Banking and finance in Venezuela


D'Empaire‘s banking, finance and restructuring team is instructed by international and domestic financial institutions to represent them in complex financial transactions and regulatory matters. One of the firm’s standout recent highlights involved advising Meta on the application of legal and regulatory regimes in Venezuela in connection with its provision of non-fungible tokens (NFT) services; Roberto Mas and Daniel Bustos led the work. Carlos Omaña, who is focused on Venezuelan sovereign and quasi-sovereign international financings, leads the practice with Fulvio Italiani, whose areas of expertise include finance, restructuring, energy and sovereign debt. Roland Pettersson is experienced in insolvency and debt restructuring, and is noteworthy for being the only Venezuelan member of the International Insolvency Institute and INSOL International. Associate Miguel Zajía is a name to watch, owing to his work in representing international and domestic clients in transactions including financings and sovereign debt offerings.

Practice head(s):

Fulvio Italiani; Carlos Omaña


D’Empaire has been a highly reliable law firm in Venezuela for decades. Even during times of high uncertainty due to political events they have been able to provide uninterrupted services to their clients.

Fulvio Italiani is an absolute standout, both in his understanding of the market and of technical issues and in his ability to provide advice rather than simply answering legal questions. Roberto Mas has an excellent understanding of banking, AML and regulatory issues, and is very committed to clients and responsive.

‘We have nothing but good things to say about D’Empaire. They were outstanding.’

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Meta Platforms (Facebook)


Coca-Cola Femsa

Work highlights

  • Provided advice on the application of legal and regulatory regimes in Venezuela to Meta in connection with its provision of NFT services.
  • Advising Yummy on banking and fintech regulations.
  • Assisting Coca-Cola Femsa with new issuances of debt securities by its Venezuelan subsidiary.


The full-service banking and finance team at Dentons is experienced in a wide range of transactions, including acquisition finance, debt restructuring, capital markets, project finance, insurance and reinsurance matters, and securitisations. The firm is skilled in cross-border deals involving Venezuela and other Latin American countries, alongside regularly working with its counterparts in the US to advise international investors on the impact of US economic sanctions on existing project and asset-based financing transactions. Another notable development is the increase in matters the firm has undertaken involving non-traditional and indirect currency conversion mechanisms such as gold and cryptocurrencies. Rubén Eduardo Luján is the head of the banking and finance team in Caracas, advising clients on deals revolving around energy and asset-based finance. Other notable names are Natalija Vojvodic, who has experience of advising international companies on corporate and project financing transactions in Venezuela, and Daniela Jaimes, who advises lenders and borrowers in connection with energy finance, including financings involving production of crude oil and derivatives.

Practice head(s):

Rubén Eduardo Luján

Key clients

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG)


Bank of Montreal (BMO)

Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

Banesco Seguros


Goldman Sachs

Hartford Fire Insurance Company

Oikocredit International


Lega is involved in local and cross-border financing transactions, with some of its standout matters including advising Scotiabank on a number of foreign investment and capital market issues. The firm has also played a key role in the development of the private capital sector in Venezuela, as a means of alternative financing, by promoting the growth of the Venezuelan Private Capital Association (Venecápital), of which practice co-head Pedro Urdaneta was appointed as director and secretary general. The firm is active in a wide variety of banking and finance matters, including the negotiation of credit facilities for public agencies and corporations and advising clients on matters related to cryptocurrencies. Practice co-head José Alberto Ramírez has been involved in complex financing transactions, including advising Japan Bank for International Cooperation on a JPY17bn loan agreement, and has developed expertise in banking and capital markets regulatory work. Miguel Rivero is experienced in financing transactions in the oil and gas sector.

Practice head(s):

José Alberto Ramírez León; Pedro Urdaneta


Deep knowledge of the local laws and practices. Thorough feedback and prompt responses.

José Alberto Ramírez is very solid and proactive. It is a pleasure to work with José and his advice is very strong.

Lega brings a fresh take on legal issues which is welcome because it provides new insights into well-worn issues.

Key clients

The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

Banco Comercial Portugues

ING Bank

Citigroup Global Markets

Bank Hapoalim

Bank of Tokyo

Bank Leumi

Amerant Bank

Morgan Stanley

Charles Schwab & Co

Houston Casualty Company (a subsidiary of Tokio Marine HCC)


Banco Nacional De Crédito (BNC)

HCC Insurance Holdings

Veninca Investment Bank


Work highlights

  • Assisted Scotiabank on the planning and execution of the sale of its interest in Bancaribe.
  • Advised Amerant Bank on conducting visits for compliance purposes to more than 100 companies located in different states in Venezuela.
  • Assisting ING Bank with the process of winding up several of its business entities in Venezuela.

Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia.

Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia. handles a wide variety of banking and finance matters for both international and domestic clients, including project finance, debt restructuring, corporate finance, loan security (where the firm has a specialism in the design of security trusts to protect the lender’s interests), banking litigation, and regulatory and compliance issues. Among the most notable names in the team are Diego Lepervanche, who has considerable strength in corporate finance matters with international implications and compliance matters; Luisa Lepervanche, who is experienced in international investment and development projects; Carlos Eduardo Acedo, whose skill sets include insurance and reinsurance matters; Manuel Acedo Sucre, who is knowledgeable in securities law, foreign investment and currency controls; and Luisa Acedo, who advises on project finance, exchange control and international sanctions. In a significant recent development, in February 2023 the firm expanded its team with the additions of Juan Castillo Carvajal, Francisco Alemán Planchart, César Lepervanche Mendoza and René Plinio Lepervanche from Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez.

Key clients


Miranda Capital Partners

Banco Nacional de Crédito (BNC) and affiliates

Munich Re and Munchener de Venezuela

Venezuelan-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VenAmCham)

Mercantil Banco Universal

AON Risk Group

Real Seguros (formerly Zurich Insurance)

Bancaribe and international affiliates

Banco Venezolano de Crédito

VBT Bank

Corporación Grupo Químico and affiliates (subsidiaries of Grupo Orbis)

Work highlights

  • Advised Citibank with regard to the documentary evidence of succession in the cases of deceased Venezuelan account holders.
  • Advising VenAmCham (the Venezuelan-American Chamber of Commerce and Trade) and several clients within the private sector on foreign sanctions as they interact with Venezuelan law.
  • Advising Mercantil Banco Universal regarding litigation before the Supreme Tribunal.

Altum Abogados, S.C.

Altum Abogados, S.C. provides advice on corporate finance, capital markets and exchange control regulations, credit operations, syndicated loans and securitisations, as well as insolvency and debt restructuring. Álvaro Posada Sessarego has experience in advising foreign and local banks and corporations on cross-border financial transactions, and is a name to note in the retail and wholesale vehicle finance space. Alfonso Porras Machado has frequently been involved in advising multinational companies in Venezuela. Associate Froila Eugenia Pimental is noted for her experience in banking and finance, capital markets and debt restructuring matters.

Practice head(s):

Álvaro Posada Sessarego; Alfonso Porras Machado


It is a young team which is very focused on achieving solutions for its clients. They are experts in their field, and stand out for their constant availability and responsiveness.

Alfonso Porras is excellent in every way. Always available, comes up with practical solutions, is transparent and has a strong sense of ethics. He is interested in getting to know his clients and maintaining solid relationships.


Araquereyna‘s banking and finance department advises clients including international banks and financial institutions on a wide variety of transactions, including corporate finance, project finance, corporate and private banking, wealth management and capital markets matters. The team also frequently advises on regulatory and compliance issues, and insurance and reinsurance matters, and has also seen an increase in instructions related to crypto asset laws and regulations in Venezuela. The practice is led by Pedro Planchart, who is respected in capital markets transactions, Gustavo Reyna, who is experienced in securities and exchange control matters, and Pedro Sosa.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Planchart; Gustavo Reyna; Pedro Sosa

Key clients

JP Morgan Chase Bank

Simmons & Simmons

Kennedy CMK and Kennedy

Debevoise & Plimpton


Bird & Bird

InterJuris Abogados

InterJuris Abogados has offices in Caracas, Miami and Madrid and advises public and private financial institutions, fintech companies and financial service providers, both domestically and internationally. In particular, the firm is recognised for its advice on blockchain technology and crypto assets. Juan José Delgado is the managing partner and has a practice focused on the structuring and implementation of project and debt financings. José Alejandro Corban Obadía advises commercial clients, including oil exploration companies and export credit agencies, on debt financings, securities financings and sovereign debt arrangements. Antonio Ramirez, Gonzalo Perez and Fernando Ríos Morillo are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Juan José Delgado


The team of lawyers at InterJuris is simply spectacular.

The team stands out for its knowledge of the area and the business, connections at the highest level, and experience in complex situations. They are all very good, but I must highlight Juan José Delgado.

The team is very dedicated, the service is very personalised and they are all very knowledgeable in their respective areas. It is a real pleasure to work with them. I have always felt very well supported.

Key clients

Nodus International Bank


Alaluz Capital



Acredita (previously Experian Soluciones V)


Quant BBS

Caja Caracas


Work highlights

  • Advising Alaluz Capital on the structuring of private equity funds with clients in Latin America.
  • Advised Italcambio on the application of fintech regulations to the exchange business.
  • Advised Nodus on the restructuring of Nodus Banking and Nodus Finance, as well as the fintech subsidiary Nodus Pay.

LEC Abogados

LEC Abogados has recently advised on several sovereign and quasi-sovereign transactions in Venezuela alongside assisting various financial institutions and multilateral agencies with their lending arrangements. The firm also handles debt restructuring and refinancing transactions and advises clients in the oil sector. Leopoldo Cadenas advises clients on international lending operations, including assisting Venezuelan business groups with accessing international private financing for their regional operations. Rodolfo Belloso and Gastón Lazzari, who represents a number of high-profile oil and gas clients, are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Leopoldo Cadenas

Baker & McKenzie, S.C.

Baker & McKenzie, S.C. is focused on advising banks and other financial institutions on exchange control framework and regulatory matters. Jesús Dávila co-heads the team with Eugenio Hernández-Bretón, who has experience in banking and finance matters involving oil, gas and mining companies. Adriana Gonçalves and Marie Roschelle Quintero are also names to watch for their compliance work. Senior associate Jesús Villegas, who recently joined the firm from an in-house role, provides key support.

Practice head(s):

Jesús Dávila; Eugenio Hernández-Bretón

Raffalli de Lemos Halvorssen Ortega y Ortiz

Raffalli de Lemos Halvorssen Ortega y Ortiz advises domestic and international clients on matters including special regulatory issues in Venezuela. The team has experience in M&A related to banking and financial institutions, especially during times of crisis and intervention scenarios. Jose Manuel Ortega Sosa and Rafael De Lemos Matheus are the key contacts in the practice.

Rodner, Martínez & Asociados

Rodner, Martínez & Asociados advises international and domestic clients on loans, swaps and leasing transactions, among other matters, with an additional focus on the tax and structuring aspects of international banking activity. Jaime Martínez Estévez and James-Otis Rodner are the key contacts in the team.

Rodríguez & Mendoza

Rodríguez & Mendoza's recent record includes advising on the structuring of loan agreements, debt restructurings and related tax considerations, as well as assisting foreign financial institutions with setting up representative branches in Venezuela. The firm acts for a broad roster of domestic and international clients. Carlos Martinez, Miguel Velutini and Reinaldo Hellmund are all names to note, with experience in oil and gas project financing.

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz fields teams from offices in Maracaibo, Valencia, Barquisimeto and Puerto La Cruz, assisting international and domestic clients such as Banco Occidental de Descuento and Activo Banco Universal with regulatory issues and debt collection. The firm also has a focus on advising on fintech matters in Venezuela. Pedro Rengel Nuñez heads the banking and capital markets department with Olga Nass De Massiani, who is based in the US and is knowledgeable in foreign exchange regulation and sanctions matters.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Rengel Núñez; Olga Nass De Massiani

Key clients

Inversiones CSS 92 C.A.

American Express

Banco Mercantil

Work highlights

  • Advising Inversiones CSS 92 C.A. on all matters regarding fintech services in Venezuela.
  • Advising American Express on its activities in Venezuela, including credit card operations carried out through some local banks that act as independent operators of American Express.
  • Managing some extrajudicial actions for the collection of debts of Banco Mercantil through the offices in Maracaibo, Valencia and Puerto La Cruz.