rass­ini -  On the advising for the power supply agreement, the congestion adjust agreement, exceeding com­mer­cial­iz­a­tion agreement, in regulatory matters with the modification of the generation permit and with the interconnection agreement as well as the power im­port.  Zuma -  On the advising on public policy issues, and on interconnection points of its power plants.  EDF - On the trans­mis­sion line cancellation, early ter­min­a­tion, force majeure event. Regulatory, Wholesale Electricity Market, Power Purchase Agree­ments.  The Ministry of Energy and the National Center for Energy Con­trol -  Pub­lish the call to participate in the 2017 Long-Term Electric Auction. With private and public companies, including the CFE, will compete to sell electricity in the best conditions for the Basic Service Provider and, for the first time, to sell it to other participating buyers. The third electric auction will attract investments in generation guaranteeing the fulfilment of clean energy goals at competitive costs.  Eni - On the legal advice on maritime, anti-corruption, tendering and regulatory aspects of the exploration and extraction activities in shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, advising in a constitutional administrative litigation initiated  by native Indigenous Communities located near the shore of the Gulf of Mexico against the National Commission of Hydrocarbons and the Ministry of Energy acts related to the Energy Reform and the occupancy of land, and recently awarded by Lukoil Upstream Mexico in order to provide broad legal advice in relation to the Block 12 awarded by the National Commission of Hy­dro­car­bons.  EN­EL Green Power - On the definition and implementation of geothermal electricity projects within the new electricity in­dustry.  World Bank and the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy -  On the creation of a legal framework that permitted the participation of the private sector in the electric industry and established incentives for attracting private capital in Cambodia.
Ministry of Energy publishes amendment on the Agreement on Clean Energy...
Commissioners of the Energy Regulatory Commission approved a beneficiary...
Electromobility in Mexico: Boosting development for a better environment
Mexico: Regulator publishes Preliminary Project on Clean Energy Certificates
Latin America Quarterly Energy Update
The CMS Latin America group has issued the latest quarterly update covering hot topics and developments in the energy industry in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. Download the PDFs below to read...
Pemex makes biggest onshore find in 15 years
Mexican state-owned oil company, Pemex, announced that it has made its biggest onshore oil discovery in 15 years in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. The discovery at the Ixachi-1 well holds an original...