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Legal market overview

Venezuela continues to experience grave economic difficulties and these have only been exacerbated by the global drop in oil prices, adding to the fiscal pressure on the Maduro administration, which, holding to the socialist agenda of the Chavez period, has reacted with ever more state-interventionist policies. These, in turn, have led many foreign investors to avoid Venezuela or withdraw their investments. Foreign exchange controls make cross-border transactions difficult, and price controls affect almost every economic activity. The resulting shortages in food and other basic necessities have led to political protests and increasing black market activity, leading to even more pressure on the government.

The crisis is also affecting the legal market. Many law firms are following the example of commercial companies by downsizing. Finance and M&A practices in particular are suffering from a drop in transactional activity, and there is widespread pressure on fee rates. On the other hand, the crisis has also led to increased demand for legal services in areas such as public law, tax, labour, and dispute resolution, as clients seek advice on how to cope with increasingly demanding regulation and tax laws, as well as assistance with downsizing and layoffs and help with disputes, where cost-effective arbitration and mediation are particularly sought after.

The four leading full-service law firms remain Baker & McKenzie SC, D’Empaire Reyna Abogados, Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque and Norton Rose Fulbright; which achieve high rankings in almost every practice area. There has been relatively little movement in the market in terms of law firm mergers, spin-offs, and lateral partner hires. Notable exceptions are the merger of WDA legal, S.C. with tax boutique Fraga & Viloria, S.C.; the move of public law expert Alejandro Gallotti from Torres, Plaz & Araujo to Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque; and the move of arbitration expert Marcos Carrillo from Lloan & Asociados to Araquereyna. In light of such challenging economic conditions, it is unsurprising that few law firms are investing; to some degree the legal market is in a suspended mode and awaits better times.

Press releases

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Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments and Awards in Kazakhstan: Issues and Practical Reco

    Lyailya Tleulina, AEQUITAS Senior Associate
  • Claeys & Engels presents its VerkiezingsWijzer/Guide Pratique Elections Sociales

    The next social elections will take place between 9 and 22 May 2016. Whether or not these are your company’s first elections, you will know that they require very thorough preparation.
  • New Labor Code: Notes on the Margins

    Yulia Chumachenko, Partner, AEQUITAS Law Firm
  • CSSF clarifies marketing rules in updated AIFMD law Q&A

    On August 10, the CSSF issued the latest update of its Frequently Asked Questions document on the grand duchy’s law of July 12, 2013 implementing the AIFMD and the European Commission’s Level 2 regulation on implementation of the directive, last revised on December 29, 2014. The FAQ document has now run to nine versions over the past year and a half. Its aim is to highlight aspects of the AIFMD rules from a Luxembourg perspective, for the benefit primarily of alternative funds and managers established in the grand duchy. It complements Q&A documents on the AIFMD published by ESMA, itself most recently updated last month, and by the European Commission.
  • Europe: EU-Export Compliance – Loosening of Iran trade restrictions

    In order to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear programme for the construction of weapons of mass destruction ("WMD"), the UN Security Council from July 2006 onwards passed a series of resolutions by which several foreign trade restrictions were imposed on Iran. Consequently, the EU too enacted a series of restrictive measures against Iran through which the UN resolutions have been implemented and materially amended. The EU has imposed additional sanctions against Iran due to human rights infringements and internal repression in Iran. Currently, the following EU trade restrictions are in place:  read more

    In the recent times, warranty and after sales service problems have occurred on the sales of imported and cheaper goods on the internet except the sales by authorized distributor. It has been discussed for a long time whether parallel import is permissible in Turkish law. Now, this matter is discussed by consumers and importers as well.
  • Evaluation in Mediation

    Proponents of the purist approach to mediation argue that evaluative mediation is not mediation at all. In 1996, Professor Riskin produced a grid (“Riskin’s Grid”), in an attempt to encompass within it the various dispute resolution methods commonly referred to as mediation. The Grid gave rise to a controversy amongst writers because it included evaluative mediation. This article explores the limits of mediation by considering the extent to which evaluation can be used in mediation without deviating from the basic principles upon which mediation developed.  Evaluation in Mediation "Read more..."
  • Changes to New Zealand’s anti-dumping laws

    Changes to New Zealand’s anti-dumping laws
  • New health and safety laws passed by New Zealand Parliament

    New health and safety laws passed by Parliament
  • Removal of sanctions against Iran

    Removal of sanctions against Iran Ian Gault , Partner and  Andy Glenie , Senior Associate | Tuesday 25 August 2015 Since 2006, the international community led by the United Nations (UN) Security Council has imposed a range of sanctions against Iran in response to its nuclear development programme. 1

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007

    On the 18th January 2015, Malta ratified the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks 2007, (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Nairobi Convention' or ‘the Convention').
  • Penkov, Markov & Partners welcome to Sofia colleagues from 19 countries

    On May 31 st and June 1 st 2015 Penkov, Markov & Partners hosted 38 colleagues – lawyers from most reputable law firms from 19 countries, including many European countries – Austria CHSH CerhaHempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati , Belgium Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick , Germany Noerr LLP , Portugal MLGTS , Switzerland ( Pestalozzi ), Liechtenstein ( Marxer & Partner ), Poland ( Wardynski & Partners ), the Czech Republic ( PRK Partners ), Hungary ( Nagy és Trócsányi ), Serbia ( JPM Jankovic, Popovic & Mitic ), Cyprus ( Dr. K. Chrysostomides & Co LLC ), Sweden ( Advokatfirman Vinge KB ), Lithuania ( Valiunas Ellex ), Scotland ( Maclay Murray & Spens LLP ), Slovenia ( Odvetniki Selih & partnerji ), as well as the US ( Butzel Long ; Bass, Berry Sims PLC ; Baker Botts LLP ; Steptoe & Johnson LLP ), Canada ( Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP ) and Singapore ( Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP .
  • Avellum strengthens its Dispute Resolution practice with hire of new partner, Dmytro Marchukov

    Avellum Partners welcomes Dmytro Marchukov as the new Partner and the Head of Dispute Resolution Practice.

    Avellum Partners welcomes Dmytro Marchukov as the new Partner and the Head of Dispute Resolution Practice.
  • Stephen Baker Ranked as the Only Jersey Lawyer to Make Top Legal List

    Stephen Baker , Senior Partner at Jersey based law firm  Baker & Partners , has been ranked as one of the top lawyers in the field of asset tracing and recovery by  Who’s Who Legal .   
  • Penkov, Markov and Partners Law Office and AmCham Organized Their First Joint Art Cocktail

    The law firm “Penkov, Markov & Partners” together with AmCham fulfilled their long planned idea to organize the first of its kind Art Cocktail in the office premises of PM&P. The event presented both modern Bulgarian Painters and Sculptors and as it happened, brought business and people together.
  • Dataquest Business Technology Awards 2015

    Anand and Anand has been awarded for excellence in the category of “Big Data/Analytics” at Dataquest Business Technology Awards  held on August 19, 2015 at The Hyatt, Mumbai. 
  • "The Practice of International Arbitration"

    Christos Georgiades & Associates LLC, the ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF), the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) Young & International, the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), and Young ICCA are pleased to announce that an international arbitration conference will take place in Cyprus -Paphos on 18 September 2015, entitled "The Practice of International Arbitration".
  • Bär & Karrer: 3 August 2015 - Tiwel Holding Announces Public Tender Offer

    Tiwel Holding AG, Switzerland, a company controlled by the Renova group, today announced a mandatory public tender offer for all publicly held shares of Sulzer AG, which is listed on SIX Swiss Exchange and headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland.  Sulzer AG holds interests in technology companies and other enterprises specializing in pump solutions, rotating equipment maintenance and services as well as separation, reaction and mixing technology. Tiwel offers CHF 99.20 per Sulzer share. Before launching the mandatory offer, Tiwel purchased a certain number of shares in Sulzer and thereby crossed the threshold of 33 1 /3 %, triggering the obligation to launch a mandatory offer. When launching the offer, Tiwel, together with the parties acting in concert with it, owned 33.36% of the shares in Sulzer. Currently, Sulzer has 34,262,370 issued registered shares.
  • Bär & Karrer: 7 August 2015 - PKB Privatbank Reaches Agreement With the US Department of Justice

    Within the framework of the US program in which it participated voluntarily, PKB Privatbank reached a non-prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice. PKB Privatbank agreed to pay USD 6.3 million and to further cooperate with US authorities. In return, the US Department of Justice will abstain from criminal prosecution. The penalty amounts to approx. 1.9 percent of the total assets held by PKB Privatbank's US clients.