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Venezuela > Public law > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Baker McKenzie SC has extensive experience advising corporate clients on Venezuela’s changing regulatory landscape, including assisting clients affected by expropriation measures and price control regulations. María Fernanda Zajía, who heads the firm’s government relations and contracts group, and Martha Cohen are advising Elca Cosméticos on the marking of prices and the cap on profit margins enforced by the National Superintendence for the Defense of Socio Economic Rights. Other work included assisting Oracle in identifying and addressing compliance risks.

D’Empaire Reyna Abogados impresses with the scope of its public law practice; it acts for clients affected by expropriation measures and nationalisation, advises on freedom of speech matters, and also handles economic crime matters involving regulatory breaches. It also has notable expertise acting for broadcasting clients, and José Valentín González is part of a team representing Radio Caracas Radio – a broadcaster openly critical of the government – in challenging a fine imposed by the Venezuelan telecoms agency for alleged violations of social responsibility laws by one of its talk show hosts. José Humberto Frías is also noted.

Leĝa Abogados provides ‘a very good level of service’. Public procurement is a central pillar of its practice, the team having advised on an array of defence, transport and electricity projects, among others, but it is also well regarded for public law disputes, lobbying and general administrative law matters. José Gregorio Torrealba, who ‘makes himself available at short notice’ and is ‘well connected to various resources in Venezuela’, and Alejandro Gallotti are advising Airbus Helicopters on its decision to suspend maintenance of military helicopters, which was governed by a public procurement contract, due to the Venezuelan air force’s alleged failure to pay for the services rendered; work has included analysing other remedies available to the client, including the possibility of initiating international arbitration proceedings. The firm also assisted the Canadian Bank Note Company in relation to its participation in a bidding process to manufacture banknote paper. The sizeable team includes Román José Duque-Corredor, who formerly served as a justice at Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice. Note: the firm changed its name to Lega Abogados with effect from March 8th 2018.

Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez attracts praise for its ‘great service and fast response times’. It stands out for its expertise in regulated industries, as well as its work in areas such as expropriation, public procurement, currency exchange controls, and consumer protection. The group is assisting an Argentinean state-owned company in preparing a permit request to operate a satellite over Venezuelan territory; and advised global online marketplace OLX on the applicability of the Organic Law for Fair Prices concerning the sale of domestic animals and used cars. Practice head Margarita Escudero León, María Verónica Espina Molina and Nelly Herrera Bond are recommended.

Araquereyna’s ‘excellent’ and ‘professional’ team is ‘proactive in communicating new regulations’ to clients. Practice head Antonio Canova is ‘a strong character and a fighter’, and ‘one of the few lawyers willing to litigate against the Venezuelan government’. He and senior associate Rodrigo Moncho Stefani are acting for Industrias Alimenticias Hermo de Venezuela in petitioning for an annulment of a decision of the Exchange Control Authority concerning foreign currency. Pedro Sosa is assisting Midea Electric Trading in relation to matters of public procurement law. Gabriel Ruan Santos is also noted.

Ayala, Dillon, Fernández, Linares Consultores Jurídicos advises a mix of local and private sector companies on their relationships with the Venezuelan government; the practice covers privatisations, bid tenders, applications for constitutional injunctions, and the defence of clients’ rights before government agencies in administrative and regulatory proceedings. The firm also has an ‘excellent’ human rights practice, acting for clients before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Carlos Ayala Corao is the key name.

Badell & Grau Legal Consultants’ expertise in this space includes advising on constitutional law, public procurement and expropriations, and acting for clients in regulated industries. Rafael Badell Madrid has held various judicial and academic positions, and is highly esteemed by peers.

Grau García Hernández & Mónaco has a strong track record advising public and private sector clients on their relationships with the state. Areas of expertise include the telecoms industry, economic matters (such as price/exchange control regulations, and regulations concerning the production and distribution of products), and other matters involving state intervention. Gustavo Adolfo Grau Fortoul and Miguel José Mónaco Gómez are the key names.

Norton Rose Fulbright has refocused its practice in recent years away from the public law aspects of M&A onto a broader range of regulatory issues. Practice head Luis Ernesto Andueza is part of a team handling various matters for Delta Air Lines concerning its decision to cancel inbound and outbound flights to Venezuela, including assisting the client in relation to inspections and audits undertaken by state entities. The team has also advised broadcaster Fox on the applicability of pricing law and other matters.

Palacios, Torres, Crespo & Korody is representing the Venezuelan association of hospitals and clinics in demanding the annulment of price regulations concerning private health services. The team also has substantial expertise in fair pricing legislation. Leonardo Palacios, José Gregorio Torres and Juan Korody are the key contacts.

Torres, Plaz & Araujo has been active in fair pricing matters, with recent work including advising Bacardi on regulations issued by the government’s Fair Prices Superintendent. Other work included assisting Turner Broadcasting Services Latin America in relation to advertising regulations. The team is also highly regarded for its work in administrative appeals and other constitutional relief actions. Juan Domingo Alfonzo Paradisi is the key name.

WDA legal, S.C. has a track record advising foreign investors on negotiating settlements concerning the nationalisation of companies in various sectors. The group also handles judicial litigation, and acts for clients facing administrative investigations. Hernando Díaz-Candia is experienced in the regulatory and government-related aspects of energy projects.

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