Venezuela - Corporate/M&A Lawyers & Law Firms - Latin America - Chambers and Partners
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Latin-America Guide

Corporate/M&A — Venezuela

Overview

M&A activity in Venezuela has been moderate in the past year but is seen as gaining momentum. The main transactions taking place in Venezuela relate to the sale of Venezuelan units by foreign multinationals to local management or to local or international investors willing to bear the high risks of doing business in Venezuela, in exchange for potentially significant rewards if the current financial situation improves. We expect to see more transactions of this type in the coming year, especially as a result of the decision of several multinationals to reduce their Venezuelan operations. As a result of this deconsolidation, the Venezuelan operations are scaled down or written off by the multinational, making it easier for these companies to sell their Venezuelan operations at lower valuations that adequately price in the risk of doing business in Venezuela.

During the remainder of 2017 and into 2018 we also expect to see the implementation of important oil and gas projects in the Orinoco Belt region, which will increase the level of M&A activity in Venezuela, as the Venezuelan government will probably have to negotiate more advantageous conditions with the international oil companies to attract the badly needed foreign investment in the sector currently affected by low oil prices. As an example of this trend, we can mention Rosneft’s payment of USD500 million to Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA to increase its stake to 40% in their Petromonagas crude processing joint venture.

The main challenge for the acquisition of a Venezuelan company continues to be the strict foreign exchange controls that limit access to foreign currency, be it to purchase inputs or to repatriate profits. However, the recent devaluation of the local currency has made Venezuela very competitive in terms of labour and other local costs, if compared with other countries of the region. We expect Venezuela to become an attractive alternative to set up companies engaged in the export of services or products, taking advantage of low local costs.

In 2018 we expect Venezuela to become a country with significant business opportunities for investors with an appetite for risk. In addition to the competitiveness resulting from the recent devaluation, several factors contribute to Venezuela’s investment potential:

• Venezuela is one of the largest Latin American economies and one of the world’s biggest oil producers and exporters, with the fifth largest proven oil reserves in the world (the most in the Western Hemisphere), and if we include an estimated 235 billion barrels of extra heavy crude oil in the Orinoco Belt region, the largest hydrocarbons reserve in the world.

• Venezuela has signed economic cooperation treaties with several countries, including China and Russia, providing an adequate framework for investments by companies from such countries.

• Venezuela is a signatory of bilateral investment treaties with several European, Latin American and Asian countries, which provide adequate compensation in the case of expropriation or nationalisation and access to international arbitration in a neutral forum. These treaties provide protection despite the decision of Venezuela to cease to be a member of the ICSID Convention (effective July 2012), as most of these treaties provide for international arbitration mechanisms additional to the ICSID facilities (for example, UNCITRAL).

• Venezuela is also party to international treaties to avoid double taxation with several countries that protect investors against certain changes in tax legislation.

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D'Empaire - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Market-leading transactional powerhouse commanding a strong reputation in the corporate sphere. Boasts a wealth of experience dealing with corporate restructurings and M&A transactions, as well as advising on exchange controls on behalf of an array of significant international clients. Routinely advises clients across numerous industry sectors including oil and gas, technology, finance and telecommunications.

Strengths Clients enthuse that the firm consistently provides "in-depth, precise and business-oriented recommendations."

Another source notes that the team "get to know the client and then offer solutions that take into account the business risks."

Work highlights Assisted Fairfax with its acquisition of the Venezuelan subsidiary of AIG. The firm's role included both transactional and regulatory advice.

Acted for Grupo Corimon regarding its acquisition of the Venezuelan subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas.

Significant clients Level 3 Communications, General Mills, Liberty Mutual, Pirelli, Southern Cross Group.

Notable practitioners

Star individual Fulvio Italiani is lauded by clients as an "outstanding lawyer with excellent interpersonal skills." Another source comments that "he is able to manage all matters even with a tough workload. He also continues to make himself available and is very pragmatic." He advised Fairfax on the aforementioned acquisition and also maintains an active banking and finance practice.

Partner Inés Parra Wallis is highly regarded by market commentators in this practice area. Her recent work highlights include counselling Liberty Mutual on the sale of its Venezuelan subsidiary to a Venezuelan investor. Her practice covers M&A, capital markets and real estate.

Arnoldo Troconis is praised by clients for his business-minded approach. One source notes: "He knows how to represent our interests in a local context and is very impressive." He regularly advises clients on a variety of matters within the corporate and M&A practice area.

About the Team (content provided by D'Empaire)

D’Empaireis the leading Corporate and M&A law firm in Venezuela. The firm has participated in most of the significant acquisitions takingplace in Venezuela in the last years.  

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Norton Rose Fulbright - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly acclaimed international full-service firm fielding an experienced team in the corporate field. Handles a wide range of issues including M&A transactions, corporate restructurings, corporate governance and drafting of documentation and contracts. Advises both domestic and international clients from a variety of industry sectors, such as telecoms, food and beverages, cars and oil and gas.

Strengths One source describes the firm as "outstanding," highlighting that "their level of professionalism is among the best in the market."

Another interviewee reports that "they are always quick to respond and always provide advice within the time needed."

Work highlights Advised CAF Asset Management Corporation on a shareholder agreement for investment in the construction industry.

Continued to act as counsel to Shell Venezuela on all of its corporate mandates, including secondment of associates to the company to work in-house.

Significant clients CAF - Development Bank of Latin America, Cisco Systems, Diageo, Tesco Corporation, Philips.

Notable practitioners

Sergio Casinelli is praised by market sources, who regard him as a "very talented lawyer." He regularly assist clients with the drafting and negotiation of contracts, spin-offs, M&A transactions and corporate restructurings. He also advises on regulatory and corporate matters related to disputes.

Partner Daniela Jaimes is regarded by clients as a "professional lawyer with great response times." She is extensively involved in counselling clients regarding corporate restructurings, liquidations and M&A transactions.

Natalija Vojvodic is recognised by market commentators as a noteworthy practitioner in this practice area. She focuses on the drafting, negotiation and execution of a wide range of contracts, especially in the energy sector.

Since publication, Ramón Andrade has moved in-house.

About the Team (content provided by Norton Rose Fulbright)

Department profile not yet provided by Norton Rose Fulbright. Please see their firm profile.

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AraqueReyna - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Manuel Reyna and Pedro Ignacio Sosa Mendoza
- 5 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Widely respected practice group with expertise across a range of areas within the corporate practice area. Regularly advises both domestic and international clients on M&A, business restructurings and corporate governance, as well as exchange control regulations and liquidations. The firm's experience extends to the oil and gas, telecommunications, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors.

Strengths Clients laud the firm's high-quality service and proactivity, with one commenting: "They approach complex problems with ingenuity and show a high level of commitment to their work."

Work highlights Advised Fondo de Previsión Social y Sociedad Médica del Centro Médico Docente La Trinidad on the design of an offshore entity to protect its assets.

Significant clients GM, Empresas Polar, Nokia Networks, Telefónica Venezuela, Southern Procurement Services.

Notable practitioners

Founding partner Manuel Reyna co-heads the firm's corporate and M&A department and has over 37 years of experience in this field. His practice focuses on M&A, and extends to advising a variety of significant clients on restructurings, liquidations and regulatory matters. He continues to lead on some of the firm's most significant matters.

Department co-head Pedro Ignacio Sosa Mendoza is described by clients as a lawyer "who provides great advice regarding the current context of the Venezuelan market." He recently led the team advising Nokia Networks on the effect of the exchange controls on pre-existing contracts with clients.

Senior statesman Gustavo Reyna is seen as an "outstanding lawyer" by market commentators. He has a wealth of experience advising on M&A and is an active member of the Centro de Arbitraje de la Cámara de Comercio de Caracas.

Pedro Luis Planchart Pocaterra is lauded by clients, who state: "He is extremely responsive and is an excellent professional." He recently assisted Telefónica Venezuela with its corporate restructuring and maintains an active role in academia.

About the Team (content provided by AraqueReyna)

ARAQUEREYNA team has one of the most respected Corporate/M&A practices of the local legal industry, having advised a stellar list of international clients in matters spanning Civil and Commercial Law, mergers and acquisitions, project finance, corporate governance, infrastructure and real estate projects, and banking, insurance and capital markets matters.
This said, the firm has further strengthened its capacities with the addition of Gustavo Reyna, a founding partner of D’Empaire Reyna Abogados, a household name in the legal industry.
His more than 45 years of experience, impressive rainmaking capabilities, considerable business book and list of key local and international contacts, make him every law firm’s dream team member.
He joins forces with founding partner Manuel Reyna, an esteemed transactional lawyer focused on corporate matters, estate planning and wealthy management; co-practice head Pedro Sosa, a specialist in corporate restructuring and M&A matters; Pedro Planchart, a lawyer with a well-developed banking and finance, capital markets and insurance practice, and María del Pilar Aneas, our firm’s real estate practice leader and the most reputed business lawyer in this field.
 New very important clients have been added to our corporate department, such as CEMEX, Chubb Insurance, Banco del Caribe and GMAC.

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Baker McKenzie SC - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for International firm advising clients on a broad spectrum of matters. Advises domestic and international clients on the acquisition of both minority and majority stakes, exchange controls and pricing regulations. Additionally active acting for clients in the context of corporate restructurings, providing further expertise in merger control. Team is supported by the firm's renowned finance and tax practices.

Strengths Impressed interviewees enthuse: "The firm is excellent and provides comprehensive solutions to any problem, which gives clients peace of mind. The lawyers really work together and therefore meet deadlines effectively."

Another client praises the firm, singling out the "first-rate service" offered by the department's "fantastic lawyers."

Work highlights Assisted RR Donnelley Holdings Venezuela with the sale of the shares that Moore Canada Corporation held in the company to Moore Venezuela.

Assisted Emerson Electric with the Venezuelan law implications of its global restructuring.

Significant clients Daiichi Sankyo, Distribuciones Cagua del Centro, Emerson Venezuela, Químicos la Barraca, RR Donnelley Holdings Venezuela.

Notable practitioners

Jesús Dávila is regarded by peers as an active member of the firm's practice and is seen as a "good lawyer" by market commentators. He is involved in a range of corporate transactions taking place in the oil and gas and telecommunications sectors.

About the Team (content provided by Baker McKenzie SC)

Department profile not yet provided by Baker McKenzie SC. Please see their firm profile.

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Leĝa Abogados - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Luis López-Durán
- 8 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Accomplished practice with considerable expertise in the corporate arena. Advises clients on a broad spectrum of issues such as corporate governance, restructurings and M&A transactions, as well as exchange controls. Counsels a variety of domestic and multinational clients, including Chinese and Korean entities from the energy and natural resources, pharmaceutical and technology sectors.

Strengths Clients single out the precision and comprehensive nature of the firm's work. One comments that "the main attribute I would highlight is the rigour behind their analyses. They always evaluate all of the risks attached to a certain problem and then make recommendations based on a cost-benefit analysis of these risks."

Work highlights Advised Alpina on all legal issues affecting its Venezuelan operations, including the country's current political and economic climate.

Significant clients Bayer, Gerdau, IBM, Reckitt Benckiser Venezuela, Samsung Latin America.

Notable practitioners

Department head Luis López-Durán is a highly regarded practitioner in the field. His practice includes assisting clients from the life sciences space with M&A transactions, bringing 26 years' experience to the table. His recent work spans counselling Magna Motors on the possible establishment of Venezuelan operations for one of its subsidiaries.

The "very impressive" Jorge Acedo-Prato is lauded by clients as an "extremely capable lawyer and negotiator." He continues to lead the team advising IBM's Venezuelan subsidiary and has particular expertise in M&A transactions.

Seasoned practitioner Francisco Castillo-García maintains an active role in the firm supporting the M&A department and acts as a key resource for clients. He is also a member of the ABA, the IABA and the Legal & Investment Committee of VenAmCham.

Partner Laura Silva is well regarded by market sources. She led the team advising Alpina on the aforementioned work highlight and offers expertise extending to corporate bookkeeping, liquidation processes and corporate governance across a wide range of sectors.

About the Team (content provided by Leĝa Abogados)

Department profile not yet provided by Leĝa Abogados. Please see their firm profile.

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Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Páez Pumar & Cía - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Manuel Acedo Sucre and Carlos Eduardo Acedo
- 7 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong practice group with extensive experience advising on all matters within the corporate arena. Areas of expertise include M&A transactions, corporate governance and exchange control regulations. Represents an impressive range of both local and international clients from several sectors, including financial services, real estate, consumer goods and telecommunications.

Strengths Clients praise the team, stating: "Among the firm's greatest strength are its response times, alongside its renowned market knowledge and ability to empathise with the client."

Work highlights Advised Grupo Automotriz Latinoamericano on all matters relating to its purchase of Renault's Venezuelan subsidiary. This involved the negotiation and drafting of contracts and counselling the client on the exchange controls regulations in place.

Significant clients Coca-Cola Servicios de Venezuela, Evolvere Capital, MSD Farmacéutica, Grupo Perret, Telefónica Venezuela.

Notable practitioners

The "impressive" Manuel Acedo Sucre co-heads the department and is highly respected by market sources. He is a specialist in M&A transactions and also has considerable knowledge of tax and investment law. He is also active in counselling clients on exchange control regulations, corporate governance and the liquidation and dissolution of subsidiaries.

Clients praise partner Luisa Acedo de Lepervanche for her attentiveness, commenting: "She provides a personal and very professional service. She is also a very effective researcher and gets to know the history of the company very well before beginning the work." She is active in advising on M&A transactions.

Department co-head Carlos Eduardo Acedo Sucre receives commendations from peers for his work in this practice area. He has considerable academic and professional experience and principally focuses his practice on M&A transactions and regulatory mandates.

About the Team (content provided by Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Páez Pumar & Cía)

We are one of the top firms regarding corporate advice and M&As. Additionally, we are the leading law firm regarding private equity.

We assist national and international corporations regarding their governance and documentation issues, as well as regarding specific projects from a general perspective.

We have an extensive experience in M&As, assisting corporations and private equity firms. We advise our clients with respect to the whole transaction, from negotiating the deal, to conducting the due diligence in all relevant areas (labor, contracts, insurance and banking, corporate, real estate, regulatory matters, tax, etc.) to finally structuring, implementing and documenting the transaction itself.

We are leading lawyers regarding private equity transactions, advising our clients with respect to the acquisition itself, and also regarding its funding. We design the structure for the investments and draft the corresponding agreements. We negotiate with investors. And we implement the investment itself.

We design and organize corporate structures, with links to several jurisdictions, taking into account issues related to investment (foreign and local), tax and operational efficiency.

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Raffalli de Lemos Halvorssen Ortega y Ortiz - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Rafael de Lemos Matheus and José Manuel Ortega Sosa
- 3 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-recognised corporate practice garnering market endorsement for its presence in this practice area. Deals with a broad range of relevant matters such as restructurings, M&A transactions, spin-offs and liquidations. Team also counsels local and international clients on cross-border matters, corporate governance and regulatory issues pertaining to transactions.

Strengths A client reports: "They provide a very tailored service and give you one concrete opinion regarding a course of action after weighing up the possible scenarios and deciding which one is the most effective and least risky."

Work highlights Assisted Evolvere Capital with its acquisition of Emerson Venezuela.

Significant clients Abbott Laboratories, AIG, AT&T, Cervecería Regional, Smurfit Kappa Venezuela.

Notable practitioners

Department co-head Rafael de Lemos Matheus is praised by market sources for his visibility in corporate transactions. He recently led the team on the aforementioned work highlight and is also active in rendering advice to clients on exchange control regulations and M&A transactions.

José Manuel Ortega Sosa co-heads the firm's corporate practice and is appreciated by clients for his work in corporate financings. He also focuses on capital markets, corporate restructurings and foreign investment.

About the Team (content provided by Raffalli de Lemos Halvorssen Ortega y Ortiz)

Department profile not yet provided by Raffalli de Lemos Halvorssen Ortega y Ortiz. Please see their firm profile.

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Tinoco Travieso Planchart & Núñez - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: René Plinio Lepervanche Orellana
- 6 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly regarded corporate practice with experience handling a range of transactional mandates including M&A matters and cross-border restructurings of business operations, with further expertise in advising on exchange controls. Advises both local and international clients from a broad range of sectors such as consumer goods and pharmaceuticals and draws support from the firm's tax, labour and financial services teams.

Strengths One client comments that they are impressed with the "great professionals at the firm who were very good at making clear the more theoretical legal language."

Work highlights Advised Inversiones Resansil on the sale of 50% of its capital stock.

Significant clients Desarrollos y Proyectos RS, Inversiones Resansil, Inversiones UrbanPro, Bosch.

Notable practitioners

René Plinio Lepervanche Orellana heads the firm's corporate practice. Clients highlight his problem-solving skills, commenting: "He always tries to evaluate all of the possible scenarios in order to be able to put forward the best options." He has particular expertise in the area of foreign exchange controls and foreign investment regulations.

Hans Sydow is highly regarded by market sources, who see him as having a significant presence in the corporate arena. He plays a key role co-ordinating the work carried out by the firm's corporate and M&A department.

Senior statesman Alfredo Travieso Passios remains active as a board member of multiple Venezuelan corporations, including Manufacturas de Papel, and continues to provide counsel to clients on significant corporate mandates.

Gustavo Enrique Planchart Pocaterra has considerable experience handling all matters within the corporate practice area. He garners praise from peers, who enthuse that "he is wonderful and a very bright lawyer."

Associate-to-watch César Lepervanche Mendoza's practice extends to both securities and commercial law. He gains positive endorsements from clients for his client service.

About the Team (content provided by Tinoco Travieso Planchart & Núñez)

Department profile not yet provided by Tinoco Travieso Planchart & Núñez. Please see their firm profile.

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Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Olga Nass de Massiani, Simón Guevara Camacho and Benner Turner
- 6 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-known practice group with considerable experience in assisting both domestic and international clients from a range of sectors including technology, consumer goods, energy and pharmaceuticals products. Advises on M&A, corporate governance and regulatory matters.

Significant clients Avon Cosmetics de Venezuela, Ford, Herbalife, Oracle, Unilever.

Notable practitioners

The "outstanding" Simón Guevara Camacho is singled out by clients, who value his profound knowledge of the Venezuelan regulatory framework. Market commentators acknowledge his quality, with one source stating that he is "a clever and talented lawyer." He specialises in corporate transactions within the energy and resources sector.

Senior stateswoman Olga Nass de Massiani is valued by sources for her prominence in the corporate M&A space. Her practice covers both corporate law and capital markets transactions.

About the Team (content provided by Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz)

Department profile not yet provided by Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz. Please see their firm profile.

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Grau García Hernández & Mónaco - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Ibrahím García
- 1 partner
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-known practice group with particular experience advising clients from the automotive industry. Assists clients with a wide range of corporate matters, such as, M&A transactions, corporate governance and the restructuring of business operations.

Work highlights Assisted Grupo Zoom with is acquisition of a 30% stake in Cis Latam. The transaction was valued at USD10 million.

Significant clients Banesco, DIRECTV Venezuela, Fiat Chrysler, Productos Roche, Unilever.

Notable practitioners

Department head Ibrahím García is seen as a "fine lawyer" by market commentators. He is particularly praised for his business-minded approach and principally advises clients on M&A transactions.

About the Team (content provided by Grau García Hernández & Mónaco)

Department profile not yet provided by Grau García Hernández & Mónaco. Please see their firm profile.

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Hogan Lovells US LLP - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Bruno Ciuffetelli and Gonzalo Rodríguez-Matos
- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Global player with a strong presence in the Venezuelan market. Team is widely recognised for its activity in corporate transactions such as M&A in the oil and gas sector, fielding an experienced team in handling complex transactions on behalf of multinational companies. Other areas of expertise include project finance.

Work highlights Counselled Ron Santa Teresa regarding the legal implications of entering into an international distribution alliance with Bacardi.

Significant clients Dell Venezuela, Cabot Corporation, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Western Union, Ron Santa Teresa.

Notable practitioners

The "excellent" Gonzalo Rodríguez-Matos co-heads the firm's corporate practice and is regarded by peers as a key player in this area. He recently led the team advising Western Union on regulatory and transactional matters.

Bruno Ciuffetelli garners recognition for his visibility in this practice area. He advises on M&A transactions and offers additional expertise in banking and finance, energy and antitrust matters.

About the Team (content provided by Hogan Lovells US LLP)

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InterJuris Abogados, S.C. - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Juan José Delgado and María Cecilia Rachadell
- 8 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Dynamic practice group offering expertise in M&A, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. Also active assisting local and international clients with contractual and regulatory aspects in relation to their operations within the country. Represents notable names from such sectors as energy, technology and pharmaceuticals.

Strengths One client comments that "they really understand business and that makes clients feel very comfortable working with them as they understand your needs."

Work highlights Assisted Hewlett Packard Enterprise with the sale of its enterprise services business to Computer Sciences Corporation.

Significant clients Accenture, Axalta Coating Systems, Experian, Rosneft, Lenovo.

Notable practitioners

Department co-head María Cecilia Rachadell is described by a client as "a very business-oriented lawyer who understands our organisation and provides very accurate legal advice." She advises on the full spectrum of corporate matters, including divestitures and restructurings, with additional expertise in capital markets matters and regulatory issues.

Carlos Delgado is regarded by market commentators as a prominent lawyer in the area, primarily focusing on spin-offs, corporate restructuring and compliance issues.

Since publication, Gabriela Maldonado has left the practice.

About the Team (content provided by InterJuris Abogados, S.C.)

  • InterJuris Abogados maintains a full service Corporate practice, advising on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, corporate restructurings and joint ventures in all major industries in Venezuela, representing purchasers and sellers. The team is praised for having the required mix of experience, resources and industry knowledge.
  • Our clients value the team´s experience and expertise in Venezuela´s challenging business environment.
  • InterJuris Abogados´ experience extends to advising clients on non-transactional corporate matters essential to the successful operation of a business in Venezuela. The uncertainties faced by foreign investors in the country ensure that advice of this nature is crucial to the firm´s clients.
  • InterJuris Abogados has advised a large number of international and domestic investors and wealthy individuals in the restructuring and re domestication of holding companies outside Venezuela in order to take advantage of the bilateral investment treaties and double taxation treaties.
  • The expansion of the Venezuelan client base to business opportunities abroad, in countries such as: USA, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, due to the difficulties they are currently facing to operate in Venezuela, has given InterJuris the opportunity to develop extensive expertise in Iberoamerica.

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Rodríguez & Mendoza - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- approximately 5 partners
- approximately 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Recognised firm with experience assisting domestic and multinational clients with corporate mandates. Advises on the drafting of contractual agreements, due diligence and corporate restructurings across multiple sectors.

Strengths One source notes that "this is a solid firm with serious lawyers."

Notable practitioners

Partner Reinaldo Hellmund is seen by interviewees as "one of the top lawyers in the market." He is particularly well known for assisting clients hailing from the oil and gas sector with project finance work. His expertise also extends to advising on M&A transactions. He remains a highly distinguished figure in the banking and finance and energy sectors.

Corporate partner Francisco Utrera is seen as "excellent" by sources. He specialises in commercial contracts, international corporate transactions and project finance.

About the Team (content provided by Rodríguez & Mendoza)

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Torres Plaz & Araujo - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Guillermo de la Rosa
- 5 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Solid department with a strong presence in the market. Fields a highly experienced team capable of advising clients on a variety of corporate matters, including restructurings and M&A transactions. The team boasts additional expertise in project finance.

Work highlights Advised Volvo Group's Venezuelan subsidiary on restructuring its operations.

Significant clients Petrosaudi Oil Services Venezuela, Grupo Nutresa, PepsiCo, BP, Wärtsilä.

Notable practitioners

Partner Guillermo de la Rosa Stolk is well known for having an active presence in this practice area, with peers describing him as "a very active and brilliant corporate lawyer." He recently acted as counsel to Grupo Nutresa on the restructuring of its real estate and industrial assets in Venezuela.

About the Team (content provided by Torres Plaz & Araujo)

The corporate practice at TPA has earned a solid reputation in key sectors of the national and international industry, offering a broad array of added-value services, tailored to the particular needs of each specific industry. Our team is experienced in highly-complex national, cross-border and multi-jurisdictional transactions. 

  • As part of its corporate services, among others, TPA offers the following: Advice in Project Finance, Corporate Finance, Financing Acquisitions and in the structuring of the guarantees for such financing
  • Advice in the structuring of investments and all vehicles of association (incorporated or unincorporated) and the domiciling of foreign companies; corporate and stock restructuring; collaboration agreements; mergers and acquisitions; bankruptcy, banking and financial law; property protection; and capital markets
  • Advice in the negotiation and implementation of supply, service, purchase, engineering, procurement and construction contracts; Leases, Franchises, Commercial Agencies, distribution networks for mass marketing
  • Advice in day-to-day corporate affairs, such as the incorporation and administration of companies, shareholder agreements; obtaining and following-up on national registries
  • Advice in foreign exchange matters, including the analysis and implementation of structures for the proper financing of local operations

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Bermúdez Nevett Mezquita ONTIER - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: José Rafael Bermúdez and Carlos Nevett Gimon
- 6 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Specialised firm known for its activity in the market. Has experience assisting clients with cross-border corporate transactions such as M&A. Other legal services offered to clients include tax planning, regulatory counsel and the negotiation and drafting of contracts, as well as corporate restructuring.

Strengths Clients single out the quality of the firm's accessibility, commenting: "They always adapt their schedule to fit our needs and offer a very high-level, professional and efficient service."

Work highlights Assisted Kerui Group with regard to its contracts for provision of services to the Venezuelan oil industry.

Significant clients Ferrostaal Industrial Projects, Grupo Yammine, Peabody Energy, SMS group, Syngenta.

Notable practitioners

Department co-head José Rafael Bermúdez is commended by a client for offering a "high-quality, dynamic service that focuses on the details." They add that he "combines profound legal knowledge, practical expertise and broad experience in business matters." He recently led the team advising Ferrostaal Industrial Projects on agreements relating to a project in the agriculture space.

Partner Carlos Nevett Gimon is highly respected by peers and maintains an active practice in this area. He led the team on the aforementioned work highlight and co-heads the firm's department.

About the Team (content provided by Bermúdez Nevett Mezquita ONTIER)

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Imery Urdaneta Calleja Itriago & Flamarique - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- approximately 3 partners
- approximately 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Focused practice group assisting clients with a variety of corporate mandates including restructurings and M&A. Team offers additional strength in the areas of project finance, competition law and tax.

Notable practitioners

Pedro Urdaneta is described as a "fine lawyer" by sources, who go on to recognise him as an active player in the corporate arena. He advises clients on project finance, corporate restructurings and M&A transactions, as well as joint venture agreements.

About the Team (content provided by Imery Urdaneta Calleja Itriago & Flamarique)

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Lapadula Esteban Cadenas - LEC Abogados - Corporate/M&A Department

-

Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- approximately 6 partners
- approximately 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Consolidated department recognised for its activity in the corporate arena. Deals with a broad range of matters such as M&A, corporate restructurings, commercial agreements and corporate governance.

Strengths The firm is seen by sources as "very able and dynamic."

Notable practitioners

Partner Rodolfo Belloso Guzmán is recognised by peers as a prominent figure in the market. His experience encompasses assisting clients with a range of corporate law issues affecting the energy and natural resources and banking and finance sectors.

Jorge Paul Betancourt is noted by commentators for his activity in this area. His expertise also extends to representing corporate clients in mediation and arbitration.

About the Team (content provided by Lapadula Esteban Cadenas - LEC Abogados)

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WDA legal, S.C. - Corporate/M&A Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- approximately 3 partners
- approximately 6 qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Solid practice advising local and international clients on M&A, restructurings and corporate governance. Also has experience assisting clients on cross-border transactions.

Notable practitioners

Hernando Díaz-Candia is recognised by peers as a "diligent and studious lawyer." His expertise spans both corporate law and arbitration.

The "excellent" Ramon Azpurua is praised by market sources. He focuses on corporate transactions such as M&A as well as financings and issues relating to corporate governance.

About the Team (content provided by WDA legal, S.C.)

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Overview

M&A activity in Venezuela has been moderate in the past year but is seen as gaining momentum. The main transactions taking place in Venezuela relate to the sale of Venezuelan units by foreign multinationals to local management or to local or international investors willing to bear the high risks of doing business in Venezuela, in exchange for potentially significant rewards if the current financial situation improves. We expect to see more transactions of this type in the coming year, especially as a result of the decision of several multinationals to reduce their Venezuelan operations. As a result of this deconsolidation, the Venezuelan operations are scaled down or written off by the multinational, making it easier for these companies to sell their Venezuelan operations at lower valuations that adequately price in the risk of doing business in Venezuela.

During the remainder of 2017 and into 2018 we also expect to see the implementation of important oil and gas projects in the Orinoco Belt region, which will increase the level of M&A activity in Venezuela, as the Venezuelan government will probably have to negotiate more advantageous conditions with the international oil companies to attract the badly needed foreign investment in the sector currently affected by low oil prices. As an example of this trend, we can mention Rosneft’s payment of USD500 million to Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA to increase its stake to 40% in their Petromonagas crude processing joint venture.

The main challenge for the acquisition of a Venezuelan company continues to be the strict foreign exchange controls that limit access to foreign currency, be it to purchase inputs or to repatriate profits. However, the recent devaluation of the local currency has made Venezuela very competitive in terms of labour and other local costs, if compared with other countries of the region. We expect Venezuela to become an attractive alternative to set up companies engaged in the export of services or products, taking advantage of low local costs.

In 2018 we expect Venezuela to become a country with significant business opportunities for investors with an appetite for risk. In addition to the competitiveness resulting from the recent devaluation, several factors contribute to Venezuela’s investment potential:

• Venezuela is one of the largest Latin American economies and one of the world’s biggest oil producers and exporters, with the fifth largest proven oil reserves in the world (the most in the Western Hemisphere), and if we include an estimated 235 billion barrels of extra heavy crude oil in the Orinoco Belt region, the largest hydrocarbons reserve in the world.

• Venezuela has signed economic cooperation treaties with several countries, including China and Russia, providing an adequate framework for investments by companies from such countries.

• Venezuela is a signatory of bilateral investment treaties with several European, Latin American and Asian countries, which provide adequate compensation in the case of expropriation or nationalisation and access to international arbitration in a neutral forum. These treaties provide protection despite the decision of Venezuela to cease to be a member of the ICSID Convention (effective July 2012), as most of these treaties provide for international arbitration mechanisms additional to the ICSID facilities (for example, UNCITRAL).

• Venezuela is also party to international treaties to avoid double taxation with several countries that protect investors against certain changes in tax legislation.

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Senior Statesperson

Francisco Castillo-García

Leĝa Abogados

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Seasoned practitioner Francisco Castillo-García maintains an active role in the firm supporting the M&A department and acts as a key resource for clients. He is also a member of the ABA, the IABA and the Legal & Investment Committee of VenAmCham.

^ See whole ranking table

Senior Statesperson

Olga Nass de Massiani

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Senior stateswoman Olga Nass de Massiani is valued by sources for her prominence in the corporate M&A space. Her practice covers both corporate law and capital markets transactions.

^ See whole ranking table

Senior Statesperson

Fernando Peláez Pier

Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Senior Statesman Fernando Peláez Pier of Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque remains a point of reference at the firm and utilises his considerable experience to consult on a range of corporate and M&A-related matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Senior Statesperson

AraqueReyna

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Senior statesman Gustavo Reyna is seen as an "outstanding lawyer" by market commentators. He has a wealth of experience advising on M&A and is an active member of the Centro de Arbitraje de la Cámara de Comercio de Caracas.

^ See whole ranking table

Senior Statesperson

Alfredo Travieso Passios

Tinoco Travieso Planchart & Núñez

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Senior statesman Alfredo Travieso Passios remains active as a board member of multiple Venezuelan corporations, including Manufacturas de Papel, and continues to provide counsel to clients on significant corporate mandates.

^ See whole ranking table

Star Individuals

D'Empaire

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Star individual Fulvio Italiani is lauded by clients as an "outstanding lawyer with excellent interpersonal skills." Another source comments that "he is able to manage all matters even with a tough workload. He also continues to make himself available and is very pragmatic." He advised Fairfax on the aforementioned acquisition and also maintains an active banking and finance practice.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Manuel Acedo Sucre

Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Páez Pumar & Cía

From the Chambers Latin America guide

The "impressive" Manuel Acedo Sucre co-heads the department and is highly respected by market sources. He is a specialist in M&A transactions and also has considerable knowledge of tax and investment law. He is also active in counselling clients on exchange control regulations, corporate governance and the liquidation and dissolution of subsidiaries.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Simón Guevara Camacho

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz

From the Chambers Latin America guide

The "outstanding" Simón Guevara Camacho is singled out by clients, who value his profound knowledge of the Venezuelan regulatory framework. Market commentators acknowledge his quality, with one source stating that he is "a clever and talented lawyer." He specialises in corporate transactions within the energy and resources sector.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Reinaldo Hellmund

Rodríguez & Mendoza

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Partner Reinaldo Hellmund is seen by interviewees as "one of the top lawyers in the market." He is particularly well known for assisting clients hailing from the oil and gas sector with project finance work. His expertise also extends to advising on M&A transactions. He remains a highly distinguished figure in the banking and finance and energy sectors.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Luisa Acedo de Lepervanche

Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Páez Pumar & Cía

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Clients praise partner Luisa Acedo de Lepervanche for her attentiveness, commenting: "She provides a personal and very professional service. She is also a very effective researcher and gets to know the history of the company very well before beginning the work." She is active in advising on M&A transactions.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Carlos Eduardo Acedo Sucre

Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Páez Pumar & Cía

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Department co-head Carlos Eduardo Acedo Sucre receives commendations from peers for his work in this practice area. He has considerable academic and professional experience and principally focuses his practice on M&A transactions and regulatory mandates.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Jorge Acedo-Prato

Leĝa Abogados

From the Chambers Latin America guide

The "very impressive" Jorge Acedo-Prato is lauded by clients as an "extremely capable lawyer and negotiator." He continues to lead the team advising IBM's Venezuelan subsidiary and has particular expertise in M&A transactions.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

José Rafael Bermúdez

Bermúdez Nevett Mezquita ONTIER

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Department co-head José Rafael Bermúdez is commended by a client for offering a "high-quality, dynamic service that focuses on the details." They add that he "combines profound legal knowledge, practical expertise and broad experience in business matters." He recently led the team advising Ferrostaal Industrial Projects on agreements relating to a project in the agriculture space.

Partner Carlos Nevett Gimon is highly respected by peers and maintains an active practice in this area. He led the team on the aforementioned work highlight and co-heads the firm's department.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Sergio Casinelli is praised by market sources, who regard him as a "very talented lawyer." He regularly assist clients with the drafting and negotiation of contracts, spin-offs, M&A transactions and corporate restructurings. He also advises on regulatory and corporate matters related to disputes.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Rafael de Lemos Matheus

Raffalli de Lemos Halvorssen Ortega y Ortiz

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Department co-head Rafael de Lemos Matheus is praised by market sources for his visibility in corporate transactions. He recently led the team on the aforementioned work highlight and is also active in rendering advice to clients on exchange control regulations and M&A transactions.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

InterJuris Abogados, S.C.

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Carlos Delgado is regarded by market commentators as a prominent lawyer in the area, primarily focusing on spin-offs, corporate restructuring and compliance issues.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Luis E López-Durán

Leĝa Abogados

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Department head Luis López-Durán is a highly regarded practitioner in the field. His practice includes assisting clients from the life sciences space with M&A transactions, bringing 26 years' experience to the table. His recent work spans counselling Magna Motors on the possible establishment of Venezuelan operations for one of its subsidiaries.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Inés Parra Wallis

D'Empaire

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Partner Inés Parra Wallis is highly regarded by market commentators in this practice area. Her recent work highlights include counselling Liberty Mutual on the sale of its Venezuelan subsidiary to a Venezuelan investor. Her practice covers M&A, capital markets and real estate.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

María Cecilia Rachadell

InterJuris Abogados, S.C.

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Department co-head María Cecilia Rachadell is described by a client as "a very business-oriented lawyer who understands our organisation and provides very accurate legal advice." She advises on the full spectrum of corporate matters, including divestitures and restructurings, with additional expertise in capital markets matters and regulatory issues.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

AraqueReyna

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Founding partner Manuel Reyna co-heads the firm's corporate and M&A department and has over 37 years of experience in this field. His practice focuses on M&A, and extends to advising a variety of significant clients on restructurings, liquidations and regulatory matters. He continues to lead on some of the firm's most significant matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Pedro Ignacio Sosa Mendoza

AraqueReyna

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Department co-head Pedro Ignacio Sosa Mendoza is described by clients as a lawyer "who provides great advice regarding the current context of the Venezuelan market." He recently led the team advising Nokia Networks on the effect of the exchange controls on pre-existing contracts with clients.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

D'Empaire

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Arnoldo Troconis is praised by clients for his business-minded approach. One source notes: "He knows how to represent our interests in a local context and is very impressive." He regularly advises clients on a variety of matters within the corporate and M&A practice area.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Imery Urdaneta Calleja Itriago & Flamarique

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Pedro Urdaneta is described as a "fine lawyer" by sources, who go on to recognise him as an active player in the corporate arena. He advises clients on project finance, corporate restructurings and M&A transactions, as well as joint venture agreements.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Rodríguez & Mendoza

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Corporate partner Francisco Utrera is seen as "excellent" by sources. He specialises in commercial contracts, international corporate transactions and project finance.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Guillermo de la Rosa Stolk

Torres Plaz & Araujo

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Partner Guillermo de la Rosa Stolk is well known for having an active presence in this practice area, with peers describing him as "a very active and brilliant corporate lawyer." He recently acted as counsel to Grupo Nutresa on the restructuring of its real estate and industrial assets in Venezuela.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Hernando Díaz-Candia

WDA legal, S.C.

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Hernando Díaz-Candia is recognised by peers as a "diligent and studious lawyer." His expertise spans both corporate law and arbitration.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

René Plinio Lepervanche Orellana

Tinoco Travieso Planchart & Núñez

From the Chambers Latin America guide

René Plinio Lepervanche Orellana heads the firm's corporate practice. Clients highlight his problem-solving skills, commenting: "He always tries to evaluate all of the possible scenarios in order to be able to put forward the best options." He has particular expertise in the area of foreign exchange controls and foreign investment regulations.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

José Manuel Ortega Sosa

Raffalli de Lemos Halvorssen Ortega y Ortiz

From the Chambers Latin America guide

José Manuel Ortega Sosa co-heads the firm's corporate practice and is appreciated by clients for his work in corporate financings. He also focuses on capital markets, corporate restructurings and foreign investment.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Pedro Luis Planchart Pocaterra

AraqueReyna

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Pedro Luis Planchart Pocaterra is lauded by clients, who state: "He is extremely responsive and is an excellent professional." He recently assisted Telefónica Venezuela with its corporate restructuring and maintains an active role in academia.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Maria Eugenia Reyes

Altum Abogados

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Maria Eugenia Reyes of Altum Abogados is highly regarded by clients for her proactivity and client-oriented approach. She is described as having "considerable knowledge of corporate transactions" and is seen as an "excellent professional" by clients.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Gonzalo Rodríguez-Matos

Hogan Lovells US LLP

From the Chambers Latin America guide

The "excellent" Gonzalo Rodríguez-Matos co-heads the firm's corporate practice and is regarded by peers as a key player in this area. He recently led the team advising Western Union on regulatory and transactional matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Tinoco Travieso Planchart & Núñez

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Hans Sydow is highly regarded by market sources, who see him as having a significant presence in the corporate arena. He plays a key role co-ordinating the work carried out by the firm's corporate and M&A department.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

WDA legal, S.C.

From the Chambers Latin America guide

The "excellent" Ramon Azpurua is praised by market sources. He focuses on corporate transactions such as M&A as well as financings and issues relating to corporate governance.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Rodolfo Belloso Guzmán

Lapadula Esteban Cadenas - LEC Abogados

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Partner Rodolfo Belloso Guzmán is recognised by peers as a prominent figure in the market. His experience encompasses assisting clients with a range of corporate law issues affecting the energy and natural resources and banking and finance sectors.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Bruno Ciuffetelli

Hogan Lovells US LLP

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Bruno Ciuffetelli garners recognition for his visibility in this practice area. He advises on M&A transactions and offers additional expertise in banking and finance, energy and antitrust matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Baker McKenzie SC

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Jesús Dávila is regarded by peers as an active member of the firm's practice and is seen as a "good lawyer" by market commentators. He is involved in a range of corporate transactions taking place in the oil and gas and telecommunications sectors.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Grau García Hernández & Mónaco

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Department head Ibrahím García is seen as a "fine lawyer" by market commentators. He is particularly praised for his business-minded approach and principally advises clients on M&A transactions.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Partner Daniela Jaimes is regarded by clients as a "professional lawyer with great response times." She is extensively involved in counselling clients regarding corporate restructurings, liquidations and M&A transactions.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Carlos Nevett Gimon

Bermúdez Nevett Mezquita ONTIER

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Partner Carlos Nevett Gimon is highly respected by peers and maintains an active practice in this area. He led the team on the aforementioned work highlight and co-heads the firm's department.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Jorge E. Paul Betancourt

Lapadula Esteban Cadenas - LEC Abogados

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Jorge Paul Betancourt is noted by commentators for his activity in this area. His expertise also extends to representing corporate clients in mediation and arbitration.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Gustavo Enrique Planchart Pocaterra

Tinoco Travieso Planchart & Núñez

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Gustavo Enrique Planchart Pocaterra has considerable experience handling all matters within the corporate practice area. He garners praise from peers, who enthuse that "he is wonderful and a very bright lawyer."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Leĝa Abogados

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Partner Laura Silva is well regarded by market sources. She led the team advising Alpina on the aforementioned work highlight and offers expertise extending to corporate bookkeeping, liquidation processes and corporate governance across a wide range of sectors.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Natalija Vojvodic

Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Natalija Vojvodic is recognised by market commentators as a noteworthy practitioner in this practice area. She focuses on the drafting, negotiation and execution of a wide range of contracts, especially in the energy sector.

^ See whole ranking table

Associates to watch

César Lepervanche Mendoza

Tinoco Travieso Planchart & Núñez

From the Chambers Latin America guide

Associate-to-watch César Lepervanche Mendoza's practice extends to both securities and commercial law. He gains positive endorsements from clients for his client service.

^ See whole ranking table