D'Empaire > Caracas, Venezuela > Firm Profile


Venezuela > Banking and finance Tier 1

D'Empaire‘s banking, finance and restructuring team is instructed by international and domestic financial institutions to represent them in complex financial transactions and regulatory matters. One of the firm’s standout recent highlights involved advising Meta on the application of legal and regulatory regimes in Venezuela in connection with its provision of non-fungible tokens (NFT) services; Roberto Mas and Daniel Bustos led the work. Carlos Omaña, who is focused on Venezuelan sovereign and quasi-sovereign international financings, leads the practice with Fulvio Italiani, whose areas of expertise include finance, restructuring, energy and sovereign debt. Roland Pettersson is experienced in insolvency and debt restructuring, and is noteworthy for being the only Venezuelan member of the International Insolvency Institute and INSOL International. Associate Miguel Zajía is a name to watch, owing to his work in representing international and domestic clients in transactions including financings and sovereign debt offerings.

Practice head(s):

Fulvio Italiani; Carlos Omaña


D’Empaire has been a highly reliable law firm in Venezuela for decades. Even during times of high uncertainty due to political events they have been able to provide uninterrupted services to their clients.

Fulvio Italiani is an absolute standout, both in his understanding of the market and of technical issues and in his ability to provide advice rather than simply answering legal questions. Roberto Mas has an excellent understanding of banking, AML and regulatory issues, and is very committed to clients and responsive.

‘We have nothing but good things to say about D’Empaire. They were outstanding.’

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Meta Platforms (Facebook)


Coca-Cola Femsa

Work highlights

  • Provided advice on the application of legal and regulatory regimes in Venezuela to Meta in connection with its provision of NFT services.
  • Advising Yummy on banking and fintech regulations.
  • Assisting Coca-Cola Femsa with new issuances of debt securities by its Venezuelan subsidiary.

Venezuela > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

D'Empaire‘s corporate and M&A practice has a strong track record of participating in major transactions resulting from the dollarisation of the market in Venezuela. In addition, the firm frequently collaborates with international law firms to advise global clients on cross-border transactions. Fulvio Italiani heads the team and is an experienced practitioner in M&A; his recent work highlights include assisting Brown-Forman with its acquisition of the Diplomático Rum brand and related assets. José Humberto Frías, Victorino MárquezRoberto Mas and Inés Parra are active transactional lawyers, while Carlos Omaña has notable expertise in acquisitions in the onshore oil drilling sector. Associate Giancarlo Carrazza provides key support.

Practice head(s):

Fulvio Italiani


‘They are a very practical team. They always provide more than one solution to the problems that arise.’

‘They have close relationships to their clients, and understand the operation of their companies before issuing an opinion or proposing alternatives.’

‘It is a firm with solid practice. Its relationships and knowledge of the local environment make it unique.’

‘Strategic thinking and proposal of innovative solutions.’

Inés Parra is very attentive and pragmatic in her communication with the client. She has very good response times.

Fulvio Italiani is responsive, proactive, thinks outside the box and is a problem solver.

Key clients

Brown-Forman Corporation

KCA Deutag

Calox International

TI Sparkle Venezuela

V6 Holdings

Grupo Fivenca

Aspen Technology

Paradigm Geophysical de Venezuela

Bristol-Myers de Venezuela

Swiss Reinsurance

Work highlights

  • Assisted Brown-Forman with its $725m acquisition of the Diplomático Rum brand and related assets.
  • Acting as Venezuelan counsel to KCA Deutag on its acquisition of Saipem’s onshore drilling business.
  • Assisting Calox with its acquisition of Pfizer’s Venezuelan assets.

Venezuela > Energy and natural resources Tier 1

D'Empaire is widely recognised for its oil and gas practice, which combines its knowledge and experience in the sector with its M&A and finance expertise. The firm has assisted foreign companies with energy-related projects and transactions, including advising international construction and engineering companies in connection with the execution of EPC turn-key projects. ‘Excellent advisersCarlos Omaña, an expert in oil and gas projects, and Fulvio Italiani, who is experienced in major energy-related transactions, lead the team, while José Valecillos, José Humberto Frías, Arnoldo Troconis and Roberto Mas are also key names in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Fulvio Italiani; Carlos Omaña


Due to the overall quality of the services provided by D’Empaire, I don’t think we’ll be looking for any alternatives any time soon. The responsiveness of the firm, their flexibility and the quality of their product is overall excellent. We are very happy to see that the partners are directly involved in the work on a daily basis. It feels like I can pick up the phone any time and call any of the partners involved and discuss anything, as if the partners of D’Empaire are actually a part of the internal project team. They are very easy and pleasant to work with. At the same time, I am amazed at how quickly they can deliver top-notch product.

We have been working with Carlos Omaña, Fulvio Italiani and José Valecillos. All are excellent advisors. They are very keen, insightful and responsive. I also appreciate the strategic thinking and their easy, outgoing nature.

Key clients

KCA Deutschland



N+ Strategic Investors

Sucre Energy Group

Gas Guarico

Ecofuel (Eni)

Latham & Watkins


Work highlights

  • Assisting KCA Deutag as Venezuelan counsel in its acquisition of Saipem’s onshore drilling business.
  • Providing corporate, regulatory and compliance advice to Repsol.
  • Advising Gas Guarico on multiple business operations and financing matters.

Venezuela > Labour and employment Tier 1

D'Empaire advises clients from a diverse range of industry sectors, from technology to luxury goods and pharmaceuticals, on employment issues related to corporate transactions and high-stakes labour litigation and the termination of employment contracts, including mass lay-offs. Alejandro Disilvestro is renowned for his work in collective contract negotiations and conflict management with labour unions. Aixa Añez and Ingrid Daniele are both noted for their representation of clients in labour disputes before all stages of the Venezuelan courts. Victorino Márquez has extensive experience of advising clients on labour matters and public affairs and Biba Arciniegas is well versed in the employee benefits and executive compensation aspects of corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Disilvestro; Victorino Márquez


The firm provides advice on individual and collective labour matters, and stands out for its quality and bilingual abilities.

Key clients

Copa Airlines

Les Laboratoires Servier






Delivery Hero

Embassy of Spain in Caracas, Venezuela

Colegio Humboldt

Brown-Forman Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Copa Airlines of labour issues relating to the restructuring of its operations in Venezuela.
  • Assisted Mondelez in the resolution of a collective conflict that resulted in the halt of its local operations.
  • Advised Marubeni on a sensitive matter relating to the dismissal of a senior employee.

Venezuela > Public law

D'Empaire handles a wide range of matters within the public law field, including advising on freedom of speech issues for one of Venezuela’s largest telecoms players and on nationalisations and expropriations affecting major domestic companies. Alongside this, the firm has engaged in a number of matters in the pharmaceutical sector, providing regulatory advice to major clients including Pfizer and Bristol-Myers. The team is also well regarded for its experience in negotiations with the Venezuelan government (where associate Daniel Bustos is particularly active). José Valentín González represents clients in constitutional and administrative litigation, as well as regulatory matters, and is described as ‘always able to connect the dots between jurisdictions‘, while José Humberto Frías is knowledgeable in regulatory issues. Francisco Bolinaga, who focuses on advising multinationals and Venezuelan companies on environmental law, and associate Ornella Bernabei, who has expertise in communications and technology law, are also noted contacts.

Practice head(s):

José Valentín González; José Humberto Frías


Undoubtedly, D’Empaire is the leading firm in Venezuela, at least for client matters or those cases with cross-border implications. Regarding public law and compliance, José Valentín González stands out – he is recognised locally and internationally.

José Valentín González stands out for his ability to solve the most complex issues in a simple way.

The team is amazing. They are always on top of things and up to date on all aspects of public law.

José Valentín González is our go-to person there. Practical, always on point, and delivers excellent advice.

We always go to D’Empaire and to José Valentín González and we are always amazed by their quality! As a plus, José Valentín is always able to connect the dots between jurisdictions, which is not that easy to find.

José Valentín González is brilliant and provides outstanding advice.

The public law practice of ​​the firm is excellent, both in terms of its legal advice and its customer service.

Key clients


Radio Caracas Television (RCTV), Radio Caracas Radio (RCR)

TI Sparkle Venezuela

JMF Consulting


Work highlights

  • Advising Google on the regulatory implications of launching new services or features in Venezuela.
  • 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.
  • Advising TI Sparkle on telecoms regulations and on information requests received from the Venezuelan telecoms authority.

Venezuela > Tax

The ‘sophisticated tax practice‘ at D'Empaire has extensive experience in advising on all aspects of tax law for domestic and multinational companies, financial institutions, private equity funds and individuals. On the corporate tax side, the team advises on the tax implications of corporate matters, including reorganisations and spin-offs, while in the international taxation sphere, the team handles matters for international banks and multinationals, as well as leading firms in other jurisdictions. The team is also skilled in representing multinationals in tax litigation; Humberto Romero-Muci is highly experienced in this field. Alberto Benshimol advises on corporate tax and international taxation, while José Valecillos is noted for his advice to both private clients and multinational companies.

Practice head(s):

Humberto Romero-Muci


The firm has a very sophsiticated tax practice. The quality of their legal analysis is very high and I can completely trust their advice.

They are very analytical and can handle the complex legal work very well.

Knowledge in tax matters and investigative capacity, availability of trial lawyers, extensive experience.

The team stands out for the quality and technical depth of the consultations, and the professional competence of Humberto Romero-Muci in tax matters.

I would like to mention the academic and professional strength of the professionals in the firm, and the quality and excellence of the deliverables. Their response times are top notch.

Working with Humberto Romero-Muci is a pleasure; he is a national benchmark in this field. His response times and follow-up on the issues entrusted to him are impeccable. I would like to highlight the excellence of its document deliverables.

The team is technically strong, as well as offering an advantage in critical matters and constantly working on innovative issues and approaches.

They listen to the client, analyse their arguments and support them using this knowledge.

Key clients



Brown-Forman Corporation

Mercado Libre

Bristol Myers Squibb




Ubii Pagos

Work highlights

  • Advising Weatherford on tax matters in relation to its activities in the Venezuelan energy sector.
  • Advising Colgate-Palmolive Venezuela on the tax aspects of its operations in Venezuela, including income tax and the tax side of financial transactions.
  • Assisted Brown-Forman Corporation with tax and customs matters related to its $725m acquisition of the Diplomático rum brand.

Venezuela > Dispute resolution Tier 2

D'Empaire is focused on investor-state arbitration and is currently involved in significant ICSID and UNCITRAL proceedings, including in relation to nationalisation and measures carried out by the Venezuelan government. The firm also handles both domestic and international commercial arbitration and civil and commercial litigation. José Humberto Frías, who is well versed in commercial and investor-state arbitration, and Pedro Perera, a specialist in civil, commercial, IP and constitutional litigation. Dubraska Galarraga is also a key partner, while Giancarlo Carrazza and Daniel Bustos are the names to note at associate level.

Practice head(s):

José Humberto Frías; Pedro Perera


D’Empaire’s lawyers are highly trained and always willing to collaborate on different issues.

José Humberto Frías is an excellent lawyer, with a solid background, and shows great energy when working directly on the issues. Daniel Bustos is also always willing to help and is very technically solid.

Not only do they know Venezuelan law, but they know the political and economic context perfectly, allowing them to give comprehensive advice which considers the commercial perspective of the client. They know how to give creative solutions to complex problems.

D’Empaire stands out for the speed of responses, availability of the partners, quality of advice, the super-trained professionals, and the personal qualities of the team.

The most important thing about the D’Empaire team is the quality of the service they offer and their focus on customer service. The approach is pragmatic and focused on the needs of the client, which allows them to tailor the solutions they offer to the particular situation. Response time and flexibility when negotiating fees and billing are also an important point.

They stand out for the quality of the work. D’Empaire’s lawyers provide an excellent service both in relation to legal knowledge and analysis, but also in strategic and commercial matters. It is evident that they approach each case always thinking about what would be the best outcome for the client. The main difference with the competitors is that the service is at the level of leading firms in New York or London. For example, the team is always available to deal with urgent matters, they reply to emails promptly and meet all of their deadlines.

The team have a lot of experience in large international arbitrations and can represent clients in those proceedings as they fully understand how they work in practice. José Humberto Frías and Daniel Bustos are names to highlight.

Key clients

Smurfit Kappa


Liberty Mutual

Werthein Group (DirecTV)

Automotive CMM

Visa International

Radio Caracas Television (RCTV)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Smurfit Kappa in an ICSID arbitration stemming from the nationalisation of its Venezuelan operation (Carton de Venezuela and subsidiaries).
  • Acting for Lufthansa in an UNCITRAL arbitration relating to the measures taken by Venezuela that ultimately led to the suspension of its operations in the country.
  • Representing Liberty Mutual in ICSID additional facility and UNCITRAL arbitrations relating to its exit from Venezuela.

Venezuela > Real estate Tier 2

D'Empaire advises on real estate-related transactions such as the purchase, sale, construction, financing and development of various real estate projects, including industrial facilities, retail stores, hotels, shopping malls and office buildings. Clients include private equity firms and real estate investment funds. Inés Parra and Roberto Mas sit at the head of the practice and handle complex real estate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Inés Parra; Roberto Mas

Key clients

V6 Holdings

Calox International

Work highlights

  • Advised V6 Holdings on the establishment of Wave 2.0, Venezuela’s largest and most sophisticated tech hub and co-working space.
  • Advising Calox International on the acquisition of real estate properties, including a production facility, from Pfizer in the context of its acquisition of Pfizer’s Venezuelan operation.

Venezuela > Intellectual property Tier 3

D'Empaire advises on a range of IP and technology matters, including patent, copyright and trademark-related litigation, alongside the IP aspects of corporate transactions. Furthermore, the firm also advises on IP issues stemming from licensing, collaboration and outsourcing agreements. Pedro Perera and José González are the key contacts in the firm.

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, 2021 and 2022, 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 and finance (Band 1)
  • Corporate/M&A (Band 1)
  • Dispute resolution (Band 1)
  • Energy and natural resources (Band 1 The Legal 500, Band 2 Chambers)
  • Environment (Band 1 The Legal 500)
  • Labor and employment (Band 1)
  • Public law (Band 1 The Legal 500, Band 2 Chambers)
  • Real estate (Band 2 The 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