Venezuela’s Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) v. Helsinge Inc.


Holland & Knight successfully defended client Helsinge Inc., an energy advisory and trading firm, and its owners against bribery claims brought by Venezuela’s Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) through a special “litigation trust.”

On March 8, U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles found that the trust did not have standing to pursue the claims and its assignment of claims were of “questionable authenticity and legality.”

“While the court is mindful of the suffering of the people of Venezuela and severity of the allegations against defendants, it cannot create standing where there is none,” stated Judge Mr. Gayles.

In addition to Helsinge, the PDVSA litigation trust also named Colonial Group Inc., Glencore Ltd., Lukoil Petroleum Ltd., Masefield AG, Trafigura AG and Vitol SA and several subsidiaries in its suit.

Holland & Knight advised Helsinge Inc. with Alex Gonzalez (Picture), Israel Encinosa and Brian Briz.

Involved fees earner: Brian Briz – Holland & Knight; Israel Encinosa – Holland & Knight; Alex Gonzalez – Holland & Knight;

Law Firms: Holland & Knight;

Clients: Helsinge Inc.;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti