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Venezuela > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Baker McKenzie SC covers the full range of litigation, arbitration and mediation services, and often manages complex, high-stake cases that involve several jurisdictions. Arbitration expert Eugenio Hernández-Bretón and litigator José Henrique D’Apollo lead the dispute resolution practice together. Former practice co-head Henry Torrealba retired, and Edmundo Martínez and Alejandro Lares have left the firm to start their own boutique practice.

On the arbitration side, D’Empaire Reyna Abogados’ team is particularly noted for its representation of expropriated clients in ICSID cases, but the practice group also has experience with ICC and AAA cases, as well as local arbitration under CEDCA rules. The litigation team has broad experience, particularly in corporate and shareholder disputes, as well as contentious banking and finance matters. Recent work includes the representation of Tenaris in ICSID arbitration proceedings against Venezuela regarding the expropriation of its majority-owned subsidiary Matesi Materiales Siderurgicos. Pedro Perera is recommended for litigation and arbitration while José Humberto Frías is particularly recommended for ICSID matters.

The ‘outstanding’ practice at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque has experience in both civil and commercial cases, particular experience of banking and transportation matters, and stands out for its expertise in criminal law. Recent work includes the successful representation of Bayer in a $640m dispute with Habitek Industrial regarding the leasing of warehouses; acting for Mr Feliciano Pacanins in a dispute between two Venezuelan beneficiaries of a Curaçao-based foundation in liquidation; and the representation of Proyecto Barlovento in arbitration proceedings against Promotora Eco-Barlovento concerning an alleged breach of contract regarding a hotel development project. Practice head Carlos Dominguez and Mark Melilli Silva are recommended for civil litigation, Xiomara Magdaleno de Rodríguez is a criminal law expert, and Román José Duque-Corredor and José Gregorio Torrealba are key contacts for arbitration.

The ‘excellent’ team at Norton Rose Fulbright is particularly known for its representation of oil-and-gas clients, but the practice is much broader, also covering the financial services, insurance, and construction sectors. Recent work includes representing Venezuelan Heavy Industries (Vhicoa), as plaintiff, in a dispute regarding the breaching of a construction contract; and defending Fertiven in arbitration with Metalurgica Gabor regarding the construction of a fertilizer plant. Ramón Alvins and Bernardo Wallis are experienced in both litigation and arbitration, while Pedro Saghy is particularly recommended for arbitration. Elisabeth Eljuri left the firm to join Sierra Oil and Gas in Mexico.

The ‘very good’ team at Araquereyna includes the experienced litigators Rafael Aneas and Pedro Sosa, as well as the ADR experts Marcos Carrillo and Luis Alfredo Araque. Examples of recent work include the defence of construction consortium Consorcio El Sitio against damage claims by the Monsuserca Group arising from a construction agreement to build power plants; and acting for Philip Morris (as an interested third party) in a lawsuit brought by the consumer protection association FEVACU against the Venezuelan government for lack of compliance with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Mendoza Palacios Acedo Borjas Páez Pumar & Cía has a ‘very strong’ litigation team that regularly handles civil, administrative and criminal cases for a variety of clients, and is especially noted for its ‘highly respected’ appellate practice, which regularly represents clients before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. For example, Rosemary Thomas and Esteban Palacios Lozada successfully defended MSD Farmacéutica in a precedent-setting labour dispute before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. Carlos Eduardo Acedo Sucre is well-regarded for both litigation and arbitration.

The ‘excellent’ practice at Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez is particularly recommended for contentious banking and finance matters. It continues to defend Novo Banco (formerly Banco Espirito Santo) against several claims from clients regarding the sale of financial products, while other recent work includes handling several insurance disputes for Mercantil Seguros. It also continues to represent Dell’Acqua in ICC arbitration with YPERGAS regarding the installation of gas pipelines. Practice head Carlos Lepervanche Michelena is recommended for commercial litigation and arbitration, and Roberto Yepes Soto is the key contact for criminal law matters.

WDA legal, S.C. is noted for its strength in arbitration. Recent work includes the representation of Venezuelan investor-group Inversión y Gestión de Bienes in ICSID arbitration against the Kingdom of Spain; acting for Corporación Alivari in a CEDCA arbitration; assisting Cadbury Adams with the enforcement of an arbitral award in Venezuela; and serving as local co-counsel in several ICSID arbitrations against Venezuela. Hernando Díaz-Candia and Bernardo Weininger head the practice. The firm has also recently entered into a cooperation agreement with the newly-founded, Miami-based dispute resolution boutique Recor Rieber to better serve clients in the US.

Despacho de Abogados Miembro de Hogan Lovells is particularly noted for representing the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its state-owned enterprises in international arbitration proceedings. Recent work includes representation of the Venezuelan government in an arbitration brought by Gambrinus regarding the expropriation of a fertilizer plant, and representing PDVSA in ICC arbitration against SIMCO for the termination of an oil fields water-injection contract. Practice head Bruno Ciuffetelli divides his time between the firm’s Caracas and Houston offices.

Boutique firm Mezgravis & Asoc has a strong reputation for investment-related disputes, expropriation cases, and construction law disputes. Recent highlights include the representation of Verde Sociedad Financiera in investment arbitration against the Venezuelan government regarding the expropriation of Casa Propia bank, and the representation of Highbury International, Compañía Minera de Bajo Caroní and Ramstein Trading in ICSID proceedings regarding a mining concession against the Venezuelan government. Andrés Mezgravis is a former chair and co-founder of the arbitration committee of the Venezuelan-American Chamber of Commerce.

At Torres, Plaz & Araujo, Jesús Escudero and his team are particularly noted for handling contentious banking and finance matters, but also cover the wider area of commercial disputes. The practice represents Banco Occidental de Descuento in several litigations against clients; and has been representing Chrysler in product liability lawsuits, as well as in a claim against a shipping company for loss of cargo. The team is also active with several contentious family matters for private clients. Other clients include William Grant and Sons, Manufacturas de Papel (Manpa) and Starr Aviation.

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz has been active, recently, representing clients in civil and commercial litigation and arbitration arising from engineering, procurement and construction contracts. The team also acts in relation to agency, distribution, association and supply agreements, and the enforcement of contracts and guarantees. Pedro Rengel Nuñez is the practice head.

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