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Elba Gutiérrez Castillo is the Manager of Greenberg Traurig’s Global Pro Bono program. Elba focuses her practice on complex human rights cases and impact litigation. She often represents clients and appears before the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid, Constitutional Federal Courts and the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice. She mainly advises and represents people seeking asylum in Mexico and people claiming reparations from the Mexican State.

In addition, she has broad experience on matters related to antitrust and corporate law, having represented companies before the Federal Commission of Economic Competence (COFECE) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).



  • Represented the Afghanistan Women’s Flag Football team, as well as their families and coach (70 individuals, including 20 minors), and secured political asylum and safe passage to Mexico for them. The case involved high level negotiations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, work in coordination with several international agencies, procedures before three governments in the Middle East, and leading the funding efforts and the corporate restructure of the NGO who hosts the team.
  • Represented a young man from El Salvador who fled led his country due to attempted forced recruitment, discrimination based on sexual orientation, and sexual abuse by a criminal gang. She helped this young man obtain refugee status in Mexico, and to obtain family reunification for his two younger brothers a year later. The cases were handled from February 2019 to December 2021, they were litigated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In collaboration with the United Nations Development Program, she mentored six social entrepreneurs from the Indigenous community of Huauchinango, Puebla. The projects were selected based on their social impact for the region. The aim was to provide the participants with the legal tools to achieve their entrepreneurial goals, while promoting a culture of legality related to social labor in the Mexican countryside.
  • Led legal assistance efforts for refugees in camps installed in Mexico City and Tijuana in 2018 and 2019 when thousands of people from Central America decided to cross Mexican territory in a caravan to reach the U.S. border. This form of migration represented a challenge, both legally and logistically, since many of them needed factual information to make appropriate decisions about their route.
  • Lead attorney of the team that represented a Salvadorian family in 2017 seeking asylum in a litigation against the procedural decision issued by the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid which indefinitely suspended their term established in law to issue resolutions in the Refugee Status Determination procedure. The judge ruled in the family’s favor and found the contested procedural decision unconstitutional for leaving asylum seekers and detained individuals in a state of legal uncertainty in Mexico.
  • Designed a legal education program for non-governmental organizations. This program aims to strengthen the rule of law by building legal capacities while using simple language so that non-experts can execute legal procedures. After changing the format from in-person to webinars, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the audience has grown to more than 100 participants per session, increasing the impact on such organizations, and broadening scope to other regions in Mexico.
  • Leader of the firm’s pro bono efforts related to two major earthquakes in September 2017 in Mexico that unleashed a major social crisis. The work included legal and social assistance to the victims and establishing lines of communication with civil society groups. She created a program so attorneys would be able to provide legal assistance in parks, churches, streets as well as by phone and email.
  • Advised Mexican and foreign companies on cartel and vertical restraints and merger control processes before the Federal Commission of Economic Competence.°
  • Advised international companies on their operations in Mexico to facilitate compliance with competition and commercial regulations, including advice on the legal framework for the operation of ride-sharing vehicles and cab services in Mexico for UBER Technologies Inc.°

°The above representations were handled by Mrs. Gutiérrez Castillo prior to her joining Greenberg Traurig, S.C.

  • Attorney, Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho, A.C., 2016.
  • Student, Legal Clinic, Human Rights Program: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2012-2013

Recognition & Leadership

  • Recipient, International Bar Association (IBA), “Pro Bono Award,” 2022
  • Listed, Latin Lawyer, "Latin Lawyer 250 - Practice Recognition: Pro Bono," 2020, 2021 and2022
  • Practice leader, Appleseed México, “Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year,” 2021
  • Practice leader, Latin Lawyer, “Pro Bono Award,” 2020.
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID), “Pro Bono Recognition,” 2018 and 2020
  • Practice leader, Chambers Diversity and Inclusion Awards: Latin America, “Pro Bono Program of the Year Award,” 2019
  • Practice leader, Appleseed México, “Alexis Rovzar Medal. Recognition for Pro Bono Services,” 2018
  • Recipient, Latin Lawyer, “Pro Bono Award,” 2017
  • Member, Board of Directors, Mexican Appleseed Foundation
  • Volunteer, United World Colleges, Mexican association


  • Law Degree, cum laude, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2016
  • Mexico
  • Spanish, Native
  • English, Fluent