Labour and employment in Venezuela

Baker & McKenzie, S.C.

Baker & McKenzie, S.C. has a strong track record in employment disputes, as well as in reorganisations and restructurings; thanks to the firm's large international network, it can handle cross-jurisdictional matters. Other areas of expertise include negotiations with unions and compensation matters. Carlos Felce has more than 25 years of experience; he leads the team, which has a strong bench of associates including Daniel FragielJohana De La RosaSebastián Nastari and Carmen García. Gustavo Nieto is not currently active as a partner but acts as a strategic ally to the firm.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Felce

Testimonials

Very professional and helpful consultants.

Sebastián Nastari is always ready to clarify doubts in labour matters; he performs professionally and his way of expressing himself is impeccable.’

Key clients

Anglo American

Aspen Technology

Associated Press

Eni

DirecTV

Grünenthal

Melia

Parmalat

Telefónica

3M

Del Monte

GCP Applied Technologies

D'Empaire

The team at D'Empaire is noted for covering a wide range of labour and employment matters; it has strong expertise in collective contract negotiations, conflict management with labour unions, and supporting the corporate team in transactions and restructuring. The client portfolio includes prominent names from the banking and finance, energy and consumer product sectors, among others. Practice heads Victorino Márquez and Alejandro Disilvestro have longstanding experience in the area. Associates Aixa Añez and Biba Arciniegas complete the team.

Key clients

Linde-Praxair

Bimbo

Thomson Reuters

Visa

Maurel & Prom

Bristol Myers-Squibb

Tetra Pak

Syngenta

Marubeni

EagleBurgmann

Work highlights

  • Advised Linde-Praxair on the orderly closing down of operations in Venezuela following the termination of its supply contract with PDVSA.
  • Assisted Bimbo with collective bargaining procedures to settle collective disputes on benefits and working conditions.
  • Advised Thomson Reuters on the transfer of employees as a result of the sale of a majority stake of the Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk unit to Blackstone Group.

Dentons

Dentons is an established labour adviser to companies from a wide range of industries, including energy, pharmaceuticals, consumer products, aviation and insurance. The team is regularly instructed to assist with the transfer of employees, mass layoffs and workforce reductions, the negotiation of terminations, tax-payroll contributions and contracts, as well as contentious matters. Practice head Juan Carlos Pró-Rísquez also advises on the labour aspects of corporate transactions. Esther Cecilia Blondet and Eirys Mata Marcano are the key contacts for litigation. Yanet Aguiar is well versed in social security, data privacy and immigration issues.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Pró-Risquez

Testimonials

One of the most solid teams in Venezuela.’

The team provides experience, cordial treatment and knowledge.

Juan Carlos Pró and Esther Cecilia Blondet make the difference; they handle very complex and delicate cases and they always transmit tranquility and security.’

Key clients

AbbVie Laboratories

American Airlines

Air France

Alstom

Bayer

Banesco

Bimbo

Brinks (Servicio Panamericano de Protección)

British American Tobacco (Bigott)

Grupo Polar

Huawei

Johnson & Johnson Group

Mitsubishi

Novartis

Pepsico Alimentos

Shell

Vetra Energy Services

Vicson Bekaert

Work highlights

  • Represented American Airlines in a $4m lawsuit brought by a former contractor who rendered his services as a medical doctor of the company, requesting payment of statutory labour benefits.
  • Represented Huawei in a $5m lawsuit brought by a former employee concerning the economic impact of commissions on rest days and holidays and labour benefits.
  • Acted for Bayer before the Labour Inspector’s Office and the Office of the Vice-President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela due to a claim filed by the pharmaceutical industry union concerning a massive dismissal procedure.

Leĝa Abogados provides clients from various industries with comprehensive labour and employment advice; the team is experienced in lawsuits and claims, audits, collective bargaining and workshops, among other matters. Practice co-head Gabriel Calleja, who joined after the firm's merger with the now-defunct Imery Urdaneta in April 2019, and Luis Azuaje are specialists in disputes and workplace safety matters. Calleja leads the team with compensation expert John Tucker-BarbozaCarlos Alberto Henríquez has more than 30 years of experience in the area. María Elena Subero and Natalia De Paz Garmendia are other names to note.

Testimonials

Leĝa Abogados is a solid team of consultants, providing full and reliable advice.

‘Connoisseurs of the labour legal field with excellent relations in the area, but above all a great sensitivity to the needs of the business.

Solid knowledge and a team with expertise in different areas of law, so they can support clients in situations of various kinds.

Gabriel Calleja and Luis Azuaje are an unstoppable duo, their powers ranging from the simplicities of individual labour law to the most complicated depths of collective law. They are patient with the client’s needs, proactive and one step ahead.’

Key clients

Coca-Cola Femsa

Diageo

Nestle

New York Mets

Lenovo

Tampa Bay Rays

General Electric /Baker Hughes

Cerveceria Regional

Makro Comercializadora

IBM

Work highlights

  • Developed information sessions for different foreign chambers and organisations for their members on the topic of labour obligations and compliance with the various formalities of government agencies.
  • Assisted IBM with establishing new compensation options for its employees, creating new employment benefits, and establishing polices for employee retention.
  • Acted for Servicios Médicos Asis-Med in a lawsuit regarding the employment contract of a director who is also the sole shareholder of the company which provides collection services to the client.

ARAQUEREYNA

The practice of Araquereyna covers the negotiation of individual and collective agreements, as well as representing clients in administrative and judicial procedures. Senior partner Luis Alfredo Araque leads the team, which also includes associate Patricia Lozada Pérez. Pedro Sosa covers health and safety risks matters.

Practice head(s):

Luis Alfredo Araque

InterJuris Abogados

InterJuris Abogados provides comprehensive advice to foreign companies with businesses in Venezuela on day-to-day labour issues and is particularly strong in assisting with labour disputes. The team showcases expertise in judicial and administrative proceedings, often brought by former employees. Practice head Angel Meléndez Cardoza is also well versed in international employee transfers and contracts. He is supported by associates Arturo Rodríguez Natera and Danielis Toro Orozco.

Practice head(s):

Angel Meléndez Cardoza

Testimonials

The team provides immediate assistance and knowledge of the different alternatives. Its strength is that the lawyers are diligent and very professional with the client.’

A creative team that seeks legal solutions tailored to the needs of the business.’

InterJuris offers practical solutions to its clients’ labour problems. The team’s strongest point is its frankness and ability to solve problems quickly.’

Angel Meléndez is always very up-to-date on the latest legal criteria and also on enforcement practices. His agility, good sense and frankness stand out.’

Danielis Toro is pragmatic and very willing to take action.’

Key clients

Cervecería Polar

Pepsi-Cola Venezuela

Alimentos Polar

Productos EFE

Tele Plastic

Ericsson

Experian

Industria Láctea de Venezuela (Lactalis)

Avon

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Goddard Catering Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Cervecería Polar in a lawsuit brought by a group of employees seeking restitution to their positions after the termination/suspension of labour relations due to lack of raw material for production.
  • Acting for Pepsi-Cola Venezuela in lawsuits brought by a group of ex-employees who signed settlement agreements at the moment of termination and seek the payment of differences in the calculation of severance and labour benefits.
  • Assisting Ericsson with the termination of labour relationships.

LABOR – Gestión de Gente

Labour boutique Labor – Gestión de Gente covers a wide range of related matters; it stands out for its collective bargaining, compensation and benefits, terminations and disputes experience. Carlos Rivera is particularly well versed in labour lawsuits and claims. Other key practitioners are Pedro Uriola and associate Luis Baclini.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Rivera 

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

The team at Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia. has a strong track record in labour-related judicial proceedings, in which it represents foreign and local employers. Other active areas are labour negotiations, terminations, contracts and workshops, and the team also collaborates closely with the firm's corporate group. Dispute resolution specialists Esteban Palacios and Alfonso Graterol head up the practice, which also includes Carlos Páez Pumar and María del Carmen López.

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

  • Advised Hotel Paseo Las Mercedes on all its labour issues, such as a physical injury claim and salary benefit claims.
  • Representing MSD in various labour claims.
  • Advising various international companies and their local subsidiaries on general labour matters, contracts, negotiations with workers and unions, calculation of legal benefits and termination packages, and termination issues.

Altum Abogados, S.C.

Under the leadership of the experienced Mariana Roso, the team at Altum Abogados, S.C. advises on hiring, terminations, compensation and benefits, collective bargaining, labour audits, restructuring, personnel reductions and management of risk. The client portfolio includes companies from the food and drink, pharmaceutical, technology and professional services sectors. Associate Ariana Cabrera is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Mariana Roso

Rodríguez & Mendoza

The key contact at Rodríguez & Mendoza is Enrique Itriago Alfonzo, whose team regularly advises clients on individual and collective labour matters, labour audits and compliance issues, among others. It works closely with the corporate practice of the firm.

Practice head(s):

Enrique Itriago Alfonzo

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz's main expertise lies in the labour space, assisting clients with collective bargaining, unions and contract negotiations; this area is also the forte of practice head Oscar Ignacio Torres. The team also advises on the labour aspects of transactions and disputes. Hernando Barboza Russian and associate Wesley Soto López are also prominent practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Oscar Ignacio Torres