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AV EUGENIO MENDOZA, TORRE IASA, PISO 3, PLAZA LA CASTELLANA, CARACAS 1060, VENEZUELA
Tel:
Work +58 212 201 8611
Fax:
Fax +58 212 263 7744
Email:
Web:
www.hpcd.com
Caracas, Caracas

Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

D’Empaire Reyna Abogados’ José Humberto Frías is particularly experienced in nationalisation-related ICSID and UNCITRAL cases, and also regularly handles commercial arbitrations conducted under ICC rules. Other names to note are Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque’s José Gregorio Torrealba; and Carlos Lepervanche Michelena, who heads the dispute resolution practice at Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez.

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Venezuela

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque is ‘one of the top law firms in Venezuela and Latin America generally’, and stands out for its ‘expertise in banking and finance matters, accompanied by a solid understanding of international law and familiarity with the local environment’. The team has an impressive track record advising high-profile Asian banks on loans to the Venezuelan government, and it is also active in banking litigation. It is currently advising Evolvere Partners and Evolvere Capital Venezuela on establishing a private equity fund to operate in Venezuela, which has included advising on banking regulations applicable to the private equity sector. Jorge Acedo-Prato and Miguel Rivero co-head the practice. Other clients include Bank Leumi and Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi.

Leading lawyers

Jorge Acedo - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque provides an ‘excellent service’ and fields a team of ‘highly qualified professionals’ with ‘a global vision of the client’s business and the risks associated with the queries that are requested’. Due to the decline in investigations work in Venezuela – the competition authorities not having initiated any new investigations since 2014 – the firm has refocused its competition practice on economic regulations. José Gregorio Torrealba and Alejandro Gallotti are handling several matters for the Instituto Universitario De Mercadotecnia concerning an investigation conducted by the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socio-Economic Rights, including challenging a freeze on enrolment fees. The team also has a strong reputation in merger control notifications in the telecoms sector; recent work includes assisting Liberty Global in obtaining the approval of the competition authority and relevant regulatory bodies for the purchase of Cable & Wireless Communications. The practice also covers competition compliance issues relating to distribution agreements. Rosa Virginia Superlano has notable expertise in the telecoms sector.

Leading lawyers

José Gregorio Torrealba - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

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

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque is ‘one of the best law firms in Venezuela, with a lot of connections internationally’, and fields an ‘excellent’ team. It has developed notable expertise advising Chinese and Korean companies on incorporating local branches and subsidiaries and, in a rarity for the Venezuelan market, also has experience in acting for private equity clients. Its recent work for international clients includes advising Colombian dairy, food and beverage company Alpina Productos Alimenticios in relation to its operations in Venezuela, and advising Magna Motors, an automobile and motorbike manufacturer and distributor, on its potential entry into Venezuela. Department head Luis Eduardo López Durán, who is ‘very knowledgeable’, also leads the firm’s highly regarded life sciences practice. Fernando Peláez-Pier, Francisco Castillo-García, Jorge Acedo-Prato, Laura Silva Aparicio and José Alberto Ramírez-León are other names to note. Dubraska Zapiain-Perdomo joined in 2016 from a consultancy firm.

Leading lawyers

Luis Eduardo López Durán - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Next generation lawyers

José Alberto Ramírez-León - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque impresses with the scope of its practice, handling arbitration and litigation cases for clients in a range of sectors. Mark Melilli-Silva has handled various real estate disputes recently; he is defending Bayer in a property litigation claim concerning a damaged building, and is also defending Galpofinca in a decennial liability claim relating to the construction of a warehouse. Practice head Carlos Domínguez has substantial experience in white-collar criminal defence, and José Gregorio Torrealba is an international arbitration specialist. Lisette García Gandica is also noted.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Domínguez - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Next generation lawyers

Lisette García Gandica - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque’s ‘good’ team has extensive experience covering upstream, midstream and downstream work in the oil and gas sector. It is acting as local counsel to Rosneft on acquiring and importing to Venezuela three oil rigs. Along with its oil and gas expertise, the team has a notable mining practice; practice head Miguel Rivero is leading a team assisting Chinese state-owned entity Yankuang Group in negotiations with PDVSA, the Central Bank of Venezuela and the Venezuelan Mining Corporation to establish a joint venture for the exploitation of a gold mine in southern Venezuela, which includes reviewing Venezuelan mining legislation. Associate Simón Herrera-Celis, who joined the firm in 2016 from an in-house position, is an energy specialist. José Gregorio Torrealba and José Alberto Ramírez-León are also noted.

Leading lawyers

Miguel Rivero - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Next generation lawyers

José Alberto Ramírez-León - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque is at the forefront of Venezuela’s IP market, handling an impressive number of trade mark and patent portfolios, and also heavily involved in IP litigation. Matías Pérez-Irazábal recently assisted bufito in relation to potential infringement of a trade mark, while other clients include Google, Alcon and Viacom International. María Milagros Nebreda and Patricia Hoet-Limbourg provide ‘practical and comprehensive’ advice. Franklin Hoet-Linares serves as an arbitrator at the Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property. Alicia Molero and Joaquín Núñez are the other names to note.

Leading lawyers

María Milagros Nebreda - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Next generation lawyers

Joaquín Núñez - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Matías Pérez-Irazábal - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque’s ‘excellent’ team has an impressive track record in significant contentious matters, and also handles advisory work. John Tucker-Barboza is advising baseball teams the Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs on employment terminations, and María Elena Subero has assisted various clients in the employment aspects of closing offices in the country. Pablo Benavente, who provides ‘a high level of service’ and ‘thinks outside the box’, advised Megalicores La Castellana during its inspection by the labour inspectorate and subsequently conducted a labour audit for the client. Also recommended are collective bargaining specialist Carlos Henríquez and Natalia De Paz Garmendia.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Alberto Henríquez - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Next generation lawyers

Natalia De Paz Garmendia - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Public law
Public law - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque 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.

Leading lawyers

José Gregorio Torrealba - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque provides ‘a very high level of service’ and has excellent credentials in the real estate space. Juan Enrique Aigster, who draws on previous in-house experience with a company involved in the construction and management of retail and office buildings, is ‘smart, reactive, well prepared and market oriented’; he jointly heads the team with Mark Melilli-Silva. Highlights included advising food and beverage company Alpina Productos Alimenticios on terminating two leases and subsequently signing a new lease for a building in Guarenas; and assisting Cosméticos Rolda in the lease negotiations for its manufacturing plant in San Antonio de Los Altos.

Leading lawyers

Juan Enrique Aigster - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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.

Leading lawyers

Jesús Sol-Gil - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Next generation lawyers

Nathalie Rodríguez-París - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]



Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

D’Empaire Reyna Abogados’ José Humberto Frías is particularly experienced in nationalisation-related ICSID and UNCITRAL cases, and also regularly handles commercial arbitrations conducted under ICC rules. Other names to note are Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque’s José Gregorio Torrealba; and Carlos Lepervanche Michelena, who heads the dispute resolution practice at Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez.

[back to top]

Venezuela

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque is ‘one of the top law firms in Venezuela and Latin America generally’, and stands out for its ‘expertise in banking and finance matters, accompanied by a solid understanding of international law and familiarity with the local environment’. The team has an impressive track record advising high-profile Asian banks on loans to the Venezuelan government, and it is also active in banking litigation. It is currently advising Evolvere Partners and Evolvere Capital Venezuela on establishing a private equity fund to operate in Venezuela, which has included advising on banking regulations applicable to the private equity sector. Jorge Acedo-Prato and Miguel Rivero co-head the practice. Other clients include Bank Leumi and Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi.

Leading lawyers

Jorge Acedo - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque provides an ‘excellent service’ and fields a team of ‘highly qualified professionals’ with ‘a global vision of the client’s business and the risks associated with the queries that are requested’. Due to the decline in investigations work in Venezuela – the competition authorities not having initiated any new investigations since 2014 – the firm has refocused its competition practice on economic regulations. José Gregorio Torrealba and Alejandro Gallotti are handling several matters for the Instituto Universitario De Mercadotecnia concerning an investigation conducted by the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socio-Economic Rights, including challenging a freeze on enrolment fees. The team also has a strong reputation in merger control notifications in the telecoms sector; recent work includes assisting Liberty Global in obtaining the approval of the competition authority and relevant regulatory bodies for the purchase of Cable & Wireless Communications. The practice also covers competition compliance issues relating to distribution agreements. Rosa Virginia Superlano has notable expertise in the telecoms sector.

Leading lawyers

José Gregorio Torrealba - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

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

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque is ‘one of the best law firms in Venezuela, with a lot of connections internationally’, and fields an ‘excellent’ team. It has developed notable expertise advising Chinese and Korean companies on incorporating local branches and subsidiaries and, in a rarity for the Venezuelan market, also has experience in acting for private equity clients. Its recent work for international clients includes advising Colombian dairy, food and beverage company Alpina Productos Alimenticios in relation to its operations in Venezuela, and advising Magna Motors, an automobile and motorbike manufacturer and distributor, on its potential entry into Venezuela. Department head Luis Eduardo López Durán, who is ‘very knowledgeable’, also leads the firm’s highly regarded life sciences practice. Fernando Peláez-Pier, Francisco Castillo-García, Jorge Acedo-Prato, Laura Silva Aparicio and José Alberto Ramírez-León are other names to note. Dubraska Zapiain-Perdomo joined in 2016 from a consultancy firm.

Leading lawyers

Luis Eduardo López Durán - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Next generation lawyers

José Alberto Ramírez-León - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque impresses with the scope of its practice, handling arbitration and litigation cases for clients in a range of sectors. Mark Melilli-Silva has handled various real estate disputes recently; he is defending Bayer in a property litigation claim concerning a damaged building, and is also defending Galpofinca in a decennial liability claim relating to the construction of a warehouse. Practice head Carlos Domínguez has substantial experience in white-collar criminal defence, and José Gregorio Torrealba is an international arbitration specialist. Lisette García Gandica is also noted.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Domínguez - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Next generation lawyers

Lisette García Gandica - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

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

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque’s ‘good’ team has extensive experience covering upstream, midstream and downstream work in the oil and gas sector. It is acting as local counsel to Rosneft on acquiring and importing to Venezuela three oil rigs. Along with its oil and gas expertise, the team has a notable mining practice; practice head Miguel Rivero is leading a team assisting Chinese state-owned entity Yankuang Group in negotiations with PDVSA, the Central Bank of Venezuela and the Venezuelan Mining Corporation to establish a joint venture for the exploitation of a gold mine in southern Venezuela, which includes reviewing Venezuelan mining legislation. Associate Simón Herrera-Celis, who joined the firm in 2016 from an in-house position, is an energy specialist. José Gregorio Torrealba and José Alberto Ramírez-León are also noted.

Leading lawyers

Miguel Rivero - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Next generation lawyers

José Alberto Ramírez-León - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque is at the forefront of Venezuela’s IP market, handling an impressive number of trade mark and patent portfolios, and also heavily involved in IP litigation. Matías Pérez-Irazábal recently assisted bufito in relation to potential infringement of a trade mark, while other clients include Google, Alcon and Viacom International. María Milagros Nebreda and Patricia Hoet-Limbourg provide ‘practical and comprehensive’ advice. Franklin Hoet-Linares serves as an arbitrator at the Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property. Alicia Molero and Joaquín Núñez are the other names to note.

Leading lawyers

María Milagros Nebreda - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Next generation lawyers

Joaquín Núñez - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Matías Pérez-Irazábal - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque’s ‘excellent’ team has an impressive track record in significant contentious matters, and also handles advisory work. John Tucker-Barboza is advising baseball teams the Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs on employment terminations, and María Elena Subero has assisted various clients in the employment aspects of closing offices in the country. Pablo Benavente, who provides ‘a high level of service’ and ‘thinks outside the box’, advised Megalicores La Castellana during its inspection by the labour inspectorate and subsequently conducted a labour audit for the client. Also recommended are collective bargaining specialist Carlos Henríquez and Natalia De Paz Garmendia.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Alberto Henríquez - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Next generation lawyers

Natalia De Paz Garmendia - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Public law
Public law - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque 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.

Leading lawyers

José Gregorio Torrealba - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque provides ‘a very high level of service’ and has excellent credentials in the real estate space. Juan Enrique Aigster, who draws on previous in-house experience with a company involved in the construction and management of retail and office buildings, is ‘smart, reactive, well prepared and market oriented’; he jointly heads the team with Mark Melilli-Silva. Highlights included advising food and beverage company Alpina Productos Alimenticios on terminating two leases and subsequently signing a new lease for a building in Guarenas; and assisting Cosméticos Rolda in the lease negotiations for its manufacturing plant in San Antonio de Los Altos.

Leading lawyers

Juan Enrique Aigster - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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.

Leading lawyers

Jesús Sol-Gil - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Next generation lawyers

Nathalie Rodríguez-París - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]


Further information on Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque in other jurisdictions.

Venezuela

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