Public law in Venezuela
D'Empaire enjoys an excellent market reputation and is regularly instructed by clients from the pharmaceutical, automotive and media industries. The team is particularly experienced in expropriations and nationalisations as well as in criminal matters relating to regulatory cases. Practice co-head José Humberto Frías and corporate partner Arnoldo Troconis advised United Airlines on the regulatory aspects of its decision to cancel all flights to Venezuela. José Valentín González, who leads the team together with Frías, is assisting Bristol Myers Squibb with all its contracts with the Venezuelan social security administration, as well as with regulatory queries. Associate Ornella Bernabei is another name to note.
Leĝa Abogados has a standout practice in both contentious public law matters and public procurement, with the team having developed a considerable track record and significant experience across a number of segments including transportation, electricity, oil, aviation and ports, among others. Practice head José Gregorio Torrealba is well versed in this area; his recent work highlights include representing contractor LS Cable & System in legal proceedings against state owned CANTV, which failed to pay invoices after the contractor fulfilled its duties. Torrealba also successfully represented multiple companies -including Google, Prada and Pfizer- in judicial proceedings against the Venezuelan Trademark Office regarding its failure to decide more than 190 cases. Indeed, the firm's capabilities in contentious-administrative matters in the IP sphere has led (as of June 2019) to an association with leading IP firm Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez to jointly handle such matters. Alejandro Gallotti, Andrés Linares-Benzo and Rosa Virginia Superlano are other key team members.
Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez
The public law department at Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez is headed by Margarita Escudero León, who has longstanding experience in the field. Under her leadership, the team is regularly instructed by clients to advise on matters relating to regulatory compliance issues, administrative and judicial proceedings, and public bidding processes and expropriation claims. María Verónica Espina Molina is another key contact at the firm.
ARAQUEREYNA's team is experienced in the full gamut of public law matters, advising on consumer protection, price control, exchange control, and environmental law, as well as new technologies, data protection, public contracting and antitrust. Clients from the telecoms, aviation and healthcare sectors also entrust the firm to assist them with expropriation and nationalisation procedures. Practice head Antonio Canova and associate Rodrigo Moncho Stefani are the key practitioners.
Ayala, Dillon, Fernández, Linares Consultores Jurídicos
Ayala, Dillon, Fernández, Linares Consultores Jurídicos is a boutique specialising in public law; its areas of expertise include representing clients in administrative proceedings as well as privatisations and nationalisations. Carlos Ayala Corao, who also advises on international law and human rights, and Rafael Chavero Gazdik are noted.
Baker & McKenzie, S.C. is well versed in acting in expropriation processes, and advising on price control, compliance with product origin rules, and public procurement matters. The team is jointly led by Eugenio Hernández-Bretón and Maria Eugenia Salazar, who together continue to advise Sucesión Heemsen regarding the expropriation procedure for its land. Recent work saw the duo assisting IVC Networks with the granting of the qualification as an international producer of audiovisual services. Associates Héctor Martínez and María Victoria Díaz are also noted.
After the incorporation of the former Norton Rose Fulbright team, Dentons has a strong offering in the public law space; under the leadership of the experienced Luis Ernesto Andueza, it is regularly instructed by clients from the energy and aviation industries to assist with matters relating to the pricing regime, public contracting, and currency exchange, as well as in administrative proceedings. The group advised Delta Air Lines, which stopped all of its operations in Venezuela, on due notices to agencies and compliance with the applicable regime as a now dormant company. Another client of the practice is Gold Reserve. The team saw a new arrival in September 2018: Luis Fraga Pittaluga joined from WDA legal, S.C..
Grau García Hernández & Mónaco
Grau García Hernández & Mónaco's Gustavo Adolfo Grau Fortoul is an experienced practitioner in the field. He regularly advises national and foreign clients on the regulatory framework, currency exchange controls and expropriation matters. Beyond that, the team is also instructed to assist with obtaining permits and licences, as well as on litigation mandates. Miguel Mónaco is noted for his administrative law experience.
Badell & Grau Legal Consultants
Badell & Grau Legal Consultants is a long-established public law boutique, which assists its clients in the full gamut of related matters. The team, which is led by the experienced Rafael Badell Madrid, handles administrative contracts and organisation, tenders and class actions, as well as administrative proceedings before the relevant authorities. The offering also includes advice on expropriations and exchange control matters.
The team at InterJuris Abogados is experienced in advising clients on the full spectrum of public law matters, including constitutional law, administrative law, public procurement and regulatory matters. It works closely with the firm's energy department. Practice head Luis Ortiz Álvarez and Gabriela Rachadell de Delgado were instructed by Rosneft to assist with negotiating and obtaining a gas licence in Venezuela. The duo continues to represent Transban in an ICSID arbitration regarding exchange control issues (among others) relating to an automotive business in Venezuela.
Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia.
Clients from the consumer products, pharmaceutical and financial services sectors regularly instruct Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia. in public law matters; the practice advises on consumer protection, price control, expropriations, regulations and exchange control. The recently promoted Luisa Lepervanche, together with Carlos Eduardo Acedo and Manuel Acedo Sucre, further assists various companies with instruments issued by the Constitutional Assembly. Coca-Cola, MSD Farmacéutica and Munchener, among others, approached the team for advice on foreign exchange control and other regulatory matters. Esteban Palacios is another recommended practitioner. María Genoveva Páez Pumar also made partner.
Torres, Plaz & Araujo
Torres, Plaz & Araujo assists with the full life cycle of public projects, from formation, development and the obtaining of licences, permits and authorisations to proceedings before the relevant authorities. Juan Domingo Alfonzo leads the team and is noted for his experience in international trade and foreign exchange matters. He recently represented Astillas Nacionales in nullity proceedings with protection after the National Superintendence for the Defence of Socioeconomic Rights (SUNDDE) issued a temporary occupation measure against the client.