Venezuelan law firm Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque announced the launch of a Russian desk in a bid to atract more mandates from Russian clients.
In the announcement the law firm confirmed it has hired Olga Vitrik, who is licensed to practice in Russia and is currently based in Caracas, for this purpose.
Vitrik obtained her law degree at Moscow State Institute for International Relations MID Russia (MGIMO). She is currently completing an LL.M. at Gould School of Law of the University of Southern California (USC). Before relocating to Venezuela, Vitrik was in-house counsel for Nord Wind Airlines, a company she joined after working as part of the legal team of Continental Airways in Moscow. Her career also includes roles in Russia´s Federal Migration System and also for Mosgortrans, the state-owned transport company. Besides her native Russian, Vitrik is fluent in English and Spanish.
Partners Miguel Rivero, who leads the firm’s energy team, and José Gregorio Torrealba, who heads the public law practice, are also part of the Russian desk. Both partners commented that Venezuela has seen a rising number of Russian companies in the oil and gas sector and other fields, acting as government contractors so there was need to tap into this new reality.
Hoet Peláez Castillo & Duque was founded in 1942 and is the Venezuelan member of the Lex Mundi and World Services Group legal networks. With over 55 lawyers including more than 20 partners, it remains the largest law firm in Venezuela and an outlier in a tough legal market.