Global Practice Leader - Latin America, Partner
Elisabeth Eljuri is Global Practice Leader of our Latin American practice. She is also head of the corporate department of our Caracas office, head of the oil and gas practice group and an active member of the international arbitration practice group.
In Latin America and Venezuela in particular, Ms. Eljuri focuses on corporate and transactional work involving high-end sophisticated transactions for Fortune 500 corporations as well as international dispute work related to major projects and infrastructure. She has significant M&A experience and over the past 20 years of practice, in addition to her contracts and general business practice, she has been regularly advising oil and gas producers and service companies engaged in high level transactions. She has extensive experience in profit/production sharing agreements, JOAs, farm-outs, gas licences, upstream joint venture companies as well as midstream and downstream related and major projects. Major deals she has handled include corporate acquisitions of hydrocarbon companies and producing areas (in several Latin American countries), a crude oil storage and ship loading project, two of the world’s largest gas injection projects, a major coal project and several acquisitions of other mining projects. Ms. Eljuri also has significant experience in the Mexican oil and gas regulatory framework due to her advisory work for Pemex in Mexico since 2001. She is considered a leading natural resources and energy practitioner in the Latin American region and worldwide. In 2010 and again in 2011, Who’s Who in Oil and Gas selected Ms. Eljuri as one of the top 10 energy practitioners worldwide, stating that “Eljuri is one of the true stars in Latin America.”
On the dispute side, she frequently acts as co-counsel in international arbitrations, including ICC and ICSID procedures. She has also been retained as an independent expert in international arbitrations and court proceedings and has spoken and published extensively in the area of energy and resources investment disputes and investment treaty law. Ms. Eljuri also has experience in domestic investigations pertaining to compliance matters under the FCPA and European anticorruption legislation.
Ms. Eljuri is also actively committed to legal education and corporate training. Since 2005, she has been a director, and, since 2008, vice-president of the prestigious Houston-based AIPN. She is now the President of the Association. She is one of the instructors of the AIPN/RMMLF Upstream Short Course held in Houston every year (farm-out session), she has been an instructor of the Oil Negotiations Skills Workshop sponsored by AIPN and she also presents courses on subjects of interest for the energy community upon clients’ request.
Ms. Eljuri served as the managing partner of the Caracas office in 2007 and 2008 and was profiled in Latin Lawyer as Latin America’s only serving female leader of an established law firm. She is currently a member of our Canadian management committee.
Year of call
New York 1993
LL.M., Harvard Law School, 1992
LL.B., Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, 1991
Selected client work
Clients for whom Ms. Eljuri has acted as lead counsel or co-counsel in oil and gas, corporate and arbitration matters include the following:
Oil and Gas
- Major European and Asian private and state-owned oil companies investing between US$15 and US$20 billion in extra-heavy oil projects
- Numerous international oil companies negotiating or re-negotiating upstream investments in Venezuela and other regions of Latin America
- The purchasers of several major mining projects in Venezuela
- A US private equity fund in the acquisition of an oil service company’s assets in Latin America
- The French company Groupe Casino in a complex series of M&A transactions to partially divest from its hypermarket (EXITO) and supermarket (CADA) chain in Venezuela. The local company was valued at around US$700 million
- A UK-based oil services company in a major corporate reorganization
- A US/Colombian bank in a divestiture transaction in Venezuela
- Various clients in major investment arbitrations concerning the natural resources sector filed at ICSID
- Various clients in major commercial arbitrations under ICC rules in New York
- A North American consortium that successfully filed an arbitration against PDVSA concerning the nationalization of a major oil project in 2002
- The International Arbitration Review (co-author Venezuela chapter), Law Business Research Ltd., July 2010.
- “Venezuela: On the path to complete ‘oil sovereignty’, or the beginning of a new era of investment?” (co-author), The Journal of World Energy Law & Business, Fall 2009.
- “Venezuela’s Version of a Windfall Profit Tax” (co-author), Tax Notes International, Volume 53, p. 81, January 5, 2009.
- “BIT Termination and the Survival Clause. What does the concept of protection of investments made prior to termination of the BIT actually cover?” (co-author), Caracas, 2008.
- The Mergers and Acquisitions Review (co-author Venezuela chapter), Law Business Research, London, 2008.
- “The Battle of Contract Sanctity vs Resource Sovereignty,” TDM & OGEL special feature joint issue, Vol. 5, Issue 2, April 2008.
- International Comparative Legal Guide to Gas Regulation (co-author of the chapter on Venezuela), Global Legal Group Ltd., 2008.
- “The XXI Transformation of the Venezuelan Oil Industry” (co-author), Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law, Volume 26, Issue 4, February 2008.
- “The 2007 Nationalization of the Venezuelan Orinoco Oil Belt,” Oil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence, Vol. 5, Issue 4, November 2007.
- Regular contributor to the Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law since 2002.
- “Upstream Oil and Gas Opportunities in Latin America” (co-presenter), Calgary, September 2011.
- “National Oil Companies Responses to the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill” (panellist), AIPN Spring Conference, San Antonio, April 2011.
- “Venezuela’s Upstream Framework” (speaker), University of Houston/Weatherford training course for Petrobras, Rio de Janeiro, November 2010.
- “Confronting Ethical Issues in International Arbitration” (faculty member for workshop organized by the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA)-CCB Americas, Bogota, October 2010.
- “Cross Border Pipelines: The need for an International Treaty in Latin America,” Annual IBA Conference, Vancouver, October 2010.
- “Latin American Oil and Gas Disputes” ICDR/AIPN Conference on Dispute Resolution in the International Oil and Gas Business, Houston, April 2010.
- “Parallel Proceedings in Multijurisdiction Disputes,” IBA Conference, Washington DC, April 2010.
- “Negotiating Granting Instruments,” University of Texas Law School Annual Conference, Houston, January 2010.
- “Pre-Arbitration Counselling: What to do when the Deal with the Government Starts to Unravel?” Joint IBA and IEL Conference, London, November 2009.
- “Arbitration of Natural Resources Disputes involving Latin American States or State Entities,” ICC Annual Conference, Miami, November 2009.
Rankings and recognitions
- Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2013: Corporate/M&A and Energy & Natural Resources (star)
- The Legal 500 Latin America, 2012: Tier 1 leading lawyer in Corporate/M&A and Energy & Natural Resources
- Chambers Latin America 2013 in the areas of Energy & Natural Resources (star individual ranking) and Corporate/M&A
- Best Lawyers 2012 - Lawyer of the Year in the areas of Corporate and M&A
- Who's Who Legal, Global Mining Law Firm of the Year, 2012
- Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2012: Corporate/M&A, Energy & Natural Resources
- Latin Lawyer Law Firm Leader of the Year 2012
- The International Who’s Who of Oil and Gas Lawyers 2011, 2012 “one of the ten most highly regarded individuals” in the world
- Chambers Global 2011 (Latin America) in the area of Projects - Latin America’s Top Twenty Oil & Gas Experts (Spotlight table)
- Chambers Global and Chambers Latin America 2011 in the areas of Energy & Natural Resources (star individual ranking) and Corporate/M&A
- The International Who’s Who of Arbitration Lawyers
- The International Who’s Who of Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyers
- The International Who’s Who of Corporate Governance
- The International Who’s Who of Project Finance Lawyers
- Euromoney Expert Guides 2010 - named ‘The Best of the Best 2010’ in Energy and Natural Resources “one of the top 25 natural resources and energy lawyers in the world”
- PLC Which Lawyer? (Venezuela) in the area of Energy
Memberships and activities
- Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)
- President (2013- )
- President-Elect (2012-2013)
- Vice-President (2008-2012)
- Regional Director for Latin America (2005-2008)
- Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO)
- Officer of the Venezuela Chapter (2010- )
- International Bar Association
- Officer of the Oil and Gas Committee (2010- )
- American Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
- Miranda State Bar Association (Venezuela)
- Official arbitrator of the local ICC chapter in Venezuela (Caracas Chamber of Commerce)
- Official arbitrator of the CEDCA arbitration centre in Caracas
- Asociación Latinoamericana de Arbitraje
- Harvard Law School Alumni Association
- Editorial Board of the Journal of World Energy Law & Business
- National administrator for the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, Venezuela (1990- ) and President of the Philip C Jessup Foundation in Venezuela
- Contracts professor, Universidad Central de Venezuela (1994-1996)