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


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  2. Leading lawyers
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Baker McKenzie SC’s team is able to leverage the firm’s considerable global footprint to act for an impressive list of clients, including AstraZeneca, IMS Health and Telefónica. Recent work includes handling collective bargaining negotiations, employment litigation, labour audits, and the employment aspects of global M&A for corporations operating in Venezuela. The group also has notable expertise advising on privacy issues and implementing whistleblowing hotlines for its international clients. Practice head Carlos Felce, who also serves as chair of the firm’s Latin American employment and compensation group, is highly regarded for restructuring and downsizing matters. Mariana Roso is recommended for employment mobility matters, including executive transfers; and Gustavo Nieto is a key name for collective bargaining and employment litigation. Senior associates Andreina Ortega and Daniel Fragiel are also recommended.

D’Empaire Reyna Abogados has an impressive track record in high-stakes litigation. In one recent highlight, Victorino Márquez, supported by associate Biba Arciniegas, is representing the US Department of Justice in a test case before the employment courts involving state immunity issues. The team is also highly regarded for collective bargaining mandates, thanks in part to the presence on the team of Alejandro Disilvestro, who is a specialist in the area and is currently assisting wood products company Masisa in relation to a collective bargaining procedure to settle disputes over benefits and working conditions. Other work included negotiating the termination of Guardian Industries’ workforce following the decision to wind-up its operations in Venezuela, and advising Rosneft on amendments to its compensation scheme. Associate Aixa Añez is another name to note.

Leĝa Abogados’s ‘excellent’ team has an impressive track record in significant contentious matters, and also handles advisory work. John Tucker-Barboza is advising baseball teams the Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs on employment terminations, and María Elena Subero has assisted various clients in the employment aspects of closing offices in the country. Pablo Benavente, who provides ‘a high level of service’ and ‘thinks outside the box’, advised Megalicores La Castellana during its inspection by the labour inspectorate and subsequently conducted a labour audit for the client. Also recommended are collective bargaining specialist Carlos Henríquez and Natalia De Paz Garmendia. Note: the firm changed its name to Lega Abogados with effect from March 8th 2018.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘excellent’ team has extensive advocacy experience, and secured several notable successes before the employment courts and the Supreme Tribunal of Justice over the course of 2016. Juan Carlos Pró-Rísquez and Yanet Aguiar represented MRW Mensajero Radio Worldwide before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice in a dispute with the owner of a contractor who had alleged the existence of an employment relationship rather than a business partnership; the court ruled in favour of the client. Pró-Rísquez, Aguiar and Esther Cecilia Blondet were part of a team acting for Comercializadora Snacks & Pepsico Alimentos before the social cassation chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice; the firm successfully secured the ratification of the decision of an appeal court which held that overtime pay did not apply as the workforce was not limited by a regular work schedule. A further area of strength for the team is negotiating collective bargaining agreements; in one recent example, the team assisted Aga Gas in averting a strike without ceding to union demands; Pró-Rísquez and Eirys Mata Marcano led the advice. Other clients include Chevron and American Airlines.

Araquereyna has a broad human resources practice, handling social security matters alongside labour mandates. Its recent work includes assisting with collective bargaining agreements, negotiating contract terminations, updating companies’ labour policies, and handling employment litigation. Clients include Nokia Networks, BSN medical, and Kuehne + Nagel. Simón Jurado-Blanco is an employment law specialist, and Luis Alfredo Araque’s track record includes advising on labour law reforms. Alexis Aguirre is highly regarded for collective bargaining matters, employment consultations and proceedings. Associate Patricia Lozada Pérez is also noted.

Employment boutique Labor – Gestión de Gente is ‘really good at everything related to collective contracts and mediating labour conflicts’. The group, which has a strong reputation for its work in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors, handled various matters for Laboratorios Leti, including advising on the correct application of the collective labour agreement concerning working conditions in the pharmaceutical sector, assisting in relation to labour terminations, and negotiating with the unions. The team also provides ongoing labour and employment advice to the publisher of Venezuela’s El Nacional newspaper. Carlos Rivera Salazar is a ‘standout’ name with ‘excellent negotiation skills’ and the ‘ability to listen to and understand the client’s situation and needs, and develop a specific strategy’. Pedro Uriola González ‘always has a solution to a problem’.

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz’s practice covers employment contracts, negotiations with unions, proceedings before judicial and administrative bodies, and health and safety at work matters. Senior associate José Ramón Sánchez is a key name for employment litigation, and regularly handles procedures before administrative courts across Venezuela. Oscar Ignacio Torres, Hernando Barboza Russian and Julio César Pinto are the names to note at partner level.

InterJuris Abogados is appreciated for its ‘excellent response times, and pragmatic and concise solutions that are easy to implement’. Angel Meléndez Cardoza, who has ‘a great work ethic’, is handling various matters for key client Industria Láctea de Venezuela, including defending the client against claims brought by employees alleging diminished labour conditions and petitioning for the recognition of labour benefits established in a collective bargaining agreement. The team also handles employment restructuring work.

Littler Mendelson, P.C.’s Caracas office was its first in Latin America and, despite the firm opening in several other jurisdictions since, its Venezuela team covers employment matters across Latin America, while also maintaining a strong domestic offering. Key names include chair of the firm’s Latin America practice Juan Carlos Varela; labour litigation specialist Liliana Salazar; and Ricardo Alonso, who has notable expertise in labour management relations. Emma Neher has left the firm.

Mendoza Palacios Acedo Borjas Páez Pumar & Cía handles significant contentious matters for corporations and senior executives. Esteban Palacios Lozada is part of a team representing the former president of GMAC Venezuela, an expatriate worker, in pursuing claims for severance payments and compensation benefits, involving issues of jurisdiction concerning exchange control regulations. The group also handles general labour law matters for international clients and their subsidiaries.

Palacios, Ortega y Asociados’ experience covers collective bargaining agreements, employment litigation before the administrative authorities and courts, and the employment aspects of transactional matters. José Manuel Ortega Pérez is the key name.

Rodríguez & Mendoza has extensive experience negotiating collective bargaining agreements for clients in sectors including pharmaceuticals and manufacturing. The team also handles employment compliance matters and litigation. Enrique Itriago Alfonzo serves as an arbitrator for labour disputes.

Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez has a strong track record in relation to employment contracts, collective bargaining agreements, and employment litigation. The employment group also covers areas such as health and safety, social security, immigration and pensions. Carlos Lepervanche Michelena and Eddy David De Sousa Pereira are key names in the team.

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