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José Humberto Frías

Work +58 212 2646244

Work Department

Competition Law, Public Law and International Arbitration


José Humberto specializes in competition/antitrust and public law matters. He has participated in many of the most significant competition/antitrust cases in Venezuela and has represented international and Venezuelan clients in arbitrations in several arbitral institutions, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).


Partner since 2005. He worked with the Venezuelan antitrust authority and as a foreign associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in 2001.


Spanish and English


Colegio de Abogados del Distrito Metropolitano


Studied law at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, Caracas (JD, 1993) and McGill University, Montreal (LLM, 2000).

Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

Within: Local practitioners of note (by country)

D'Empaire represents Venezuelan and international companies in arbitration proceedings conducted under ICC rules; José Humberto Frías is the main contact. Eugenio Hernández-Bretón at Baker & McKenzie, S.C. acts as counsel as well as arbitrator in arbitration proceedings. Luis Alfredo Araque at ARAQUEREYNA is also a name to note.

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Competition and antitrust

Within: Leading individuals

José Humberto Frías - D'Empaire

Within: Competition and antitrust

At D'Empaire, competition law specialist José Humberto Frías is the key name. He is experienced in advising on the competition-related regulatory aspects of transactions, investigations and unfair competition.

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Dispute resolution

Within: Leading individuals

José Humberto Frías - D'Empaire

Within: Dispute resolution

The team at D'Empaire is noted for its experience in civil and commercial proceedings, in which it acts for clients from a variety of industries, including energy, manufacturing and media. It is also involved in various ICSID and ICC arbitrations, in which practice head José Humberto Frías is particularly well versed. Together with associate Daniel Bustos, he is acting for Tenaris in the execution of a $230m arbitration award against Venezuela concerning the nationalisation of a foreign-owned company. Pedro Perera and Dubraska Galarraga represent Radio Caracas Televisión in a copyright infringement dispute concerning several soap operas.

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Energy and natural resources

Within: Energy and natural resources

With the backing of its reputed corporate practice, D'Empaire is regularly involved in significant transactions in the oil-and-gas sector. Recent mandates saw Carlos Omaña and Fulvio Italiani lead a team advising Maurel & Prom on its acquisitions of Shell’s stake in joint venture Petroregional del Lago. Other work saw the 'ever-active' Italiani and Roberto Mas assisting Chevron with the restructuring of an oil joint venture in the Orinoco Belt; while Arnoldo Troconis and dispute resolution expert José Humberto Frías were instructed by Repsol in connection with an ICC arbitration involving an EPC contract.

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Public law

Within: Public law

D'Empaire enjoys an excellent market reputation and is regularly instructed by clients from the pharmaceutical, automotive and media industries. The team is particularly experienced in expropriations and nationalisations as well as in criminal matters relating to regulatory cases. Practice co-head José Humberto Frías and corporate partner Arnoldo Troconis advised United Airlines on the regulatory aspects of its decision to cancel all flights to Venezuela. José Valentín González, who leads the team together with Frías, is assisting Bristol Myers Squibb with all its contracts with the Venezuelan social security administration, as well as with regulatory queries. Associate Ornella Bernabei is another name to note.

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