Elisabeth Eljuri

Head of Latin America, Partner

Elisabeth Eljuri

Caracas

T:+58 212.276.0002

F:+58 212.276.0011

Elisabeth Eljuri is head of Latin America for Norton Rose Fulbright. She is also head of the corporate department and head of the oil and gas practice group of our Caracas office, and an active member of the international arbitration practice group.

In Latin America, 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 energy 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), some of the largest extra-heavy oil projects in the world, 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 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 internal 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.

Top Ranked, Chambers Latin America 2013IFLR1000
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  • Year of call
    New York 1993
    Venezuela 1991
  • Law school
    LL.M., Harvard Law School, 1992
    LL.B., Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, 1991
  • Speaking engagements
    • “Case Study on Consolidation of Arbitrations under the ICC Rules,” ICC PANARB Conference, Panama, August 2014.
    • “The Spectre of Enforcement Risk and Inefficient Arbitral Procedures,” Annual ITA Workshop, Dallas, June 2014.
    • “Perspectives in Latin American Civil Law Issues in AIPN Model Contracts,” AIPN Model Contracts Workshop, San Francisco, June 2014.
    • “Mexico’s New Upstream Regime: Who benefits?” Oil Council Latin America Conference, Bogota, January 2014.
    • “Resource Nationalism, Expropriation and Creeping Expropriation affecting the Extractive Sector” at the Special Institute on International Energy and Minerals Arbitration, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Toronto, September 2013.
    • “Political Risk Management,” Special Institute on International Mining and Oil & Gas Law Development and Investment, Cartagena, April 2013.
    • “Joint Ventures with National Oil Companies,” National Oil Company and Government Entity Conference and Workshop, London, December 2012.
    • “Taking the Hammer to Misbehaving Counsel: A debate over Arbitrator Authority,” ICC 10th Annual Miami Conference, Miami, October 2012.
    • “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.
  • Publications
    • “Mexico’s Energy Sector Reform,” Journal of World Energy Law and Business, Oxford University Press, February 2014.
    • “Political Risk Management in Latin American Natural Resources Projects: The Toolbox,” Special Institute on International Mining and Oil & Gas (Law, Development and Investment), Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, March 2013.
    • “Latin America: Despite Volatility and Mood Swings, a surge in licensing and acquisition activity” (co-author), Journal of World Energy Law and Business, August 2012.
    • “Update on Latin America’s Resource Nationalism,” Oil & Gas Journal Latinoamericana, Vol. 1, January 2012.
    • “Project Finance Venezuela” (co-author), Latin Lawyer, 2011.
    • “IBA Guide on Shareholders’ Agreements,” International Bar Association, July 2011.
    • “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.
    • “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.
  • 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

    Corporate

    • 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
    • One of the world's largest companies in an M&A transaction

    Arbitration

    • 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
  • Rankings and recognitions
    • Latinvex: Top 50 Female Lawyers (International) Specializing in Latin America
    • IFLR1000: Energy and Infrastructure: Latin America, 2013 – Leading lawyer in Banking and Finance; Projects; Corporate and Commercial; Disputes; and Energy & Natural Resources; and Compliance and Public Law
    • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2013: Corporate/M&A and Energy & Natural Resources (star individual)
    • The Legal 500 Latin America, 2013: Tier 1 leading lawyer in Corporate/M&A and Energy & Natural Resources
    • Chambers Latin America 2014 in the areas of Energy & Natural Resources (star individual ranking) and Corporate/M&A
    • The International Who’s Who of Oil and Gas Lawyers 2011, 2012, 2013 “one of the ten most highly regarded individuals” in the world
    • 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
    • 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)
      • Immediate Past President (2014-)
      • President (2013-2014)
      • President-Elect (2012-2013)
      • Vice-President (2008-2012)
      • Regional Director for Latin America (2005-2008)
    • Institute of Transnational Arbitration (ITA)
      • Chair, Americas Initiative (2014-)
      • Vice Chair, Americas Initiative (2013-2014)
    • Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO)
      • Officer of the Venezuela Chapter (2010-2014)  
    • 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
      • Executive Committee
    • 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)