César Fernández

International Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright US MX, S.C.
Norton Rose Fulbright US MX, S.C.

César Fernández

César Fernández


Related services and key industries


César Fernández, an accomplished energy and projects lawyer, joined Norton Rose Fulbright's Mexico City office in 2019. César represents multinationals, Mexican companies and lenders in various industries including upstream oil and gas, renewables, shipping and telecoms.  

He previously worked for Pemex and served as legal vice president for projects and businesses for the state-owned oil company.  At Pemex, Fernández oversaw a team that provided legal guidance for implementing the comprehensive energy reforms – passed in Mexico in 2014 – that radically transformed the country's hydrocarbon and electricity industries and opened up private investment opportunities.

Fernández drafted and negotiated the first area of mutual interest (AMI), joint study and bidding (JSBA), and joint operating (JOA) agreements related to the first Pemex alliances in deepwater, shallow water and onshore in history, with international, independent and national oil companies in order to participate in CNH bidding Rounds.

He structured the legal bidding framework for Pemex farmouts and led the drafting of their corresponding joint operating agreements. Fernandez also drafted and negotiated the first preliminary unit agreement (PUA) in Mexico and new integrated services contracts (CSIEE). Additionally, he led the migration of four blocks in connection with contratos de obra publica financiada (COPF) and contratos integrales para exploración y extracción (CIEP) into E&P contracts.

Within midstream and downstream, Fernández structured from a legal and regulatory perspective the open seasons for Pemex Logística pipelines and terminals; participated in the first projects for refinery auxiliary services for the hydrogen supply for Pemex Transformación Industrial and led the negotiations for alliances with Pemex for the National Refinery System.

Fernández was part of the Pemex negotiating teams for NAFTA renegotiation, the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union and negotiations of the model of transboundary unit agreement with the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.  Fernández, is a former member of the Legal Task Force for the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI).

Before joining Pemex, Fernández, who possesses a deep understanding of the legal intricacies of conducting business throughout the Latin America region, served as head of legal and compliance officer at Petrofac in Mexico. Prior to that, he worked for another major law firm in Mexico where he advised clients on energy matters, corporate transactions, mining, telecommunications and aviation concerns.

Professional experience

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  • LL.M., University College London (UCL), London, UK, 2006
  • Graduate Certificate in Law Teaching, Law Teachers Programme, University College London (UCL), London, 2006
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Telecommunications, Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM), Mexico City, 2002
  • Licenciado en Derecho (Law Degree), Universidad Panamericana (UP), Mexico City, Mexico, 2000
  • Mexico Bar
  • Legal 500 Latin America, Next Generation Partners, Mexico: Energy and natural resources and Projects and infrastructure, The Legal 500, 2023
  • Legal 500 Latin America, Recommended lawyer, Mexico: Energy and natural resources and Projects and infrastructure, The Legal 500, 2021, 2023
  • Regional Chapter Director for Latin America, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)
  • Member of Asociación Nacional de Abogados de Empresa (ANADE)