The Legal 500

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AV. VENEZUELA, EDIFICIO ATRIUM, PISO 3, EL ROSAL, CARACAS, 1060, VENEZUELA
Tel:
Work +58 212 901 2600
Email:
Web:
www.lega.law

Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

D'Empaire handles a steady stream of commercial arbitration conducted under ICC rules, and is particularly experienced in nationalisation-related ICSID and UNCITRAL cases. Other notable practitioners include Eugenio Hernández-Bretón at Baker & McKenzie, S.C., Carlos Domínguez at Lega Abogados and Carlos Lepervanche Michelena at Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez.

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Venezuela

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Lega has a ‘sharp and in-depth’ knowledge of the banking and finance sector. The firm handles the negotiation and securitisation of loan agreements, as well as transactions and advising. Recent work saw key practice figures José Alberto Ramírez and Luis López-Durán assist Evolvere with the establishment of its first private equity fund in Venezuela; additional matters include the co-representation of Venezuelan investors who fell victim to a fraudulent investment operation. Department head Miguel Rivero is recognised for his ‘commercial approach’; he also has an additional focus on oil and gas work. Other clients include the Bank of Nova Scotia, Banplus Banco Universal, and TotalBank.

Leading lawyers

Miguel Rivero - Lega

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Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 1

Lega

The practice group at Lega (formerly Hoet Pelaez Castillo y Duque) has ‘very competent lawyers’ and covers a broad range of competition and antitrust matters including abuse of dominance, cartels, boycotts, exclusionary practices and merger control matters. The ‘brilliant’ José Gregorio Torrealba assisted IBM de Venezuela with the application of the new Agreed Prices Act for its setting and stamping of the prices on its products. The team also has experience representing its clients in investigations carried out by the Venezuelan competition authority. Competition law specialists Rosa Virginia Superlano and Alejandro Gallotti are also noted.

Leading lawyers

José Gregorio Torrealba - Lega

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Lega has extensive experience in corporate matters and the team has a well-deserved reputation for being made up of ‘excellent lawyers’. The practice has developed ample knowledge in various industries such as life sciences and healthcare, telecoms and IT, energy and natural resources, and insurance, among others. With the ‘committed and competent’ Luis López-Durán as a lead partner, the team advised Port De Bras on the expansion of its operations, as well as providing ongoing assistance to an extensive client roster regarding day-to-day matters. The firm recently developed an entrepreneurship practice – a distinctive feature – that aims to help new ventures and entrepreneurial start-ups in Venezuela and abroad to establish themselves. José Alberto Ramírez-León and Laura Silva-Aparicio are also noted.

Leading lawyers

Luis Eduardo López Durán - Lega

Next generation lawyers

José Alberto Ramírez-León - Lega

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Lega presents ‘very clear and honest strategies’; it specialises in various legal areas including civil, commercial, transit, banking and criminal cases, among others. Besides the team’s litigation and arbitration practice, it regularly applies ADR techniques such as negotiation, mediation and conciliation. The firm recently provided Honeywell Building Solutions with legal opinions in an arbitration process concerning the installation and maintenance of IT assets. Other clients include Steamship Mutual and Dell. Firm co-managing partner Carlos Domínguez is practice head; additional key contacts include the ‘very pragmatic’ Mark Melilli-Silva and ‘professional’ José Gregorio Torrealba. Junior partner Lisette García-Gandica is also noted.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Domínguez - Lega

Next generation lawyers

Lisette García Gandica - Lega

[back to top]

Energy and natural resources
Energy and natural resources - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Lega is valued for its ‘thorough and high-quality work’. The firm has extensive experience in the development, construction, and financing of major oil and gas projects; furthermore, it specialises in advising companies on the design, analysis and review of complex international financing structures. The client portfolio includes key players like Valero Energy, Halliburton, and KBR. Department head Miguel Rivero has an ‘in-depth understanding of the local law’ and is noted along with José Alberto Ramírez-León, who is an expert in oil and gas regulatory work. Simón Herrera and José Gregorio Torrealba are other names to note.

Leading lawyers

Miguel Rivero - Lega

Next generation lawyers

José Alberto Ramírez-León - Lega

[back to top]

Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Lega

The ‘effective’ labour and employment practice at Lega has a particularly strong track record when it comes to labour litigation. Recent work highlights include advising IBM on the drafting of new remuneration policies and employment agreements, as well as assisting Agostar in contract negotiations and their execution. Department head Carlos Alberto Henríquez is cherished for being a lawyer who conducts ‘a broad-spectrum analysis of risks and opportunities’. Compensation specialist John Tucker-Barboza, Pablo Benavente, and litigator Natalia De Paz are additional names to note. Other clients include Credit Suisse and Microsoft.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Alberto Henríquez - Lega

Next generation lawyers

Natalia De Paz Garmendia - Lega

[back to top]

Public law
Public law - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Lega fields a team of ‘multidisciplinary lawyers, which gives the firm the ability to oversee every important aspect of a case’. It has experience handling public procurements, regulatory and administrative matters and consumer law. The team is assisting passenger transportation company Alstom in a $527m case regarding the negotiation and termination of contracts with the state-owned company Metro Los Teques. The team is led by the ‘very professional’ José Gregorio Torrealba, who is also well versed in the protection of foreign investment and international arbitration. ‘Trustworthy and knowledgeable’ junior partner Alejandro Gallotti and Andrés Linares-Benzo are also noted. Other new clients include Virgin Enterprises and Google.

Leading lawyers

José Gregorio Torrealba - Lega

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Lega has a superlative reputation for its real estate practice. Recent mandates include providing due diligence for Alpina regarding the company’s current lease relations nationwide. Other work included negotiation and mediation with a business space lessee on behalf of Grupo Total 99. The team has also gained numerous new clients, such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, among others. Juan Enrique Aigster delivers ‘excellent all-round service’ and is the key contact together with Mark Melilli-Silva, who is recognised for his real estate litigation skills.

Leading lawyers

Juan Enrique Aigster - Lega

[back to top]

Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Providing ‘excellent’ and ‘strong, in-depth’ advice, Lega has consolidated its position as a key player in the tax market. The practice obtained a favourable decision in a tax litigation appeal against the tax administration on behalf of appliance-manufacturer Mabe and is also representing pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer, against an appeal filed by the tax authorities. The team is comprised of numerous experienced lawyers; an honorary member of the Venezuelan Association of Tax Law, department head and key contact Jesús Sol-Gil is a specialist in all-things tax. Nathalie Rodríguez-París, Elina Pou, and Gonzalo Capriles are all noteworthy practitioners.

Leading lawyers

Jesús Sol-Gil - Lega

Next generation lawyers

Nathalie Rodríguez-París - Lega

[back to top]



Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

D'Empaire handles a steady stream of commercial arbitration conducted under ICC rules, and is particularly experienced in nationalisation-related ICSID and UNCITRAL cases. Other notable practitioners include Eugenio Hernández-Bretón at Baker & McKenzie, S.C., Carlos Domínguez at Lega Abogados and Carlos Lepervanche Michelena at Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez.

[back to top]

Venezuela

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Lega has a ‘sharp and in-depth’ knowledge of the banking and finance sector. The firm handles the negotiation and securitisation of loan agreements, as well as transactions and advising. Recent work saw key practice figures José Alberto Ramírez and Luis López-Durán assist Evolvere with the establishment of its first private equity fund in Venezuela; additional matters include the co-representation of Venezuelan investors who fell victim to a fraudulent investment operation. Department head Miguel Rivero is recognised for his ‘commercial approach’; he also has an additional focus on oil and gas work. Other clients include the Bank of Nova Scotia, Banplus Banco Universal, and TotalBank.

Leading lawyers

Miguel Rivero - Lega

[back to top]

Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 1

Lega

The practice group at Lega (formerly Hoet Pelaez Castillo y Duque) has ‘very competent lawyers’ and covers a broad range of competition and antitrust matters including abuse of dominance, cartels, boycotts, exclusionary practices and merger control matters. The ‘brilliant’ José Gregorio Torrealba assisted IBM de Venezuela with the application of the new Agreed Prices Act for its setting and stamping of the prices on its products. The team also has experience representing its clients in investigations carried out by the Venezuelan competition authority. Competition law specialists Rosa Virginia Superlano and Alejandro Gallotti are also noted.

Leading lawyers

José Gregorio Torrealba - Lega

[back to top]

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Lega has extensive experience in corporate matters and the team has a well-deserved reputation for being made up of ‘excellent lawyers’. The practice has developed ample knowledge in various industries such as life sciences and healthcare, telecoms and IT, energy and natural resources, and insurance, among others. With the ‘committed and competent’ Luis López-Durán as a lead partner, the team advised Port De Bras on the expansion of its operations, as well as providing ongoing assistance to an extensive client roster regarding day-to-day matters. The firm recently developed an entrepreneurship practice – a distinctive feature – that aims to help new ventures and entrepreneurial start-ups in Venezuela and abroad to establish themselves. José Alberto Ramírez-León and Laura Silva-Aparicio are also noted.

Leading lawyers

Luis Eduardo López Durán - Lega

Next generation lawyers

José Alberto Ramírez-León - Lega

[back to top]

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Lega presents ‘very clear and honest strategies’; it specialises in various legal areas including civil, commercial, transit, banking and criminal cases, among others. Besides the team’s litigation and arbitration practice, it regularly applies ADR techniques such as negotiation, mediation and conciliation. The firm recently provided Honeywell Building Solutions with legal opinions in an arbitration process concerning the installation and maintenance of IT assets. Other clients include Steamship Mutual and Dell. Firm co-managing partner Carlos Domínguez is practice head; additional key contacts include the ‘very pragmatic’ Mark Melilli-Silva and ‘professional’ José Gregorio Torrealba. Junior partner Lisette García-Gandica is also noted.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Domínguez - Lega

Next generation lawyers

Lisette García Gandica - Lega

[back to top]

Energy and natural resources
Energy and natural resources - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Lega is valued for its ‘thorough and high-quality work’. The firm has extensive experience in the development, construction, and financing of major oil and gas projects; furthermore, it specialises in advising companies on the design, analysis and review of complex international financing structures. The client portfolio includes key players like Valero Energy, Halliburton, and KBR. Department head Miguel Rivero has an ‘in-depth understanding of the local law’ and is noted along with José Alberto Ramírez-León, who is an expert in oil and gas regulatory work. Simón Herrera and José Gregorio Torrealba are other names to note.

Leading lawyers

Miguel Rivero - Lega

Next generation lawyers

José Alberto Ramírez-León - Lega

[back to top]

Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Lega

The ‘effective’ labour and employment practice at Lega has a particularly strong track record when it comes to labour litigation. Recent work highlights include advising IBM on the drafting of new remuneration policies and employment agreements, as well as assisting Agostar in contract negotiations and their execution. Department head Carlos Alberto Henríquez is cherished for being a lawyer who conducts ‘a broad-spectrum analysis of risks and opportunities’. Compensation specialist John Tucker-Barboza, Pablo Benavente, and litigator Natalia De Paz are additional names to note. Other clients include Credit Suisse and Microsoft.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Alberto Henríquez - Lega

Next generation lawyers

Natalia De Paz Garmendia - Lega

[back to top]

Public law
Public law - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Lega fields a team of ‘multidisciplinary lawyers, which gives the firm the ability to oversee every important aspect of a case’. It has experience handling public procurements, regulatory and administrative matters and consumer law. The team is assisting passenger transportation company Alstom in a $527m case regarding the negotiation and termination of contracts with the state-owned company Metro Los Teques. The team is led by the ‘very professional’ José Gregorio Torrealba, who is also well versed in the protection of foreign investment and international arbitration. ‘Trustworthy and knowledgeable’ junior partner Alejandro Gallotti and Andrés Linares-Benzo are also noted. Other new clients include Virgin Enterprises and Google.

Leading lawyers

José Gregorio Torrealba - Lega

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Lega has a superlative reputation for its real estate practice. Recent mandates include providing due diligence for Alpina regarding the company’s current lease relations nationwide. Other work included negotiation and mediation with a business space lessee on behalf of Grupo Total 99. The team has also gained numerous new clients, such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, among others. Juan Enrique Aigster delivers ‘excellent all-round service’ and is the key contact together with Mark Melilli-Silva, who is recognised for his real estate litigation skills.

Leading lawyers

Juan Enrique Aigster - Lega

[back to top]

Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 1

Lega

Providing ‘excellent’ and ‘strong, in-depth’ advice, Lega has consolidated its position as a key player in the tax market. The practice obtained a favourable decision in a tax litigation appeal against the tax administration on behalf of appliance-manufacturer Mabe and is also representing pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer, against an appeal filed by the tax authorities. The team is comprised of numerous experienced lawyers; an honorary member of the Venezuelan Association of Tax Law, department head and key contact Jesús Sol-Gil is a specialist in all-things tax. Nathalie Rodríguez-París, Elina Pou, and Gonzalo Capriles are all noteworthy practitioners.

Leading lawyers

Jesús Sol-Gil - Lega

Next generation lawyers

Nathalie Rodríguez-París - Lega

[back to top]


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