Carlos E. Méndez-Peñate

Carlos E. Méndez-Peñate




Carlos is co-chair of the firm’s Latin America and the Caribbean Practice Group. With 40 years of experience in the region, he provides clients with the sophisticated guidance needed to complete complex cross-border transactions.

Carlos focuses his practice on M&A, capital markets, syndicated and secured lending, project finance, debt restructuring, and real estate transactions. He regularly represents financial institutions and corporations based in Latin America and the Caribbean, steering them through transactions in the United States. Carlos’ clients also include U.S. - and European-based multinational banks, private equity firms, insurance companies, and investment banks seeking opportunities in the region.

Born in Havana, Carlos uses his extensive in-country knowledge to help American companies open new markets in Cuba while complying with U.S. regulations. Carlos is frequently sought out by the media for his insights into the legal aspects of doing business in the region. He has appeared in interviews on Bloomberg TV and CNN and has been quoted in The American Lawyer and Forbes, among other publications. The New York Law Journal named him in its 2019 Distinguished Leaders listing,  which highlights “lawyers who had great performances while demonstrating clear leadership skills leading to positive outcomes.”

Education & Admissions

Yale Law School (J.D., 1976), Yale Law Journal, Editor

Yale University (B.A., 1973), summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa


  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York


  • French and Spanish


Representative Experience

  • Real Estate: Represented one of Mexico’s leading real estate developers in the bankruptcy and reorganization of Casas Geo, Mexico’s leading home developer.
  • Initial Public Offering: Represented a Jamaican commercial bank, in the company’s Initial Public Offering of registered American Depository Receipts in the United States for listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • M&A: Represented Inversiones Productivas of Guatemala, Guatemala’s leading Coca-Cola bottler for more than 60 years, in the sale of the company’s bottling business to The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Acquisition: Represented the First Citizens Bank - Bank of Butterfield (Barbados) Ltd. in the acquisition from The Bank of N.T. Butterfield (Bermuda) of Bank of Butterfield (Barbados) Ltd., including all of Butterfield’s operations in Barbados.
  • Debt Issuance: Represented First Citizens Bank of Trinidad and Tobago in the issuance of $175 million 4.9% Notes, due 2016.
  • Grupo Iamsa S.A. de C.V.: Represented one of Mexico’s leading air and ground transportation companies, for multiple credit facilities with multinational and Mexican banks.
  • Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Ltd.: Represented client in the restructuring of the construction loan facilities for the erection of the new W Hotel and Residences in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the subsequent sale of the hotel and condominiums to The Related Companies of New York.
  • Protexa S.A. de C.V.: Represented a leading Mexican oil and gas services supplier in multiple, Senior Secured High Yield Medium Term Note offerings under Rule 144A and Regulation S (Euroclear tradable, DTC registered).
  • Asesa, S.A. de C.V.: Represented a Mexico-based aircraft services company provider in three series of Senior Secured High Yield Medium Term Note offerings under Rule 144A and Regulation S (Euroclear tradable, DTC registered).
  • Oil and Gas Finance: Represented a Mexican oil and gas construction services company in two series of Senior Secured High Yield Medium Term Note offerings under Rule 144A and Regulation S (Euroclear tradable, DTC registered).
  • Restructuring: Represented a leading Caribbean financial group in restructuring its debt obligations and assets.
  • Airport Privatization and Construction: Represented the Municipality of Quito, Ecuador and that capital city’s Municipal Airport Authority for the privatization and construction of a new international airport.
  • Fertinal, S.A. de C.V.: Represented Latin America’s leading fertilizer producer and distributor in the sale of the company.
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation Financing: Represented Central America’s largest home improvement merchandiser in financing provided by OPIC.
  • U.S. Market Entry: Represented First Citizens Bank of Trinidad and Tobago in the establishment of a U.S. banking presence and the joint venture with a U.S.-based private equity fund for energy investments.
  • Vitro, S.A. de C.V.: Represented Mexico’s leading glass and glass products manufacturer, publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, in an investment in the company by a U.S.-based private equity fund and U.S. securities issues arising from a potentially hostile take over of the company (ongoing).
  • Secured Debt: Represented Mexican multinational in the issuance of multiple tranches of secured debt in Regulation S transactions.
  • Bolivian Investments: Representation of France’s leading oil and gas producer and distributor in connection with the company’s investments in Bolivia.
  • Sale of Colombian Tobacco Company: Represented Colombia’s principal manufacturer and distributor of tobacco products and its financial advisor in the sale of the company.
  • Latin American Telecommunications and Media Investments: Represented a Miami-based U.S. private equity fund in connection with telecommunications and media investments in Latin America.
  • Acquisitions: Represented Colombia’s leading brewer in bids for the acquisition of brewers in Honduras and El Salvador.
  • Privatization: Represented the winning bidder for the privatization of Telecomunicaciones de Guatemala S.A., Guatemala’s national telephone company, for $700 million.
  • Brazilian Acquisition: Represented a U.S. multinational for the acquisition of an industrial company in Brazil, including real property assets.
  • Argentina Office Tower Construction: Represented a Venezuelan and offshore investors with respect to the development of a site in downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina for the construction of three office towers.
  • Initial Public Offering: Represented a leading Argentine cable television company in its initial U.S. public offering.
  • Initial Public Offering: Representation of a leading U.S. investment bank for the initial U.S. public offering of a Caribbean telephone company.
  • Latin American Market Entry: Represented a leading U.S. investment bank with respect to the establishment of its Latin American equity operations.
  • Private Placement: Represented one of the largest banks in a South American country for the offering of privately placed preferred stock.
  • Euro Certificate of Deposit Programs: Represented major banks in Costa Rica, Ecuador and Venezuela with respect to the establishment of their Euro Certificate of Deposit programs.
  • U.S. Market Entry: Represented a leading South American bank for the establishment of its initial U.S. banking presence.
  • Europe-South America Cross Border Transactions: Represented a leading French property and casualty insurance company with respect to the acquisition of three insurance companies in Chile, including real estate portfolios; and with respect to the reorganization of its holdings in Brazil.
  • South American Utility Acquisition: Represented the acquiring party in the acquisition of the largest private electric utility company in a South American nation; and for the financing of major electrical utility equipment through the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
  • Latin American Receivables Acquisition: Represented a leading U.S. multinational in the acquisition of approximately $160 million of receivables from five Latin American countries.
  • Venezuelan Acquisition: Representation of a U.S. private equity fund in the acquisition of a Venezuelan industrial company.
  • Private Placement: Represented one of Mexico’s largest multinationals in the $140 million private placement financing arranged through the International Finance Corporation.
  • Venezuelan Joint Venture: Represented a major Venezuelan company in connection with the negotiation and establishment of a joint venture with a foreign company for the construction and operation of an industrial plant in the metals industry.
  • U.S.-Brazil Joint Venture: Represented a U.S. plastics manufacturer in a joint venture with a Brazilian partner for the production of plastic products in Brazil.
  • International Telecom and Construction Acquisition: Represented a U.S. telecommunications and construction company for the acquisition in Spain of a leading company in the same field.
  • South American Government Client: Represented a South American Government in connection with the sale of an interest in a U.S. bank.
  • Brazilian Financial Institution: Represented a leading Brazilian asset management and investment bank with respect to its U.S. operations.
  • Central American-Canadian Transaction: Represented a major Central American bank with respect to the sale of controlling interest to a Canadian purchaser.
  • Venezuelan Private Equity Transactions: Represented a Venezuelan-based investment bank with respect to numerous “private equity” transactions, including: a real estate and construction project in Argentina, industrial properties in Venezuela, a brokerage house in Peru, private placement of securities from a Peruvian issuer and the proposed acquisition of a leading Colombian bank in a privatization transaction, among others.
  • Argentine Bank: Represented an Argentine bank in the placement of notes and Certificates of Deposit.
  • Offshore Mutual Funds: Represented a leading European private bank with respect to the establishment of offshore mutual funds for investment in Latin American equity and debt securities.
  • International Joint Venture: Represented a Brazilian integrated petroleum producer for a joint venture with a U.S. partner to acquire an interest in a U.S. facility.
  • International Public Relations Acquisitions: Represented a major U.S. public relations firm for the acquisition of public relations firms in Argentina and Brazil.

News & Resources

News & Press Mentions

Carlos Méndez-Peñate Joins Dorsey’s New York Office

Industries & Practices

  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring
  • Capital Markets
  • Development & Infrastructure
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Private Equity


  • New York Law Journal, Listed as a Distinguished Leader, 2019
  • Lawdragon, Listed as a “2018 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America,” inducted into their Hall of Fame in the “Leadership” category
  • Lawdragon, Listed as a “2017 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America”
  • The Best Lawyers in America 2003-2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, Listed for Corporate Law, and International Trade and Finance Law
  • Chambers Global 2014, Ranked in Corporate/M&A, Latin America-wide
  • Chambers USA 2012-2013, Ranked in New York for Latin American Investment
  • The Legal 500 2011, 2014, Recommended for Mergers
  • Acquisitions & Buyouts: M&A National Middle Market
  • Super Lawyers Magazine 2006-2020, Listed in New York for International and Mergers & Acquisitions
  • New York Magazine 2005-2012, Recognized among the “Best Lawyers” in New York
Carlos E. Méndez-Peñate