D'Empaire > Caracas, Venezuela > Firm Profile

D'Empaire
EDIFICIO BANCARACAS, P.H
PLAZA LA CASTELLANA
CARACAS 1060
Venezuela

Venezuela > Banking and finance Tier 1

The banking, finance and restructuring team at D'Empaire routinely advises international and domestic financial institutions on regulatory issues and complex transactions, including asset-backed loans, real estate transactions, syndicated loans and foreign exchange transactions. In addition, the team is experienced in bond issuances and debt restructurings. Fulvio Italiani and Carlos Omaña, who specialises in restructurings and sovereign debt matters, lead the practice. As the only Venezuelan member at the International Insolvency Institute, Roland Pettersson is also a notable contact. Associate Miguel Zajía focuses on financing transactions and sovereign debt offerings.

Practice head(s):

Fulvio Italiani; Carlos Omaña

Key clients

Barclays

BNP Paribas

Daiwa Securities Group

JP Morgan

Coca-Cola Femsa

Work highlights

  • Represented Barclays, BNP Paribas, Daiwa Securities Group and JP Morgan in connection with Corporacion Andina de Fomento’s (CAF) $1bn 1.25% notes due 2024.
  • Advised Coca-Cola Femsa in connection with the Venezuelan regulation regarding the public offering of securities.

Venezuela > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

The ‘great‘ corporate team at D’Empaire has been highly active in M&A, acting for leading Venezuelan and international clients on complex, often cross-border transactions. Clients stem from the telecoms, pharmaceuticals, technology and financial services sectors, among others. Practice head Fulvio Italiani continues to handle high-profile M&A, including recently advising Grupo Werthein on its acquisition of regional entertainment company Vrio. Arnoldo Troconis, Ines Parra, Roberto Mas, who has experience in the oil and gas and real estate sectors, and associate Giancarlo Carrazza are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Fulvio Italiani

Testimonials

‘A great firm that covers the socio-political and economic situation in its advice and isn’t limited to the law. In addition to this, the team is totally cross-functional, which gives us peace of mind that the advice cover the entire spectrum of the matter to be reviewed.’

‘Costs are affordable and each of the firm’s attorneys has general knowledge regardless of their area of expertise.’

‘Their responses are always quick. Even if the lawyer in charge of the case is absent, other partners can back him or her up without the frustration of having to repeat our explanations. They worked seamlessly with us as a team, even during the lockdown, including receiving and dispatching legal documents physically.’

‘Their comprehension and interpretation of our problems and needs are excellent. They were able to detect requirements which we ourselves were not aware of, and give us appropriate advice.’

Key clients

Grupo Werthein

Platinum Equity

Lumen

Fivenca Casa de Bolsa

Visa International Services Association

Tenaris Group

PedidosYa

Hino Motors

Bayer

Work highlights

  • Acted as Venezuelan counsel to Grupo Werthein on its acquisition of digital entertainment services company Vrio from AT&T.
  • Acted as Venezuelan counsel to Platinum Equity on its $4.2bn acquisition of environmental services provider Urbaser from China Tianying.
  • Assisting Lumen as Venezuelan counsel in the $2.7bn sale of its Latin American business to Stonepeak.

Venezuela > Energy and natural resources Tier 1

The energy team at D'Empaire remains highly active in the oil and gas sector, advising major multinational clients on their operations in Venezuela. Recent highlights include assisting Repsol with its joint venture with state-owned oil and gas company PDVSA; the team also advises on M&A in the industry. The experienced quartet of Fulvio Italiani, Carlos Omaña, Arnoldo Troconis and Roberto Mas leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Fulvio Italiani; Carlos Omaña; Arnoldo Troconis; Roberto Mas

Key clients

Repsol

Petrolera RN (formerly Rosneft)

Eni

Maurel & Prom

Weatherford

Inepetrol

Seadrill

Work highlights

  • Advising Repsol on its joint ventures with PDVSA.

Venezuela > Labour and employment Tier 1

D'Empaire's 'excellent' employment practice spans a wide range of matters, including the employment aspects of corporate transactions, the termination of employment contracts (including mass lay-offs and the dismissal of high-level executives), labour mobility issues, collective bargaining negotiations and high-profile labour litigation. Alejandro Disilvestro, who is particularly experienced in collective contract negotiations and conflict management with labour unions, leads the team with the 'unbeatable' Victorino Márquez. Newly promoted partner Biba Arciniegas and associate Aixa Añez are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Disilvestro; Victorino Márquez

Testimonials

‘The D’Empaire team has timely and up-to-date knowledge on labour matters. The service they provide to the client is excellent, and this is reflected in the quality of the advice that they deliver and the follow-up they provide to any questions.’

‘The service we have received from Victorino Márquez is unbeatable. His response times are excellent and the advice he provides us with is clear and very timely. He even goes beyond the specific doubts that we raise, and discusses policy, modifications to the legislation and even publicity issues that may have an impact on our operation.’

Key clients

LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics

Mapfre

Bimbo

Copa Airlines

Hino Motors

Maurel & Prom

Goethe Institute

Syngenta

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Caracas, Venezuela

Embassy of Spain in Caracas, Venezuela

Work highlights

  • Advising Bimbo on labour law issues regarding its operations in Venezuela.
  • Advised Copa Airlines on the employment aspects of restructuring its operations in Venezuela, including handling a misclassification claim brought against the airline by its former legal adviser.
  • Assisted Hino Motors with a sensitive matter regarding the termination of the contracts of several employees.

Venezuela > Public law

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

Testimonials

‘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

Visa

Repsol

Bayer Venezuela

Rosneft

Facebook

Colgate-Palmolive

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.

Venezuela > Tax

D'Empaire's 'highly regarded' team is particularly noted for advising on the tax implications of major corporate transactions, including M&A and reorganisations, and for its expertise in international tax matters, with a wide-ranging client roster that includes large multinational companies, financial institutions and private equity funds. The team is also experienced in tax litigation and in advising high-net-worth individuals and families on wealth management and estate planning. Alberto Benshimol, who advises on corporate transactions and international taxation, leads the practice alongside Humberto Romero-Muci, who is also an expert in tax litigation. José Valecillos is also noted for his advice to corporations and private clients.

Practice head(s):

Alberto Benshimol; Humberto Romero-Muci

Testimonials

‘Highly regarded, knowledgeable lawyers.’

‘The lawyers are highly specialised and stand out for their technical knowledge. A practical team focused on customer service.’

Key clients

Bayer

Weatherford

Development Bank of Latin America (CAF)

The Kraft Heinz Company

SNC-Lavalin

Colgate-Palmolive Venezuela

V6 Holdings

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Ubii Pagos

Tenaris

Work highlights

  • Advising Bayer’s Venezuelan subsidiary in connection with the tax implications of its operations, including VAT, customs and income tax matters.
  • Advising Weatherford in connection with its activities in the Venezuelan energy sector.
  • Advised The Kraft Heinz Company on the tax implication of certain transactions and of restructuring its Venezuelan subsidiary.

Venezuela > Dispute resolution Tier 2

D'Empaire is highly regarded for its experience in investor-state arbitration, with a particular focus on disputes over nationalisations and similar measures carried out by the Venezuelan government. The team is also experienced in civil and commercial litigation and national arbitration. José Humberto Frías, who specialises in international arbitration, especially under ICSID and ICC rules, and Pedro Perera, who focuses on commercial litigation and local arbitration, head the practice. Dubraska Galarraga handles civil and commercial litigation, and associates Daniel Bustos and Giancarlo Carrazza are noted for their experience in public law litigation and international arbitration, respectively.

Practice head(s):

José Humberto Frías; Pedro Perera

Testimonials

‘The D’Empaire team is one that is fully integrated, even with different areas of expertise. There is an admirable synergy in the way they work, communication is especially good between them and they do everything possible to collaborate with each other, which gives the client the benefit of a series of comprehensive solutions that cover issues outside the main area of consultation, preventing future problems in many cases and without a doubt providing more appropriate and better options. Similarly, this synergy greatly facilitates interdisciplinary work for the client: everyone is always aware of the client’s cases, which makes the service much more efficient.’

‘The lawyers of the firm are not only professionals and well known in their disciplines, but they are also characterised by their cordial and friendly treatment of clients. From the partners to the junior lawyers, they are always available, regardless of the time, to support the client. Speed, quality, professionalism and an excellent client service makes them stand out!’

‘José Humberto Frias has great knowledge and, above all, a lot of common sense when assisting in contentious matters. He is practical but at the same time technical, as well as being very efficient in providing assistance.’

‘Extraordinary analytical ability and a quality of service that is on par with top international firms in New York and London.’

‘Jose Humberto Frias is an outstanding lawyer, certainly one of the best in Venezuela. He has exceptional analytical skills and his drafting is extraordinary.’

Key clients

Smurfit Kappa

Liberty Mutual

Luis García Armas

Dick Abanto Ishivata

Fernando Fraiz Trapote

Serafín García Armas and Karina García Armas

MMC Automotriz

Visa International

Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV)

Colegio Humboldt

Work highlights

  • Asssiting Smurfit Kappa with the ICSID arbitration over the nationalisation of its Venezuelan operation (Carton de Venezuela and subsidiaries).
  • Assisting Liberty Mutual with the two arbitration proceedings relating to its exit from Venezuela.
  • Assisting Dick Abanto Ishivata with the ICSID additional facility arbitration relating to the seizure of the claimant’s stake in a telecoms company holding several licences.

Venezuela > Real estate Tier 2

The wide-ranging real estate practice at D'Empaire has expertise in the office, industrial, retail and hospitality sectors. The team advises on the sale and acquisition of properties, as well as the financing and construction of real estate developments. Clients include real estate investment funds and private equity firms, which the team assists with their Venezuelan projects. At the head of the practice, Ines Parra and Roberto Mas handle major real estate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Inés Parra; Roberto Mas

Key clients

Tetra Pak

Bayer

Work highlights

  • Assisted Tetra Pak, a leading food processing and packaging solutions company, in the sale of its manufacturing plant located in the state of Carabobo, Venezuela, to a local investor.

Venezuela > Intellectual property Tier 3

The IP department at D'Empaire is particularly active in litigation, handling trade mark, patent and copyright disputes. The team also advises on the IP aspects of corporate transactions, and assists with licensing, collaboration and outsourcing agreements. José González and Pedro Perera are the key contacts.

D’Empaire is one of the top tier Venezuelan law firms. It enjoys a reputation as the leading M&A, securities, finance, tax and competition law firm in Venezuela. In addition, D’Empaire has strong energy, litigation, arbitration, environmental and labour practices. It is the law firm of choice for complex matters in all sectors of the economy and fields of law.

D’Empaire received the Chambers Venezuela Law Firm of the Year award of 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, and the Chambers Clients Service Award of 2011 and 2014. D’Empaire partner Fulvio Italiani was awarded the Chambers Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession in 2013. D’Empaire is listed as one of the Latin Lawyer Elite Firms, profiling the leading Latin American law firms.

D’Empaire’s consistently ranked in the top tier by Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 in the following practice areas:

  • Banking & Finance (Band 1)
  • Corporate/M&A (Band 1)
  • Dispute Resolution (Band 1 Legal 500, Band 2 Chambers)
  • Energy & Natural Resources (Band 1 Legal 500, Band 2 Chambers)
  • Environment (Band 1 Legal 500)
  • Labor & Employment (Band 1)
  • Public Law (Band 1)
  • Real Estate (Band 2 Legal 500)
  • Tax (Band 1)

D’Empaire was founded in 1972 and comprises 40 lawyers.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate; mergers and acquisitions Fulvio Italiani fitaliani@dra.com.ve
Corporate; mergers and acquisitions Carlos Omaña comana@dra.com.ve
Corporate; mergers and acquisitions Inés Parra iparra@dra.com.ve
Corporate; mergers and acquisitions Arnoldo Troconis atroconis@dra.com.ve
Oil and gas, energy, mining and petrochemical projects Fulvio Italiani fitaliani@dra.com.ve
Oil and gas, energy, mining and petrochemical projects Carlos Omaña comana@dra.com.ve
Oil and gas, energy, mining and petrochemical projects Inés Parra iparra@dra.com.ve
Oil and gas, energy, mining and petrochemical projects Arnoldo Troconis atroconis@dra.com.ve
Oil and gas, energy, mining and petrochemical projects Roberto Mas rmas@dra.com.ve
Finance; restructuring; banking; capital markets; sovereign debt Carlos Omaña comana@dra.com.ve
Finance; restructuring; banking; capital markets; sovereign debt Fulvio Italiani fitaliani@dra.com.ve
Finance; restructuring; banking; capital markets; sovereign debt Roland Pettersson rpettersson@dra.com.ve
Tax Humberto Romero-Muci hromeromuci@dra.com.ve
Tax Alberto Benshimol abenshimol@dra.com.ve
Tax José Manuel Valecillos jvalecillos@dra.com.ve
Labor and human resources Alejandro Disilvestro adisilvestro@dra.com.ve
Labor and human resources Victorino Márquez vmarquez@dra.com.ve
Public law, competition, antitrust José Valentín González jgonzalez@dra.com.ve
Public law, competition, antitrust José Humberto Frías jfrias@dra.com.ve
Litigation, arbitration Pedro Perera pperera@dra.com.ve
Litigation, arbitration José Humberto Frías jfrias@dra.com.ve
Telecommunications and media Arnoldo Troconis atroconis@dra.com.ve
Intellectual property José Valentín González jgonzalez@dra.com.ve
Environmental Francisco Bolinaga fbolinaga@dra.com.ve
Total staff : 40
Partners : 18