Joaquín Contreras held different legal positions in the Mexican public sector from 1989 to 2001, including acting as international in-house counsel of Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos) in Houston and New York. He previously served Chief of Staff of the Foreign Investment Department of the Ministry of Commerce, Regional Chief Counsel in the North Center Region of the Tax Service Administration, and Director General of the Customs Office of the Port of Altamira, the largest industrial port on Mexico's north-east coast.
Joaquín Contreras' practice focuses on ports and maritime law with particular emphasis on petroleum related projects, customs and foreign trade, automotive regulation and the maquiladora industry, administrative litigation and international commercial transactions.
- Advising Hutchison Ports Holding since 2007, the largest independent port operator in the world of containers terminals, in different legal matters and projects involved in the operations of its four containers and cruise terminals located in the Lazaro Cardenas, Veracruz, Manzanillo and Ensenada ports. Assisted this port operator in the development of the first containers terminal in the Lazaro Cardenas port.
- Advising the Association of Terminals and Port Operators (ATOP) the private Mexican chamber that represents the most important port terminals in Mexico, in different legal matters and legislative proposals.
- For over 10 years have advised different private and public port terminals and operators in different port projects and legal matters, including, bids for containers, automobile, bulk minerals, liquids and petrochemicals terminals; regulatory matters involving port developments, and complex litigation port and maritime matters.
Customs, Foreign Trade
- For more than 10 years he has advised importers, exporters and government in all kind of customs procedures, including clearance, customs regimes, valuation, classification, seizures, administrative procedures and complex litigation.
- He advised the Port Administration of Altamira in the design and development of the rules for the operation of the first maritime private foreign trade zones at the industrial port of Altamira.
Automotive and Maquila Industry
- He has advised a global auto-parts manufacturer in different legal matters involving the operations of four maquila plants in Mexico, including, large and complex litigation matters and administrative procedures before the Tax Service Administration.
- He has advised the first private Port Automobile Terminal located in Altamira, in different regulatory matters regarding the import and export transactions of automobiles.
- “Foreign Investment in the Mexican Ports”, in the Latin American Law & Business Report (2013)
- “Some Legal Considerations on Financing in the Oil Industry” article published in the Regulation of the Energy Sector, a joint edition of the Ministry of Energy and the UNAM (Mexico, 1997)
- “Some Considerations on the Protection of Direct Foreign Investment in Light of Private International Law” published in Juridica Law Review No. 24, published by the Department of Law of Universidad Iberoamericana, October 1994
- “Making & Planning a New International Venture: A Direct foreign investment in the Mexican petrochemical industry” in PEMEX-LEX (1992)
Activities and Affiliations
- Member of the Mexican Bar Association
- Member of the International Bar Association