Charles E. Meacham

Partner

Overview

Charlie Meacham is a trilingual (Spanish and Portuguese) transactional lawyer born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. After joining the former Dallas office of Gardere (now Foley Gardere) in 1988, Charlie moved to Mexico City to open the former Gardere (now Foley Gardere Arena) office in 1992 and was the resident partner in charge until 1996. He is now a member of Foley Gardere’s Houston office, where he focuses more broadly on cross-border projects and transactions in the United States, Mexico and throughout Latin America.

For 30 years, Charlie has focused on counseling clients on how to commence or conduct business operations in Latin America. Adversely, he has also counseled Latin American clients on doing business in the United States, as well as drafting agency, distribution, licensing, sales representation and other cross-border commercial agreements. When clients are ready to establish a local presence in Latin America, he advises clients in choosing the type of legal entity that will be most tax efficient, as well as contain the corporate governance provisions necessary to mitigate local country risks, and ensure that the client’s compliance policies are implemented abroad.

In addition to assisting clients to establish greenfield operations throughout Latin America, Charlie also regularly advises clients on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions and projects where the client prefers to acquire an existing business. These transactions inevitably require complying with local foreign investment and anti-trust filings, among other regulatory requirements.

In many instances, clients prefer to navigate the local business and regulatory climate by entering into joint ventures with an established local partner. Over the last 30 years, Charlie has worked on dozens of international joint ventures in many different countries and industries, including:

  • Infrastructure
    • Peru – Joint venture between Quanta Services Inc. and a Peruvian telecommunications company to form Redes Andinas de Comunicaciones, S.R.L. and install broadband networks in three rural Peruvian provinces for the Peruvian federal government
    • Mexico – Joint venture between a Monterrey, Mexico environmental services company and Severn Trent of the United Kingdom to create Industrias del Agua and operate a 10-year potable water services contract with the Mexico City water authority

 

  • Energy
    • Brazil – Joint venture between Dril-Quip Inc. and Petroserv to fabricate offshore equipment for the Brazilian oil & gas market
    • Argentina – Joint venture between EQ Environmental Inc. and Argentine environmental partner to provide environmental engineering services for the Argentina oil and gas industry
    • Mexico – Joint venture between GEODynamics Inc. and Mexican partner to sell and distribute oil and gas perforation systems in Mexico
    • Peru – Joint venture between Arcadis Inc. and Peruvian partner to process oil field cuttings generated by PetroPeru oil and gas drilling operations

 

  • Manufacturing
    • Mexico – Joint venture between NCI Building Systems Inc. and Empresas STIVA to construct and operate a metal frames fabrication plant in Monterrey, Mexico
    • Mexico – Joint venture between a mid-sized U.S. building products manufacturer and a Mexican manufacturer of building products to build a backer board cement manufacturing plant in Monterrey, Mexico
    • Mexico – Joint venture between O’Neal Steel Company and Empresas STIVA to construct and operate a steel fabrication plant in Monterrey, Mexico
    • Mexico – Proposed joint venture between SSI Schaeffer International Inc. and Pagani, S.A. de C.V. to manufacture recyclable plastic containers in Leon, Mexico for the Mexican automotive industry

 

  • Services
    • Mexico – Joint venture between American Airlines Inc., Aerovias de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. and Compañía Mexicana de Aviación, S.A. de C.V. to form Sabre Sociedad Tecnológica, S.A. de C.V. to operate an airline computer reservation system in Mexico
    • Mexico – Joint venture between Clear Channel Entertainment and Grupo Televisa, S.A. to produce live entertainment events throughout Latin America

 

  • Textiles
    • Mexico – Joint venture between Pillowtex Corporation and a Mexican partner to import, sell and distribute home bedding products in Mexico
    • Mexico – Joint venture between Tee Jays Manufacturing LLC and Empresas Nieto, S.A. de C.V. to operate a shirt cutting and sewing plant in Queretaro, Mexico

 

  • Industrial Coatings
    • Mexico – Joint Venture between Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc. and Comercial Mexicana de Pinturas, S.A. de C.V. for distribution of car coatings by Comex throughout Mexico
    • Mexico – Joint venture between Akzo Nobel Powder Coatings and Crissow, S.A. de C.V. for manufacture and sale of industrial powder coatings

 

Charlie also represents Latin American and other foreign investors in the United States and advises clients worldwide on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance and other international anti-corruption conventions.

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, State Bar of Texas
    • International Law Section
  • Member, American Bar Association
    • International Law Section
      • Mexico Committee
    • Business Law Section
  • Member, Houston Bar Association
    • International Law Section
  • Member, Advisory Board, Center for U.S. and Mexican Law, University of Houston Law Center
  • U.S. Chair, Board of Directors, U.S. Mexico Bar Association (2020-2021)

Community Involvement

  • Member, Board of Directors, BEAResource for CPS Kids (2010-present)
    • Chair (2014-2015)
    • Vice Chair (2012-2013)
  • Member, Brazil-Texas Chamber of Commerce (2016)
  • Member, American Chamber of Commerce, Mexico City
  • Member, Advisory Board, United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Gulf Coast Chapter

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized, The Legal 500 Latin America
    • Real Estate (2013)

Education

  • The University of Texas School of Law (J.D., 1988)
  • The University of Texas at Austin, (B.A., with high honors, 1985)
    • Member, Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • Texas (1988)
  • Texas State Courts (1988)

Languages

  • Spanish
  • Portuguese

Capabilities