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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).


Competition and antitrust

Within: Leading lawyers

José Humberto Frías - D'Empaire

Within: Competition and antitrust

D'Empaire has notable expertise in investigations of restrictive practices, such as cartels and the abuse of dominant positions, as well as in merger control. As a former antitrust-authority employee, department head José Humberto Frías is well versed in the area; he advised American telecommunications company CenturyLink on its acquisition of Level 3 and also handled the approval procedure for Cable & Wireless’ takeover of Columbus International. Other clients include Procter & Gamble and United Airlines.

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Dispute resolution

Within: Leading lawyers

José Humberto Frías - D'Empaire

Within: Dispute resolution

D'Empaire has a strong track record for handling both litigation and arbitration cases. It is recognised for providing its clients with ‘business-savvy and strategic advice’. José Humberto Frías represented the García Armas family in a $450m UNCITRAL arbitration against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which had allegedly nationalised the client’s investments in Alimentos Frisa. Frías is especially valued for providing ‘very clear advice on complex matters’. Commercial litigation specialist Pedro Perera is another key contact.

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Public law

Within: Public law

D'Empaire provides ‘exceptional service’ and has arguably unique expertise in handling nationalisation and expropriation-related matters and issues concerning freedom of speech matters, as well as in criminal law. Recent highlights include representing radio station Caracas 92.9, which used humour to express its opposition to the country’s government, after the Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information and the Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CONATEL) decided not to renew its broadcasting licence. José Valentín González is recognised for his practical knowledge of public law and making his clients feel ‘very well represented’; and José Humberto Frías is considered to be a ‘highly strategic adviser’. Associate Ornella Bernabei is also noted.

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