Juan Carlos Pró-Rísquez


Juan Carlos Pró-Risquez


T:+58 212.276.0008

F:+58 212.276.0011

Juan Carlos Pró-Rísquez is a labour and employment lawyer and is head of the labour and employment department of our Latin American practice.

Dr. Pró-Rísquez became a partner in 1999. Previously, he practised at two other international law firms for about 10 years. He specializes in labour and employment law, specifically as applied in the oil and gas, service, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, banking and insurance, technology, engineering and airline industries. He is also the Latin American head of our life sciences and healthcare practice.

He has a strong background negotiating and drafting individual employment contracts and labour settlements, as well as in distribution contracts, labour and employment planning, consultancy agreements and expatriate transfers.  Dr. Pró-Rísquez has also been involved in litigation before labour and tax tribunals and proceedings before administrative authorities regarding labour and employment matters. In addition, he has advised on matters regulated by the Organic labour law, the Organic prevention law, and social security legislation. Dr. Pró-Rísquez has extensive experience negotiating collective bargaining agreements on behalf of employers.

Dr. Pro-Risquez has acted as lead counsel to numerous employers implementing codes of conduct and conducting ethics compliance investigations in Latin America as well as on employment litigation in Venezuela and on the coordination of expatriate litigation and the hiring and transferring of expatriates in Latin America. He has also represented multinationals in occupational health and safety claims and counselled them on tax planning for the effective use of employee stock options.

 Top Ranked, Chambers Latin America 2013 

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  • Year of call
    Venezuela 1991
  • Law school
    Doctorate of Laws, Universidad Central de Venezuela, 2008
    LL.M., Southern Methodist University, 1994
    Law degree, Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1990
  • Speaking engagements

    Dr. Pro-Rísquez is a frequent guest speaker and in 2011 was invited to speak on current labour and employment developments in Venezuela and Latin America by highly respected institutions in Venezuela and abroad, including the Venezuelan American Chamber of Commerce (VenAmcham), VenEconomy, FedEuropa, IESA, the Venezuelan British Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Labour Lawyers, the International Institute for Human Resources (ANRI) and public and private universities. He has also given numerous in-house seminars for clients. In 2011, Dr. Pro-Rísquez conducted seminars on Latin American labour and employment issues in Brussels and Dubai for the International Bar Association and in Bogotá and Miami for Mercer’s Latin American consultants.

    Dr. Pro-Rísquez's recent speaking engagements include:

    • "Compliance Trends in Latin America," Pharmaceutical Compliance Congress in Latin America, Sao Paolo, Brazil, July 28 & 29, 2015.
    • "Anti-corruption Legislation and Employment Legislation," (forthcoming) Latin Lawyer 2nd Annual Labour & Employment Conference, Miami, FL, September 11, 2015.
  • Publications
    • “The New Paradigm of Rendering Services in Venezuela During the 21st Century: Personal Services Without Labour Benefits,” Employment Law and Social Security Legislation, (book in honour of Rafael Caldera), Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and Fundación Universitas, October 2011.
    • “Employee Share Plans,” chapter on Venezuela in Employee Share Plans, International Legal and Tax Issues, Global Law and Business Publishing Ltd, London, June, 2011.
    •  Employment Law in Venezuela: Changes, Challenges and Solutions. Employment Law Client Strategies in Central and South America. Inside the Minds. Aspatore Books. 1st Edition, 2009.
    • “Labour and Employment Reform,” Public Law Magazine No. 112, Studies on Constitutional Reform. October–December 2007, Editorial Jurídica Venezolana, Caracas, 2008.
    • “Approach to the Regime of Employer’s Responsibility for Occupational Illness in the Venezuelan Legislation and Case Law,” “Regulations to the Workers Nutrition Law,” “New Regulations to the Organic Labour Law,” Employment Law and Social Security Law: Labour Norms, Judicial Decisions, and Studies, Normative Series No. 7, Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Caracas, 2006.
    • “Labour Regime Applicable to Expats and Transferees,” Labour and Industrial Regulations Law Newsletter, International Bar Association Legal Practice Division. Volume 16, No. 2, London, 2006.
    • “Substantive and Procedural Commentaries to the Stability and Dismissal in Venezuelan Labour and Employment Law,1st Latin American Congress on Management, Labour Law and Case Law: Impact on socioeconomic development,  Latin American Institute on Employment Law and Social Security,  Universidad Metropolitana,  Caracas,  2005.
    • “Constitutional Free Economy and Company Groups: Analysis of the Legislation and Employment Case Law in Venezuela,”  Employment and Labour Tests, Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Caracas, 2005.
    • Conflicts of law: Comments on Preferred Rights and Balancing of Rights within the Venezuelan Constitution (book in honour of Juan Bautista Fuenmayor Rivera), Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Caracas, 2005.
    • “Comments on the Acquisition Plans of Shares of Stock Options and Comparison With Salary Defining Principles and Characters,” in book published by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Caracas, 2005.
  • Selected client work

    Dr. Pró-Rísquez and his team recently achieved success in cases brought before the Social Cassation Chamber (SCC) of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (STJ) on behalf of the following clients:

    • Pepsico (July 17, 2015) with a rescissory action against a decision issued by the Labour Inspectorate that ordered a group of workers restored to their posts despite the fact they had resigned, having pleaded later that they were forced to sign their letters of resignation. The Labour Trial Court ruled in favour of Pepsico, voiding the administrative act; however, after an appeal from the workers, the Labour Superior Court considered that the rescissory action was inadmissible due to the lack of proof of having complied with the order to restore the workers, despite the evidence produced. On the basis of our arguments, the STJ admitted the constitutional review initiated by Pepsico Alimentos S.C.A., further establishing that the Labour Superior Court infringed the constitutional rights of access to justice and to an effective judicial protection of Pepsico
    • Bekaert (July 17, 2015) in which the Supreme Tribunal of Justice heard a constitutional injuction against a decision from the First Administrative Court that allowed the Valencia Labour Inspectorate to issue an administrative act restoring a group of workers, who had been dismissed in 1999, to their previous posts. It is notable the Supreme Tribunal of Justice considered Bekaert to have a legitimate right to plead, and granted a temporary injunction interrupting the effects of the order to restore the workers issued by the Labour Inspectorate, avoiding any sanctions to Vicson S.A. for not complying with the administrative act
    • Cervecería Polar, C.A. (Polar) (October 15, 2014) before the SCC of the STJ, obtaining a favourable decision confirming the inexistence of an employment relationship between the plaintiff and Polar through a franchise agreement. The STJ concluded and reaffirmed that franchise agreements are not a disguise of an employment relationship, but a true commercial agreement in nature and practice
    • Cervecería Polar, C.A. (April 21, 2014) before the SCC of the STJ of Venezuela, obtaining a favourable decision annulling the liability of procedure costs and confirming the inexistence of an employment relationship between the plaintiff and Polar made by a Superior Labour Court
    • Caracas Baseball Club, C.A. (November 14, 2013). The Constitutional Chamber of the STJ overturned a decision of the SCC of the STJ in an appeal by the Caracas Baseball Club, finding that the team doctor’s relationship with the club was of a civil nature and not a disguised employment relationship as the SCC had held
    • Zara Venezuela, S.A. (April 23, 2013). The SCC of the STJ ruled in favour of Zara on appeal, finding that the employee resigned and was therefore ineligible to receive payment of indemnities for unfair dismissal based on the Organic Labour Law. The letter of resignation was also upheld, despite allegations of forgery, so that payment of labour benefits for a period during which the plaintiff did not provide services was also disallowed
    • Abbott Laboratories (June 4, 2012). The SCC of the STJ published a unanimous decision in favour of Abbott upholding the statute of limitations for claiming labour benefits
    • Pepsico (July 8, 2011). The SCC of the STJ dismissed the appeal filed by the plaintiffs claiming labour benefits from Pepsico regarding the effect of sales commissions on holidays and rest days
    • Polar (March 31, 2011). The SCC of the STJ dismissed the lawsuit filed by the plaintiffs, who claimed recognition of an employment relationship with Polar and, therefore, payment of labour benefits
    • Baker Hughes (November 30, 2011). The SCC of the STJ established that the plaintiff had no right to receive the labour benefits established in the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the Oil Industry (CBA) because he was an employee of trust who received greater economic benefits than those contained in the CBA
  • Rankings and recognitions
    • Latin America Corporate Counsel Association, 2015: Labour, Venezuela
    • Chambers Latin America, Venezuela 2015: Band 2:  Life Sciences
    • Chambers Latin America, Venezuela 2015: Star Performer:  Labour & Employment
    • The Legal 500 Latin America, 2012 and 2014: Tier 1 leading lawyer in Labour & Employment
    • Chambers Latin America 2013 in the area of Labour & Employment (star individual ranking) 
    • Miranda State Bar, top-level awards:
    • Francisco Espejo Order, 2012
    • Honour of Merit, 2012
    • Esther Franco La Riva Order, 2009
    • Speaker of the Order, 2009
    • International Law Office (ILO) Client Choice Awards 2012, Employment and Labour, Venezuela
    • Latin Lawyer, Leading Employment and Labour Lawyer, Venezuela, 2012
    • Robert Goldschmidt Award, graduated in the top 1% of his class
    • Chambers & Partners, Chambers Latin American 2009-2011. Labour & Employment: Leading Firm (Band I) and Leading Individual (Band I) “trustworthy, ethical and strong.... a brilliant lawyer....rapid responses, superb client focus and great business solutions to legal problems”
    • PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook 2009-2011. Leading firm in Labour & Employment and Highly Recommended Individual “...cross-border expert... stands out for the breadth of his expertise”
  • Memberships and activities
    • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
    • International Bar Association
    • Miranda State Bar Association
    • National Federation Associations of Human Resources and Industrial Relations
    • Professor of Labour & Employment Law, Universidad Metropolitana de Venezuela (2005- )
    • Professor of Private Law III, Universidad Central de Venezuela (1999-2001)
    • Professor of Labour & Employment Law, Universidad Central de Venezuela (1998- )
    • Professor of Civil Law, Universidad Central de Venezuela (1995-1999)
    • First non-Canadian member of the Executive Committee of Macleod Dixon (one of our two founding firms in Canada)