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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 AbogadosJosé Humberto Frías is recommended for nationalisation-related ICSID arbitrations. His recent clients include a broad range of corporates, and he has also acted in ICC and UNCITRAL proceedings. The sizeable dispute resolution team at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque includes experienced arbitration expert José Gregorio Torrealba. Recent arbitration highlights for Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez include acting for construction group Dell’Acqua in a debt-related ICC case against YPERGAS; practice head Carlos Lepervanche Michelena is the key contact. At Mendoza Palacios Acedo Borjas Páez Pumar & Cía, Arminio F Borjas (hijo) is an ICC-designated arbitrator and a representative for Venezuela at the IBA.

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Venezuela

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

The ‘very good’ team at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque has been handling some remarkable work for foreign banks financing Venezuelan public and private sector entities; in particular it advised several Asian banks on multiple loans to the Venezuelan government with a total value of several billion dollars. The practice also regularly acts for clients in contentious banking matters; for example, advising Avila International Business Corporation on a $500m banking dispute with the Royal Bank of Canada in Barbados. Practice head Jorge Acedo is ‘very thorough and proactive’, and Miguel Rivero is praised as ‘very reliable and responsive’. Other clients include JBIC, Bank of Communications (China), Gazprombank and Bank of Nova Scotia.

Leading lawyers

Jorge Acedo - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 2

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque stands out for its competition experience in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food sectors. The team successfully represented Aspen Pharma in an economic concentration matter before the competition authority and defended PepsiCo in an abuse of dominant position case. José Gregorio Torrealba is recommended. Other clients include Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Dulcevia.

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

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque’s corporate team ‘combines international experience with local expertise’ to provide ‘excellent service’. It stands out for its industry expertise in the health care and pharmaceutical sectors and has also developed niche expertise advising Chinese and Korean companies on the incorporation of local branches and subsidiaries in Venezuela. Work highlights include assisting Novartis de Venezuela with the transfer of its influenza business to the Australian company CSL, acting for Alstom on Venezuelan aspects of the sale of its power-and-grid business unit to General Electric, and advising Evolvere Partners on setting up a private equity fund in Venezuela. Other clients include Bayer, Reckitt Benckiser, Renault, Samsung, and Sprint Nextel. Luis Eduardo López Durán is ‘very knowledgeable in different legal areas and very business-minded in finding practical solutions’. Jorge Acedo, Fernando Peláez-Pier and Francisco Castillo-García are also very experienced advisers.

Leading lawyers

Luis Eduardo López Durán - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

The ‘outstanding’ practice at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque has experience in both civil and commercial cases, particular experience of banking and transportation matters, and stands out for its expertise in criminal law. Recent work includes the successful representation of Bayer in a $640m dispute with Habitek Industrial regarding the leasing of warehouses; acting for Mr Feliciano Pacanins in a dispute between two Venezuelan beneficiaries of a Curaçao-based foundation in liquidation; and the representation of Proyecto Barlovento in arbitration proceedings against Promotora Eco-Barlovento concerning an alleged breach of contract regarding a hotel development project. Practice head Carlos Dominguez and Mark Melilli Silva are recommended for civil litigation, Xiomara Magdaleno de Rodríguez is a criminal law expert, and Román José Duque-Corredor and José Gregorio Torrealba are key contacts for arbitration.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Dominguez - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

The ‘excellent’ team at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque is renowned for its experience advising on major oil and gas, mining, energy and infrastructure projects, and has remarkable experience assisting clients on their interaction with the Venezuelan government. Recent work includes acting for Gazprombank regarding the expansion of Petrozamora, a joint venture of the client with PDVSA; and assisting the Yankuang Group on its negotiations with PDVSA, the Central Bank of Venezuela and the Venezuelan Mining Corporation to set up a joint venture for the exploitation of gold mines in Bolivar state. Other clients include Halliburton, Rosneft, Statoil, and Valero Energy. Practice head Miguel Rivero has a ‘solid understanding of the legal and practical realities of doing business in a challenging environment’ and is recommended along with José Gregorio Torrealba and José Alberto Ramírez.

Leading lawyers

Miguel Rivero - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque’s ‘extremely good’ IP practice ‘stands out for its speed and work quality’. The ‘very professional’ team is known for its management of large-scale trade mark and patent portfolios and for its regular involvement in Venezuela’s key litigation and prosecution cases. Recent work includes assisting Walt Disney with operations against the selling of unlicensed Star Wars merchandise, representing Bayer in a dispute with Especialidades Dollder regarding the latter’s opposition to the registration of the KALI trade mark, helping to protect the Novotel brand against a Caracas-based hotel called Novohotel Express, and representing Alcon Laboratories in appeal proceedings against a decision by the trade mark office to reject a registration of the SILIKON mark. Other clients include BASF, Electrolux, Google, and PepsiCo. María Milagros Nebreda, Patricia Hoet-Limbourg, Franklin Hoet-Linares, and Alicia Molero are praised as ‘smart, knowledgeable and responsive’. Since going to press, Joaquín Nuñez has been promoted to the partnership.

Leading lawyers

María Milagros Nebreda - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

The ‘excellent’ team at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque has a remarkable track record of successful labour litigation, as well as extensive experience with collective bargaining agreements and the negotiation of mass dismissals. The firm has recently assisted several clients with restructuring measures and reductions in their workforce; this includes: Agrekko, Banesco Seguros, Renault, SAS Institute, Samsung, Mitsui, and Vida Herbal. It also advised Abbot, Bayer, Cosmedica, and Symrise on inspections by the labour inspector’s office regarding compliance with regulations on outsourcing. Recent litigation work includes the defence of the Tampa Bay Rays against a lawsuit by a former contractor who is claiming employment benefits as if he were an employee. Pablo Benavente, María Elena Subero, and John Tucker Barboza co-head the practice, in which Carlos Alberto Henríquez and Mark Melilli Silva are also highly rated.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Alberto Henríquez - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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Public law
Public law - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

The ‘outstanding’ team at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque is praised for its public procurement expertise. It also has significant know-how in public law dispute resolution –particularly out-of court-settlements– and general administrative law. Recent work includes advising the Spanish infrastructure company Ingeniería y Suministros Asturias (ISASTUR) on public procurement matters regarding the modernization of power transmission lines, assisting Constuctora Andrade Gutiérrez with the public procurement contract to build the Astillero Nor Oriental shipyard on the Aaraya peninsula, and defending Bayer in an administrative law dispute. Other clients include Alstom, Eurocopter and Peabody Energy. Practice head José Gregorio Torrealba is recommended along with Román José Duque-Corredor and Alejandro Gallotti.

Leading lawyers

José Gregorio Torrealba - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque’s ‘very strong’ practice has strong expertise in residential, retail, office and industrial real estate matters, and is noted for its real estate litigation work. Recent work includes the successful representation of Grupo Total 99 in a dispute regarding the termination of lease contracts and the recovery of five commercial properties in Maracay, assisting MercadoLibre with the acquisition of a floor of office space in a building under construction in Caracas, and advising Inversiones Mantua 0524 on the sale of a property in a mall in Caracas. Juan Enrique Aigster is an experienced advisor, and Mark Melilli Silva focuses on real estate litigation.

Leading lawyers

Juan Enrique Aigster - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

The sizeable tax practice at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque is praised for providing ‘excellent service’. It regularly advises clients on complex tax structures, foreign investments and foreign exchange matters, and is also strong in litigation at all court levels. Recent work includes the successful representation of Cestaticket Accord Services in a tax dispute, the representation of Bayer in a transfer pricing dispute, and representing American Bureau of Shipping in a dispute regarding the right to income tax exemption as a non-profit association. Other clients include IBM, Mitsui, Reckitt Benckiser, and Samsung. Practice head Jesús Sol Gil, Elina Pou Ruan, and Nathalie Rodríguez are highly rated.

[back to top]



Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

D’Empaire Reyna AbogadosJosé Humberto Frías is recommended for nationalisation-related ICSID arbitrations. His recent clients include a broad range of corporates, and he has also acted in ICC and UNCITRAL proceedings. The sizeable dispute resolution team at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque includes experienced arbitration expert José Gregorio Torrealba. Recent arbitration highlights for Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez include acting for construction group Dell’Acqua in a debt-related ICC case against YPERGAS; practice head Carlos Lepervanche Michelena is the key contact. At Mendoza Palacios Acedo Borjas Páez Pumar & Cía, Arminio F Borjas (hijo) is an ICC-designated arbitrator and a representative for Venezuela at the IBA.

[back to top]

Venezuela

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

The ‘very good’ team at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque has been handling some remarkable work for foreign banks financing Venezuelan public and private sector entities; in particular it advised several Asian banks on multiple loans to the Venezuelan government with a total value of several billion dollars. The practice also regularly acts for clients in contentious banking matters; for example, advising Avila International Business Corporation on a $500m banking dispute with the Royal Bank of Canada in Barbados. Practice head Jorge Acedo is ‘very thorough and proactive’, and Miguel Rivero is praised as ‘very reliable and responsive’. Other clients include JBIC, Bank of Communications (China), Gazprombank and Bank of Nova Scotia.

Leading lawyers

Jorge Acedo - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 2

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque stands out for its competition experience in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food sectors. The team successfully represented Aspen Pharma in an economic concentration matter before the competition authority and defended PepsiCo in an abuse of dominant position case. José Gregorio Torrealba is recommended. Other clients include Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Dulcevia.

[back to top]

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

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque’s corporate team ‘combines international experience with local expertise’ to provide ‘excellent service’. It stands out for its industry expertise in the health care and pharmaceutical sectors and has also developed niche expertise advising Chinese and Korean companies on the incorporation of local branches and subsidiaries in Venezuela. Work highlights include assisting Novartis de Venezuela with the transfer of its influenza business to the Australian company CSL, acting for Alstom on Venezuelan aspects of the sale of its power-and-grid business unit to General Electric, and advising Evolvere Partners on setting up a private equity fund in Venezuela. Other clients include Bayer, Reckitt Benckiser, Renault, Samsung, and Sprint Nextel. Luis Eduardo López Durán is ‘very knowledgeable in different legal areas and very business-minded in finding practical solutions’. Jorge Acedo, Fernando Peláez-Pier and Francisco Castillo-García are also very experienced advisers.

Leading lawyers

Luis Eduardo López Durán - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

The ‘outstanding’ practice at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque has experience in both civil and commercial cases, particular experience of banking and transportation matters, and stands out for its expertise in criminal law. Recent work includes the successful representation of Bayer in a $640m dispute with Habitek Industrial regarding the leasing of warehouses; acting for Mr Feliciano Pacanins in a dispute between two Venezuelan beneficiaries of a Curaçao-based foundation in liquidation; and the representation of Proyecto Barlovento in arbitration proceedings against Promotora Eco-Barlovento concerning an alleged breach of contract regarding a hotel development project. Practice head Carlos Dominguez and Mark Melilli Silva are recommended for civil litigation, Xiomara Magdaleno de Rodríguez is a criminal law expert, and Román José Duque-Corredor and José Gregorio Torrealba are key contacts for arbitration.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Dominguez - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

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

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

The ‘excellent’ team at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque is renowned for its experience advising on major oil and gas, mining, energy and infrastructure projects, and has remarkable experience assisting clients on their interaction with the Venezuelan government. Recent work includes acting for Gazprombank regarding the expansion of Petrozamora, a joint venture of the client with PDVSA; and assisting the Yankuang Group on its negotiations with PDVSA, the Central Bank of Venezuela and the Venezuelan Mining Corporation to set up a joint venture for the exploitation of gold mines in Bolivar state. Other clients include Halliburton, Rosneft, Statoil, and Valero Energy. Practice head Miguel Rivero has a ‘solid understanding of the legal and practical realities of doing business in a challenging environment’ and is recommended along with José Gregorio Torrealba and José Alberto Ramírez.

Leading lawyers

Miguel Rivero - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque’s ‘extremely good’ IP practice ‘stands out for its speed and work quality’. The ‘very professional’ team is known for its management of large-scale trade mark and patent portfolios and for its regular involvement in Venezuela’s key litigation and prosecution cases. Recent work includes assisting Walt Disney with operations against the selling of unlicensed Star Wars merchandise, representing Bayer in a dispute with Especialidades Dollder regarding the latter’s opposition to the registration of the KALI trade mark, helping to protect the Novotel brand against a Caracas-based hotel called Novohotel Express, and representing Alcon Laboratories in appeal proceedings against a decision by the trade mark office to reject a registration of the SILIKON mark. Other clients include BASF, Electrolux, Google, and PepsiCo. María Milagros Nebreda, Patricia Hoet-Limbourg, Franklin Hoet-Linares, and Alicia Molero are praised as ‘smart, knowledgeable and responsive’. Since going to press, Joaquín Nuñez has been promoted to the partnership.

Leading lawyers

María Milagros Nebreda - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

The ‘excellent’ team at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque has a remarkable track record of successful labour litigation, as well as extensive experience with collective bargaining agreements and the negotiation of mass dismissals. The firm has recently assisted several clients with restructuring measures and reductions in their workforce; this includes: Agrekko, Banesco Seguros, Renault, SAS Institute, Samsung, Mitsui, and Vida Herbal. It also advised Abbot, Bayer, Cosmedica, and Symrise on inspections by the labour inspector’s office regarding compliance with regulations on outsourcing. Recent litigation work includes the defence of the Tampa Bay Rays against a lawsuit by a former contractor who is claiming employment benefits as if he were an employee. Pablo Benavente, María Elena Subero, and John Tucker Barboza co-head the practice, in which Carlos Alberto Henríquez and Mark Melilli Silva are also highly rated.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Alberto Henríquez - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Public law
Public law - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

The ‘outstanding’ team at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque is praised for its public procurement expertise. It also has significant know-how in public law dispute resolution –particularly out-of court-settlements– and general administrative law. Recent work includes advising the Spanish infrastructure company Ingeniería y Suministros Asturias (ISASTUR) on public procurement matters regarding the modernization of power transmission lines, assisting Constuctora Andrade Gutiérrez with the public procurement contract to build the Astillero Nor Oriental shipyard on the Aaraya peninsula, and defending Bayer in an administrative law dispute. Other clients include Alstom, Eurocopter and Peabody Energy. Practice head José Gregorio Torrealba is recommended along with Román José Duque-Corredor and Alejandro Gallotti.

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’s ‘very strong’ practice has strong expertise in residential, retail, office and industrial real estate matters, and is noted for its real estate litigation work. Recent work includes the successful representation of Grupo Total 99 in a dispute regarding the termination of lease contracts and the recovery of five commercial properties in Maracay, assisting MercadoLibre with the acquisition of a floor of office space in a building under construction in Caracas, and advising Inversiones Mantua 0524 on the sale of a property in a mall in Caracas. Juan Enrique Aigster is an experienced advisor, and Mark Melilli Silva focuses on real estate litigation.

Leading lawyers

Juan Enrique Aigster - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

[back to top]

Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 1

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

The sizeable tax practice at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque is praised for providing ‘excellent service’. It regularly advises clients on complex tax structures, foreign investments and foreign exchange matters, and is also strong in litigation at all court levels. Recent work includes the successful representation of Cestaticket Accord Services in a tax dispute, the representation of Bayer in a transfer pricing dispute, and representing American Bureau of Shipping in a dispute regarding the right to income tax exemption as a non-profit association. Other clients include IBM, Mitsui, Reckitt Benckiser, and Samsung. Practice head Jesús Sol Gil, Elina Pou Ruan, and Nathalie Rodríguez are highly rated.

[back to top]


Further information on Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

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