Latin Lawyer 250 2017

Hogan Lovells (Venezuela)


Small yet experienced, with global reach

  • Established: 2005
  • Partners: 3
  • Total lawyers: 10

Hogan Lovells’ excellent Caracas branch stands out as regular counsel to both the Venezuelan government and state-owned oil and gas company PDVSA. These roles have generated a steady stream of work and allowed the firm to build its skills in key practice areas. Energy is a strong suit as a result and the firm can draw on the connections and experience of a former Petrobras counsel to bring in work. Its capital markets practice is also impressive, steering debt-laden PDVSA through increasingly complex debt swaps. Corporate and antitrust are solid as well. Outside of Venezuela, the firm counts on Hogan Lovells’ expansive office network, which includes a presence in Brazil and Mexico. This global reach has provided the firm with clients as far afield as China.


Hogan Lovells has 49 offices in 25 countries worldwide. These include foreign legal consultancies in both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and a large presence in Mexico, where the firm operates in Mexico City and Monterrey as Hogan Lovells BSTL. Miami plays an important role in its wider Latin America practice, but its Houston, London, New York and Washington, DC also contribute.

Practice Areas


Key partner: Luis Bottaro, former general counsel to PDVSA, and counsel Diogenes Bermudez, who is recognised in LACCA Approved, in-house counsel research conducted by Latin Lawyer’s sister publication, the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association.

Analysis: Hogan Lovells is retained by PDVSA for regulatory, corporate and disputes advice. Its superb team of lawyers, several of whom have worked for the state-owned energy company’s in-house team, are nearly always busy as a result. While this relationship often stops the department from working for others in the sector, it guarantees their place at the very heart of Venezuela’s economy. The firm’s US offices are also heavily involved in the country, working hard to ensure the increasingly distressed PDVSA meets its debt obligation.

Work highlights: Despite PDVSA featuring heavily on its books, the firm’s Venezuelan team found time to help Argentine energy company Pampa Energía acquire Petrobras’ Argentine asset portfolio in a sprawling multi-jurisdictional transaction.

Capital markets

Key partner: Gonzalo Rodrigúez Matos, who is recognised in LACCA Approved.

Analysis: Few capital markets teams have as difficult a job as Hogan Lovells’. The firm’s main client, PDVSA, requires increasingly difficult bond swaps and debt payment postponements to stay solvent following the collapse in the price of oil. The sums at stake are vast, while the transactions involved are complex.

Top deals

Corporate and M&A

Key partners: Bruno Ciuffetelli, who is recognised in LACCA Approved.

Analysis: The firm has a very capable corporate and M&A practice. It was one of a handful of Venezuelan firms to land major cross-border work last year. Day-to-day corporate matters also keep it busy.

Top deals

Antitrust & competition

Key partner: Bruno Ciuffetelli

Analysis: The firm’s has a strong reputation for antitrust. Clients include some of Venezuela’s biggest names, including state-owned energy company PDVSA.

Regional presence


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