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Blank Rome Adds Mexican Counsel in Houston to Growing Corporate Practice

Cecilia Ibarra-van Oostenrijk

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Cecilia Ibarra-van Oostenrijk has joined the firm’s Houston office as Mexican Counsel* in the Corporate, M&A, and Securities group. Cecilia has nearly 30 years of experience in practicing international law, with an emphasis on energy industry matters. She brings to Blank Rome a strong platform of longstanding business relationships that she has cultivated in Mexico and across Latin America, notably with regards to counseling on cross-border transactions, litigation proceedings, and compliance. Cecilia previously served as senior counsel at McKool Smith and, prior to that role, as regional compliance officer for North America operations and senior legal and compliance counsel for Mexico operations with TechnipFMC, a leading energy services company.

“We are thrilled to welcome Cecilia to Blank Rome,” said Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome’s Managing Partner and CEO. “Over the years, Cecilia’s international practice has enabled her to establish a significant professional network in Latin America and the United States as well as establish a deep understanding of the law in both regions. Both her connections and international experience will benefit clients who need thoughtful, informed, and forward-thinking legal strategies and compliance frameworks to accomplish their business goals.”

At Blank Rome, Cecilia’s practice will focus on counseling clients on their international business transactions as well as dispute resolution proceedings, both litigation and arbitration. Her experience practicing in Mexico and the Unites States enables her to counsel businesses in a range of cross-border transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, commercial contracts, and joint ventures. She also provides clients with compliance advice related to anti-corruption matters, international trade, sanctions and export controls, and data privacy. Furthermore, Cecilia helps ensure that clients with cross-border operations are in compliance with internal codes of conduct, internal ethics policies, and other compliance procedures.  

“Cecilia is a strong addition to our Corporate group, which has expanded significantly over the past year with an impressive lineup of attorneys that have joined our team,” said Louis M. Rappaport, Co-Chair of Blank Rome’s Corporate, M&A, and Securities group. “Having worked in-house as a senior legal and compliance counsel for an international energy services company, she has been immersed firsthand in international business operations and is uniquely positioned to anticipate her clients’ multifaceted needs as well as build upon our existing corporate service offerings and capabilities across a range of industries.”

While in-house, Cecilia led internal investigations, managed an international litigation docket, negotiated settlement agreements, developed and presented anticorruption training, and routinely offered guidance on anti-bribery and corruption, trade controls, anti-fraud, money laundering, human rights, antitrust, and other high-risk compliance areas. While practicing in Mexico, Cecilia gained substantive experience in international M&A, joint ventures, contracts, antitrust, international trade, and internal investigations.

“There are so many great reasons to join Blank Rome,” said Cecilia. “First and foremost, Blank Rome is a nationally recognized firm with a comprehensive platform and strong geographic footprint to help offer my clients a wide range of services. Having been in private practice and in-house, I know firsthand what keeps general counsel up at night, and Blank Rome stands ready to address those concerns with an unwavering commitment to client service that includes innovative legal counsel, outstanding delivery, and timely resolutions.”

Outside of her practice, Cecilia is a member of the International Bar Association, American Bar Association’s International Law Section, and Houston Bar Association’s International Law Section, of which she previously served as council member and chair. She is also a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.

Cecilia earned her LL.M. from the University of Houston Law Center and her law degree from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. She is a native Spanish speaker and is conversant in French.

* Mexican Counsel not admitted to practice law in the State of Texas.

Since January 2020, Blank Rome’s Corporate, M&A, and Securities group has welcomed a number of leading attorneys across its U.S. offices, enhancing the firm’s services and capabilities throughout its various practices: