The Legal 500

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.

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Law firm managing partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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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
  • Aligning Our Interests – Regional Mobility In The Context Of Tourism

    At the recently held Summit 100 Business Forum in Sarajevo, many topics of contemporary relevance for the region of Southeast Europe were expectedly touched upon. Be it the supply of sustainable energy, the position of women in business, or the issues related to infrastructure & transport conditions, it was an opportunity for a number of prominent experts and government officials to weigh in with their opinions on how to improve the overall business situation in our region. However, one of the greatest impressions from the conference have been the discussions on the mobility of goods and people within our region, as well as the respective implications. Having in mind the beginning of summer being just a few days away, perhaps the most illustrative example in this regard can be the tourism industry and the ways in which it has been – or potentially can be – affected by such regulatory frameworks of SEE countries.
  • EBRD Activity In Serbia

    According to recent reports, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has plans of investing more than EUR 3 billion in the Western Balkans region, of which approximately EUR 300 million is assigned to Serbia.
  • Slovenian Competition Agency Adopts A Commitment Decision In The Hyundai Case

    On 12 March 2015, the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (" HAT "), the national distributor of Hyundai vehicles, together with a network of authorised repair shops for Hyundai motor vehicles.
  • Bosnian Diaspora Looks To Invest Back Home

    According to recent media reports, the Bosnian Central Bank (BCC) has presented information regarding the scope of investments made by the country's diaspora.  More precisely, it has been reported that more than EUR 1.5 billion of investments are being made by the Bosnian diaspora each year through remittances and formal channels – meaning that the exact figure is even larger when accounting for other, informally made investments which have been proven to exist. If to some these figures seem somewhat overblown, it should be noted that there are around 2 million registered citizens of BiH around the world, ranking the country 1 th in the world when looking at the share of immigrants in relation to the population, at the same time further showcasing the importance of diaspora's involvement in investment practices. 
  • Ikea Invests In A Designer Outlet Complex In Croatia

    ​Recent news reports show that IKEA, the world famous Swedish multinational retailer, is getting ready to invest EUR 88 million in the construction of a Designer Outlet complex in Croatia.
  • Karanović & Nikolić Attends TMA Europe Conference In Rome

    ​Turnaround Management Association (TMA) Europe held its ninth annual conference in Rome on 9 and 10 June. Partner at Karanović & Nikolić, Maja Jovančević Šetka , attended the conference as a board member of TMA Serbia.
  • NSTLAW takes part in the Briefing Session on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

    American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia has scheduled a Briefing Session on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act on Tuesday, June 21 at 15:00 at AmCham premises in Smiljaniceva 24, Belgrade.
  • GRP Rainer: Assessing intention to prepare a will

    A prerequisite for an effective will is a serious intention on the part of the testator to prepare one. Assessing any intention to draft a will can prove to be critical.
  • EGC: Winnetou to retain trademark protection for time being

    On March 18, 2016, the General Court of the European Union ruled that the well-known novel character Winnetou shall continue to enjoy trademark protection (Az.: T-501/13).
  • Maria Borzova gives expert opinion on pharmaceutical market situation on PharmVestnik-TV

    Manager of VEGAS LEX Life sciences projects Maria Borzova has discussed current pharmaceutical market issues in the 7 days in 7 minutes program on the PharmVestnik-TV channel.