Littler Mendelson Opens First International Office in Venezuela

Caracas Location Marks Littler's 50th Office

SAN FRANCISCO (October 18, 2010) – Littler Mendelson, P.C. (Littler), the nation's largest employment and labor law firm representing management, today announced the opening of the firm's first international labor and employment law office in Caracas, Venezuela. The new office will cover all areas of labor and employment law, extending Littler's vast U.S. footprint to the global stage and enhancing its ability to better meet the ever-expanding international needs of its clients. The Caracas office also marks a milestone for Littler as the 50th office to open within the firm's global network.

"Latin America offers the perfect market for opening Littler's first substantive international office," said Marko Mrkonich, Littler's president and managing director. "With an increasing number of global businesses investing in the market, and U.S. companies benefiting from established commercial ties between the two countries, more employers today want access to the high caliber of labor and employment law expertise that Littler is able to provide."

As the first and only specialized labor and employment law firm practicing in the U.S. and South America, Littler brings unique capabilities and a proven track record to the regional market. With the help of local and regional attorneys, Littler will transfer this knowledge and expertise as it serves employers doing business in Venezuela.

The Caracas office will be led by shareholder Juan Carlos Varela, who will be supported by a talented group of attorneys. Varela joins Littler from Squire Sanders & Dempsey, LLP, where he served as the head partner of its Latin American labor practice. Representing many major multinational corporations that do business in the region, Varela specializes in cross border labor and employment matters, dispute resolution, negotiation of collective bargaining agreements and litigation. At Littler's new Venezuela office, Varela will also be joined by Liliana Salazar and Emma Neher, prominent attorneys in the region, as well as a number of more junior associates. Varela, Salazar and Neher have all been recognized by the Chambers directories and other sources in their analyses of the Caracas labor and employment law market.

"Opening our first global office in Latin America is an investment we believe will offer tremendous return when you evaluate the opportunity to enter a burgeoning market, while at the same time aligning ourselves with an attorney of Varela's caliber," said Lori Brown, office managing shareholder of Littler's Miami office. "Juan Carlos brings years of experience and a stellar reputation for providing superior legal services to employers in Latin America."

Varela will be seamlessly linked to the entire network of Littler offices, a feature that enables the firm to better service clients on a global level. In addition to his work in the Venezuela office, Varela will travel to and from Miami as an extension of the services he will provide his Latin-American-based clientele who are doing business in the United States.

"Littler's election to open their first global office in Venezuela marks a tremendous opportunity for the firm to become the number one choice for international corporations throughout the world," said Varela. "I decided to join Littler because I believe that with its platform and its people, we can provide the best labor and employment law services."

The majority of attorneys in the Venezuela office are multilingual; in fact, some of the Caracas staff speak multiple languages. Across Littler's 50 locations, the firm has more than 150 Spanish-speaking attorneys. The new office strengthens the firm's international network and increases the level of communication Littler is able to offer its clients for more efficient workflow.

"We are eager to leverage our global capabilities with our proven track record in the U.S. to bring expert leadership and deep industry knowledge to Latin American employers," said Peter Susser, shareholder in Littler's Washington, D.C. office and head of the firm's International Employment and Labor Law practice group.

"We look forward to working with our new Venezuelan colleagues and integrating their knowledge with our U.S. group's substantial international capabilities," said Philip M. Berkowitz, the U.S. Practice Group Leader of the International Employment and Labor practice group.

About Littler Mendelson

With 800 attorneys and 50 offices, Littler Mendelson is the largest U.S.-based law firm exclusively devoted to representing management in employment and labor law matters. As the only U.S. member of the Ius Laboris global alliance, Littler has extensive resources to address the needs of multi-national clients, from navigating international employment laws and labor relations issues to applying corporate policies worldwide. Established in 1942, the Firm has litigated, mediated and negotiated some of the most influential employment law cases and labor contracts on record. For more information, visit