Luis F. Fernandez

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Of Counsel

Luis F. Fernandez is Of Counsel to SMGQ, where he focuses his practice on U.S. domestic and international commercial and finance law, including but not limited to contracts and litigation related to sales, information technology, joint ventures, alliances, distribution arrangements, export controls, foreign corrupt practices act, economic sanctions and boycott issues, internal corporate investigations, and asset based financing.  Mr. Fernandez also handles real estate and corporate issues, as well as wills, estates and trust matters.

Prior to becoming Of Counsel to SMGQ, Mr. Fernandez served as Assistant General Counsel for General Motors Latin America, Africa, and Middle East Operations, where he oversaw legal affairs in those regions. His responsibilities included counseling, transactional, and litigation work on issues regarding marketing and distribution, information technology, intellectual property, joint ventures, alliances and acquisitions, export controls and trade sanctions, product liability, competition law, protection of foreign investments, internal investigations and compliance.  Mr. Fernandez’s first began working for GM overseeing the legal affairs of General Motors Acceptance Corporation’s Latin American Operations.  

Before working for General Motors, Mr. Fernandez served as a Michigan Assistant Attorney General where he became First Assistant in the Consumer Protection and Trusts Division, and later led the Special Litigation Division as the Assistant Attorney General in Charge for eight years.  In this position Mr. Fernandez was involved in a myriad of public utility issues, including complex litigation related to the Midland Nuclear Power Plant abandonment case and the Midland Cogeneration Facility’s recovery case. 

Prior to joining the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, he was in-house counsel for Auto Owners Insurance Company, where he had responsibilities for claims litigation and employee benefits and personnel issues.

Mr. Fernandez is admitted to practice law in Florida and Michigan.  He has also been admitted to practice before  several federal district and circuit courts, including the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

NOTABLE REPRESENTATIONS

  • A multi-million class action litigation in federal court related to a fraudulent lending and investment scheme perpetrated by a Michigan mortgage company, which presented legal issues of first impression under the Bankruptcy Code.
  • Litigation regarding fiduciary fees related to a $200 million testamentary bequeath to the Skillman Foundation.
  • Representation of multinational finance company in concluding a joint venture agreement with a Mexican bank.
  • Representation of multinational finance company in the negotiation, drafting and conclusion of a $25 million dollar loan to a Mexican bank.
  • Led litigation related to the attempted recovery of $4.5 billion in the Midland Nuclear Power Plant abandonment case and the Midland Cogeneration Venture power supply contract, including a dispute regarding an attempted exchange of $2.5 billion dollars in bonds for an equal amount of debentures.
  • Led litigation related to a $5 million dispute on the sale of prime Michigan real estate property for exclusive residential development.
  • Coordinated and lead a corporate legal team on the purchase of a South African manufacturing company.
  • Representation of a multinational corporation in concluding an information technology sector services agreement and data management services agreement.
  • Negotiation and drafting of implementing documentation for a multimillion dollar supply chain agreement for distribution of parts and accessories sourced from numerous countries for distributors the Middle East.
  • A multi-million class action litigation in federal court related to a fraudulent lending and investment scheme perpetrated by Salem Mortgage Company, which presented legal issues of first impression under the Bankruptcy Code.
  • Litigation regarding fiduciary fees related to a $200 million testamentary bequeath to the Skillman Foundation.
  • Representation of General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) in concluding a joint venture agreement with Banco Confia in Mexico.
  • Representation of GMAC in the negotiation, drafting and conclusion of a $25 million dollar loan to a Mexican bank.
  • Led litigation related to the attempted recovery of $4.5 billion in the Midland Nuclear Power Plant abandonment case and the Midland Cogeneration Venture power supply contract, including a dispute regarding an attempted exchange of $2.5 billion dollars in bonds for an equal amount of debentures.
  • Led litigation related to a $5 million dispute on the sale of prime Michigan real estate property for exclusive residential development.
  • Coordinated and lead a corporate legal team on the purchase of a South Africa manufacturing company.
  • Representation of a multinational company in concluding an information technology sector services agreement and data management services agreement.
  • Negotiation and drafting of implementing documentation for a multimillion dollar supply chain agreement for distribution of parts and accessories sourced from numerous countries to distributors in the Middle East.

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

  • Cuban American Bar Association - Committee on Cuba, and Human Rights Committee
  • Chair of the Administrative Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan in 1996
  • Chair, Judicial Review Committee of the Administrative Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan in 1995
  • Member of the Administrative Law, Consumer Protection and Public Utility Regulation Committees of the State Bar of Michigan from 1984 through 1995
  • Member of the South Florida Regional Counsel Group since 1996, and in its Advisory Board from 1997 through 2005.

SPEAKER AT:

  • Seminar organized by the Brussels Bar Association at the European Parliament on May 5, 2011 regarding the human rights situation in Cuba, and the challenges faced by the Cuban legal profession.
  • Seminar sponsored by the University of Miami Law School and the South Florida Regional Counsel Group, March 7, 2002, on Consumer Protection Trends in Latin America
  • Annual Meeting of the Association of Businessmen Advocating Tariff Equity (ABATE), April 1995, on Public Utility Regulatory Litigation in Michigan
  • State Bar of Michigan Annual Convention, September 29, 1993, on Administrative Law Developments in Michigan
  • Legal Assistants Association of Michigan, Inc. Seminar, February 9, 1985, on the Revised Michigan Rules of Civil Procedure
  • “The Twilight Zone of Public Utility Diversification,” Course Materials; 5th Annual Conference on Electricity and Regulation; American Bar Association Section of Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law, Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law; March 12, 1992

PUBLISHED:

  • “Recent Developments in Administrative Law,” 1993 State of the Law; Institute of Continuing Legal Education and the State Bar of Michigan, pp 1-3 to 1-25. Co-authored with Terrence A. Davis and Stephen J. Rhodes
  • “The Twilight Zone of Public Utility Diversification,” Course Materials; 5th Annual Conference on Electricity and Regulation; American Bar Association Section of Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law, Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law; March 12, 1992
  • “Wraparound Mortgages and Usury Exemption,” Michigan Bar Journal; February 1986, Volume 65, Number 2, pp 150 to 155
  • Annual Meeting of the Michigan Central Power Agency, October, 1991, on Electric Public Utility Competition State Bar of Michigan Annual Convention, September 29, 1993, on Administrative Law Developments in Michigan