Roberto Arena Reyes Retana



Roberto Arena is a trusted advisor for businesses in the energy, insurance, electricity, financial, and oil and gas sectors. This includes advising public companies engaged in large-scale and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, business transactions and regulatory matters, antitrust issues, government relations, international tax planning and inbound and outbound international business transactions. He often leads sophisticated business dispute and litigation matters, and provides counseling in interpretation of treaties to avoid double taxation, large-scale mergers and acquisitions, real estate litigation, corporate organizations and reorganizations, and multi-jurisdictional litigation-related matters. Roberto is Foley’s Mexico City Office Managing Partner.

Roberto is the founding partner of the Latin American Network, a group of leading independent law firms representing global businesses concerned with privatization and the emerging free economies in the region. As a recognized international tax attorney, clients seek Roberto's wide-ranging insights and experience with general business needs, and the structuring and planning of tax-efficient structures. Particular strengths include:

  • Mergers & acquisitions
  • Regulatory advice
  • Government relations
  • Efficient tax treatment of shares and asset purchases
  • Sophisticated transactions and litigation
  • Federal and state tax and commercial litigation
  • Tax consequences of transactions and business operations
  • Procurement law
  • Antitrust matters

Most of Roberto's clients are foreign companies doing business in Mexico or Mexican entities operating with foreign participation, including the United States, Europe, and Latin America. Many of his energy clients rely on Roberto's strategic, 360-degree perspective for guidance on the major foreign investment reforms currently under way as a result of Mexico's 2013 initiatives and 2014 secondary legislation.

Roberto has assisted the following public and private corporations with their tax, corporate, transactional, commercial and business legal needs in Mexico and Latin America:

  • Aker Marine Contractors U.S. Inc.
  • Akzo Nobel Comex
  • Clear Channel Entertainment
  • Ford Credit
  • Gencom
  • GE Capital Bank (now GE Money)
  • Goldman Sachs
  • GTECH Corp.
  • Hercules Offshore
  • Johnson Matthey
  • KSL Capital Partners
  • Lehman Brothers
  • Nokia
  • Pepsico
  • Poly
  • Pride International
  • Sanofi-Aventis
  • Teijin Twaron
  • Universal Compression 

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, Illustrious and National Lawyers’ Association
  • Former Instructor, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (one of the most recognized law schools in Mexico)
    • General Theory of Fiscal Law (Derecho Fiscal I)
    • Mexican Income Tax for Individuals and Corporations (Derecho Fiscal II)
  • Director and External Advisor, Insurance Companies in the Sectors of Life and Damages
  • Director, Energy Companies
  • Member, Judicial Process Board, Consejo de Procesos Judiciales for the Reforma Newspaper (one of the most recognized newspapers in Mexico)
  • Founder, Fundación Prende (philanthropic institution in charge of developing alternative and self-sufficient energy projects for the poorest sectors of Mexico)

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized, The Best Lawyers in Mexico (Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith eds., Woodward/White Inc.)   
    • Project Finance and Development (2020)
  • Recognized,Chambers Latin America: Latin America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
    • Tax (Mexico) (2011-2017)
  • Recognized, The Legal 500 Latin America
    • Corporate / Mergers and Aquisitions (2013)
    • Tax (2012, 2013, 2017)
    • Real Estate (2012)
  • Recognized, Finance Monthly Global Award Winner 
    • Transfer Pricing Lawyer of the Year - Mexico (2017)
  • Recognized, Leading Lawyer, IFLR1000: Mexico
    • Corporate and Commercial (2013, 2015)
    • Disputes (2013, 2015)
    • Energy and Infrastructure (2018)
    • Mergers and Acquisitions (2018)
    • Restructuring and Insolvency (2013, 2015, 2018)
    • Tax (2013, 2015)


  • J.D., Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (1985), with honors
    • Advanced Studies, Latin American Literature, Universidad Iberoamericana (1982-1985)
    • Advanced Studies, Tax, Universidad Panamericana


  • Spanish, Native
  • English, Fluent