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Who Represents Who

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Baker McKenzie SC handles a range of financing and capital markets transactions for its international corporate clients. It is experienced in advising foreign banks on cross-border transactions, increasingly assists companies in exchange control matters, and also designs and implements corporate finance structures. Maritza Mészáros is advising Oxiteno Andina on acquisition financing, financial regulations, and exchange and price control regulations. Alvaro Posada handled various matters for Toyota Financial Services Venezuela, including assisting in the design of a new product for dealer financing and advising on an issuance of bonds. Pedro Crisafulli provides financing advice to Pernod Ricard. Alfonso Porras is also noted.

D’Empaire Reyna Abogados handles headline financing transactions in the Venezuelan market, acting for an outstanding roster of international banks. Its banking and finance practice extends to capital markets transactions, with Carlos Omaña and Fulvio Italiani recently advising Haitong Bank, as dealer manager, on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s $5bn bond issue, due 2036. Other work included handling regulatory matters for BNP Paribas, and advising Royal Bank of Scotland on winding down its operations in Venezuela. Senior associate Paula Serra is also noted.

Leĝa Abogados is ‘one of the top law firms in Venezuela and Latin America generally’, and stands out for its ‘expertise in banking and finance matters, accompanied by a solid understanding of international law and familiarity with the local environment’. The team has an impressive track record advising high-profile Asian banks on loans to the Venezuelan government, and it is also active in banking litigation. It is currently advising Evolvere Partners and Evolvere Capital Venezuela on establishing a private equity fund to operate in Venezuela, which has included advising on banking regulations applicable to the private equity sector. Jorge Acedo-Prato and Miguel Rivero co-head the practice. Other clients include Bank Leumi and Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi. Note: the firm changed its name to Lega Abogados with effect from March 8th 2018.

Norton Rose Fulbright has an established financing practice and a strong track record advising foreign insurers on insuring risks in Venezuela, as well as assisting in relation to offshore insurance products. Rubén Eduardo Luján, who co-heads the Latin American banking and finance practice and divides his time between Toronto and Caracas, has extensive experience in energy and asset-based financing. Natalija Vojvodic handles project financing, and is a key name for insurance and reinsurance matters; and Daniela Jaimes’ experience includes energy, commodities, trade and shipping financing. AXA, Allianz and Bank of Montreal are among its clients.

Araquereyna impresses with the scope of its practice, covering banking regulatory matters, insurance-related mandates and issues concerning securities. Practice head Pedro Planchart’s team was strengthened by the arrival of experienced practitioner Gustavo Reyna from D’Empaire Reyna Abogados in 2016. Chubb Insurance, Venezuelan private bank Bancaribe, and UBS are among its clients.

Despacho de Abogados Miembro de Hogan Lovells is best known for handling financing transactions for Venezuelan state-owned companies, where it regularly joins forces with counterparts in the firm’s international offices. Practice head Bruno Ciuffetelli, who divides his time between Houston and Caracas, was part of a cross-office team advising Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) on obtaining a $1bn loan from Gazprombank through an oil-backed prepayment facility; the loan is intended to be used to expand the infrastructure at the Petrozamora project, in which the lender is also a shareholder. Ciuffetelli and Gonzalo Rodriguez-Matos were also part of a team advising PDVSA on a $5bn bond issue.

InterJuris Abogados is firmly established as a go-to firm for energy financing, and benefits from several members of the team having previously worked in-house with energy sector powerhouses. Juan José Delgado and Gabriela Rachadell de Delgado were part of a team advising DP Delta Finance on the $1.3bn financing of PetroDelta, a company involved in the exploration and production of crude oil in Venezuela. Other work included advising Enerset Power Solutions on the financing of a power plant construction at Maracaibo Lake, and assisting Consorcio Nacional Petrolero in drafting and negotiating shareholder loan agreements. María Cecilia Rachadell has notable project finance expertise.

The banking and finance practice at Mendoza Palacios Acedo Borjas Páez Pumar & Cía has a broad remit that includes insurance mandates, where the firm is able to draw on the expertise of insurance specialist and practice head Carlos Eduardo Acedo Sucre. The team handles reinsurance coverage, exchange control regulations and registrations with the regulator, for clients including Munich Reinsurance and Tokio Marine. Banking litigation is another area of strength; recent activity includes defending Banco Espírito Santo, in liquidation, against claims pursued by purchasers of bonds issued by other entities within the Espírito Santo Financial Group. Among its other work, it has been assisting Citibank in relation to its activities in Venezuela, including advising on the types of products it is able to offer in the Venezuelan market. Luisa Acedo de Lepervanche is also recommended.

Rodner, Martínez & Asociados acts for banks, export promotion agencies and multilateral entities, as well as multinational corporations with operations in Venezuela. Its recent work includes advising on project and corporate financing, and amendments to existing facilities. In 2016 it handled financing transactions with an aggregate value of more than $1.9bn. Name partners James-Otis Rodner and Jaime Martínez Estévez are the key practitioners.

Palacios, Ortega y Asociados, which acts for domestic banks and the local branches of international banks, is experienced in advising on banking regulations, secured and syndicated loan transactions, and structured and project financing. Luis Esteban Palacios is noted for his expertise in financing transactions.

Raffalli de Lemos Halvorssen Ortega y Ortiz undertakes all aspects of financing work, as well as assisting clients in developing and implementing new products. Other work included assisting in relation to financial lease and factoring transactions. Key names include Jose Manuel Ortega Sosa and Rafael de Lemos Matheus.

Rodríguez & Mendoza has a track record in loan structuring and debt restructuring matters, and advises foreign banks on establishing operations in the country. On the capital markets side, the group has handled stock issues and asset securitisations. Reinaldo Hellmund is singled out for his financing expertise.

Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez’s practice, led by Gustavo Planchart Pocaterra, regularly advises on Venezuela’s ever-changing banking regulatory landscape. The team includes a number of individuals appointed to serve on the boards of Venezuelan banks.

At Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz, former stockbroker Luis Tinoco Arria and Pedro Rengel Nuñez are the key names. The firm has advised local and foreign banks on loan and credit restructuring agreements, security arrangements, investments, debt financing and service agreements. It has also advised issuers, underwriters, investment banks and financial advisers on the public placement and offering of stocks, bonds, commercial papers and public tender offers.

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