Managing Partners: Reinaldo Hellmund, Eduardo Michelena
Number of partners worldwide: 13
Number of other lawyers worldwide: 16
The firm, founded in 1910, has grown to become one of the leading law firms in Venezuela. The firm regards the practice of law in international matters as important as in national matters. Rodriguez & Mendoza is an integrated law firm that renders services in most areas of law, its typical clients being corporations listed in the Fortune 500 list. The firm has been involved in many of the most important transactions that have taken place in past years, in different areas, from initial public offerings, project finance, financing agreements, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, antitrust litigation, takeovers, environmental and the most important oil projects.
Main Areas of Practice:
Taxation & Estate Planning: 17%
Project Finance, Capital Markets & Financing Agreements: 12%
Oil & Gas: 12%
Litigation & Arbitration: 4%
Banking & Finance: 5%
Intellectual Property: 2%
Telecommunications & Computer Law: 2%
Insurance & Reinsurance: 1%
Labour Law & Industrial Relations:
This area of law has grown substantially in the past years. The firm has a team dedicated to protect and advise clients on this particularly sensitive area. The firm is involved in the discussions of collective bargaining agreements, dealings with unions, planning, litigation and the day-to-day advice to companies in this area. In addition, the firm has become actively involved in the compliance area, particularly in the preparation and execution of due diligence process regarding protection, health and safety matters in the work place.
Taxation & Estate Planning:
The firm’s tax department, one of the office’s largest, handles all aspects related to the different taxes, and tax regulations, and is also actively involved in the filing of administrative tax claims and fiscal litigation and fiscal planning. The taxation group is constantly involved in the analysis and design of complex investment and project structures, as well as in estate planning and wealth management. Corporate: The firm advises its clients on the day-to-day corporate matters and compliance with regulations, being this one of the strongest areas of practice of the office. The firm is constantly engaged in mergers and acquisitions, spin off transactions, all matters related to corporate compliance and governance.
Project Finance & Financing Agreements:
The firm has participated in many of the most important transactions that have taken place in recent years, including the refinancing of three of extra heavy oil projects in 2007, as a consequence of the nationalisation undertaken by the Venezuelan government. During 2015 and 2016 the firm has advised an international oil company in the financing of a hydrocarbons project. During 2014 and 2015 advised Banco de Desarrollo Económico de Brasil (BNDES) in a facility to an affiliate of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. ‘PDVSA’, and Participated as counsel to the lenders in the initial phases of the financing for a gas project. In 2013, Rodriguez & Mendoza counselled ONGC Videsh Ltd. in the structuring and negotiation of the financing to Petrolera Indovenezolana, S.A. (a mixed company between PDVSA and ONGC Videsh Ltd. for the development of the San Cristobal Oil Project). From 2011 until closing on May, 2013, the firm counselled ENI SpA in the financing of US$ 2 billion revolving facility to for the development of the Petrojunin, S.A. and Petrobicentenario Oil Projects (mixed companies between PDVSA and Eni SpA). In 2012 the firm advised a group of Japanese investors in a US$ 3.5 billion to PDVSA; a US$ 2 billion loan to a subsidiary of PDVSA and in May 2013 in a US$ 2 billion loan to an oil project. In 2010, the firm counseled China Development Bank in the USD 20 billion loan to the Venezuelan BANDES, the largest loan ever granted in Venezuela, and during 2011 in several loans to Petróleos de Venezuela and its subsidiaries. During 2013 and 2014 the firm advised lenders in two 1.5 billion loans to PDVSA, and loans to a gas project and two oil projects. The firm represents a significant number of clients in major financing transactions, acting mostly for lenders and arrangers.
Oil & Gas:
Rodriguez & Mendoza has extensive experience in the oil and gas sector. Has participated in structuring for mixed companies for oil projects; projects under gas licences as well as in several petrochemical projects, and with the implementation and further development, such as the preparation, review and analysis of contracts, complex legal and tax scenarios involved, including EPC agreements, drilling platform agreements, pipeline agreements, permits, environmental issues and the like.
Mergers & Acquisitions:
Rodríguez & Mendoza has been involved in numerous mergers or acquisitions, analysing complex financial, tax, labour and antitrust implications. It has performed a great amount of due diligence studies and has a permanent division dedicated to this activity.
Rodríguez & Mendoza has helped oil and gas, construction and food industries in the identification of the environmental permits, license and authorisations applicable. In addition, they have prepared for projects environmental permits manuals and timelines.
Litigation & Arbitration:
The firm has a group of lawyers dedicated to arbitration and litigation, two of which have been appointed as permanent members of the Venezuelan American Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Committee.
The firm has been actively involved with specialist lawyers either in litigation or acting on administrative cases, as well as analysing antitrust implications for merges and acquisitions and other transactions.
The firm has a team dedicated exclusively to this area which handles all patents, copyright and trademarks requirements, as well as litigations on matters related to intellectual property.
Insurance & Reinsurance:
The firm advises insurance companies and brokerage insurance firm regarding insurance and reinsurance regulations.
Telecommunications & Computer Law:
The firm acts for several clients in all the areas of the telecom sector, including compliance, antitrust, tax, etc.
English, French, Italian, Spanish.
The firm’s client base includes several of the largest banks, oil and industrial corporations in the world.