Firm Profile > Baker & McKenzie, S.C. > Caracas, Venezuela

Baker & McKenzie, S.C.

Dispute resolution Tier 1

Baker & McKenzie, S.C. is a key player in the dispute resolution space, particularly for litigation as well as investment and commercial arbitration. Practice head Eugenio Hernández-Bretón has longstanding experience acting as counsel as well as an arbitrator; together with Maria Eugenia Salazar, he is representing Longreef in its $80m investment arbitration proceedings against the Venezuelan government regarding its expropriation. Other clients include Agroinsumos Ibero-Americanos and Anglo American. Gabriel De Jesús has additional expertise in corporate matters, alongside civil and commercial procedures. Associates Hector Martinez and Maria Alejandra Ruiz are also noted.

Labour and employment Tier 1

Baker & McKenzie, S.C. is noted for its 'excellent performance'. It is regularly instructed in employment litigation, restructuring and reorganisation matters. The 'determined and knowledgeable' team is led by Carlos Felce, who has noteworthy experience in negotiating with unions. Companies such as Anglo American, 3M and, recently, Del Monte are on the client roster. Other names to note include associates Daniel FragielJohana De La RosaSebastián Nastari and Carmen García. Gustavo Nieto is currently not active as a partner but provides external counsel.

Tax Tier 1

Baker & McKenzie, S.C. has noteworthy experience in corporate taxation, wealth management structuring, and determining and forecasting risks; the team is regularly instructed by national and international clients, particularly from the healthcare, energy and telecoms sectors, and it works closely with the firm's corporate department, which it provides with tax advice on corporate transactions. Practice head Ronald EvansJosé Barnola and Oscar Morean are the key practitioners at the firm.

Corporate and M&A Tier 2

As part of a strong, international network, the corporate team at Baker & McKenzie, S.C. is a popular choice for multinational companies to handle M&A structuring, documentation, due diligence and financing projects. The team is praised for its 'in-depth knowledge and ability to provide state-of-the-art legal solutions to complex business matters, domestically and abroad'. Valencia-based Douvelin Serra assisted Mazda Japan with the corporate restructuring pertaining to the divestiture of the client's affiliate in Venezuela; together with the US team, she also advised GCP Technologies on the sale of its non-Darex construction business to a third party. Jesús Dávila acted for Lincoln Electric on the exit and conclusion of its business activities in Venezuela. María Celis head the department. Associates Adriana Gonçalves and Elsy Castillo are also noted.

Energy and natural resources Tier 2

Baker & McKenzie, S.C. was the first international firm to enter Venezuela over 50 years ago and is deeply experienced in handling commercial and regulatory compliance matters for national and foreign oil-and-gas companies. Eugenio Hernández-Bretón leads the team, with his recent matters including advice to Total and Statoil on various regulatory issues. Other work included assisting Repsol with aspects of the new Constitutional Law on Foreign Investments. Maria Eugenia Salazar counseled Nabors on financial issues and foreign investment. Senior associate Hector Martinez is well versed in advising companies on their relations with the PDVSA and the Venezuela Government.

Environment Tier 2

Baker & McKenzie, S.C. is well versed in developing legal strategies which minimise environmental risks and liabilities. Practice head Manuel Marín, who has more than 25 years' experience in the sector, advised a mining company on legal alternatives to challenge an official letter regarding its environmental compliance status. Another noted team member is Maria Eugenia Salazar.

Intellectual property Tier 2

The team at Baker & McKenzie, S.C. has experience with clients from the healthcare, consumer and luxury goods sectors, but has also seen increasing demand in the heavy industry sector. Senior associate Laura Rada heads the department; she advises on registration of trade marks, patents, copyright and infringement of IP rights. Together with associate Indira García, Rada handled the portfolio - which included the review of the ownership and status of over 3,000 marks - obtained when a global pharmaceutical company acquired a local business. Senior professional support lawyer Dianne Phoebus is noted.

Public law Tier 2

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.

Real estate Tier 2

The team at Baker & McKenzie, S.C. has considerable experience in assisting clients in real estate transactions and providing advice on double taxation, as well as on the environmental and regulatory implications of real estate acquisitions. The group's close co-operation with the firm's corporate and tax department adds value. Practice head María Celis has been active in the field for more than 20 years, while Gabriel De Jesús and associate María Alejandra Ruiz bring commercial and dispute resolution expertise to the team.

Latin America: International firms > International arbitration > Local practitioners of note (by country)

D'Empaire represents Venezuelan and international companies in arbitration proceedings conducted under ICC rules; José Humberto Frías is the main contact. Eugenio Hernández-Bretón at Baker & McKenzie, S.C. acts as counsel as well as arbitrator in arbitration proceedings. Luis Alfredo Araque at ARAQUEREYNA is also a name to note.

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Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Jose P. Barnola Jr  photo Mr Jose P. Barnola Jr
Mr Jesus Dávila  photo Mr Jesus Dávila
Mr Gabriel De Jesus  photo Mr Gabriel De Jesus
Mr Ronald Evans  photo Mr Ronald Evans
Mr Carlos A. Felce  photo Mr Carlos A. Felce
Mr Daniel Fragiel  photo Mr Daniel Fragiel
Dr Eugenio Hernández-Bretón  photo Dr Eugenio Hernández-Bretón
Mr Hector Martinez  photo Mr Hector Martinez
Ms Dianne Phoebus  photo Ms Dianne Phoebus
Ms Laura Rada  photo Ms Laura Rada
Ms Maria Eugenia Salazar  photo Ms Maria Eugenia Salazar