José Gregorio Torrealba R. is a partner at Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque and heads the public law area of practice. He is also an active member of our Dispute Resolution team, particularly on investment and international and local commercial arbitration, where he has assumed a leading role.
He qualified as a lawyer in 1997 after receiving a law degree from Universidad Santa María. In 2002 he graduated from the postgraduate course on Administrative Law at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, where he is currently a lecturer for the postgraduate courses on Administrative and Commercial Law. Mr Torrealba obtained an LLM at King’s College London, University of London in 2004.
His public law practice focuses on public procurement related to infrastructure projects, particularly to mass transportation systems, energy projects, aviation and space industries, power generation, and ports infrastructure. He has also advised companies on public procurement on the fields of education, pharmacy and medical equipment. He also advises on competition law, consumer protection and regulatory issues. Mr Torrealba has also extensive experience on application for judicial review of administrative matters, constitutional injunctions, applications for constitutional review, and claims against the state, its agencies and state-owned companies.
In dispute resolution, he has been engaged in several arbitral proceedings where he has acted as co-counsel, including ad-hoc and institutional arbitrations in Venezuela and abroad. Mr Torrealba has also been retained as an expert on international arbitrations. He frequently advises on the protection of international investments in Venezuela and on international investment arbitration. He has been involved on infrastructure, real state, public contracts, expropriations and maritime disputes.
Mr Torrealba is currently a member of the board of directors of the Venezuelan Chapter of the Club Español del Arbitraje and is a co-chair of the Infrastructure and Energy Committee. He acted as a president for Venezuela of the World Jurist Association, and as a vice president for the Postgraduate Law Society at King’s College London.
He has written articles in Venezuelan specialised journals, as well as in the UK and Europe. His book on Protection and Promotion of Foreign Investment in Venezuela, where he comments on stabilisation contracts, regulatory expropriation and international arbitration before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), is widely used for the study of foreign investment regime in Venezuelan universities.
Mr Torrealba is considered by Chambers Latin America as one of the top public law and dispute resolution lawyers in the country.