Mexico's Walmex hires outside attorney to new legal position

MEXICO CITY, March 5 Tue Mar 5, 2013 11:09am EST

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MEXICO CITY, March 5 (Reuters) - Mexico's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart de Mexico, on Tuesday said it will hire White & Case attorney Alberto Sepulveda in a newly created role heading legal and institutional affairs in Mexico.

Walmex, as the company controlled by Wal-Mart Stores Inc is known locally, is under investigation in the United States and Mexico for allegedly bribing Mexican officials to speed up store openings.

Sepulveda's wide range of responsibilities includes ethics, corporate affairs, asset protection and business development such as mergers and acquisitions, according to a filing with Mexico's stock exchange.

The attorney, who was a partner with U.S. law firm White & Case in Mexico, will report on legal issues to Gonzalo Smith, vice president for Latin America, a spokesman said. For other matters he will report to Walmex Chief Executive Scot Rank.

Sepulveda will join the retailer on April 8, the statement said.

Parent company Wal-Mart in December named a new general counsel and it has broadly reorganized its legal division in response to the bribery allegations, first published in the New York Times last spring.

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