Our mission is to provide
high quality legal services in various areas of law, on the basis of
respect for persons and legal standards.
Our goal: practice and recommend to our
clients and associates, the desirability of preventive law, so we
dedicate part of our efforts to participate in all corporate activities
of individuals, companies and institutions of whom we are consultant.
This is the vision we are developing and which we conduct our work.
By providing our professional services we offer as a
framework, our legal knowledge to customers so they can make their own
decisions. Our legal services include general legal advice, legal
assistance in negotiating and drafting contracts, as well as design and
projection of new business areas, such as joint ventures or business
partnerships interest and corporate tax planning and best suited to
each business strategy, and design of commercial structures within the
framework of venezuelan and international law.
Likewise, we act as consultant, draft all legal documents
needed, assist and representate our clients in administrative
procedures before public, national, state and municipal authorities.
Also, web assist and represent our clients in court. We have a service
department for both Commercial and Criminal trials, and
Civil, Labor and Management, including the special jurisdiction Tax
litigation, Tenancy, and other areas of trials, in order to offer our
clients and associates the most efficient attention, daily reporting of
the progress of their cases in all courts of the Republic, including
the Supreme Court, as required by the nature of the cases.
Our Law Firm serves national and foreign
companies, Service related activities, Commercial, Industrial, and
especially the Construction Industry, manufacturing and Assembly of
Vehicles, Real Estate, as well as Energy Activities, such as Oil and
Gas, Transportation Industry, telecommunications, among others. We also
provide professional services to individuals, foundations,
corporations, associations, communities, etc.
Our legal practice covers all the branches of the law, its traditional areas as well as the latest legal developments.
We attend the wide-ranging
needs of our numerous clients, both in Venezuela and abroad, regarding
local legal problems and international transactions.
This versatile professional
legal practice is carried out by our own experts, and –should
circumstances so require– with the support of distinguished
collaborators belonging to other organizations.
Finding and working with a
lawyer can be a daunting task. However, there are many situations that
arise that require sound legal advice and representation.
Here at our firm, we strive to make your experience a positive one. We are a full-service firm with many experienced attorneys who specialize in a variety of areas. We are here to help you with a wide range of legal needs.
We look forward to working with you.
Training and professionalism
of our members, among whom there are university professors and attorneys
who have pursued graduate studies outside Venezuela, gaining experience
in the different legal systems, backed by a sound infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology,
enable this law firm to provide high quality services in all branches
of law, under a practice abiding by high ethical standards, and fulfill
the needs of our clients promptly and efficiently. We are highly
qualified to serve its clients in various languages and in all civil,
commercial, banking, capital markets, foreign investments, mergers and
acquisitions, insurance, real estate, sea, river and land
transportation, international, constitutional, administrative,
telecommunications, free competition, privatizations, environmental,
consumer protection, unfair international trade practices, oil and
mining, taxation, litigation, trademarks, patents and copyrights, labor
and criminal matters. The law firm is organized in several departments
from which work groups are formed to attend to the various cases. In
order to provide our clients with a global service, we have entered into
strategic associations with other national law firms in the cities of
Barquisimeto, Cumaná, Maracaibo, Porlamar and Valencia. Our firm,
committed to bringing the justice system nearer to the community,
provides free legal assistance to needy people and participates in
several projects related to legal matters for the benefit of society.
The attorneys of our Firm, aware of the impossibility for most of the
population to have access to the Venezuelan justice system, have firmly
undertaken to continuously and increasingly cooperate with the
underprivileged community in the hope of contributing, within our means,
to bring justice closer to those who need it the most.
Principle practice areas include the following: Antitrust and Consumer Protection; Art and Entertainment; Aviation; Banking and Project Finance; Commercial and Contract Negotiations, Distribution and Representation; Corporate; Criminal (White Collar); E-Commerce; Education; Employment and Social Support Norms; Environmental; Family; Foreign Investment, Governmental Relations; Exchange Controls; Franchising; Intellectual Property; Insurance; Licensing; Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution; Medical and Sanitary; Personal Injury; Petroleum and Gas; Real Estate; Securities; Sports; Taxation; Telecommunications; Tourism; and Trade and Integration CORPORATE AND BUSINESS LAW We deal with all aspects of corporate law, including the incorporation and structuring of all types of companies, partnerships and nonprofit organizations, as well as project finance, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy proceedings and related matters. In addition to the normal range of corporate legal services for maintaining companies in good standing under Venezuelan law, the firm also provides certain managerial and commercial consulting services, particularly in the area of strategic planning for foreign companies with activities in Venezuela and for Venezuelan companies with operations abroad. This advice has become particularly relevant in recent years due to changing regulations related to exchange controls and the foreign investment climate. The Firm is also experienced in aiding clients with setting up and maintaining diverse offshore corporate structures. AVIATION The Firm has been involved in numerous commercial and private aircraft financing and leasing transactions, as well as in a variety of regulatory matters. While primarily representing international financial institutions, lessors and operators, the firm has also assisted domestic airlines. enjoys an international reputation in this area and is the Venezuelan member of the L2B Aviation Group, an international network of law firms specialized in the aviation field. One of our partners contributes the chapters on Venezuela in leading worldwide legal services on these subjects (Aircraft Finance: Registration, Security and Enforcement and Aircraft Liens and Detention Rights, published by Thomson, Sweet & Maxwell). FOREIGN INVESTMENT; EXCHANGE CONTROLS we have long had a special expertise in the area of foreign investment and technology licensing legislation as one of the partners was a recognized authority on these norms, stemming from the Andean common market, prior to their promulgation in Venezuela. Further, the Firm has continuously been associated with the efforts to liberalize Venezuela’s foreign investment and licensing regulations, and one of the partners was the author of a booklet distributed during various years by the Superintendency of Foreign Investment to potential foreign investors describing the normative framework in Venezuela. Accordingly, both for these reasons, as well as the Firm’s substantial experience in the commercial, corporate, financial, employment, intellectual property, trade and other areas, the Firm has considerable experience in all phases of foreign investment and technology licensing matters, including with respect to advising clients as to planning, designing and implementing strategic alternatives for undertaking business ventures in Venezuela. Moreover, due to the direct relationship between foreign investment, as well as other financial and trade transactions, and the regime of exchange controls, the Firm has accumulated significant experience in dealing with a variety of matters related to these norms, currently in effect since 2003. Also, the Firm makes a special effort to remain up to date on Venezuela’s regional and international trade, and other foreign policy initiatives that tend to impact on the interests of foreign investors and licensors. PETROLEUM AND GAS From the mid-1990’s when the government began to reopen the petroleum and gas sectors to private foreign and domestic investment, has counseled clients in the exploration, production, supply and service areas related to the petroleum industry. At present most of the Firm’s petroleum-sector clients are engaged in a variety of services ranging from the leasing and operation of oil rigs, to construction, environmental controls, and management services. The Firm both assists our clients with contract negotiation and preparation, operational matters, including financial, and with the interpretation and application of the various regulations affecting this industry. TAXATION In the area of taxation primarily specializes in national and international tax planning. Since the mid-1990's, and especially in the last few years, Venezuela's income and other tax systems have become increasingly complex, with a considerably enhanced emphasis on compliance and enforcement. Indeed, together with the application of the growing myriad of labor laws, the tax area has become one of the most problematic for companies doing business in Venezuela. This same tendency has meant an increased necessity to undertake the defense of tax claims at all levels. Aside from our own tax counseling, the Firm also works closely with the major accounting firms to assure that our clients receive the best and most complete service in this area. Further, the Firm is also active in the areas of offshore corporate and trust matters, again working with the leading international firms and entities engaged in this activity. BANKING AND PROJECT FINANCE banking law practice has evolved over the years in conjunction with the changes in the financial sector. Representing foreign banks in Venezuela, for example, in the 1970s and early 1980s we assisted our clients to establish representative offices and to negotiate and document credit operations. Then in the mid-1980s we assisted our clients with debt restructurings and workouts, as well as with debt collection litigation, including several highly visible cases. More recently, we have assisted a couple of the active international banks to establish a presence for merchant banking and other types of financial activities. The Firm represented as Venezuelan counsel one major international bank that was acting as syndicate leader on a sizable, innovative export-based and debt/equity swap transactions in the steel and petrochemical sectors, respectively. Our Firm has also advised several of the major public international financial institutions regarding operations in Venezuela, including related transactions in the telecommunications sector of over US$1 billion and a number of building projects across the Orinoco River. COMMERCIAL AND CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS, DISTRIBUTION AND REPRESENTATION Members of the Firm have developed a particular expertise in the preparation and negotiation of complex commercial relationships and contractual documentation, in some cases working with major international firms and in others independently. These types of transactions, and the related documentation, have been in all of the major commercial areas of relevance to Venezuela, including project finance, mergers and acquisitions, franchising, technical assistance and management projects, petroleum services, telecommunications, aircraft and capital equipment leases, and others. While most of these transactions have involved major private parties, a number have also involved government ministries, the official financial entities, and the state companies. Additionally has frequently assisted clients with commercial distribution and representation contracts. TRADE AND INTEGRATION has experience in most legal aspects of international trade transactions, including contract preparation, customs matters, export regulations and incentives, shipping and insurance practices, among others. In addition, the firm follows developments in the several Latin American economic integration movements of interest to Venezuela, particularly the Andean Community of Nations (which Venezuela recently renounced, but which continues to have an impact on Venezuelan trade and legislation in a number of areas) and now MERCOSUR, which Venezuela has recently joined (and will be negotiating the terms of its adherence over the next several years). SECURITIES The Firm is experienced in the legal aspects of public issues of securities and Venezuela’s fledgling capital market, generally. Members of have represented Venezuelan companies during the issuance of ADR´s abroad and for the emission of bonds and other debt instruments. The Firm also has experience in strategizing tender offers on behalf of its clients. One of our partners was an alternate board of directors member of the National Securities Commission. INSURANCE works in diverse areas of the insurance industry, including to counsel clients with respect to contracting domestic insurance and international reinsurance coverage, resolving insurance claims, and in relation to the negotiation and collection of insurance company guarantees, which are often required in relation to major projects. REAL ESTATE works in all legal areas related to real estate, including the leasing and sale of properties, and real estate development projects. The Firm has also worked on such innovative schemes as tourism time-share projects. Recently the Firm has represented a number of diplomatic missions, including the US Government, in the sale and purchase of properties in Venezuela. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY is recognized as one of Venezuela’s leading intellectual property law firms. About half of our attorneys concentrate the majority of their time in the intellectual property field, including licensing matters, and, likewise, the litigation department has accumulated considerable experience in the defense of intellectual property rights. Consequently, the Firm's intellectual property department is active in all areas of patent, trademark and copyright protection, as well as working on all related aspects. In this connection, the firm has successfully defended the interests of its clients in various landmark cases, such as by applying the concepts of unfair trade practices to package dress infringement, expanding the concept of "better right," and in related evidentiary matters. The Firm successfully handled the first Venezuelan WIPO arbitration to defend against the infringement of Venezuelan Internet domain name. The firm has also pioneered the information of such innovative concepts as co-ownership and co-licensing of intellectual properties. Our partners have been active in the leading international and national intellectual property professional associations, and frequently write on the subject of Venezuelan intellectual property. LICENSING By virtue of expertise in commercial law, foreign investment, intellectual property, trade and others, as well as in the negotiation and crafting of international agreements, the Firm is quite active in the area of technology and technical assistance licensing. Not only is the Firm knowledgeable about the pertinent norms that must be applied in order to achieve the registration of license contracts, which in turn is a prerequisite to possible access to foreign exchange under the exchange control regime, the Firm is also able to counsel clients as to commercial, confidentiality, termination and other aspects of license agreements. FRANCHISING has considerable expertise in the area of franchising having counseled and represented a number of the major international franchise organizations, as well as a number of start-up Venezuelan franchise entities, including both within the country and abroad. One of our partners is listed in Who’s Who Legal: Franchise, as one of the leading franchise authorities in Venezuela. E-COMMERCE Certain members of have a particular interest in e-commerce matters and have provided services to clients ranging from advising them on structuring e-commerce activities to protecting their intellectual property rights from international infringement. Moreover members of the firm have developed experience on matters related to e-contracts, unfair trade practices over the internet and Intellectual Property matters related to domain name registration. Members of the firm recently were involved in an important arbitration before the WIPO Mediation and Arbitration Center defending a well known domain name. ART AND ENTERTAINMENT has been able to offer its clients in the fields of fine arts and entertainment a variety of legal services, including in the areas of employment law, the negotiation and preparation of contracts, and intellectual property matters, among others. Given the Firm’s strong intellectual property practice, members of the Firm have developed particular expertise in the protection of ideas, images and artistic creation, in general, including art and entertainment over the Internet. The Firm has assisted artists in the protection of their creations, and galleries and museums on matters related to the art world. Additionally we have assisted clients on a number of estate planning and art collection matters. LITIGATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION The Firm has an extensive litigation practice and historically is one of the firms with a largely international clientele that has been most active in litigation. The Firm conducts litigation at all levels of Venezuelan judicial tribunals and administrative fora. The Firm has often been on the leading edge of the law establishing new jurisprudence in defense of the rights of our clients. In recent years the litigation department has been particularly involved in intellectual property and employment law litigation successfully defending clients before the Venezuelan Supreme Court on a number of occasions. The Firm has also become increasingly active in the areas of mediation and arbitration, both within Venezuela and abroad. One of our partners is on the board of directors of one of the leading arbitration centers in Caracas. EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL SUPPORT NORMS The laws on labor relations, and industrial and social security related matters are among the more complex and burdensome for companies in Venezuela today, requiring the Firm to work extensively in this area on behalf of our clients. is particularly experienced in handling employment contracts for both foreign and domestic executives, for foreign technical personnel, and for professional athletes, especially those involved with Major League Baseball clubs of the U.S.; in dealing with labor union matters; in obtaining work visas for foreign personnel; and in handling termination matters with both foreign and domestic employees. The Firm is quite active in the areas of administrative proceedings and litigation, at all levels, in the labor law area. Moreover, the Firm counsels its clients with respect to the application of various industrial and social security norms, some of which are having a significant impact on a range of companies, with civil and criminal implications, access to state business and benefits, and others. Additionally, and given the Firm´s strong Intellectual Property Department, has assisted clients in relatively unexplored areas of Venezuelan law where commercial law, trademark and copyright matters collide with labor law principles. Such are the cases of dealing with inventions in the workplace, improvements on inventions, and other related matters. SPORTS In the area of professional sports, the Firm has considerable experience in the area of baseball, having regularly advised Major League Baseball of the U.S., as well as a number of the U.S. major league teams, with respect to matters of recruitment and contracting of players, and the management of farm teams or clubs in Venezuela. has also advised several Venezuelan major league teams and farm club organizations. Further, the Firm is now advising professional golf, having become the principal counsel to the PGA de las Americas, which manages the Tour de las Americas. PERSONAL INJURY While not a principal focus of ´s activities, still the Firm has been involved in a number of personal injury cases, involving in particular industrial and aviation accidents, and cases of medical malpractice, especially with regard to the latter cases involving aesthetic surgery. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW has developed one of the most highly regarded Administrative Litigation Departments in the country, particularly related to the defense of intellectual property rights. Additionally the firm lends its services in respect to resolving matters that involve a number of the governmental state agencies. The firm also lends advice concerning antitrust and consumer protection laws, aids in processing permits and authorizations for all types of pharmaceutical and food products, lends advice on dealing with the state agencies that regulate the various telecommunications services, aids its clients in obtaining permits and authorizations in the field of medical services and lends advice on a number of matters related to the educational institutions, among other matters. ANTITRUST AND CONSUMER PROTECTION Antitrust. In 1992 Venezuela promulgated its first antitrust regulations. Based primarily on those of the European Union and, to a lesser extent, on those of the U.S., the regulations are being administered with a moderate degree of severity. During the years these norms were under discussion members of the firm collaborated with some of the groups formed to draft and provide recommendations in this area. Despite the absence of specific antitrust legislation in the past, Venezuela also had related jurisprudence in the price-control and consumer protection areas, as well as with respect to unfair trade practices. The firm has long been active in these latter areas and in particular has had some singular successes in the courts in winning cases involving newly delineated areas of unfair trade practices. Consumer Protection. Venezuela has complex consumer protection regulations containing generally strict standards of product warranty and liability for manufacturers and the providers of services, as well as new currency and pricing restrictions. The Firm is active in advising our clients as to best practices in this area, in addition to defending against alleged violations. TELECOMMUNICATIONS has considerable experience in the telecommunications field ranging from the presentation and processing of applications and registrations before the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL); the assignment, modification and settlement of disputes regarding concessions; and general business counseling in this area, which in recent years has been, along with the petroleum sector, one of the more dynamic sectors for investment in Venezuela. In this respect the firm has experience in several of the areas related to this field, including cable, rural telephony and Internet connectivity. In this regard, the Firm has represented a major Canadian telecommunications equipment manufacturer that is the principal supplier to a Canadian-Mexican telecom company and is presently engaged in the negotiation of a VoIP relationship between Venezuelan and U.S. parties. One of our attorneys previously worked at CONATEL and has a post-graduate degree in the regulation of telecommunications services. MEDICAL AND SANITARY In the medical and sanitary permits areas regularly assists clients in obtaining and maintaining health permits for pharmaceutical, agrochemical, industrial chemical, and beauty and personal care products, as well as for medical devices and apparatuses, and for food products of all kinds, both for human and animal consumption. The Firm also counsels our clients with respect to the substantial body of regulations affecting these types of products. TOURISM has been active in recent years in the tourism, hotel and casinos sectors. In most cases the firm has been involved at all stages of these projects, including the structuring of the investor group, financing, local permits, and so forth. Likewise, the Firm has worked with international tourism organizations bringing largely Canadian and European tourists to Venezuela through regular charter packages, and in the areas of sports (especially fishing) and adventure tourism. EDUCATION Over the years has served as counsel to all three of the English-speaking international schools in Caracas, and it handled the opening of a new English-speaking international school in the new petroleum area in the eastern region of the country. Additionally, the Firm has advised other private academic institutions on the increasingly complex norms in the education area. ENVIRONMENTAL Venezuela has been one of the leading countries in Latin America to have adopted strict environmental standards and controls in the last decade, in certain instances implying criminal penalties for company administrators. Accordingly, certain members of focus on this area providing counsel to clients who are exposed to the impact of these norms. GOVERNMENT RELATIONS Many of the firm's clients undertake commercial transactions with a variety of state entities, as well as with the multiple branches of the central government. In this area naturally a number of skills are required, including access to government and bureaucratic leaders at the highest levels, an ability to negotiate acceptable contractual conditions in a monophony context, preferably nonlitigious dispute resolution and various others. Because of the rather unique contacts and skills of certain members of the firm, we have generally been successful on behalf of our clients in this often difficult area, particularly in the petroleum, petrochemical and steal industries. PERSONAL AND FAMILY SERVICES Over the years has handled a number of family-law matters. These have included certain high-profile international divorce and child-custody cases involving, usually, mixed Venezuelan-foreign marriages. Likewise, the Firm has been involved in a number of high net worth estate matters, both with respect to estate planning and in resolving disputes among different claimants. CRIMINAL (WHITE COLLAR) In the criminal law area limits its practice to advising clients on the new potential criminal sanctions and implications related to a number of traditional legal areas, including corporate, intellectual property, financial, tax and environmental. Likewise, the Firm advises clients with respect to the increased controls in the principal trading and capital-exporting countries post 9/11. Additionally, our Firm maintains a close relationship with some of Venezuela’s leading criminal law specialists and is able to liaise between them and clients requiring their services.
Constitutional and Administrative The Constitutional and Administrative Law Department of the Firm provides counsel to our clients in their relations with the various Venezuelan government entities, at national, state and municipal levels. In connection with these services, we analyze the scope, interpretation and constitutionality of the laws and other regulatory acts; and generally, the constitutionality and legality of any decisions issued and action taken by public entities. We advise and represent our clients in the prosecution of administrative and judicial proceedings, including actions seeking constitutional protection from governmental acts. Our attorneys also give legal advice to victims of human rights violations, resorting, if necessary, to international human rights protection organizations. In Venezuela, the commercial exploitation of activities relating to mining and hydrocarbons, as well as telecommunications, is subject to various legislative and governmental regulations. For this reason, our expertise in such areas lies primarily with our Constitutional and Administrative Law Department. We assist our clients in the obtaining of permits, authorizations and licenses required to conduct their operations in Venezuela. We represent and counsel our clients in various matters relating to public credit, budgetary regime, administrative agreements, and customs, as well as city planning, zoning and expropriation, in respect of which we provide guidance to our clients as to the best manner to protect their property rights. Our Constitutional and Administrative Law Department actively participates in privatization, bidding and license awarding processes, including their preliminary and subsequent stages, assuring our client the best formula to perform or acquire the relevant services or assets, as the case may be, in strict analysis of the regulatory framework applicable to such processes. Civil and Corporate The Civil and Corporate Law Department handles matters of a civil nature involving the rights of persons, family, wealth (real and personal property, obligations, estates), and also counsels our clients in the conduct of their business activities. Services in these areas comprise the preparation of all documentation necessary to conduct a business or professional activity (constituent documents, minutes, commercial books). The Firm provides legal counsel in connection with the purchase and sale of assets or equities, including any due diligence relating thereto; advising also on all aspects relating to restructurings and mergers, as well as foreign investments. Generally, the Civil and Corporate Law Department actively participates in the negotiation and documentation of agreements of any nature, including works contracts and international commercial transactions. Our long tradition as attorneys for Venezuelan and foreign banks has given us the knowledge and experience necessary to provide counseling and prepare documentation in connection with financing agreements, ranging from standard loans to more complex financing transactions, such as leasing and project financing, as well as the granting of securities of any kind. Our services also include counseling on the public offering and private placement of shares, debentures, commercial papers, and other securities; and generally, the issue of papers backed by assets, securitizations and capital markets. We also provide legal assistance for matters relating to bankruptcy and moratorium proceedings, and creditor-debtor relations. In addition, our services comprise legal counseling on the various aspects of the insurance and reinsurance business in Venezuela, including the preparation of policies and bonds and the processing of claims; as well as in matters relating to sea, river and land transportation of passengers and goods. The Firm also has ample experience in the preparation of agreements and documents necessary for the development of real estate projects. Our Constitutional and Administrative Law Department complements our counseling capabilities in the areas of banking, insurance, real estate and capital markets, inasmuch as such activities are subject to the control of and regulation by public entities. Taxation Our Tax Department offers its expertise in three important areas: (i) opinions, counseling and consultations on tax matters, (ii) strategic tax planning, and (iii) administrative and judicial remedies. We issue opinions in connection with any matters concerning national, state and municipal taxes, as our clients may require; such as the interpretation and application of, and benefits under, international treaties to avoid double taxation, customs duties and their special regimes, levies, income tax, value added tax, estate, gifts and other related branches tax, telecommunications taxes, special and parafiscal contributions such as that of science and technology, as well as all kinds of municipal taxes, among others. We advise our clients on all matters concerning compliance of their formal tax duties, and in particular, the legal review of their income tax returns, withholding assessment, applications for tax benefits and fractioned payment of taxes. We prepare and file tax recovery applications in connection with value added tax and customs duties. In conjunction with our Labor Law Department, we offer legal assistance to employer and employees in connection with all parafiscal contributions, such as social security, job training system, and housing and habitat system, among others. We prepare and submit tax consultations addressed to the various Tax Administration bodies, in order to obtain clarification or confirmation of their criteria on specific matters, with a view to minimizing any potential tax exposure and avoid penalties and contradictory decisions. Working in coordination with our Civil and Corporate Law Department and our Labor Law Department, as well as with our clients’ auditors, we study and design efficient organizational structures adapting to our clients’ specific needs, with a view to deferring, minimizing or eliminating, according to applicable legislation, the overall tax impact of a particular transaction or group of transactions. We collaborate directly in due diligence for merger and acquisition processes in which our clients may have an interest as buyers, sellers or members of joint ventures, partnerships or strategic associations. In collaboration with the Constitutional and Administrative Law Department, we prepare and file administrative and judicial remedies, including constitutional remedies, in connection with any tax assessment, adjustment, penalty, decision or action. We bring actions for annulment on grounds of unconstitutionality and illegality of tax decisions and rules. The Department is continuously updating on rulings issued by the Tax Administration as well as analyzing proposed new tax laws, decrees and resolutions and reviewing case law of all court instances with jurisdiction in this matter. Labor Law The Labor Law Department offers legal assistance in all areas relating to the management of human resources. Our services include the negotiation and drafting of individual employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements, and active collaboration in the design and implementation of remuneration, benefits and working conditions policies. We also provide assistance in the prevention and resolution of labor conflicts of any kind before the labor administrative and judicial bodies, in close cooperation with our Litigation and our Constitutional and Administrative Law Departments. Our practice is oriented to provide counseling in the interpretation and application of labor, social security and industrial health and safety laws, making such recommendations as may be appropriate, both for clients who intend to start operations in Venezuela and those already established. Our attorneys are continuously updating in connection with judicial decisions, rulings from the Ministry of Labor and opinions of the different bodies making up the Venezuelan Social Security System. We have the capacity to advise our clients in the establishment of savings and pension plans and to design strategies to minimize the economic impact of expatriate and domestic personnel. In collaboration with our Tax Department, we monitor compliance by our clients of formal duties in connection with the parafiscal contributions which employers and employees are obliged to pay (among others, social security, employment security system, work training system, particularly regarding contributions to the National Institute for Socialist Training and Education (INCES) and the housing and habitat system). This Department provides comprehensive consultancy in the labor aspects of acquisition, merger, transformation or privatization processes of companies and conducts labor due diligences which allow businessmen to obtain a global perspective of the labor situation of companies and avoid or minimize any particular contingencies associated to this area. Criminal Law The Criminal Law Department basically offers counseling on criminal matters in the context of the course of business activities including the analysis of corporate situations and issue of opinions and evaluations of particular factual situations involving corporations and their shareholders, representatives, administrators and advisors, all within the framework of the so-called Economic Crime Law (White-Collar Crime Law). In this regard, we offer specialized counseling in connection with the following regulatory instruments: Law against Corruption, General Law on Banking and other Financial Institutions, Criminal Environmental Law, Organic Law on Prevention, Work Conditions and Work Environment, Organic Tax Code, Law against Foreign Exchange Crimes, Law against Organized Crime, Organic Telecommunications Law, Copyright Law, Capital Markets Law, among others. From the litigation viewpoint, we offer our representation and assistance in criminal proceedings, whether ordinary or special. In the first case, our services extend to all stages, from the investigation stage, intermediary stage, trial stage, to conclude with the execution stage and the subsequent procedure of indemnification for and repair of damages, as well as the various appeal stages, including cassation. Our assistance and follow-up of case files include actions before the different criminal courts, public prosecutors and criminal investigation law enforcement agencies. Litigation Our Litigation Department offers immediate response to the needs of our clients in connection with court and arbitration proceedings in civil, commercial, banking, labor, landlord and tenant, family, wills, divorce, separation and adoption matters, among others. It works in close collaboration with members of the Constitutional and Administrative Law Department and the Tax Department in the administrative and tax judicial proceedings handled by said Departments. We frequently counsel our clients on resolution of corporate disputes, representing them in account rendering proceedings, dissolution of companies and claims for irregularities, being also able to handle complex moratorium and bankruptcy proceedings. In addition, we rely on independent attorneys in various cities throughout Venezuela, who assist us in lawsuits which must be prosecuted before the courts of said cities. The attorneys of this Department have extensive experience in the prosecution of lawsuits and other legal proceedings before the courts of the Republic, including the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. We also counsel our clients as to the best course to follow to reach out-of-court settlements, including resorting to various alternative methods of dispute resolution, being experienced in national and international arbitration. Intellectual Property Through the Intellectual Property Department, the Firm has the capacity to offer its clients all professional services in the area, which basically include those pertaining to trademarks, patents and copyrights. As to our services in the area of trademarks, the Department processes applications for registration of a trademark, beginning with the registrability analysis from the respective search of similar trademarks. Once a trademark has been applied for, or registered, all aspects in connection with the protection thereof are checked and monitored, including following-up on applications for similar trademarks filed by third parties, prevention of trademark infringement, unfair competition, and generally, any event which may threaten to infringe any industrial property rights conferred by the trademark. The Department also provides assistance in any transaction which may involve trademark rights; and for the registration of trademarks outside Venezuela, the service is provided through our various correspondents. Services in the area of patents include analysis of registrability and novelty and filing of applications for patents of invention, industrial designs and utility models, counseling on industrial secrets, mandatory licenses and other aspects relating to the protection of the rights and interests of our clients in this area. In what refers to copyrights, the Department is in a position to provide counsel to the clients of the Firm in the registration process or protection of any intellectual creation, which may range from a literary work to a software. Finally, our Intellectual Property Department, working in collaboration with the Constitutional and Administrative Law and Litigation Departments represents and protects the rights of the clients in any litigation which may arise in connection with unfair competition, illegal practices, infringement of well-known trademarks, or any other infringement of intellectual property rights.
In the wake of the recent financial crisis, those either seeking or giving financial support face a new reality and new challenges. Whether restructuring existing agreements or financing new growth and development, a new order is emerging into an increasingly litigious environment. Our close relationships with the financial world mean that our finance team is fully aware of the latest developments in these areas, and are ready to advise clients in our key sectors on how to manage their finances in this challenging, new environment. We act for banks, building societies, finance boutiques and other financial institutions as well as for a wide range of corporate clients, offering a wide variety of financial services. Our finance team includes a well regarded corporate recovery and insolvency team giving focused and timely advice to both creditors and debtors and their expertise assists in our client planning and adds value at every stage of the process. In conjunction with our real estate and infrastructure teams, the team advises property companies, retailers, large occupiers and local authorities on financing real estate and infrastructure projects. We handle the full range of multi-national project finance initiatives in both the public and private sectors, for projects ranging in value from £10 million to £1 billion. Our corporate finance team works with a wide range of clients from huge multinationals to fast-growing entrepreneurs. We specialise in complex and novel transactions, offering genuine cross-border expertise and global coverage. Our able asset finance has particular expertise in shipping and aviation finance, including superyachts and private jets, where the team has an unrivalled reputation. Our market leading commodity team is supported by our long standing reputation for providing trade finance advice. The team has particular experience of working in the new and emerging markets of the CIS, Africa and Asia. This includes advising the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and acting for the Government Export Credit and Guarantee Department on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Unusually, our finance team also includes a specialist banking litigation and arbitration team, which is almost unique in this area as being part of an elite disputes firm that is not conflicted from acting for or against many of the major global banking institutions. This group has undertaken a number of significant disputes and has a leading reputation.
practice focuses on corporate, commercial, and intellectual property matters related to clients in the oil and gas, financial, and telecommunications industries. has an important experience advising companies in the oil, gas, and petrochemical sector. She has been involved in the negotiation of major upstream and downstream projects advising in the negotiation and drafting of the relevant contracts. Marianna has also counseled in the negotiation of the various gas licenses rounds and the formation and financing of joint-ventures for the development of primary activities, industrialization of gas, and petrochemical.
This department functions as hinge of all units of our Firm, also there is a prominent academic activity from some of its members. The main activities of this area, are the following: Civil and Commercial Law A significant part of the lawyers of the Firm advises clients in all matters related to the everyday operations of companies, especially in contracts, new business developments, etc. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) For the last few years, globalization has promoted this kind of operations as a consequence of the increase of the presence of multinational companies in the country. Some of the lawyers have participated in important M&A transactions, from the planning to the final execution. Project Finance Although in recent times, the practice has been focused on the restructuring of several projects instead of financing, the team has a vast experience on this field, both from the financial perspective and the beneficiary of the funds, especially in the Petrochemical and Iron Ore sector. This Department´s work has been done for public, multilateral and private financing. Corporate Governance Some of the lawyers have been leaders in the promotion of the good practices of Corporate Governance, divulging the benefits process of Good Corporate Governance and managing the Corporate Governance Committee of the Venezuelan Executives Association (AVE), a non governmental organization which is the leader on this subject in the country. Franchising The Firm has had vast experience in the franchising, both on the franchisor side as well as the franchisee side, especially on the fast food sector. Infrastructure and Real Estate Transaction In the Infrastructure & Real Estate Area, the Firm has represented several important clients on significant transactions among private parties and the Government and among private parties as well, mainly in civil and industrial engineering. The origins of the Firm were essentially in the Commercial Law and Real Estate Area, due to that the Firm has been leader in these such areas for many years, representing a large number of clients in the different activities related to the Real Estate Area, from the incorporation of the promoter company to the final sales. Several of the partners have been members of the Board of Directors or have actively participated in associations related to the area such as Venezuelan Real Estate Chamber and Venezuelan Construction Chamber. Energy, Oil, Gas and Mining The Firm has advised several companies that have participated and are participating in the Venezuelan oil market. This Department has advised our clients in Joint Ventures with the Government and/or private companies in the bidding process for mining concessions. The team in charge of this area works in continuous coordination with the other departments of the Firm. Banking, Insurance and Capital Markets The Firm is mandatory reference in the banking, financial, capital market and insurance sectors. The members of this department have demonstrated being highly prepared for the designing and drafting of policies, rules and procedures, guidance & training programs, enterprise ethics codes, etc. Among this specialty, it stands out in the programs for the prevention & control of money laundering, especially intended for the financial, goods and services markets.
Contracts, Mergers and Acquisitions This area includes negotiations with both Private and Public Sectors, in which the Firm takes part representing and providing counseling to its clients; writing contracts or issuing opinions regarding contracts. This area particularly includes negotiations, legal opinions and preparation of contracts related to mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, privatization and project financing. Energy, Natural Resources, Utilities and Public Services This area covers the activities of the Firm related to the negotiation, preparation of contracts, opinions and due diligence regarding the exploitation of natural resources, the rendering of basic and public services, as well as those matters related to the energy sector. It also includes the activities related to petroleum, gas petrochemistry, mines, electricity, water, and all other natural resources and, in general, activities that are rendered by public or private entities under the regime of concessions, licenses or other public authorizations. Telecommunications, Information Technology and E-Commerce Within this area are those topics related to telecommunications networks, information platforms, network applications or services and the contents of transmitted messages, both in their regulatory and contractual aspects. This includes all matters regarding information technology, e-commerce and counseling in relation to contracts in this form of commerce. It also relates to concessions, licenses or authorizations required by companies that provide telecommunication services, information technology and e-commerce. Trade, Investments, Finance and Competition, Exchange Control Regulations This area includes topics related to both national and international trading of goods and services as well as general investments. It also includes all aspects regarding the protection of investments, competition, unfair trade, international trade agreements and economic integration; the rules on protection of national production (antidumping, subsidy, commercial safeguards, among others) and matters regarding customs. It also includes financial, banking, insurance, securities and exchange control regulation. Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits This area covers labor relations, regarding both individual and collective law, and social security. It includes collective bargaining agreements, international contracting, labor planning, special labor benefit programs including share option plans, housing policy and pension funds. Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution This area covers all the means for dispute resolutions, whether solved at Court, by Administrative Authorities or through alternative mechanisms, such as Conciliation, Mediation or Arbitration. This area embraces litigation in matters related to civil law, including commercial, competition, intellectual property and insurance law, as well as the preparation and presentation of resources against acts of the public administration. Real Estate We assist our clients in all real estate businesses, including advising, drafting and negotiation of acquisition and disposition agreements, as well as short and long term leasing, financing, securitization, construction, development, land use regulations and management of all types of properties. Tax Members of this area of practice focus on national, state and local taxes such as income tax, tax on business assets, value-added tax and stamp taxes; we also assists our clients on tax planning, oil and mining taxes, and strategy resulting from the application of double taxation treaties.
Antitrust / Competition The antitrust/competition practice addresses many significant issues of competition that affect businesses. Some of our lawyers have also handled competition cases before the Andean Community. We advice our clients in the application of its legislation, including due diligence programs, training and follow-up of the fair competition legislation. Administrative and Judicial Proceedings Lawyers at Imery Urdaneta are well trained and experienced in handling and following up administrative cases relating to cartelization, and abuse of dominant position. We have participated in some of the major rulings on Competition before Procompetencia, and before courts, including the Supreme Court of Justice. Our services include following up legal advice. We also assist companies under investigation and those wanting to report abusive commercial practices. Economic Concentrations The firm renders advice in the decision making and filing proceedings of economic concentrations to Procompetencia, by evaluating solutions for the most complex operations. We handle and follow up filing proceedings and negotiations until their finalization. If necessary, we include economist and specialist in other areas to sharpen our legal aid. Unfair competition We render advice in the analysis and evaluation of commercial proposals to determine their lawfulness in terms of competition. We have represented clients in the solution of disputes, and disputed administrative and judicial competition proceedings, including cases relating to intellectual property and industrial patents, in the food, medicine and telecommunications sectors Our litigation team handles and monitors civil and commercial proceedings before the Venezuelan Courts nationwide, including highly technical appeals before the Supreme Court of Justice. We have handled a variety of complex judicial proceedings, including collections, bankruptcy moratorium (“atraso”), claims for damages, enforcement of contracts and guarantees, as well as litigation related to product liability, banking matters, family and minors, protection of intellectual property rights, among others. Appellate Litigation Most of our litigators are duly qualified to appear before the Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice, constantly procuring to maintain the high standards of research and specialization required for these appeals.
We are a multidisciplinary group of lawyers with expertise in different specialties such as international trade and commercial law, information and communication technology, banking, intellectual property law, corporate law, litigation, criminal, labor, constitutional and civil law.. SERVICES In order to provide multidisciplinary and specialized services, maintaining a reasonable structure of costs and customized attention, proposing ideas and defining the most suitable strategy, we offer, on one hand, specialized counseling services in corporative, legal, financial and taxation issues, and on the other hand, under the framework of a "strategic professional partnership", we offer services developed by qualified professionals in the construction areas, marketing and trade, real estate, management and businesses, insurances, telecommunications and education, among others. COMMERCIAL - International Commercial Law - Trade, Corporate and Company Law - Models of contracts - Telecom and Cyber Law - Industrial and Intelectual Property Rights - Insurance Law - Maritime Law CIVIL AND CIVIL PROCEDURE - Civil Law - Family Law - Successions Law - Real State Law CONSTITUTIONAL - Constitutional Law - Human rights ADMINISTRATIVE AND TAXATION - Taxation Law - Administrative Law CRIMINAL AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE - Criminal Law LABOR - Labour Law - Laws, doctrine, and precedents in all domains of law at the national, regional and international levels - Real State - Representatives abroad - Marketing and Advertissement - Fun…not all should be work - Accounting, Administrative and Financial services - Education, Jobs, and Expatriation - Telecommunications and new Information and Communication Technologies - Insurance - Management, Business and Strategies - National and Foreign Investments - National and International Tourism - Import and Export - Construction
Over recent years the global aviation sector has witnessed the rapid growth of air travel in emerging markets, the continuing growth of low cost carriers across the globe, and regulatory changes to global emissions trading schemes to name but a few developments.
In such a constantly changing market, organizations across the industry require service from law firms that not only offer high quality lawyers, but also those with a deep focus on the aviation sector. prides itself on being that firm.
Top level experience
For the past seven consecutive years the aviation and aerospace team has been named as ‘the world’s leading firm in the field of aviation law’ (Who’s Who Legal), recognition that is mirrored by the various legal directories. With ‘enviable depth at partner level’ we are proud to note that more than twenty of our partners are listed as leaders in the aviation market.
Our aviation team provides global coverage for a global industry - meaning that our clients are always offered a high quality service, no matter where they are based in the world. Our 35 international offices are staffed by over 100 aviation lawyers who between them speak 35 languages.
Our services and capability
We are experienced in all types of aviation related work, whether in the context of fleeting programmes, high-value disputes, corporate transactions, commercial contracts, development of aviation infrastructure or major casualties. With industry know-how stretching across the entire sector; we are often found at the forefront of developments in aviation law.
From the smallest claims to major losses, has the resources to handle insured liability of all sizes and complexity. Our lawyers have represented the aviation industry in nearly every major aviation loss over the last twenty-five years, and we bring this high level of expertise to every matter we handle.
Driven by the unprecedented demands of an ageing global population, changes in demographics and growing levels of lifestyle-related chronic diseases across the world, the global healthcare sector is undergoing a period of rapid change.
In developed markets, such as the UK and Europe, the healthcare sector is subject to a growing number of public sector pressures including budget constraints, regulatory reform and the drive to provide greater efficiencies in the delivery of services. In developing markets, such as India and China, rapid economic growth, increasing demand for better healthcare standards and the contribution of the private sector has dramatically increased the requirement for healthcare services, while some governments struggle to provide broad access to healthcare and guarantee minimum standards of quality and safety.
Having provided legal services to clients engaged in the healthcare sector for more than 20 years, we have significant expertise and an in-depth understanding of the key legal, regulatory and commercial issues that our clients face.
Led by our strong legal offering in regulatory and advisory work and clinical negligence in the UK, our healthcare practice also includes broader infrastructure developments for healthcare particularly in relation to third party development work, PPP / PFI investments and, globally, in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific via a wide range of activity for clients engaged in the healthcare sector by way of regulatory, corporate activity and infrastructure requirements.
Our broad healthcare client base includes primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare providers, local healthcare authorities, healthcare administrative bodies and professional bodies, insurers, contractors and consultants and private equity firms, developers and investors specialising in healthcare investments.
Our multidisciplinary global healthcare group comprises lawyers drawn from across our core legal practices including litigation, projects and construction, real estate, corporate, insurance, intellectual property, commercial, IT, regulatory and employment. We provide informed, strategic legal advice in the context of wider industry trends and developments in the global healthcare sector across the full range of legal specialisms, including:
- casualty and healthcare, including clinical negligence, regulatory, advisory, personal injury, product liability and fraudulent claims
- mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances and investments
- infrastructure and development, including PFI and PPP investment
- outsourcing services, supply, distribution and strategic contracts
- tax, regulation and licensing
- intellectual property
- dispute resolution
Our extensive office network across the UK and Europe, Asia - Pacific, the Middle East and the United States enables us to deliver a seamless integrated service to our healthcare clients around the globe.
In developed countries, aging infrastructure is in need of replacement or upgrade. In emerging economies, demand for new infrastructure development has risen, not only fuelled by population growth and improved standards of living but also by new global trade networks. To meet this increased demand, it has been estimated that by 2030 US$41 trillion will need to be invested into the build and repair of infrastructure globally.
Whether procuring project services (as a government client, a developer, investor or funder), or supplying them (as a contractor, consultant or facilities manager), our solution driven service, based on both commercial acumen and technical expertise, is focused on achieving our clients’ goals.
We are proud of our reputation as sector specialists, and focus on:
– Transport infrastructure (rail, road, port, airport)
– Power and utilities
– Development and regeneration
– Social infrastructure
While the insurance and reinsurance markets have been less affected than anticipated by the financial and economic events of the last three years, capital adequacy and the implementation of Solvency II are exercising management, as is the future direction of regulation.
Geographic expansion into new countries and markets is an evolving trend as competition in mature markets remains fierce and developing countries offer new opportunities. In the area of risk, further fallout from the financial crisis, instability as a result of economic recession and the issues thrown up by political unrest continue to give rise to challenges.
Experience on a global scale
The insurance sector demands close sector focus on a global scale. the only firm able to fully meet this challenge, with:
- Extensive experience in every class
- The broadest international coverage of any specialist insurance law firm
- The highest concentration of leading insurance lawyers of any firm
- A broad and balanced offering, from the most complex major claims to volume services
We offer insurers the opportunity to source legal advice from one law firm across a wide spectrum of business lines, on both higher and lower value claims, volume work and across most jurisdictions. The understanding of insurers’ operations, the closeness of relationships, economies of scale, swift referral to expertise and the commitment we offer provides significant benefits to our clients.
We have experience of the following global lines:
- Casualty and healthcare
- Energy and engineering
- Financial lines/D&O
- Professional liability
- Property and liability
- Political risk
- Regulatory risk
- Speciality lines
In addition to experience across the full extent of insurers’ general business lines, we also have a leading practice in respect of reinsurance as well as regulatory matters, and a dedicated corporate insurance team which includes M&A, restructuring, corporate finance, Part VII transfers, captives, run off/exit strategies and life, and in a range of disciplines connected with ongoing commercial operations such as employment, commercial and IT agreements and real estate.
With over 160 Partners and 800 lawyers focusing on insurance and reinsurance, there is no other law firm with the quality, the scale and the coverage we offer the insurance market.
Professional Practices Group brings together the leading team in professional liability and a range of experts in regulatory, employment, practice structures and partnership dispute issues. We support professional services firms and networks of all sizes in relation to practice issues. Our teams of lawyers focused on each of the major professions enable us to understand the commercial, reputational and regulatory pressures our clients face, and to provide targeted risk management and other advice.
The broad and in-depth nature of our offering and expertise means we can support and work with our clients in relation to all issues they face, and deliver solutions that work for their businesses.
We can assist with:
- Professional liability claims
- Disciplinary matters
- Regulatory investigations
- Partnership disputes
- Employment disputes and advice
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Professional practice structures and updating corporate and partnership documentation
- Pensions and immigration
- Insurance arrangements
- Information security, confidentiality and IP
- Management liability
In addition, we are experienced in dealing with a wide range of other commercial and contractual problems on behalf of professional services firms. We have one of the largest dispute resolution teams in the UK, and leading teams specialising in tax, real estate, insolvency, outsourcing and corporate/commercial matters.
We act for the heart of the maritime industry – shipbuilders, owners, charterers, salvors, financiers, port authorities and government, P&I clubs and insurers – and clients across the broader trade commodities and energy sector.
Epecialist shipping expertise and global reach – adding up to an unrivalled collective offering in the maritime industry. Wet or dry, contentious or non-contentious – our cradle-to-grave industry approach means that we stand alongside clients through the full corporate lifecycle; from establishment and commercial operations through to dispute resolution and corporate exit options.
Our trusted team of specialist lawyers, a number of whom are multi-lingual, and our network of international offices allows immediate access to multi-jurisdictional expertise and local support to clients in a streamlined and cost-effective manner.
We offer clients the confidence of advice based on decades of experience and proven reputation in the shipping industry. We are focused on providing pragmatic commercial solutions and understanding the issues affecting our clients and serving to their best interests. Our lawyers routinely advise on high-profile, ground-breaking cases.
Our international coverage means that we can manage disputes wherever they arise. Early settlement is often a key objective – our reputation and experience enhances our ability to achieve swift results and the best possible solution for our clients. Through experience, we adopt the most appropriate method (or combination of methods) – whether negotiation, mediation, arbitration or litigation – to achieve the best result. Whichever approach is adopted, the threat of legal proceedings is a real and immediate one that enables us to negotiate from a position of strength.
Our clients support and facilitate this constant flow of materials and goods around the world. We are with them every step of the way, offering advice that unravels complexity and steers them through the complex and diverse commercial challenges they face.
International trade and commodities are at the core of our business. Our commodities team has developed alongside the growth of the world’s main trading hubs and we have a presence in each of the main trading markets. We have worked within the commodities sector from our inception and are recognised as a market leader – as indicated by our top tier rankings for commodities in all the legal directories.
We work across the full range of the commodity markets - hard and soft commodities, oil and energy, futures and derivatives including new specialisations such as carbon trading. Our extensive experience of the whole trade cycle from raw product to market and throughout the full supply chain - gives our advice a particular depth of understanding. This knowledge is underpinned by our legal expertise and our leading international contentious and non-contentious practices that offer clients advice wherever and whenever needed.
For traders there has been a rapid increase in the spread, application and enforcement of regulatory regimes. Our regulatory team has built a strong reputation for supporting clients in this area and in particular for the newly established regulations such as trade sanctions.
Unlike many firms we have in-depth experience across the whole range of contentious and non-contentious matters. As one of the top two dispute resolution practices of any leading UK firm we have a particularly strong track record in complex cross-jurisdictional disputes and an outstanding reputation in international arbitration. This is complemented by our leading regulatory practice which provides quick, focused, commercial advice that is particularly appropriate when our clients are operating in unfamiliar or volatile jurisdictions and markets.
With strength and depth of experience, combined with a truly global footprint, our retail and consumer specialists can provide all you need and more.
Building on our long-standing heritage in international trade our retail and consumer group has expanded rapidly in recent years (both organically and geographically) and we have become well recognised in this sector. We work with clients across the spectrum from independent retailers to national and multinational organisations.
We know the retail and consumer industry and the players in it, as well as the commercial realities of doing business in both developed and emerging economies. Each market requires legal support that is experienced, industry focused and in tune with current local requirements. We are able to provide advice on market entry into and expansion in a range of jurisdictions including Australia, Asia, the Middle East and the UK.
As a major international law firm, we offer clients in the retail and consumer sector the full spectrum of legal advice:
- real estate (including construction and planning)
- health and safety
- intellectual property and brand protection
- corporate and commercial
- finance and insolvency
- transport and logistics
- e-commerce and technology
- compliance, competition and regulatory
- EU regulations
- supply chain management
- product liability
- employer and public liability
- dispute resolution
Changing demographics and shifting patterns in global economic growth are driving demand for energy provision. At the same time, significant new hydrocarbon discoveries are becoming rarer and
available proven reserves are in increasingly difficult or remote locations, or in politically sensitive jurisdictions. Access to alternative generation technologies is not universal, and safety concerns over nuclear energy persist – be it an oil and gas exploration project in Iraq, the construction of a new power station in China, or the acquisition of a mining concession in Tanzania.
With a significant presence in the key energy markets of the Middle East, Africa, the FSU, Asia and North and South America, we are already well aligned to the market. Our team of energy lawyers are based throughout our international network and have experience across every major hydrocarbon producing area in the world.
Coupling our industry expertise with local knowledge, we are ideally placed to advise across the entire energy value chain, including:
- Oil and gas
- Power and utilities
- Natural resources
This department functions as hinge of all units of our Firm, also there is a prominent academic activity from some of its members. The main activities of this area, are the following:
Civil and Commercial Law
A significant part of the lawyers of the Firm advises clients in all matters related to the everyday operations of companies, especially in contracts, new business developments, etc.
Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
For the last few years, globalization has promoted this kind of operations as a consequence of the increase of the presence of multinational companies in the country. Some of the lawyers have participated in important M&A transactions, from the planning to the final execution.
Although in recent times, the practice has been focused on the restructuring of several projects instead of financing, the team has a vast experience on this field, both from the financial perspective and the beneficiary of the funds, especially in the Petrochemical and Iron Ore sector. This Department´s work has been done for public, multilateral and private financing.
Some of the lawyers have been leaders in the promotion of the good practices of Corporate Governance, divulging the benefits process of Good Corporate Governance and managing the Corporate Governance Committee of the Venezuelan Executives Association (AVE), a non governmental organization which is the leader on this subject in the country.
The Firm has had vast experience in the franchising, both on the franchisor side as well as the franchisee side, especially on the fast food sector.
Infrastructure and Real Estate Transaction
In the Infrastructure & Real Estate Area, the Firm has represented several important clients on significant transactions among private parties and the Government and among private parties as well, mainly in civil and industrial engineering.
The origins of the Firm were essentially in the Commercial Law and Real Estate Area, due to that the Firm has been leader in these such areas for many years, representing a large number of clients in the different activities related to the Real Estate Area, from the incorporation of the promoter company to the final sales.
Several of the partners have been members of the Board of Directors or have actively participated in associations related to the area such as Venezuelan Real Estate Chamber and Venezuelan Construction Chamber.
Energy, Oil, Gas and Mining
The Firm has advised several companies that have participated and are participating in the Venezuelan oil market. This Department has advised our clients in Joint Ventures with the Government and/or private companies in the bidding process for mining concessions.
The team in charge of this area works in continuous coordination with the other departments of the Firm.
Banking, Insurance and Capital Markets
The Firm is mandatory reference in the banking, financial, capital market and insurance sectors. The members of this department have demonstrated being highly prepared for the designing and drafting of policies, rules and procedures, guidance & training programs, enterprise ethics codes, etc. Among this specialty, it stands out in the programs for the prevention & control of money laundering, especially intended for the financial, goods and services markets.
Labor & Employment Law
The team of specialists is highly experienced in the realm of Labor Law, predominantly in the areas of Consultancy, Planning, Human Resources and Administrative/Judicial Litigation. The Firm provides consultation on general topics and successfully addresses issues regarding collective bargaining agreements, administrative/judicial litigation and immigration matters (work permits, labor visas and the corresponding family extensions). Its members have been crucial in helping business associations to analyze and negotiate bills related to employment and social security matters, such as the Organic Labor Law of 1985 and the Worker Nutrition Law of 2005.
It is worthy of notice the outstanding work performed by the team of labor lawyers, who designed, negotiated and implemented the first mediation agreement promoted by the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice regarding the case of Cervecería Polar’s independent salesmen. They also successfully defended their client before this same court when independent distributors attempted to claim an employer-employee relationship with such company.
The Firm has broad experience in the area of labor-related judicial and administrative litigation, since it has managed a large amount of lawsuits and administrative procedures for several of its clients. Regarding Occupational Risk Prevention Law, the Firm offers comprehensive, specialized services tailored to the needs of each client, advising them on how to comply with the LOPCYMAT (Ley Orgánica de Prevención, Condición y Medio Ambiente de Trabajo) and other Social Security and Welfare regulations at the workplace.
In the Immigration area, the Firm offers advice on the preparation of the documents and the process to obtain the permits and visas required by foreign employees to work in our country and the corresponding family extensions.
The areas of practice of the Labor & Employment Department include:
- Providing consultancy services on various aspects of Venezuelan Labor Law.
- Preparing legal opinions.
- Carrying out labor-related audits.
- Providing consultancy services during the discussions and drafting of labor-related laws and regulations.
- Advising companies on how to implement new labor laws.
- Representing clients in labor-related cases before courts of lower instances and before the Supreme
- Tribunal of Justice.
- Administrative Procedures.
- Wrongful termination and retaliatory discharge.
- Work-related transactions.
- Penalty-related procedures.
- Registering companies in the National Registry of Corporations.
- Obtaining employment benefits payment certifications.
- Collective bargaining agreements.
- Providing consultancy services during collective bargaining agreement negotiations.
- Attending to labor union claims.
- Social security matters.
- Employment benefit provisions.
Our Tax Department consists of highly-qualified professionals in the field of Tax Law and Public Finance, all of whom have experience in dealing with public sector entities, such as the Venezuelan national tax authority SENIAT and the Public Prosecutor’s Office. In addition, such attorneys teach post-graduate courses at prestigious local universities and publish tax-related articles in many professional journals.
The Tax Department’s area of practice includes:
- Providing advice on tax implications of business activities, including performing detailed analyses of the possible tax consequences of each transaction (i.e. Duties, advantages and disadvantages).
- Interpreting tax-related laws, including advice on how to avoid and/or correct errors in the way these laws are applied and managed.
- Addressing tax contingencies, including detailed analyses of such contingencies and advice on how to resolve and/or adopt preventive measures.
- Advising on tax-related objections and investigations, including advice on how to deal with tax audits and/or objections by the tax authority during their various stages and administrative/judicial instances.
- Managing administrative/judicial appeals, including submitting and following up defense writs, hierarchical recourses and/or court appeals.
- Providing advice on payment settlements, including gradual tax-refund agreements.
- Maximizing available the use of tax credits, including making adjustments to minimize tax liabilities and recovering Value Added Tax and Income Tax credits and withholdings.
- Advising on strategy tax planning, including studies on the proper juridical measures required to reduce the tax burden and obtain a healthy balance of resources.
- Advising on international tax law, including providing advice on international conventions and/or tax laws of foreign countries which are applicable to local business activities.
- Advising on estate planning, including preparing and submitting estate tax forms to the tax authority and providing advice on the best way to distribute an estate.
Litigation is one of the main areas of practice of the Firm, whose members act as attorneys for defendants or plaintiffs in a great variety of litigation cases. The Firm enjoys widespread recognition based on its solid structure and longstanding judicial work in both lower and higher courts, particularly in cassation of judgment processes before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice.
In the area of dispute settlement, several of the partners act as arbitrators in the Arbitration Center of the Caracas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services, which they also helped to create. In addition, some of the attorneys appear in the list of arbitrators of the Business Center of Conciliation and Arbitration (CEDCA) of the Venezuelan-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VENAMCHAM). At the international level, members of the Firm actively participate in international dispute settlement cases before the ICC and the AAA, either as attorneys for the parties or as arbitrators.
The staff of our Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution Department consists of recognized professionals who have successfully participated in numerous cases. The team includes law professors, authors of scientific articles for professional journals, former judges and judicial system officials. Some are members of the various Venezuelan chambers of commerce and act as arbitrators in both local and international business chambers. In this regard, the Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution Department has represented and advised important local and international companies regarding litigation processes before the various Venezuelan courts, as well as in dispute resolution processes before the chambers of commerce and competent authorities. The Department addresses the matters entrusted to it by carefully analyzing them on the basis of the various areas from which the issues originate. Its members provide advice on how to avoid potential litigation and contribute to seeking alternative solutions for the parties, such as mediation, conciliation and arbitration.
The Litigation & Dispute Resolution’s areas of practice include:
- Manufacturers’ civil liability actions & torts.
- Bankruptcy-related actions and restructuring processes.
- Out-of-court and litigated collections.
- Executive actions (foreclosure of mortgages, pledges, money collection).
- Traffic accidents.
- Rendering of accounts.
- Shareholder disputes.
- Annulment of shareholders’ meetings.
- Termination and compliance of agreements.
- Damages and prejudicial consequences.
- Copyright and intellectual property actions.
Intellectual Property & New Technologies Law
This department was created upon request of the clients, as a complement of the services available at the Firm. This section provides various services in the fields of Intellectual Property and Copyright, including:
- Registration and supervision of trademarks and patents: from the filing of the application until the final registration, as well as monitoring post-registration in order to give the appropriate follow-up.
- Review and development of strategies for the appropriate and optimal protection of industrial property assets.
- Contracts of licensing and assignment of trademarks, patents and copyrights.
- Filing applications of Copyrights.
- Protection and defense of our clients in case of violations of their intellectual property assets, in both administrative and judicial proceedings. The Intellectual Property Department has handled cases of Intellectual Property, both administrative and judicial, consolidating its multidisciplinary expertise over the years.
- Conducting due diligences in the area of Intellectual Property.
Professionals of this department have significantly contributed in the law making process at the National Assembly in the promotion of public policies and providing legal support to suppliers of goods and services of the Technology Sector, becoming the pioneer firm in Venezuela in matters related to New Technologies. The department expertise includes: Licensing Domain Names, E-contracting, Web Sites, Data Privacy, E-government, among others.
Our lawyers have long represented the main Venezuelan Telecommunication companies in a vast number of fields. We have accompanied several companies of the Telecoms Sector offering specialized services in consulting, contracting, administrative petitions, negotiations and penalty proceedings.
Tax: is the leader in the field of tax law practice, a leadership which is based in its long term experience and savvy in structuring and restructuring businesses into Venezuela and overseas. The firm has acted as special tax counsel in large cross-border transactions and has particular expertise with regard to the interrelation between domestic tax law, foreign tax law and tax treaties. professionals are experienced in assisting clients with all features of taxation, including areas such as tax planning, anti-deferral regimes, transfer pricing, tax litigation and tax compliance.
Corporate: provides legal support in all relevant features of commercial life, assisting on structuring foreign investments in Venezuela in order to secure protection in a changing environment and optimising the use of bilateral investment treaties. advises in major corporate and project finance, M&A, bankruptcy law, banking and financial matters, asset protection and capital markets.
Antitrust & Competition: is one of the leaders in the field of antitrust and competition practice in the Venezuelan market. The team of specialists handles all issues related to international and local unfair competition, covering the application of legislation prohibiting restrictive practices and abuse of market power, defence of competition (unfair competition, concentrations or mergers and unilateral practices); dispute resolution, economic and commercial integration.
Energy: In depth knowledge and experience makes a key player in structuring oil and gas projects in Venezuela (both upstream and downstream), as well as advising petrochemical ventures and oil and gas contractors (on-shore and off-shore). The breadth of ’s expertise ranges from its advice since the mid 80s and in much of the opening in the 90s, including major project finances for Faja projects, to the migration of Operating Services Agreements and Association Agreements into Joint Ventures (Empresas Mixtas), and the negotiation of new blocks for Empresas Mixtas and gas licences.
Administrative: The representation of the rights and interests of clients, and engaging in negotiations and discussions with public sector authorities are currently among the most demanding services offered. also has significant experience in assisting and resolving conflicts with the administration in all regulatory matters, including attention of clients in procedures before Indepabis.
Litigation, Dispute Resolution & Arbitration: All modern forms of resolving differences, in the area of traditional litigation are handled by the firm’s team, always showing its significant experience in dealing effectively with high level litigation cases including: insolvency cases and bankruptcy procedures. offers advice in civil, commercial and labour-related proceedings, as well as local and international arbitration matters.
Family Businesses & Personnel Wealth Structuring: has long been recognised for its experience offering advice in the structuring and management of family businesses and in wealth structuring for high net worth individuals and families locally and abroad.
Aviation: has successfully managed the most relevant aeronautical accidents taking place in Venezuela. The firm offers comprehensive services in the field of aeronautical law, focusing its practice on aircraft acquisitions and advising in the regulatory aspects of commercial and private aviation. It also addresses liability derived from aeronautical activities in general and the rights of insurance companies in this particular field.
INTERNATIONAL WORK: has developed a long standing international experience that has allowed the firm to successfully and continuously represent many of the top world’s leading international companies. The firm’s experience and knowledge allows it to render advice in complex and sophisticated cross-border and multi-jurisdictional transactions, including corporate restructuring, investment protection and tax efficiency advice of most of high profile projects in hydrocarbons, petrochemical, mining and energy areas, active participation on the advice for expropriations, takeovers and acquisitions negotiations with between private parties or by the Government, including international and institutional arbitration cases, encompassing acting as expert witnesses in areas such as mining, banking, insurance and finance matters.