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Venezuela > Tax > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Tax
  2. Leading lawyers
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Who Represents Who

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Baker McKenzie SC’s ‘unquestionably top-tier’ tax practice has a superlative reputation and is well known for handling regional as well as domestic mandates. The ‘excellent’ group covers tax planning and consultancy, wealth management, tax litigation, and the tax aspects of corporate restructuring, advising mainly foreign clients. Practice head Ronald Evans is ‘very well respected’, and Jorge Jraige and José P Barnola Jr are also noted.

D’Empaire Reyna Abogados has a highly regarded practice, providing a full range of tax advisory and litigation services to its corporate clients, and also stands out for its tax planning advice to high-net-worth individuals. The group has been active advising on the tax implications of the country’s foreign exchange control regulations; among its recent instructions, Alberto Benshimol and José Valecillos assisted Level 3 Communications in relation to the deduction of foreign exchange losses as a result of the devaluation of Venezuela’s currency. Other work included handling VAT and income tax issues for Bristol-Myers Squibb Venezuela, with Humberto Romero-Muci leading the advice. Weatherford and Rolex are also clients.

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque fields a team of ‘experts’ who have ‘in-depth legal knowledge’. The group handles advisory work, tax planning and the tax aspects of transactions, but has been particularly busy recently in tax litigation. Practice head Jesús Sol-Gil has ‘a high level of expertise’, and is part of a team representing the American Bureau of Shipping in a challenge concerning the tax authority’s refusal to acknowledge a right to an income tax exemption on the grounds that the client is a non-profit association; the Supreme Court’s decision is currently pending. Other work included acting for Rolex de Venezuela in a dispute with the tax authority concerning exchange loss deductions in bond swap operations. Elina Pou ‘takes time to go through all relevant aspects and explain in detail the legal options, risks and strategies to follow in each case’. Nathalie Rodríguez-París is a specialist in tax consultancy and tax planning, and Gonzalo Capriles is noted for his customs expertise.

The Venezuelan office of Norton Rose Fulbright has a broad practice ranging from tax consultancy to litigation. Managing partner Carlos Fernández-Smith focuses on tax and financial planning, but also has experience in VAT, income tax and municipal tax disputes. Fernándo Fernández Barroso, who has over 30 years’ experience, leads the firm’s oil and gas, mining, construction and services tax practice, while Leopoldo Escobar is the key name for international tax matters. The team’s impressive client roster includes Chevron, Colgate-Palmolive, Toyo Engineering Corporation and Statoil.

Torres, Plaz & Araujo stands out for its ‘strong technical background’ and its partners’ ‘direct involvement’ in matters. The group regularly advises on corporate taxation and regulatory matters, and is also handling over 200 proceedings before the Venezuelan courts. It is assisting Pepsico Alimentos Venezuela in relation to various tax planning and tax compliance issues, and has recently provided an analysis of inflation adjustment rules. It also has a strong track record acting for clients in the oil and gas industry, and is handling all tax-related matters for PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela), including advising on tax planning and conducting an analysis of federal and municipal taxes. Juan Carlos Garantón-Blanco’s knowledge of tax is ‘unsurpassed’. Managing partner Rodolfo Plaz Abreu, Valmy Díaz Ibarra and Valentina Cabrera Medina are the other names to note.

Araquereyna fields an ‘excellent’ team of ‘fast thinkers’ with ‘a practical’ approach. It covers tax planning, administrative procedures before the tax authorities and courts, and tax advisory work. Recent highlights include advising BSN medical on tax issues relating to import and export activities, the Fair Prices Master Act, exchange control regulations, and labour incentive plans. María Carolina Cano González, Gabriel Ruan Santos and Ingrid García Pacheco are the key names.

Palacios, Torres, Crespo & Korody provides ‘a high level of service’, and is ‘dedicated’ to its clients. It handles various tax matters for Schlumberger, including representing it in administrative and judicial proceedings before the municipal and national courts. Other work included advising Alice Neumáticos de Venezuela on transfer pricing and the potential risk of a gift tax on an international transaction. Juan Korody, who ‘thinks outside the box’, is able to combine ‘tax advice with a corporate point of view, which is not very common in the field’. Leonardo Palacios stands out for his understanding of tax legislation. José Gregorio Torres, as a former employee of the tax authority, has ‘a special understanding of its way of working’.

Rodríguez & Mendoza advises corporations and shareholders on domestic, international and municipal taxation. It is experienced both in representing clients in administrative and judicial proceedings and in advising on tax optimisation structures. Oswaldo Anzola is the key name.

Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez provides ‘sound legal advice’, and is recommended for tax optimisation matters, audits and tax litigation. Juan Carlos Castillo Carvajal, who started his career at an accounting firm, and senior partner Alfredo Travieso are the names to note.

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz’s tax and customs practice is ‘strong on tax planning’ and regularly advises on the tax aspects of transactions. It is also ‘very active in the courts’, where it handles tax appeals, the filing of defences, and applications for special rulings. The team also has experience reviewing legislation, and is sought for its advice on draft laws and regulations. Eduardo Travieso Uribe and Manuel Iturbe Alarcón are the key names.

Imery Urdaneta Calleja Itriago & Flamarique has a comprehensive tax offering, covering international, national and municipal taxation. It is particularly notable for its tax planning and tax optimisation expertise and its advice on legislative reform. Marcel Imery is a key contact along with Jean Itriago, who handles tax consultation, planning and litigation.

InterJuris Abogados covers matters ranging from transfer pricing to the tax aspects of corporate restructurings. María Leticia Perera Díaz was part of a team advising Hewlett Packard Enterprise on the tax implications of the spin-off of its enterprise services business. Anadaniella Sucre de Pró-Rísquez is representing Bestinvest Casa de Bolsa in a dispute with the municipal tax authority concerning tax on profits made on bonds and securities transactions.

Mendoza Palacios Acedo Borjas Páez Pumar & Cía has been particularly active recently representing clients before national and municipal tax authorities. María Genoveva Páez Pumar and Oswaldo Páez Pumar are representing Universidad Metropolitana in appealing a decision of the tax authorities concerning tax exemption status. The group also provides general tax advisory services to local and international clients including Andritz Hydro, Emerson Venezuela and Grupo Austral. Manuel Acedo Sucre has notable international taxation experience.

Raffalli de Lemos Halvorssen Ortega y Ortiz handles a broad array of tax matters, including advising on tax planning and tax due diligence exercises (either on M&A transactions or as a standalone service) and acting for clients in tax litigation. It also has an active customs duties practice, and represents clients in relation to audits and investigations conducted by the customs authorities. Andrés Luis Halvorssen is recommended.

Specialist tax firm Vallenilla, Escalante & Asociados handles administrative and judicial appeals, conducts tax risk analyses, and advises on the applicability of international tax treaties. Moisés Vallenilla and Oscar Cunto are the key names.

The team at WDA legal, S.C. focuses on estate planning, succession and wealth preservation matters, but also handles tax litigation. Tax planning specialist Bernardo Weininger is a key name along with tax litigator Luis Fraga Pittaluga.

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