Barnola, Jose

José P. Barnola, Jr.

Baker & McKenzie Abogados, S.C.
Admitted to practice in Venezuela


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 counsel of the tax practice group in Mexico, and has extensive experience in tax advice, transactional tax and tax litigation.

José has authored over 30 legal articles on several legal and tax issues published in Venezuela, United States, Canada and México (see list in and has over 18 years' experience as tax law professor. He has written and spoken on investment protection and tax planning, cross-border distribution activities, corporate reorganizations, VAT, tax litigation, employee taxation and other hot topics of the Venezuelan tax system.

Since 2018, José has been based in Baker McKenzie's office in Mexico City on a special temporary assignment, where he provides complex planning and transactional investment protection and tax advice, especially for the oil and gas industry, as well as tax litigation. José is the Latin America representative in Baker McKenzie's 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, investment protection and tax planning and litigation; wealth management; mergers and acquisitions; corporate reorganizations, 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 several oil, oil service and industrial, commercial and financial companies, 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 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 mergers and acquisitions, capitalization, corporate reorganizations and post-acquisition integration. 

Professional Honors

  • Chambers & Partners, Band 3
  • The Legal 500, Tier 1 

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
  • Asociación de Empresarios Venezolanos en México (AEVM) 

Corporate Responsibility

  • Venezuelan Golf Federation - chairman of the board in charge of the election of the Board of Directors, responsible for coordinating the election, preparing and stamping the respective minutes, and following-up the results with the National Sports Institute (Instituto Nacional del Deporte-IND) - 2017


  • Venezuela (1994)


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


  • English
  • Spanish
  • Author, “El sistema venezolano de retención del impuesto al valor agregado, otro caso para la teratología jurídica," en Libro Homenaje al Profesor Eugenio Hernández-Bretón, Dec. 2019, Editorial Jurídica Venezolana, Baker McKenzie, Caracas, 2019, Tomo III, pp. 2087-2132.
  • Co-author, "Mexico Signs the ICSID Convention: An Additional Mechanism to Enforce Foreign Investors' Rights," May 13, 2019, Finance Publications Offshore.
  • Co-author, "México firma el Convenio del CIADI: Un mecanismo para hacer valer los derechos de los inversionistas extranjeros", Nov. 18, 2018, Puntos Finos, Revista Especializada de Consulta Fiscal (Thomson Reuters Checkpoint, Año XIII, Vol. CXXXIX, No. 280, Noviembre 2018, Mexico, pp. 96-100)
  • Author, "El tratamiento del transporte internacional desde el punto de vista del impuesto al valor agregado venezolano" in Revista de Derecho Tributario, No. 152, 2017, Asociación Venezolana de Derecho Tributario, Caracas.
  • Author, "Basic operation of VAT in Venezuela", in Tax Planning International-Indirect Taxes, Vol. 11, No. 4, Apr. 2013, Bloomberg BNA.