Public law in Venezuela

Altum Abogados, S.C.

Altum Abogados, S.C. is highly experienced in advising domestic and international clients on public contracting, permits and authorisations, consumer protection and price regulation. In particular, the team stands out for its advice to pharmaceutical companies on regulatory issues in the sector, including sanitary registrations and pricing regulation. It also advises on compliance with regulatory and environmental permits. Practice head Martha Cohen has a strong track record of advising on contracts with public entities, public bids, sanctions procedures, consumer and price protection, and antitrust and anti-corruption issues. Associate Ariana Cabrera is also a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Martha Cohén


‘There is a significant amount of talent across several generations in the team, which allows it to adapt its service to the needs and expectations of the client. Few general practice firms in Caracas can say that.’

‘The firm stands out for its knowledge of the law, the local environment, and the needs and expectations of corporations, national or foreign, that want to better understand a complex market such as the Venezuelan one.’

‘A very competitive, up-to-date and modern team.’

‘Personalised treatment and constant follow-up on clients’ matters. The price level compared to other firms is very competitive.’

‘The team has various specialties, which strengthens its response to various challenges.’

‘They understand the needs of the client.’

‘Practical approach to the problems raised.’

‘Martha Cohen is very good for public law issues.’


Araquereyna is noted for its track record of representing national and international clients in administrative and judicial proceedings with the Venezuelan state and governmental bodies, as well as advising on compliance in highly regulated sectors. In particular, the team has seen an increase in work advising clients in the commercial aviation sector on regulatory and permitting issues, and has assisted a range of clients with compliance with regulations to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism. Practice head Antonio Canova is experienced in regulatory and administrative matters, including representing private companies in litigation with the state. Juan Carlos Balzán, who joined the firm from his own practice in February 2022, also specialises in public law, regulatory and compliance issues.

Practice head(s):

Antonio Canova


‘One of the most prepared offices in Venezuela.’

Key clients

Turkish Airlines

General Motors


BSN Medical (BSN Medical Venezuela y BSN Medical Pharmaceuticals)

Industrias Alimenticias Hermo de Venezuela

Phillip Morris International



Bancrecer, Banco Microfinanciero

Nokia (Nokia Solutions and Networks de Venezuela)

Work highlights

  • Advised Turkish Airlines’ Venezuelan subsidiary on the renewal of its operational permit by the National Institute of Civil Aviation.

Ayala, Dillon, Fernández, Linares Consultores Jurídicos

Specialising in administrative law, Ayala, Dillon, Fernández, Linares Consultores Jurídicos advises national and international companies on their relations with government entities, in addition to defending clients in administrative and regulatory proceedings. The team advises on public works, bidding, privatisations and expropriations, telecoms regulatory issues, and environmental matters. Carlos Ayala Corao is the key contact.

Badell & Grau Legal Consultants

Specialised in constitutional, administrative and tax matters, Badell & Grau Legal Consultants advises on a wide range of matters, including administrative contracts, tenders, expropriations, foreign investment, banking regulation and exchange control. Sectors of expertise include telecoms, hydrocarbons and mining. Rafael Badell Madrid is the key contact.

Baker & McKenzie, S.C.

Baker & McKenzie, S.C. has considerable expertise in advising on economic regulations and in public law litigation, including representing clients in administrative proceedings before governmental entities. The team also stands out for its experience in public procurement, while another key area of strength is advising on expropriations and the protection of foreign investments. On the TMT side of the practice, the team assists clients including television networks and social media platforms with compliance, content regulation and obtaining authorisations. Eugenio Hernández-Bretón stands out for his advice to international oil, gas and mining companies on regulatory issues in Venezuela; he leads the team with Maria Eugenia Salazar, an expert in the protection of foreign investments and telecoms matters. Associate Héctor Martínez is also a key name for regulatory matters in the pharmaceuticals, energy and telecoms sectors.

Practice head(s):

Eugenio Hernández-Bretón; María Eugenia Salazar

Key clients

Sucesión Heemsen

IVC Networks Latin America




Mundo Ole Venezuela

Work highlights

  • Advising Sucesion Heemsen regarding the expropriation procedure of 600 hectares located in Puerto Cabello in Carabobo State, carried out by the public entity Bolipuertos.
  • Advising IVC Networks Latin America with regard to its qualification as an international producer of audiovisual services before Venezuela’s National Commission of Telecommunications (Conatel) and on maintaining its qualification.
  • Advising Facebook on a monthly basis on developments relating to over-the-top services regulation, net neutrality and online video regulation (including online content regulation).


D'Empaire particularly stands out for its expertise in regulatory matters in the pharmaceutical sector, counting numerous major multinationals among its clients. The team also has significant strength in the automobile industry and in TMT-related matters, including advising local radio and television stations on the Venezuelan government's refusal to grant permits and concessions. Advising on the nationalisation and expropriation of large Venezuelan corporations remains another key area of activity. At the head of the team, José Valentín González specialises in constitutional, administrative and pharmaceutical litigation, as well as regulatory and telecoms matters, and José Humberto Frías is noted for his expertise in administrative and regulatory matters, including nationalisations. The environmental side of the practice is led by Francisco Bolinaga, who advises local and international companies on compliance, permitting and licensing issues. At associate level, Ornella Bernabei has expertise in the pharmaceutical sector, and Daniel Bustos stands out for disputes involving pharmaceutical, telecoms and energy clients.

Practice head(s):

Jose Valentin Gonzalez; Jose Humberto Frias


‘This office remains at the forefront of legal knowledge and jurisprudence. Their teams of lawyers are studious, prepared and attentive. They stay up-to-date on technological tools. They provide excellent legal advice.’

‘They are lawyers who always explain all the elements involved in a given case, in an ethical and professional manner. They always act with honesty, professionalism and dedication.’

Key clients

Radio Caracas Television (RCTV)

Radio Caracas Radio (RCR)

Novartis Venezuela

Bristol-Myers Squibb



Bayer Venezuela




JMF Consulting

Nestlé Venezuela

Pepsi-Cola Venezuela

Work highlights

  • Providing regulatory advice to RCR on its operations as an online radio after the renewal of its broadcasting licence was denied by the Venezuelan government, as well as to RCTV on certain content matters.


Dentons is particularly active in advising mixed companies in the oil and gas and mining sectors on regulatory matters, and also stands out for its expertise in advising major multinational clients in sectors such as pharmaceuticals on pricing regulation and exchange control. In addition, the team frequently advises on antitrust issues, and handles judicial proceedings challenging decisions by the Venezuelan antitrust authority. Advising on the negotiation of contracts with public entities is another key area of activity, and the team also works alongside the firm's litigation, corporate and labour practices to assist with expropriation cases and the closure of clients' operations in Venezuela. Practice head Luis Ernesto Andueza has longstanding expertise in administrative litigation, regulatory matters, and antitrust and anti-corruption issues.

Practice head(s):

Luis Andueza


‘Dentons have a robust team and they provide effective, thorough and fast responses to their clients.’

‘What stands out is the capability of the team, the added value and the follow-up on pending issues.’

‘Luis Andueza has a lot of knowledge and experience as well as a broad business vision. This is unique in the market. He is always accurate and practical in his reasoning.’

Key clients

Gold Reserve

Industria Venezolana de Gas (INVEGAS)

Work highlights

  • Advising Gold Reserve on the negotiations for the development of a gold and copper project, and on new legislation relating to the commercialisation of gold.
  • Advising INVEGAS on the takeover of its facilities and operations by the Venezuelan government.

InterJuris Abogados

InterJuris Abogados is particularly noted for its advice on the effect of foreign sanctions, in addition to handling projects-related disputes with state entities, including investment arbitration. The team also advises on expropriation cases, with an emphasis on the energy sector, and a wide range of other constitutional, administrative and public procurement matters. Its regulatory affairs practice spans exchange control, antitrust, price control and consumer protection issues. Practice head Luis Ortiz-Alvarez, who is based in the firm’s Miami office, has a broad practice which includes international arbitration and antitrust, public contracting and expropriation matters. Gonzalo Pérez Salazar, who joined the firm in June 2021 from an in-house role, is also noted for his litigation and regulatory expertise.

Practice head(s):

Luis Ortiz-Alvarez

Key clients

Valle Verde






HES (Caribbean) International Holdings

Rafay Ingenieros & Asociados

Alumni San Ignacio (ALSI)

Work highlights

  • Advising ALSI on Venezuela-related economic sanctions and the possibility of raising funds from national or international organisations.
  • Advising Barbados company Transban on third-party funding to restart a claim against the Venezuelan state relating to the government’s expropriation of investments in the Venezuelan banking sector.


Lega has significant experience in international arbitration and litigation against the Republic of Venezuela and state-owned entities, including expropriation and nationalisation cases, and has a long track record of judicial reviews and claims against governmental bodies. The team also stands out for its advice on public procurement, advising on tenders, the negotiation of contracts, project construction and related disputes; its expertise spans the infrastructure, energy, aviation, education and defence sectors. In addition, the practice advises on regulatory issues in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and medical equipment industries. José Gregorio Torrealba, who specialises in public procurement, foreign investment protection and international arbitration, leads the practice with Faustino Flamarique, an expert in competition law. Andrés Linares-Benzo, who handles public law disputes, and Alejandro Gallotti, who has expertise in administrative law and litigation against public authorities, are also noted.

Practice head(s):

José Gregorio Torrealba; Faustino Flamarique


‘Competent and efficient. José Gregorio Torrealba and Alejandro Gallotti are excellent.’

‘José Gregorio Torrealba, Alejandro Gallotti, Andrés Linares and the rest of the team are excellent lawyers and great people.’

Key clients



Surpass Commercial


OI European Group

Consorcio OIV Tocoma


Advanced Bionics


Donfang Electrical Machinery

Work highlights

  • Advising OI European Group on Venezuelan legislation relating to piercing the corporate veil, as part of an action brought by the client in order to enforce an ICSID award rendered against the Republic of Venezuela on a state-owned company’s assets in the Netherlands.
  • Acting for Webuild in an international arbitration against the Venezuelan state and the state railways institution, Instituto de Ferrocarriles del Estado, before the ICC in Paris for non-payment and breach of contract over the construction of the railway system.
  • Advising Consorcio OIV Tocoma on the interpretation of a public works contract for the construction of the Manuel Piar (Tocoma) Dam in Puerto Ordaz.

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

Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia. has a broad public law offering spanning advice on international sanctions, price controls and consumer protection, sanitary registrations for food and beverages, insurance and banking regulations, and the protection of foreign investments. In addition, the team has notable experience of assisting international private contractors with projects with the Venezuelan state or state-owned entities, including the negotiation of contracts, labour and tax issues. Another key area of strength is advising on expropriation cases and constitutional appeals and remedies. Carlos Eduardo Acedo, who has expertise in exchange control regulation, consumer protection law, and administrative law, leads the practice with Esteban Palacios, an expert in constitutional litigation and public contracting.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Eduardo Acedo; Esteban Palacios

Key clients

Corporación Solsica

Corporación de Cemento Andino

SA Venezolana Doméstica de Gas (Domegas)

MSD Farmacéutica

Industria Venezolana de Transporte Operativo

Coca-Cola Servicios

Munich Re


Urbanizadora Jorfin

Aluminios Brito

Work highlights

  • Advised the Venezuelan office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on administrative and tax issues, particularly reviewing and adapting its international construction contracts in order to carry out building work in Venezuela.
  • Advising Corporación de Cemento Andino on the expropriation procedure of a cement production complex in Venezuela, in which a tribunal ordered that the owner should be properly compensated for the loss of property.
  • Advising CA Ron Santa Teresa on new regulations for the registration of private foundations, civil associations, non-governmental organisations and other not-for-profit entities, according to the National Office Against Organized Crime and Financing of Terrorism’s criteria.

Palacios, Torres & Korody

Palacios, Torres & Korody has a notable focus on economic regulation, with expertise across highly regulated sectors including oil and gas, mining, telecoms and financial services. The team advises on price control, consumer protection, foreign exchange policy, public contracts and tenders, and relations between state and private entities. At the head of the practice, Leonardo Palacios is noted for his expertise in public finance, taxation and regulatory law, and Daniel Betancourt is highly experienced in administrative proceedings, public bidding processes and regulatory compliance matters, while Juan Korody and José Gregorio Torres are also names to note.

Practice head(s):

Leonardo Palacios; Juan Korody; Jose Gregorio Torres; Daniel Betancourt

Key clients

Cigarrera Bigott (British American Tobacco)

Diageo Venezuela

Caja Venezolano de Valores

Total Energies

Banco Nacional de Crédito


Alimentos Heinz de Venezuela

Schlumberger Venezuela

Consorcio AIT/Electroingenería

Empresas Polar


Work highlights

  • Advised Total Energies on the fiscal and regulatory implications of the transfer of its participation in the Petrocedeño public-private joint venture.
  • Advised British American Tobacco on changes to cigarette packaging.
  • Representing Argentine power company Consorcio AIT/Electroingenería in a breach of contract lawsuit against a state-owned electricity company.

Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez

Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez stands out for its experience in constitutional and administrative litigation, in addition to its advice on regulatory matters in the mining, hydrocarbons and telecoms sectors. The team also assists clients with obtaining permits and licences from public entities, bidding processes, expropriations and environmental compliance. Margarita Escudero León is the name to note.

Torres, Plaz & Araujo

Torres, Plaz & Araujo focuses on administrative and constitutional litigation and international arbitration relating to public contracts, particularly for petroleum and mining projects. In the projects space, the team also advises on administrative concessions, licences, permits and authorisations granted by the Venezuelan authorities. Additional areas of expertise include advising on expropriation and nationalisation proceedings and representing clients in administrative proceedings before the government's consumer protection agency. The practice is led by Juan Domingo Alfonzo, whose broad practice spans expropriation processes, foreign exchange matters, antitrust law and consumer protection issues. Domingo Piscitelli Nevola is also a key contact for constitutional and administrative matters.

Practice head(s):

Juan Domingo Alfonzo

Key clients

Astillas Nacionales (ANCA)

Cargill De Venezuela

Pepsico Alimentos

Toyota De Venezuela

Bacardi International



Cervecería Polar

Work highlights

  • Represented Productora de Sal (Produsal), a subsidiary of Cargill de Venezuela, in a claim for nullity of the law which regulates the extraction, exploration and commercialisation of salts and minerals in Zulia State, filed before the Constitutional Chamber of the Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice.
  • Representing Astillas Nacionales (ANCA) in constitutional and administrative actions relating to the occupation of its industrial plant and premises by the National Superintendence for the Defence of Socio-Economic Rights (SUNDDE).
  • Represented Sanofi in proceedings before the state regulatory agency.

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz  advises on regulatory matters across a wide range of sectors, including food and beverages, consumer products, TMT and pharmaceuticals, counting a number of major multinationals among its clients. The team has notable experience of representing clients before the courts and public agencies in administrative and judicial proceedings, including constitutional actions. In addition, the practice advises on obtaining permits, licences and authorisations for food, medicine, cosmetics and alcoholic products. Practice head Karla Peña García  frequently advises on regulatory and environmental compliance in M&A transactions and represents clients in disputes with the state.

Practice head(s):

Karla Peña García

Key clients

Avon Cosmetics de Venezuela

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

American Express

Lloyd’s of London

Del Monte de Venezuela

Mondelez VZ

Janssen Cilag

Inversora Betijoque

Ford Motor de Venezuela

Galería Ávila

Loma el Veciiino

Work highlights

  • Acting for Avon Cosmetics de Venezuela in a constitutional action against members of its union and some of the company’s workers who occupied its manufacturing plant in Guatire.
  • Acting alongside Simpson Thacher & Bartlett as lead counsel for Stonepeak in its acquisition of Lumen Technologies, including reviewing all related regulatory issues.
  • Defended Mondelez VZ before the Autonomous Service of Sanitary Comptrollership (SACS) after its plant was shut down for the alleged failure to comply with Covid-19 safety protocols.