Dispute resolution in Venezuela

Baker & McKenzie, S.C.

Baker & McKenzie, S.C.'s areas of expertise include commercial and investment arbitration, as well as civil and commercial litigation in the areas of real estate, energy, telecoms and public law. The team also works closely with the firm's international offices. Eugenio Hernández-Bretón, who is experienced in acting both as an arbitrator and as counsel, commercial law specialist Gabriel De Jesús and investment expert María Eugenia Salazar jointly lead the practice. Other key team members are associates Hector Martinez and Maria Alejandra Ruiz.

Testimonials

It is a highly trained team which responds promptly to requirements, without neglecting the emotional intelligence component.

Complete, assertive, timely opinions, as well as success in resolving controversial situations, make this team and office the best option.

The team is very formidable, it has the necessary technical knowledge and the service provided is impeccable.’

Gabriel De Jesús is someone who focuses his attention not only on the technical-legal aspects (obviously indispensable in all cases), but also on genuinely understanding the situation and urgency of the client, actively listening to them and even offering payment opportunities that generate a feeling of tranquility when contracting their services.’

Maria Alejandra Ruiz has a young and current perspective, but with clear knowledge and ideas.

Key clients

Longreef Investments (Café Fama de América)

Agroinsumos

Sucesión Heemsen

Ingersoll Rand Company

Procter & Gamble

Del Monte Andina

Hyundai Motor Company

Kimberly-Clark Corporation

AstraZeneca

Work highlights

  • Continued to represent Sucesión Heemsen in its $600m investment arbitration before the PCA.
  • Represented Agroinsumos Ibero-Americanos in its investment arbitration before the ICSID.
  • Representing Hyundai Motor Company in a lawsuit for damages filed by a former local distributor.

D'Empaire

D'Empaire has a strong track record in civil and commercial litigation, as well as international arbitration proceedings under various rules; one of its specialist areas is nationalisation cases. The client portfolio includes large corporations, family offices and individuals, and the team is also active in white-collar crime mandates. José Humberto Frías is the key contact in commercial and investor-state arbitration, while Pedro Perera is well versed in litigation. Dubraska Galarraga is also noted.

Key clients

Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV)

Visa

Work highlights

  • Representing Visa in a lawsuit brought by Valeven for alleged torts.
  • Acting for Dick Abanto Ishivata in an ICSID additional facility arbitration over the seizure of the claimant’s stake in a telecoms company holding several licences.
  • Representing the Garcías Armas Family and Luis García Armas in UNCITRAL and ICSID arbitration over the nationalisation of Alimentos Friosa and another distribution business expropriated from the García Armas Family.

Dentons

Dentons is noted for its considerable experience in international and domestic disputes; the practice handles litigation before all the relevant courts as well as arbitration proceedings under various rules, often relating to investments and the oil and gas sector. Team leader Ramón Alvins is known for his broad expertise, covering civil, labour, administrative and corporate law; like of counsel Pedro Saghy, he also regularly acts as an arbitrator. Corporate specialist Sergio Casinelli is another active member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Ramón Alvins

Key clients

Perfumes Factory

Venezuelan Heavy Industries

Fertiven

Chevron

Alstom

Exterran

Consorcio B&P

Consorcio OBF

Shell

LG Electronics Panama

Modexel

Inversiones Cismas

Chemtrade

Delta Airlines

Santiago Terrero

Inversiones Master 2008

Work highlights

  • Acting for Fertiven in a dispute under several different agreements related to the construction of a fertiliser plant.
  • Representing Consorcio B&P in a contractual dispute with an international consortium.
  • Acting for Venezuelan Heavy Industries in arbitration proceedings filed with the CEDCA against Dynamic Industries International, claiming $5m for differences in the administration of certain contracts related to the central production facility of the Corocoro field development project.

The team at Leĝa Abogados handles the full spectrum of disputes, particularly for companies from the pharmaceutical, telecoms, technology and banking sectors. It covers civil, commercial, insurance, maritime and criminal litigation, as well as arbitration. Carlos Domínguez has longstanding experience in all forms of dispute resolution, including mediation and preventive advice. He co-leads the practice with London-based José Gregorio TorrealbaPedro Jedlicka, who joined in April 2019 from the now-defunct Imery Urdaneta, and José Alberto Ramírez are key contacts for commercial and investment arbitrations. Mark Melilli Silva has expertise in labour and IP law, and Lisette García Gandica is also recommended.

Testimonials

The team members not only have good knowledge and sharp legal minds, but also provide very good and practical advice on how to deal with the Venezuelan courts and bureaucracy.

The dispute resolution practice at Leĝa Abogados distinguishes itself through its leading partners and junior partners, who have crucial experience in winning cases in different jurisdictions against publicly owned corporations. Their experience in designing and executing out-of-the-box enforcement strategies is invaluable and proves them to be the best law firm for this type of case.

José Gregorio Torrealba is not only a great lawyer who you’d want on your side, but a very nice person as well.

Key clients

Pirelli de Venezuela

Occidental Seaways

Nestlé Venezuela

Administradora Galpofinca

Construcciones Lamilara

Dianamen

RB Inversiones

Carroferta Media Group

Rafay Ingenieros & Asociados

ATM 2000 Ingenieros Consultores

Makro Comercializadora

Smurfit Kappa Cartón de Venezuela

Santiago Petit

Work highlights

  • Acted as co-counsel to Smurfit Kappa Cartón de Venezuela in an international investment arbitration under ICSID rules, regarding the expropriation of its assets, including major plants and farms.
  • Assisted Administradora Galpofinca with a decennial liability claim.
  • Acted for Rafay Ingenieros & Asociados in an international commercial arbitration under ICC rules.

ARAQUEREYNA

Araquereyna's team covers an impressive range of matters, handling litigation, arbitration and mediation proceedings relating to bankruptcy, contracts and agreements, tax, labour issues, and civil liability and damages. Marcos CarrilloRafael Aneas Rodríguez and Pedro Planchart are skilled in representing national and international clients. The team also includes Pedro SosaGustavo Reyna and Guido Mejía, who was promoted to partner in late 2018.

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

Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia. has considerable experience in a broad range of disputes; the practice covers arbitration, administrative and judicial proceedings relating to civil, commercial and tax matters, among others. Finance sector specialist Carlos Eduardo Acedo and Esteban Palacios, who has expertise in labour disputes, jointly lead the practice. María Genoveva Páez Pumar is well versed in public law and tax matters. Alfonso GraterolCarlos Páez Pumar, Diego Lepervanche and associate María del Carmen López are also prominent practitioners.

Key clients

MSD Farmacéutica de Venezuela

Asea Brown Boveri

Coca-Cola Servicios de Venezuela

DHL Global Forwarding Venezuela

Metropolitan Distributors

Hotel Paseo Las Mercedes

Real Seguros

Mercantil Banco

Grupo Formiconi

Corporación de Cemento Andino

Distribuidora Alcarin

Work highlights

  • Representing Corporación de Cemento Andino in the expropriation procedure of a cement production complex in the city of Valera.
  • Handled various damages and contract fulfilment cases for Real Seguros.
  • Submitted an appeal on behalf of CA Química Integrada before the local tax court against a decision of the tax authority claiming differences in income tax.

Mezgravis & Asoc

Boutique practice Mezgravis & Asoc is active in cases involving companies and state entities as well individuals. The team is experienced in a variety of disputes, such as commercial, civil and labour matters, handling litigation, arbitration and mediation. Andrés Mezgravis and Militza Perez are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Andrés Mezgravis; Militza Perez

Torres, Plaz & Araujo

Torres, Plaz & Araujo covers a wide range of contentious matters; the team is active in civil, commercial, insurance and banking litigation and arbitration proceedings. Jesús Escudero, who is noted for his broad expertise, heads the team. Other names to note are commercial law expert Luis Gonzalo Monteverde, energy specialist Valentina Cabrera and recently promoted junior partner Andrea Cruz Suárez.

Practice head(s):

Jesús Escudero

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz

The dispute resolution team at Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz is well versed in proceedings relating to contracts, including procurement, construction, representation, distribution, association and supply contracts, and the enforcement thereof. Another field of activity is civil litigation. The key contacts are Pedro Rengel NuñezJavier Ruan and Pedro Garroni Requesens.