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Michael McGuinness

Latam Practice Group Regional Co-Leader, Private Equity
Recognized as a "legal star" by the Latin Business Chronicle, a “leading lawyer” by Chambers Latin America and a "Latin America M&A Heavyweight" by The Legal 500
Michael J. McGuinness brings more than 25 years of experience leading and managing transformative cross-border M&A transactions, including across Europe and Latin America. He is a senior legal advisor to a number of boards of directors, with demonstrated governance and business counseling skills and a recognized expertise in Latin American M&A. Michael currently serves as an independent director of the board and member of the audit committee of LatAmGrowth SPAC (Nasdaq: LATG), a publicly traded blank check company targeting high-growth businesses operating in Latin America. He also recently earned recognition from the National Association of Corporate Directors as NACD Directorship Certified®, the nation’s premier certification for board directors.

Michael’s clients range from public companies to private corporations and investment funds. He regularly advises companies operating in the aviation, industrial and technology sectors. Michael has appeared on Bloomberg News and on the cover of Mergers & Acquisitions magazine to discuss US-Mexico relations and to comment on M&A trends in Latin America as well as having published widely on Latin American matters.
Bar admissionsNew York


  • Represented a global leader in business-to-business distribution of electrical products, solutions and related services in sale of one of its North American businesses to a middle-market private equity firm.
  • Represented a market-leading provider of global aviation support services on multiple transactions, including in sale of its Engine Repair and Overhaul (ERO) business to a leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul services, in the sale of its after-market and legacy parts business to a private equity firm, and in the acquisition of numerous fixed-based operator (FBO) businesses in the US.
  • Represented founders and board of directors of a private company funded by a major investment fund in aviation roll-up transactions, including an acquisition of a leading independent US airline charter business and two US maintenance and repair operations.
  • Represented a multinational conglomerate on multiple transactions, including in its US$4.3 billion acquisition of the aviation business of a European aerospace company, in its sale of a global energy business to a private equity firm, in its acquisition of a software start-up operating in Israel, Japan and the US, and in its acquisition of a single product pharmaceutical company.
  • Represented a US telecommunications company in its US$5 billion sale of its wireless tower portfolio to a real estate investment trust company.
  • Represented a European medical products company in the acquisition of its Colombian distributor.
  • Represented a family office investment company in its attempted US$4 billion sale of a Brazilian pulp and paper company to a Chilean wood and forestry company, and in its portfolio company’s US$2.8 billion acquisition of a majority stake and certain assets of a US food company through a US bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Represented a multi-latina conglomerate in its approximately US$3.6 billion acquisition of a global financial services corporation’s Latin America pension, life insurance and investment operations.
  • Represented a global mining company in its US$5 billion sale to a Japanese trading house of a minority stake in a Chilean copper mining company, the US$2.8 billion sale of an additional minority stake in the same company to a state-owned mining company and another Japanese trading house, and the US$1 billion auction sale of a Latin American mining business to an Australian mining company.
  • Represented a Brazilian machine tools manufacturer in its unsolicited offer to purchase a US industrial company.
  • Represented a Mexican project company and its principal multinational shareholders in the start-up construction and US$623 million limited recourse financing of the world's largest nitrogen production facility.
  • Spanish
  • Ph.D, Harvard University, 1997
  • J.D., Stanford University, 1996
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1989, with highest honors

Pro Bono

  • Represented multiple asylum seekers at the US/Mexico border as part of a border project.
  • Represented a national entity based in Mexico in its fundraising activities in the development of the IMAX film the Flight of the Butterflies.
  • Represented a domestic partner of a victim of WTC tragedy before the Federal Victims Compensation Fund.

Publications and media

  • Co-author, “As Nationalist Agenda Advances, Latin America Businesses Mull Options Abroad,” Legal 500 GC Magazine and Legal 500 In House Lawyer, 2020 
  • Co-author, “Convergence Transactions: a Lawyer’s Perspective,” Managed Healthcare Executive, 2020
  • “Watching China’s Continuing Investment Push in Latin America,” Bloomberg Law, 2020
  • “Looking at Latin America,” Mergers & Acquisitions, 2015
  • Co-author, “Beijing the Matchmaker in China and Latin America's Courtship,” International Financial Law Review, July/August 2013
  • Co-author, “Investment: The Middle East Comes to Latin America,” Americas Quarterly, Spring 2010
  • Co-author, “Corporate Governance for Foreign Private Issuers: Overview,” Practical Law Company Corporate and Securities web service, 2009 
  • Co-author, “Going Private Transactions: A Practitioner's Guide,” The Delaware Journal of Corporate Law 2, 2005 
  • “The Politics of Labor Regulation in North America: A Reconsideration of Labor Law Enforcement in Mexico,” University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Economic Law 1, 2000
  • “The Landscape of Labor Law Enforcement in North America: An Examination of Mexico's Labor Regulatory Policy and Practices,” Law & Policy in International Business, The Internal Law Journal of Georgetown University Law Center 365, 1998
  • “Recent Development, The Protection of Labor Rights in North America: A Commentary on the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation,” Stanford Journal of International Law 579, 1994
  • “Hacia una Politica Social para America del Norte: Ensayo sobre Ia Importancia de Ia Carta Social y el Fondo Estructural Europeos para el TLCAN, in MEXICO,” EST ADOS-UN IDOS, CANADA, 1991-92 (Gustavo Vega Canova ed., 1993)

Prior Experience

Before returning to private practice in 2009, Michael also held several prominent roles at the General Electric Company, including general counsel of one of its industrial business units.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • National Association of Corporate Directors 
  • American Bar Association
  • Hispanic Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association