Hector Izzo – SUEZ Mexico

The flow of change

Once completed, it will pump out more than a hundred million gallons of clean, potable water a day. The largest of its kind in the Americas, the planned water desalination plant in Playas de Rosarito, Mexico, has widespread implications for the community, the country, the continent—and the world at large.

And Hector Izzo is right in the midst of it, helping to make it a reality. The general counsel and chief compliance officer of SUEZ Mexico, a subsidiary of SUEZ Environment, says he is particularly proud to be part of a company that is dedicated to the well-being of both the planet and its people.

“I’m thrilled by its overall core values and reputation,” he says. “It was one of the things that made me turn my head to SUEZ.”

Revolutionary project, revved-up skills

Bringing more than 10 years of experience and ample enthusiasm to SUEZ, Izzo delved right into the long-anticipated Rosarito project upon joining the company less than a year ago.

The utility company, headquartered in France, is working with NSC Water and NuWater on the $540 million ($10 billion peso) public-private endeavor, scheduled to start construction in 2019 and begin output in 2022. SUEZ is involved not only in its design and construction; it will participate in the plant’s operation for 37 years.

Suez Mexico

Desalination is a growing alternative in Mexico, where water shortages worsen every day; it uses reverse osmosis to extract salt and mineral components from seawater, thus making it safe for humans to drink.

The plant will start by producing 50 million gallons a day for Tijuana and Rosarito, Izzo says—ultimately benefiting both locals and the area’s booming tourism industry. Once fully operational, that output is expected to double.

Being involved in the massive project has allowed Izzo to flex his legal skills: He and his team are involved with the negotiation and closing of all of its main agreements and contracts. Meanwhile, due to its three-part role as contractor, operator and shareholder, the company has formed sub-teams as a means to prevent conflicts of interest.

Then there’s the major issue of risk tolerance, Izzo says. “Projects rarely go exactly to plan,” he acknowledges. “I, as an in-house lawyer, focus and put my risk mitigation skills to work by understanding which parts of a project are most likely to veer off course.”

Many opportunities, shared values

Izzo has spent the majority of his career working for corporations; having previously worked as counsel for SAP Latin America and Enel Green Power North America Inc. He joined SUEZ in October 2017, and praises the worldwide specialist in water treatment and waste management that, for over 160 years, has contributed to such projects as the construction of the Suez Canal and vast improvements to sanitation and comfort, and operates more than 500 plants worldwide, employing more than 88,500 people.

When asked “Why law?” Izzo relies on a quote from the legendary James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

Such is the substance of practicing law, he says—it is about calculated choices and intense analysis, confronting realities, and looking to the decisions of the past to help guide the choices of the present and future.

“If you want a career that allows for lifelong learning, law is definitely the one,” says Izzo, who is fluent in Spanish and English, and proficient in Italian and French.

On the corporate side, especially, it is a dual learning process, he adds. “Not only have I needed to understand the law, I’ve needed to understand my internal client’s core business. That has allowed me to learn so much about different industries, as well as diverse areas of the law.”

His department at SUEZ is comprised of seven senior and junior counsels who handle the spectrum of legal matters. Izzo notes that he leads under a “mutatis mutandis” principle—derived from the Medieval Latin and meaning “the necessary changes having been made.” That is: He adjusts his management style day-to-day, based on the changing needs and fit of his people and business-commercial requirements.

In an industry with “tons of players,” SUEZ sets itself apart by focusing on new opportunities and experiences, he says, and by taking on projects that others might see as too complicated or unnecessary. “In a nutshell, it comes down to differentiation, thought leadership and expertise,” Izzo says.

Meanwhile, he is impressed with the company’s commitment to community involvement, outreach and training.

“Giving back is a big part of my personal philosophy, and I was excited to find a company that feels the same way,” he says, noting the boost it gives to both professional development and morale. “I’m able to come to work every day to a place where not only my technical skills are valuable, but my personal philosophies as well.”

Published on: July 10, 2018



Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in Vanguard” badge that links directly to your article!

Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing tag) where you want to display our review banner.


The piece highlighting my company, Bob Baker Enterprises, Inc., came out fabulous. Our company is in the new and used car sales and service industry. Everyone was great to work with and extremely professional. They produced a high-quality product and have provided expert assistance and guidance post-production of the article.
– Wade Poulson, General Counsel, Bob Baker Enterprises Inc.
I was honored to be the subject of an article. I enjoy reading Vanguard articles and seeing how other attorneys got to their positions and see their jobs. It's also interesting to see how different law firms partner with the subjects of the articles.
– Henry Marquard, in-house counsel, Stanley Consultants Inc.
It was a great honor to be featured in Vanguard Law. Working with every member of the team, from the initial interview with Erin Clark, through production with Victor Martins, writing the article with Taryn Plumb and creating the final content with Dave Gushee, was a true pleasure. Everyone was very professional, enthusiastic and supportive, and their creative approach and positive attitude clearly came through in the final product.
– Kevin C. Rakowski, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Compliance with Radian Group Inc.
As promised in advance, my feature in Vanguard has increased my visibility within the profession and prompted more than a few people I have not communicated with recently to reconnect. One of the Italian law firms I have used in the past is now in the process of interviewing me for an article on their website and tweeting out the feature story. Activity and the number of people connecting with me on LinkedIn has soared, which is great. The Vanguard writers and editorial staff were great to work with—highly professional and made the effort to make the experience both fun and rewarding (they were also respectful of the time pressures and demands all lawyers face). I was very pleased with the experience and the final outcome. Needless to say, I have been very pleased. All in all working with Vanguard has been a very positive experience which generated good publicity for both Shawcor and myself. My sincere thanks.
– Tim Hutzul, General Counsel, ShawCor Ltd.


Summer I 2024



  • * We’ll never share your email or info with anyone.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.