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Baker & McKenzie, S.C. manages high-profile cases and regionally the firm is recognised for its ‘excellent’ arbitration practice. The local team played an integral part in the firm’s successful multimillion-dollar ICSID investment arbitration victory against the Republic of Venezuela. The team has faced the government in other cases as well, for instance in ad hoc investment arbitration proceedings on behalf of the Heemsen family and concerning land expropriated by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Practice head Eugenio Hernández-Bretón also leads the firm’s energy and natural resources department and is therefore the key contact for clients from the oil sector, such as Total and PetroSaudi. Civil and commercial law specialist Gabriel de Jesús and María Eugenia Salazar Furiati are other names to note, as is senior associate Hector Martinez.

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.

Lega presents ‘very clear and honest strategies’; it specialises in various legal areas including civil, commercial, transit, banking and criminal cases, among others. Besides the team’s litigation and arbitration practice, it regularly applies ADR techniques such as negotiation, mediation and conciliation. The firm recently provided Honeywell Building Solutions with legal opinions in an arbitration process concerning the installation and maintenance of IT assets. Other clients include Steamship Mutual and Dell. Firm co-managing partner Carlos Domínguez is practice head; additional key contacts include the ‘very pragmatic’ Mark Melilli-Silva and ‘professional’ José Gregorio Torrealba. Junior partner Lisette García-Gandica is also noted.

Norton Rose Fulbright is recognised for its strong arbitration practice. Ramón Alvins is very experienced in all forms of dispute resolution and acts for clients such as Chevron, LG Electronics Panama, and Consorcio B&P. Alvins represented the latter against a consortium of two international construction companies. Acting mainly for international clients, Pedro Saghy provides advice on dispute avoidance. The team handles the most cases under ICSID and ICC enforcement currently pending against Venezuela. As of late January 2019, the firm's Venezuelan office has been taken over by Dentons.

Araquereyna undertakes litigation, arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution; and in addition, has a special focus on family law and mediation in conflicts. Recent highlights include Rafael Aneas Rodríguez successfully representing construction company Ghella Sogene against a pecuniary damages and loss of future earnings claim. The team is comprised of various experienced lawyers, among them founding partner Luis Alfredo Araque, who has great expertise in the resolution of both business and civil disputes. Marcos Carrillo and Pedro Sosa are also names to note.

Mendoza Palacios Acedo Borjas Páez Pumar & Cía’s broad litigation practice represents clients before administrative, tax, import, customs, labour, civil and commercial courts and tribunals. Co-head Alfonso Graterol is assisting Four Seasons Hotel in a lawsuit brought against the client for foreclosure of a second mortgage. As an expert in cassation, Rosemary Thomas represented the hotel Paseo Las Mercedes and obtained a favourable decision in the Social Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. Carlos Eduardo Acedo Sucre was active representing clients including Coca-Cola Servicios de Venezuela and MSD Farmacéutica. In addition to its Caracas headquarters, the firm also has an office in Valencia so as to directly offer services in the country’s central region.

Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez stands out for its solid knowledge of the Venezuelan judicial system and its mediation skills. Carlos Lepervanche Michelena acted for Nestlé Venezuela in several matters; in one case, the client requested an evaluation of the possible legal actions against a construction company from which Nestlé purchased properties. The team also acted for American Distribution de Venezuela, Better Home Products and Novo Banco.

WDA legal, S.C. has considerable experience in all forms of dispute resolution but is best known for its capabilities in commercial litigation and international arbitration. Past clients have been drawn from the water, electricity, hydrocarbons and food industries. Hernando Díaz-Candia and Bernardo Weininger are noted.

Along with corporate and competition matters, dispute resolution is one of the key pillars of boutique firm Mezgravis & Asoc. Its strong arbitration and litigation practice is led by founding partner Andrés A Mezgravis who also has considerable experience in mediation processes. Key support comes from dedicated disputes lawyer Militza Santana Pérez, who has a similarly broad practice.

Torres, Plaz & Araujo’s practice handles civil and commercial litigation along with handling financial cases; it is also adept in the use of alternative techniques of dispute settlement. The team recently represented VDGAS in a tort claim. Luis Gonzalo Monteverde Mancera, who specialises in commercial law, and Jesús Escudero Estévez, who focuses on cross-border cases and damage complaints, are the key contacts. The team is also representing PetroSaudi in international commercial arbitration against Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).

The dispute resolution practice at Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz is co-directed by Pedro Rengel Nuñez and Javier Ruan; both are experienced in the full range of litigation, arbitration and ADR. Past matters include advising on association and supply-agreement disputes and the enforcement of contracts, among other matters, including representation before the relevant courts.

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