Law Offices of Debra Guajardo

Debra Guajardo advises clients on various types of general business and corporate transactions, from formation to sales and acquisitions, as well as energy, real estate matters and finance related issues such as secured and unsecured credit facilities.

Debra has worked with Fortune 500 clients as well as individuals, both national and foreign. In addition to being both bi-national and fully bilingual, Debra is licensed to practice law in the U.S. and Mexico and assists clients understand the laws and differences of each country’s unique legal system and how these nuances may affect their transaction.

Debra has a broad range of experience, having received her U.S legal training while at the national firm of Jones Walker and the international firm of Greenberg Traurig. Debra’s experience also includes working in in-house settings for various clients including a worldwide marine construction company, an international petrochemical company and an independent power producer. Her foreign legal training includes working for a private firm in Mexico and the Mexican national bank of foreign commerce.

Significant Representations

  • Assisted worldwide marine construction company with the review of various procurement contracts and the preparation of master subcontractors and services agreements (under U.S. and Mexican law) relating to work to be performed in the U.S. and Mexico.
  • Assisted one of the largest commercial retail energy suppliers in North America in conjunction with the acquisition of a natural gas/oil fired, steam power generation facility, including the preparation of Operation and Maintenance Agreement and Capacity Sale and Tolling Agreements.
  • Assisted a privately held power generation company with the organization and review of over 10,000 documents pertaining to the operations of 6 natural gas and waste coal power plants. Documentation includes corporate and organizational records, finance and trade matters, operations and maintenance, environmental, real estate and various contracts including master services agreements, consulting services agreements and confidentiality agreements.
  • Assisted natural gas power plant and coal fired power plant with the preparation of standard form Master Services Agreements (MSAs) and Consulting Services Agreements (CSAs); negotiation of MSAs and CSAs with multiple contractors; preparation and presentation of training seminars to in-house business people and plant managers on the negotiation of various key provisions (including indemnity, insurance and limitations of liability) in MSAs and CSAs.
  • Assisted natural gas power plant with the drafting and negotiating engineering, procurement and construction MSAs for the outage and refurbishment of its turbine and transformers.
  • Assisted an oil and gas field exploration services company with negotiation of Master Rental Contract.
  • Assisted international pharmaceutical company with interpretation of Mexican Labor Law and legal requirements to terminate employee of Mexican subsidiary.
  • Assisted large commercial bank with a term and revolving loan to an oil & gas exploration and production company secured by oil & gas reserves; assisted several domestic and international banks with secured credit facility transactions.
  • Assisted seismic data marketing company with the negotiation of various master agreements for the licensing of seismic data.
  • Assisted a U.S. company with the purchase of spent catalysts from a Mexican company.
  • Assisted a Mexican company with 15 retail stores in 8 states in Mexico establish business presence in the U.S. and negotiation of commercial lease agreement.
  • Assisted a TSD facility with a consultant services agreement for a Mexican company hired to dispose of hazardous waste material.
  • Assisted a Hong Kong company with the acquisition from a Japanese venture capital fund of debt and warrants in a U.S. company holding Chinese oil & gas concession rights.
  • Assisted international provider of specialized oilfield services and equipment with the purchase and sale of several commercial properties, including a tract of land which involved the negotiation of a construction contract to build an office/warehouse building, detention easement, and declaration of protective covenants and easements.
  • Assisted in general Mexican civil litigation (contracts, divorce, custody), corporate and criminal lawsuits.
  • Assisted U.S. client domiciled in Mexico desiring to enforce a U.S. judgment for approximately 250 million U.S. against PEMEX in a case involving the breach of contract for the sale of oil.
  • Analyzed public and private documents and drafted legal opinions under Mexican law outlining financing options available to Mexican business entities desiring to undertake investment and export operations. Drafted financial documents and trusts under Mexican law according to institutional banking guidelines.
  • Assisted international paper and packaging products company with the ongoing sale of multiple tracts of raw timber land

Special Projects

At the request of the Director of Judicial Training, Debra prepared and subsequently presented a 12 hour training course on U.S. legal procedure to the members of the Judicial Branch of the State of Guanajuato in Mexico and various public officials in November 2008.

The course described the U.S. jury system and the constitutional bases for the presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings. The purpose of the course was to provide the members of the judiciary with a model framework for implementing the amendments to the federal Mexican Constitution published in 2008 mandating jury trials and a presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings.

Judicial Internship

While attending law school in Houston, Debra had the opportunity of serving as a judicial intern to The Honorable Nancy K. Johnson, United States Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

This was an invaluable experience which included drafting an opinion denying a foreign state-owned exploration and production company's motion to dismiss suit for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, quantum meruit, fraud and misrepresentation pursuant to Texas common law, and similar contract, quasi- contract, and tort actions under Brazilian law.

Other international legal issues addressed included the subject matter jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, personal jurisdiction over a foreign state owned oil company, challenges to venue, and forum non conveniens.

Debra Guajardo


 

Admissions to Practice:

  • Texas
  • Republic of Mexico

 

Education:

J.D., South Texas College of Law (2003)

  • Editor-in-Chief, Currents International Trade Law Journal
  • Redefining the Expropriation of a Foreign Investment in Mexico, 42 S. Tex.L.Rev. 1309, 2001.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediation Training: Qualified as an Impartial Third Party under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §154.052

Mexican J.D. with minor in International Law (Licenciatura en Derecho Mexicano con especialidad en Derecho Internacional), Universidad de las Américas – Puebla, Puebla, México (1999)

  • Magna cum laude
  • Mención honorifica (highest honors)

B.A. and B.S., The University of Texas at Austin (1992)

Permanent Conference on International Private Law, The Hague Academy of International Law, The Hague, Netherlands (1997)

Mexican Legal Studies Program: Mexican Law and the North American Free Trade Agreement, University of Houston Law Center (1993)

 

Languages:

English (native)
Spanish (native)
French (conversational)