Jesus Villegas

Jesús Villegas Ruiz

Baker & McKenzie, S.C.


Jesús advises domestic and multinational companies on the full scope of corporate transactions, including corporate governance matters, compliance and internal investigations, and marketing and regulatory law. He has a strong track record of providing insightful advice to companies on regulatory and business law matters. Jesús is a professor at various renowned universities in Venezuela and has been recognized and awarded for his work on compliance studies in Venezuela.

Practice Focus

Jesús has handled regulatory clearance for complex and unique transactions and business projects. In his practice, Jesús has advised regarding complex internal investigations, assisted in corporate governance matters, and provided strategic advice regarding regulatory law. Also, he has advised on the most complex antitrust issues for his clients and their regulatory implications. Jesús works closely with clients to develop a deep understanding of their business, positioning himself to provide the answer and assist each client in finding the right and workable business solution. Jesus focuses his practice on several industries, including consumer goods and retail; hotels, resorts, tourism; healthcare and life sciences; oil & gas; and industrials; and manufacturing and transportation.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Led the legal team that closed a cross-border transaction between companies in Barbados with tax implications for a Venezuelan corporation for a transaction worth USD 20 million.
  • Led the legal team that set the legal strategy that won in the Supreme Court union litigation for an important FMCG corporation in Venezuela.
  • Leading sanctions counsel for an international company in Venezuela and provided critical legal advice to mitigate business sanctions risk exposure.
  • Led the initiative to legally transfer an important trademark in protecting an FMCG corporation worth USD 5 million.
  • Counseled and led a special team to analyze and implement VAT in foreign currency for commercial operations for an important FMCG corporation.
  • Counseled and implemented a worldwide project for anti-bribery screening for business suppliers for an important corporation in Venezuela.
  • Counseled an important FMCG company in selling all the IP assets and licensing in Venezuela in a transaction worth USD 60 million.
  • Represented and implemented a legal strategy for an expropriated hotel in its judicial trial against the Ministry of Defense.

Professional Honors

  • Premio de la Academia de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales de Venezuela "Dr. José Santiago Nuñez Aristimuño"
  • Municipal honor for Lawyer's Day in honor of Henrique Iribarren Monteverde by the Legislative Council of Baruta Municipality, Jul 2023

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Caracas Bar Association
  • Venezuelan Society of Commercial Law (SOVEDEM)
  • Venezuelan Compliance Association

Corporate Responsibility

Pro bono advisor to Fundación Educación e Innovación Industrial (FUNDEI) regarding its corporate governance structure to accomplish its social and educational purposes to the community.

Pro bono advisor to the Fundación Red de Historia Digital Venezolana, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and preserving Venezuela's cultural heritage through digitizing at-risk historical archives.


  • Venezuela (2015)


  • IESA School of Management (Master of Business Administration) (2023)
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School (Master of Comparative Law) (2018)
  • University of Pennsylvania Wharton School (Certificate in Business and Law) (2018)
  • Boston University School of Law (LLM) (2017)
  • Harvard University Law School (Program on Negotiation, Mediation & Conflict Management) (2017)
  • Central University of Venezuela (JD, magna cum laude) (2015)


  • English
  • Spanish
  • Speaker, “Compliance, risk assessment, and technology”, First Meeting of Compliance Experts, Caracas, Venezuela, December 2022
  • Author, "Derecho económico y programas de cumplimiento," Revista Electrónica de Derecho Administrativo Venezolano - CIDEP, 2022
  • Speaker, “Challenges in Regulatory Compliance in Venezuela”, Sociedad Venezolana de Derecho Mercantil, November 2022
  • Speaker, “Masterclass on Compliance & Regulatory Analysis for Enterprises” at the Central University of Venezuela, Master of Private International Law, November 2022
  • Author, "Algunos problemas de cumplimiento trasnacional," Anuario de la Maestría de Derecho Internacional Privado y Comparado No. 4 de la Universidad Central de Venezuela, 2022
  • Speaker, “Good Corporate Practices and Compliance in Venezuela”, Legal Committee of the British Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce, July 2022