Barnola, Jose

José P. Barnola, Jr.


José P. Barnola Jr. joined Baker McKenzie in 1996 and became partner in 2003. He is a senior member of the Venezuela tax practice group and has extensive experience in tax advice, transactional tax and tax litigation.

José has authored over 20 legal articles on several tax issues published in Venezuela, United States and Canada (see list in and has over 18 years experience as tax law professor. He has written and spoken on personal property, cross-border distribution activities, corporate reorganizations, VAT, tax litigation, employee taxation and other hot topics of the Venezuelan tax system.  Since 2018 José is based in Mexico City on a special temporary assignment of the Firm, providing complex planning and transactional investment protection and tax advice, especially for the oil and gas industry, and doing tax litigation in Venezuela and Mexico.

José is the Latin America representative in Baker McKenzie's Consumer Goods & Retail Industry Group Global Steering Committee and Tax Dispute Resolution Global Steering Committee, in charge of designing and implementing the global, regional and local strategic plans of the Firm.

Practice Focus

José advises clients on federal, state and municipal taxation, income tax, VAT and international taxation matters, tax planning and tax litigation; wealth management; mergers and acquisitions; corporate reorganizations, investment protection; project financing; e-commerce, telecommunications, mining, and oil and gas taxation; trust, probate and estate planning; and transfer pricing planning and litigation.

He has extensive experience representing clients before the Venezuelan Tax Courts and the Supreme Court. His clients include Venezuela’s largest mining company and several oil, oil service and industrial, commercial and financial companies and, multilatinas and multinational companies doing business in Venezuela.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advised on the structuring of extra heavy oil strategic associations and acted as tax and legal counsel for several light and medium oil profit sharing associations (association agreements for exploration at risk and profit sharing exploitation) and third round oil operating services agreements.
  • Acted as general counsel for Venezuela’s largest gold mine and a wide variety of other industrial projects.
  • Advised several multinational companies in the tax litigation before the Venezuelan tax courts and Supreme Court, including the representation of multinational oil companies in tax litigation against deficiency assessments regarding the tax treatment applicable to association agreements for the exploration at risk and profit sharing exploitation.
  • Advised several multinational companies in the tax consequences derived from the engineering, procurement, and construction contracts for oil and mining facilities entered into with private companies, the Venezuelan government and state-owned companies.
  • Assisted several multinational companies regarding merger & acquisitions, capitalization, corporate reorganizations and post-acquisition integration.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Caracas Bar Association
  • International Fiscal Association
  • Venezuela Tax Association - Member of the editorial board of "Revista de Derecho Tributario"
  • Venezuelan Finance Law Association
  • Venezuelan Institute of Procedural Law


  • Venezuela (1994)


  • Universidad Central de Venezuela (LLM Taxation dissertation approved with honors) (2000)
  • Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (JD cum laude) (1993)


  • English
  • Spanish