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Venezuela > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution
  2. Leading lawyers
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Baker McKenzie SC’s team is regularly engaged in high-stakes investment treaty arbitration against the Venezuelan government. The group is representing Longreef Investors in an ICSID investment arbitration under the Netherlands-Venezuela bilateral investment treaty (BIT). Practice head Eugenio Hernández-Bretón has considerable expertise in the oil and gas sector, and is serving as Venezuelan legal expert to PetroSaudi Oil Services Venezuela in its arbitration with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela concerning a public procurement contract between the client and state-owned PDVSA. Maria Eugenia Salazar and Gabriel de Jesús are also noted. José Henrique D’Apollo has retired.

D’Empaire Reyna Abogados is involved in high-profile arbitration across a range of forums, but also has an impressive commercial litigation practice. Pedro Perera is representing Venezuelan cable television network RCTV International in a copyright claim regarding a soap opera. José Humberto Frías is noted for nationalisation-related ICSID disputes, with his recent work in this area including acting for Serafín García Armas in an UNCITRAL arbitration concerning the nationalisation of Venezuelan importer Alimentos Frisa.

Leĝa Abogados impresses with the scope of its practice, handling arbitration and litigation cases for clients in a range of sectors. Mark Melilli-Silva has handled various real estate disputes recently; he is defending Bayer in a property litigation claim concerning a damaged building, and is also defending Galpofinca in a decennial liability claim relating to the construction of a warehouse. Practice head Carlos Domínguez has substantial experience in white-collar criminal defence, and José Gregorio Torrealba is an international arbitration specialist. Lisette García Gandica is also noted. Note: the firm changed its name to Lega Abogados with effect from March 8th 2018.

Norton Rose Fulbright is well-versed in a wide range of litigation and arbitration disputes. Ramón Alvins and Pedro Saghy are acting for Consorcio B&P in a contractual dispute that marks the first time two consortia will be parties in an international arbitration involving Venezuela. Alvins and Bernardo Wallis are representing Venezuelan Heavy Industries in an arbitration with Dynamic Industries International before the Business Conciliation and Arbitration Centre arising from a contractual dispute.

Araquereyna is regularly instructed by significant domestic and international clients in complex commercial litigation and arbitration. Rafael Aneas, Pedro Sosa and Guido Mejía are part of a team acting for construction consortium Consorcio El Sitio in a breach of contract dispute with Group Monsuserca concerning the construction of power plants in Venezuela. Other work included handling consumer protection litigation for General Motors Venezolana. Marcos Carrillo and Luis Alfredo Araque are the key names for arbitration.

Mendoza Palacios Acedo Borjas Páez Pumar & Cía is noted for its strength in contentious banking, labour and insurance matters, and has a number of team members with considerable trial experience. Carlos Eduardo Acedo Sucre is part of a team representing Central La Pastora in a dispute with its insurer concerning policy coverage; the case is currently on appeal. The firm is also noted for its success in obtaining injunctions and its experience in appeals before the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. Diego Lepervanche is recommended for labour disputes.

Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez’s group is led by the ‘excellent’ Carlos Lepervanche Michelena. The team is a key name for banking and finance litigation; recent work in this space includes defending Novo Banco (formerly Banco Espírito Santo) in separate proceedings with state-owned banks Banco de Desarrollo Económico y Social de Venezuela and Fondo Nacional para el Desarrollo Nacional. The group also works closely with the firm’s tax and constitutional and administrative departments in handling contentious matters. Roberto Yepes Soto is also noted.

WDA legal, S.C.’s experience in this area includes representing private investors in BIT disputes and acting for the state in ICSID and ICC arbitrations. On the litigation side, the firm has a strong track record in antitrust and competition cases before the Venezuelan Superintendence for the Promotion and Protection of Free Competition, for clients from diverse industries. Hernando Díaz-Candia and Bernardo Weininger are the key contacts.

Despacho de Abogados Miembro de Hogan Lovells’ team has handled proceedings before the ICC, ICSID, the American Arbitration Association and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. It is best known in Venezuela for representing the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and other state entities; recent work includes securing the dismissal of a $70m expropriation claim filed in the US against Petroquímica de Venezuela. The team is also experienced in antitrust proceedings before Procompetencia. Bruno Ciuffetelli, who divides his practice between Houston and Caracas, Luis Bottaro and Gonzalo Rodriguez-Matos are key figures.

Specialist dispute resolution firm Mezgravis & Asoc stands out for its domestic and cross-border litigation and arbitration expertise. It acted as lead counsel for Valle Verde Sociedad Financiera in an ICSID dispute with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; and acted as co-counsel for Rusoro Mining in an investment arbitration also against the Venezuelan government. Andrés Mezgravis has previously served as chairman and co-founder of the arbitration committee of the Venezuelan-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Venamcham).

Torres, Plaz & Araujo’s team handles a wide range of commercial disputes, as well as representing private clients in contentious family matters. Recent work includes representing CA de Seguros La Occidental in cross-border litigation concerning an insurance contract, and handling product liability disputes for a pharmaceutical company. Luis Gonzalo Monteverde Mancera and Jesús Escudero Estévez are the names to note.

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz’s practice covers civil and commercial litigation, as well as domestic and international arbitration. The team has recently represented clients in contractual, unfair competition, bankruptcy and product liability disputes. It is especially noted for handling civil and commercial appeals before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. Pedro Rengel Nuñez is a member of Venamcham.

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