María Luisa Cánovas has more than 25 years of experience in a diverse corporate practice focused on cross-border M&A, joint ventures, private equity, and restructurings. Her practice focuses on cross-border M&A throughout Latin America, where she has extensive experience in the energy, infrastructure, pharma, media, retail, and hospitality sectors.
María Luisa has worked on substantial matters with public companies such as Sanofi, PepsiCo, and News Corporation; private equity funds such as Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, and Playa Hotels & Resorts; and Latin American-based companies such as Betesh International and Livsmart Américas. She routinely negotiates matters in Spanish, Portuguese, and French and drafts agreements in English governed by New York law.
Prior to joining Jones Day, María Luisa's representative experience included advising News Corporation in a series of complex transactions with DirecTV, Globo, Grupo Televisa, and Liberty Media in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Colombia.
María Luisa is a regular speaker at international legal conferences and a frequent author on articles on cross-border M&A. María Luisa is a director of the U.S.-Mexico Bar Association and a former director of Paz y Cooperación, a Spanish non-for-profit. She is a member of the Madrid Bar Association.
María Luisa serves as the chair for the Women's Initiative and We LEAD immigration programs of Jones Day's New York Office. She is also a member of the Firm's Diversity Committee.
The following represents experience acquired prior to joining Jones Day.
Handled the acquisition by Tiendas Efe, a consortium formed by Linzor Capital Partners and Grupo Wiese, of La Curaçao, the largest home appliance retailer in Peru, which was named "Private Equity Deal of the Year 2012" by Latin Lawyer.
Represented DirecTV Latin America and Sky Brasil in their merger, in which DirecTV acquired the interests of News Corporation and Liberty Media in Sky Brasil.
Represented Fox International in a strategic acquisition of a content provider in Colombia.
Handled the disposition by a large hospitality group of three hotels in the United States.
Handled the acquisition by a publicly traded Spanish company of a group of companies in Israel and the United States in the water treatment industry sector.
Handled the acquisition by a subsidiary of S.A. La Nacion, the Argentine media company, of Impremedia, the leading Hispanic news and information company in the United States.
Chapter 11? A Restructuring Alternative for Big Companies (in collaboration with Morales & Besa (Chile); El Mercurio Newspaper (Chile)
- March 20, 2021
The Woman Negotiator Workshop - The Ruth Bader Ginsburg Women in Law Conference, Columbia Law School
- July 19, 2021
Cultural Pitfalls in International Negotiations - U.S. Business Law Academy - Columbia Law School
- June 24, 2021
Introduction to Cross-Border Negotiations - Commercial Real Estate Seminar - Southern Methodist University Law School
- March 20, 2021
Negotiation Workshop: The Woman Negotiator - Ruth Bader Ginsburg Luncheon - Columbia Law School
- December 1, 2020
Webinar Panel: Opportunities and risks for business in Mexico: From the new USMCA to a post-COVID world; Control Risks
- November 10, 2020
Webinar Panel: Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America: 2020 and Beyond; Dallas Bar Association, International Law Section
- October 5, 2020
Webinar Panel: Mexico 2020 and Beyond - Fighting corruption and uncertainty in investors’ rights in the midst of a pandemic; American Chamber México (Monterrey)
- September 16, 2020
Interview: Impact of COVID-19 in Law Firms; Latin Counsel
- August 11, 2020
Webinar Panel: Mexico 2020 and Beyond – Critical Issues to Monitor, moderator; U.S. Mexico Bar Association
- June 24-25, 2020
Negotiating For Lawyers Class - Commercial Real Estate Seminar - Southern Methodist University Law School, Dallas, Texas
- June 18-19, 2019
Trump and Trade – Risks, Opportunities, and Challenges for Latin American Companies, speaker, Posse/Jones Day Event, Colombia
- March 29, 2019
Distressed M&A Opportunities, speaker, IBA Mergers and Acquisitions in Latin America Conference 2019
- March 13, 2019
Cross-Border Negotiations, speaker, Sanofi's M&A Team
- June 5, 2018
"Retos y Avances de la Diversidad de Género como Factor de Desarrollo Económico", speaker, Jones Day Client Event
- May 23, 2018
Legal Overview of a Cross-Border M&A Transaction, speaker, Seminario Máster Acceso Abogacía, Universidad Pontificia de Comillas (ICADE) Madrid, Spain
- March 15, 2018
The Impact of Protectionism in M&A Transations, speaker, Biennial IBA Latin American Regional Forum Conference
- March 16, 2017
Financing Investments and M&A in Latin America, speaker, IBA Mergers and Acquisitions in Latin America Conference
- March 12, 2015
Development of private equity in Latin America, speaker, IBA Mergers and Acquisitions in Latin America Conference
- March 11, 2015
Women in the Profession Conference, WIP leader, Vance Center for International Justice
- November 3, 2014
Spain: Global Platform for International Business and Investment
- October 15, 2014
Doing Deals in Latin America: Current Developments, Opportunities & Challenges
- March 24, 2014
Assessing Investment Opportunities in Spain: An Outlook for 2014
- March 12, 2014
2014 Biennal IBA Latin American Regional Forum Young Lawyer's Training Programme, speaker, Universidad de Montevideo (UM)
- Diciembre 2013
Jornada "Nuevos retos en Gobierno Corporativo para las empresas españolas", organizada por ESADE y Kreab Gavin Anderson
- Southern Methodist University (LL.M. 1996); Tufts University (M.A. 1995; Fulbright Scholar); Universidad Pontificia de Comillas (Economics Degree 1992; Erasmus Scholar; Law Degree 1991)
- New York, Texas, and Madrid
Ranked in Chambers Latin America: Latin America's Leading Lawyers for Business for corporate/M&A (2016-2021)
Chambers Global: "Leaders in their Field" for corporate/M&A, Latin America-wide (2018-2021)
Ranked in Legal 500 as a leading lawyer and as a leading U.S. lawyer with Mexico focus (2016-2020)
"Top 50/100 Female Lawyers in Latin America," Latinvex (2012-2021)
"Private Equity Deal of the Year 2012," Latin Lawyer
- French and Spanish