Founding Partners: Manuel Torres, Federico Araujo, Rodolfo Plaz
Senior Partners: Rodolfo Plaz, Guillermo de La Rosa, Juan Domingo Alfonzo, Juan Carlos Garantón Blanco, Jesús Escudero, Valentina Cabrera, Valmy Diaz
Number of partners: 17
Number of other lawyers: 24
Torres Plaz & Araujo (TPA) is a Venezuelan fullservice law firm, which has offered its services since 1972. The values that have allowed TPA to be considered a top firm, are its drive for innovative solutions and a professional culture, not limited at identifying the issues under the law, but at integrating the analysis with financial knowledge and an understanding of how said issues play for its clients. All of its members are renowned professionals and a good number of its members well-reputed professors, lecturers and speakers in the national and international arena.
TPA is the exclusive Venezuelan member of Latin American Tax and Legal Network (LATAXNET) and of the State Capital Global Law Firm Group.
Main Areas of Practice:
Corporate Tax & Tax Litigation:
TPA leadership in this field is based in its longterm experience and savvy in structuring and restructuring corporate businesses and projects into Venezuela and overseas. TPA 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. TPA professionals have vast experience in assisting clients in all features of corporate taxation, including transfer pricing, analysis, compliance and withholding regimes, VAT and other indirect taxes, local tax, import taxes and customs duties. The firm is recognised as the top firm to handle tax controversies and tax settlement proceedings.
Family Businesses & Personnel Wealth Structuring:
TPA 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.
TPA has been a key player in structuring and advising oil and gas projects, petrochemical ventures and oil and gas and EPC contractors. TPA’s expertise ranges from its advice since the mid 80’s and in the oil opening in the 90’s, including major project finances for Faja projects, to the migration of Operating Services Agreements and Association Agreements into Empresas Mixtas in 2006 and 2007; advising the same as well on the farming out of interest in the same and the negotiation of new offshore blocks and gas EEP licences and farm-ins. TPA also has extensive experience in advising drilling contractors and drilling operators (including offshore drilling rigs) and EPC contractors.
Corporate & Commercial:
TPA 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. TPA advises in major corporate and project finance, exchange control matters, M&A, bankruptcy law, banking and financial matters, asset protection and capital markets. TPA has advised many major international and local companies in the negotiation and implementation of supply, service, purchase, EPC contracts; Leases, Franchises, Commercial Agencies and distribution networks for mass marketing.
Antitrust & Competition:
TPA 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, defense of competition (unfair competition, concentrations or mergers and unilateral practices); economic and commercial integration.
Constitutional, Administrative & Regulatory Law:
The representation of the rights and interests of clients regarding their dealings with the public sector authorities are among the most demanding services in Venezuela and TPA counts with a great expertise in this area. The team has ample experience analyzing constitutional and legal aspects of actions taken by public entities. TPA has advised to companies of different economic sectors such as telecommunication, electricity, food and beverage, and regarding expropriation, concessions and bidding. TPA’s experience includes representing clients in administrative and judicial proceedings regarding regulatory matters.
TPA rendered advise in the negotiating of major oil, electricity, infrastructure and service contracts with public entities has allowed the team to accumulate a valuable expertise to protect the rights of our clients. The team is experienced in the developing and implementation of solid strategies for the negotiation and execution of public contracts, advice during the bidding process and handling of contractual conflicts and arbitration proceedings initiated in relation with public contracts. TPA´s solid private and public law background has been key to assist international companies in major controversies governed by Venezuelan Law.
Fair Price (Consumer Protection):
TPA has an outstanding experience in customer services proceedings endorsed by the Superintendencia Nacional para la Defensa de los Derechos Socioeconómicos (Sundde) as well as in advising clients on the analysis and determination of their costs structure for the purposes of a law of fair prices (Ley de Precios Justos).
TPA has served as counsel of important companies in arbitration proceedings under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce. TPA have assisted prestigious US and UK based law firms in arbitrations conducted in the United States and London.
All modern forms of resolving differences, in the traditional litigation area, 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. TPA offers advice in civil, commercial and labour-related proceedings.
TPA has a vast experience advising in matters related with the Venezuelan stock market, brokers registration and establishment, collective investment entities, including its administrators, bond issuance, commercial papers and other securities, among others.
TPA 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.
TPA has developed a long-standing international experience of more than 40 years that has allowed the firm to successfully and continuously represent many of the top world’s leading international companies, as well as the most prestigious Venezuelan companies.
Spanish, English, Italian, French.