Upon its organization in 1910, the firm of Rodríguez & Mendoza has in an uninterrupted manner provided assistance and legal advice to its clients. During the first 15 years all of the clients were Venezuelan, among them, Banco de Venezuela, S.A. the largest Commercial Bank. Since 1925 when foreign investors started looking for opportunities in the Venezuelan market, the firm began to expand its practice to international Corporations. Today, thanks to the quality of its services, the timely response to questions and to its unparalleled ethics, it has achieved a solid leading position in the legal profession within Venezuela and an excellent reputation overseas.
Rodríguez & Mendoza is a law firm that renders services to Corporations in Venezuela in all areas of law, except in criminal law. In a brief way it can be mentioned that the firm has advised foreign investments bankers on Venezuela legal matters, together with a prominent New York law firm in the first bond issue made in the 20ths century by the Republic of Venezuela that was registered with the New York Stock Exchange. It has also counseled bankers in other Government issues registered in European Stock Exchanges. Furthermore, it has also counseled been involved with foreign banks in different financements made to differenGovernment agencies and to private corporations.
The partners have made emphasis on the principles of division of work specialization and modernization. Over twenty years ago the firm entered into the technology business. It began with its accounting, followed by its own program of a fully automated billing system. Advances continued in this area and, lawyers of the firm, together with computer specialists, developed a system that permits the control of all client’s basic data with their initial registration and amendments. The computer system also controls the library, the file department, opinions issued, and lawsuits at all stages. Through this computerized system Rodríguez & Mendoza’s lawyers and clients may obtain immediate information about any legal process, including not only the essentials but also each and every step that has taken place during the litigation. Likewise, the firm is in a position to permanently provide the client with a detailed report of all events that have taken place during legal proceedings from the start until the date the information is requested. At the same time a computer program was developed by the Internal Department for the Industrial Property Rights to control and maintain up to date all of the stages relative to commercial denominations, trademarks, slogans and patents of inventions. This system permits to deliver to the client ipso facto any information requested.
Earned past prestige is not a sufficient accomplishment. Rodríguez & Mendoza places emphasis on recruiting the best talents that come out of Venezuelan Universities and encourage young lawyers to register in post graduate courses in national and foreign Universities.
The firm maintains excellent contacts with an important number of prominent law firms in the U.S.A, England, Spain and in Latin American countries, with whom it has worked closely in Banking and Finance, Foreign Investments, Oil and Mining joint ventures, Privatization and Anti Trust cases, among other matters.
Rodríguez & Mendoza publishes a monthly newsletter under the name of “Reporte Legal” that includes information of relevant new or amended legal rules and articles on subjects of interest to its clients.
Professional services are rendered keeping in mind the old Roman principles of honestae vivere, suum quique tribuere and alterum non laedere. This, added to the efficient dedication and high quality services rendered any day and at any time, pays dividends. The firm has an important number of international Companies, many of them in the Fortune 500 list, that have remained faithful clients for twenty, thirty and more years.
In the domestic area, the firm counsels large important banks, industrial and commercial corporations. It also continues to render assistants and counsel to medium and small corporations as well as to civil associations, and to individual persons in real estate matters, family law, and is actively involved in handling inheritance tax returns, partitions and related agreements.
Rodríguez & Mendoza has also been involved in the security business in the domestic market, as well as in international markets. In regard to private corporations in cooperation with leading US law firms, Rodríguez & Mendoza has also participated in the most important financing to the largest private Venezuelan corporation. In these cases, as well as in the placement of commercial paper in national and international markets we typically represented foreign banks, advising on Venezuelan legal matters. It has also counseled in the issue of commercial paper in the Eurodollar market to finance the purchase of a large interest in a network in the USA.
Domestically, Rodríguez & Mendoza has been retained to counsel numerous corporations in various kind of agreements, such as financing agreements, securitization of credit card agreements and other financial structuring. Included in these domestic projects are the financial structuring of both the largest power and gas plant in Venezuela and in the largest Venezuelan food corporation. Furthermore, Rodríguez & Mendoza working in conjunction with one of New York’s most prominent law firms, has just recently counseled in the financement of a US$ 1.25 Billion credit facility to a corporation organized by the Venezuelan Government and private international US oil corporation.
The firm also enjoys a healthy reputation in the area of due diligence. Rodríguez & Mendoza completed a report of 58 volumes to comply with Venezuela requirement for the privatization of Venezuela’s steel mill. Similarly, the firm performed legal audits for the privatization of the Caracas Hippodrome as well as of some some commercial Government hotels.
The firm has made due diligences activities in to the private sector by counseling, among others the largest container board millDue Diligences to the private sector have also taken place by Rodríguez & Mendoza. Among them it can be mentioned the Due Diligence for the largest corrugated container company in Venezuela, to a concrete pipe line corporation and to a telecommunication company.
In the area of privatization, Rodríguez & Mendoza has been actively involved in counseling foreign banks in the privatization of local banks, sugar mills, an aviation company, aluminum companies, steel mill, the telephone company and others.
Other areas in which Rodríguez & Mendoza has been counseling clients is in the anti trust area. Due to its expertise and experience it has been retained to represent international companies in several cases that are before the corresponding Courts. The most important case that has taken place in Venezuela was the recourse filed by Rodríguez & Mendoza on behalf of a client before the Antitrust Superintendency. The Antitrust Superintendency ordered the other party to put up for sale several plants due to the economic concentration denounced by Rodríguez & Mendoza and restricted the defendant to use only one flavor of beverages. It also levied a fine on the other party. This case is presently before the corresponding Court and a successful decision is forecasted. Among other cases argued before the Supreme Court, Rodríguez & Mendoza is currently conducting three cases on behalf of international aviation corporations against the Republic of Venezuela on the subject of foreign exchange obligations due by the Government to such corporations. The firms successfully defended a client that was sued under the argument than a foreign arbitration provision provided for in a commercial agreement was invalid as the Venezuelan jurisdiction could not be declined. The Supreme Court declared on October 19, 1997 the validity of the arbitration and applied for the first time the rules of the Interamerican Convention about International Commercial Arbitration executed in Panasma and also the rules of the Convention of the United Nations about Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitration awards.
Rodríguez & Mendoza has also been actively involved in the area of joint ventures. The firm counseled the first aluminum corporation joint venture entered into organized in Venezuela between the public and private sector. Subsequently joint ventures for chemical and petrochemical plants, and the installation of a supermarket chain for an European Corporation in Venezuela were counseled by the firm.
The oil and gas sector has traditionally being one of the areas of major expertise of the firm since the decade of the 1920’s. In the pre-nationalization era, Rodríguez & Mendoza counseled multiple clients in all matters related to the oil activities from application for hydrocarbons concessions, exploration and exploitation, to installation of pipe lines and ports, etc. At the present time is advising several international oil companies in all of the areas that have been opened in 1997 to the private sector or are on schedule to be opened, such as reactivation of marginal fields, association for the exploration of blocks and for extra heavy oil fields, as well as in the opening of the international market.
In the merger and acquisition sector, it has participated in various of the most important transactions that took place in Venezuela, such as the acquisition of a baby food and juice line of products by one of the biggest industrial conglomerates in the food industry. Furthermore, it has participated in the merger and association between banks and a financial institution.
Environment is right now a very sensitive area that the Government is monitoring with special interest. At this respect we have been involved in cases of water and air pollution that have been tried successfully. A specialized attorney and its assistants are in charge of monitoring and counseling our clients on said subject. In the area of litigation it lawyers of the firm have has practiced in civil, commercial, labor, fiscal and administrative matters. The firm has a large department of lawyers dedicated exclusively to each one of such activities.
Edificio Parque Cristal, Torre Este
Piso 11, Av. Francisco de Miranda
Los Palos Grandes
Tel: (58-212) 285-4944
Fax: (58-212) 285-1379
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