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Venezuela > Labour and employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Labour and employment
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Baker McKenzie SC has a team of labour lawyers ‘of the highest professional calibre’ and the practice group is jointly led by Carlos Felce and Manuel Díaz Mujica. The ‘competent, committed and professional ’ Felce is particularly recommended for personnel reduction matters, while Díaz Mujica combines ‘deep understanding of clients’ business’ with ‘vast experience’ in collective bargaining matters. Mariana Roso is also recommended. Given the current economic conditions in Venezuela, much of the firm’s recent work has been related to restructurings, the closure of operations, and cost and personnel reductions, including collective bargaining matters. The team also has experience in settlement agreements, compensation and benefit plans, the transfer of international employees, and labour audits and compliance issues, as well as litigation. Clients include Astra Zeneca, Bimbo, IMS Health, and Toyota.

D’Empaire Reyna Abogados’ ‘excellent’ practice stands out for its experience with collective bargaining and M&A-related labour issues. It also assists clients with personnel reductions and the international transfer of employees, and provides ongoing advice to many longstanding clients. Victorino Márquez recently assisted Masisa’s subsidiary, Fibranova, with collective bargaining negotiations encompassing 800 employees and around 3000 independent contractors; and acted for Energizer regarding the implementation of a negotiated mass dismissal as a result of the termination of its operations in Venezuela. Alejandro Disilvestro assisted Citibank with the international transfer of several executives to render services in various jurisdictions, and represented Syngenta in a labour dispute with former employees. Other clients include Chevron, Del Monte, McDonald’s, and Visa.

The ‘excellent’ team at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque has a remarkable track record of successful labour litigation, as well as extensive experience with collective bargaining agreements and the negotiation of mass dismissals. The firm has recently assisted several clients with restructuring measures and reductions in their workforce; this includes: Agrekko, Banesco Seguros, Renault, SAS Institute, Samsung, Mitsui, and Vida Herbal. It also advised Abbot, Bayer, Cosmedica, and Symrise on inspections by the labour inspector’s office regarding compliance with regulations on outsourcing. Recent litigation work includes the defence of the Tampa Bay Rays against a lawsuit by a former contractor who is claiming employment benefits as if he were an employee. Pablo Benavente, María Elena Subero, and John Tucker Barboza co-head the practice, in which Carlos Alberto Henríquez and Mark Melilli Silva are also highly rated.

Norton Rose Fulbright is one of the ‘very best’ firms for labour matters in Venezuela. The ‘outstanding’ team is praised for the ‘quality of the services and short response times’. It stands out for its track record in successful labour litigation up to the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, and also has plenty of experience in collective bargaining and the negotiation of terminations. Recent work includes the successful representation of Atento de Venezuela in an appeal against a fine imposed for alleged failure to comply with occupational safety regulations; representing BAT’s subsidiary, Cigarrera Bigot, in a labour dispute before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice regarding payment for work on rest days; and acting for PepsiCo in a rescissory action against a decision by the labour inspector’s office to reinstate a group of workers who had resigned only to subsequently claim they were forced to do so. Other clients include Chevron, Johnson & Johnson, and Schlumberger. ‘Knowledgeable’ practice head Juan Carlos Pró-Rísquez is recommended, along with Esther Cecilia Blondet, Yanet Aguiar, and Eirys Mata Marcano.

The ‘very experienced’ labour law team at Araquereyna has been active in the negotiation of individual and collective agreements, administrative procedures, and litigation. The firm also has a notable immigration practice and acts for multinational companies which employ expatriates. Recent work includes advising on the transfer of employees involved in the sale of Indra Venezuela to American KPO. Other clients include General Motors, Kuehne + Nagel, MAERSK, and Microsoft. Luis Alfredo Araque has a longstanding reputation as a labour law expert. Practice head Simón Jurado-Blanco and Alexis Aguirre are also recommended. Gonzalo Ponte-Dávila left the firm to become a sole practitioner.

The ‘very good’ boutique Labor – Gestión de Gente is particularly strong in the out-of-court mediation and arbitration of labour disputes, and also has experience in areas such as downsizing and collective bargaining. Recent work includes assisting the three Venezuelan chemical and pharmaceutical industry associations with their collective bargaining on behalf of more than a hundred enterprises, advising Productos EFE on the implementation of its collective bargaining agreement, and representing Laboratorios LETI in an appeal against a decision by the labour inspector’s office. Carlos Rivera Salazar and Renzo Gagliardi are recommended. Pedro Uriola joined the firm in 2015.

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz has a broad practice covering the negotiation of individual employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements, compliance with health and safety regulations, as well as the representation of clients before the administrative authorities and the courts. Oscar Ignacio Torres leads the team from the firm’s Caracas office, while Hernando Barboza Russian is the key contact in Maracaibo, and Julio César Pinto in Valencia.

Littler Mendelson, P.C. has a large team dedicated to labour law matters, including litigation and alternative dispute resolution, executive transfers, and the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements. Recommended individuals include practice head Juan Carlos Varela, who also leads the international practice for Latin America; Ricardo Alonso, who is a labour-relations expert; Emma Neher, who focuses on advisory matters; and litigation specialist Liliana Salazar.

Mendoza Palacios Acedo Borjas Páez Pumar & Cía is particularly noted for its strength in labour litigation, but also has remarkable experience assisting its clients with collective bargaining agreements. A highlight was the successful representation of MSD Farmacéutica in a trial before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice regarding a claim by a pharmaceutical representative. The team also assists Coca-Cola with day-to-day labour matters. Litigator Esteban Palacios Lozada is recommended.

Palacios, Ortega y Asociados has longstanding experience in labour law matters, including the negotiation of contracts and collective bargaining agreements, the employment law aspects of corporate transactions, compliance issues regarding working conditions, severance payments, and litigation. Founding partner José Manuel Ortega is recommended.

Rodríguez & Mendoza’s experienced and well-established practice regularly assists with the drafting and negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, as well as advising on individual labour agreements. It has also advised many clients on compliance with labour regulation. Enrique Itriago is a well-known expert.

Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez’s practice covers health and safety at work, occupational accidents and disease, social security matters, and immigration. Recent work includes defending Nestlé against claims by multiple former employees regarding occupational diseases, and representing Pesquera Pezatún in a dispute with former employees regarding the calculation of benefits. Other clients include Banco Mercantil and Coca-Cola. Carlos Lepervanche Michelena and Eddy De Sousa are key contacts.

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