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Omar García-Bolívar

Omar García-Bolívar

Omar García-Bolívar is a lawyer graduated cum laude from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Venezuela, with graduate studies in political science from Universidad Simón Bolívar in Venezuela, Masters in Law from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Masters in Philosophy and Ph.D studies in Law and Foreign Investment from University of Edinburgh in 1997 where he was a "chevening scholar".

He is an expert at analyzing and reforming legal and regulatory frameworks to create an investment climate to attract foreign investments. Mr García-Bolívar has vast experience throughout Latin America and the Caribbean advising countries in the areas of legal reforms, investment and trade promotion and investment climate enhancement strategies. He has been involved in projects pertaining legal reform in company, contract, real property, registry and foreign investment law. Recently he was responsible for assessing the commercial law of the Central American countries as part of an USAID project pertaining CAFTA preparation. He has also managed projects related to investment promotion and trade barriers reduction, trade capacity and cluster development. He has also trained government officials on using legal and policy tools to attract foreign investment. Recently he has been involved as a subcontractor to ARD, Inc and on behalf of USAID in assisting the United Nations High Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor on the analysis of the commercial law issues that affect the poor.  He has been involved in legal reform projects in many developing countries. More recently he has led the drafting teams of the Business Licensing Law of the Kingdom of Lesotho and of the Corporate Restructuring Law of El Salvador. He led the team in charge of business license reform of Mozambique. More currently he is involved in a commercial legal reform to incorporate informal businesses in Panama.

Mr García-Bolívar has extensive experience advising firms about the legal benefits and restrictions associated with the oil, petrochemical, telecommunications and mining industries. He has advised foreign investors entering Latin America about the regulatory issues involved with doing business in Latin America and provided managers with advice on organizational issues. He has conducted more than 20 due diligences for major transnational companies in emerging markets in different industries such as oil and gas, mining, telecom and apparel. He has served as expert witness about rule of law in Latin America and about international law of foreign investment. He is member of the council of advisors of Gerson Lehrman Group.

He is an arbitrator before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a member of the American Arbitration Association International Panel, listed in the ICC Arbitrator Database and member of the Panama- Taiwan trade agreement dispute resolution board and the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission. He is an associate Editor of Transnational Dispute Management, and Member of the Washington, DC Bar International Dispute Resolution Committee Working Group on Transparency/Accountability in Investment Treaty Arbitration. As an expert witness he has provided testimony in numerous trials and arbitrations on Latin American law, rule of law and judicial independence, for which he has been cited in judgments such as United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, CASE NO.: 07-22693-CIV-HUCK.

Mr García-Bolívar is professional fellow of the Law Institute of the Americas at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He was professor of Commercial Law at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello Law School. He was a professor of International Law of Foreign Investments in a graduate program for International Economic Law at Universidad Central de Venezuela. In 1999, he was invited by the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA) to design and teach a course on Business Organizations for the Corporate Legal Management program which are still taught today. He has lectured at Georgetown University Law School, The George Washington University, American University, Harvard University, the Washington D.C. Bar and the Interamerican Bar Association, Washington University at Saint Luis Missouri, University of Edinburgh and University of Oslo, the Madrid, Spain Bar Association, Frankfurt at the 50 years of BITs conference, The University of Tokyo, The University of Sidney, University of South Africa and University of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Peruvian American Chamber of Commerce.

He is Chair of the Inter-American Legal Affairs Committee of the International Law Section of the Washington, DC Bar. He is a member of American Society of International Law, International Bar Association and American Bar Association. He has been admitted to practice law in Venezuela, New York, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Court of International Trade. He is listed in the Marquis Who's who in American law of 2005.

He is a founding partner of BG Consulting Inc.


• Co-author "Venezuelan Competition Law", International Business Lawyer, London, November 1993, Vol. 21, No. 10.
• "De la disolución de las sociedades mercantiles", Revista de la Fundación de la Procuraduría General de la República, No. 11, 1994, reimpreso en Revista de la Facultad de Derecho de Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, No. 52, 1998.
• Co-author "Mergers and Acquisitions in Venezuela" in International Mergers - The Antitrust Process (Rowley & Baker eds. 2nd. Edition. 1996).
• "El perjuicio en la Legislación Venezolana sobre prácticas desleales del Comercio Internacional".
R. UCV, 96, Octubre 1995.
• "Legal framework for oil and gas operations in Venezuela", Venezuela Today, June, 1996.
• Co-author "Consideraciones sobre la suspensión de las garantías constitucionales". R. UCV. No. 102, Mayo 1997.
• Co-author "Mining Law in Venezuela", Mining Journal, Volume 330, March 6, 1998.
• "Sector privado y petróleo en la economía venezolana: ¿los venezolanos pueden ser dueños del petróleo?", R. UCV, 105, 1997.
• "El Estado, el petróleo y los individuos. Tres dimensiones de la economía venezolana", Caracas, 1998.
• "Posibilidades y Aspectos para un Acuerdo Multilateral de Inversiones Extranjeras", Revista de Derecho Internacional Económico, No. 3, 1998.
• Mining in Venezuela: Investment opportunities, in World Markets Series, Business Briefing, Latin American Mining ∓ Mineral Extraction, 1999.
• Co-author "Overview of the Venezuelan real estate legal regime" on newsletter on Real Estate Law of the International Bar Association, Volume 3, No. 2, November 1999.
• Co-author, Marco legal ambiental Latinoamericano, en Revista Foro Minero, Marzo, 2000
• Telecommunications in Venezuela, ITU's Telecom Review, Rio de Janeiro, 2000.
• Co-author "The new wave: Organic Law on Telecommunications", International Business Lawyer, London, September 2000, Vol. 28, No. 8, pp 374.
• El Capital de los Pobres, Venezuela Analítica, marzo 2002.
• La jurisdicción del Centro Internacional de Arreglos de Disputas de Inversiones (CIADI), Revista de Derecho Internacional y MERCOSUR, Year 8, Volume 1, 2004, electronically published in Revista Iberoamerica de Arbitraje y Mediación, November 3, 2003.
• Foreign Investment Disputes under ICSID: A review of its decisions on jurisdiction. The Journal of World Investment, February 2004.
• Entre libertad e igualdad: una propuesta para Venezuela.
Revista de Tribunal Supremo de Justicia No. 24, August, 2007
• Comments on some ICSID decisions on jurisdiction. International Business Lawyer, August 2004.
• La jurisprudence récente concernant la juridiction du Centre International pour le règlement des différends relatifs aux Investissements (CIRDI). 2004.
• New ICSID cases on jurisdiction. Oil, Gas and Energy Law Intelligence, Volume 2, Issue 2, April 2004.
• G3 Agreement: A Comparison of its Investment Chapter with the Emerging International Law of Foreign Investment. Law and Business Review of the Americas, forthcoming Vol. 11:1 Winter 2005 issue.
• Co-author. Levantamiento del velo corporativo: una aproximación global a la doctrina del desconocimiento de la personalidad jurídica de las sociedades mercantiles. Ensayos de Derecho Mercantil, Libro Homenaje a Jorge Enrique Núñez, Colección Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, Caracas, Venezuela, 2004.
• ICSID Decision on Jurisdiction in AZURIX and Tokios, Transnational Dispute Management, June 2004.
• The recent jurisprudence on ICSID jurisdiction as of June 2004. The Interamerican Bar Association Law Review, Vol I, 2005
• Arbitraje internacional en contra de sentencias definitivas de casación y amparo?
El caso ante CIADI para inversionistas extranjeros de algunos países, Revista de Tribunal Supremo de Justicia No. 15, Caracas, Venezuela, Febrero 2005
• Burgeoning ICSID decisions, Oil, Gas and Energy Law Intelligence, Volume 2, Issue 4, October 2004, and Transnational Dispute Management, Volume I, Issue 4, October 2004.
• Co-author. The rise of international investment arbitration in Latin America, Latin America Law and Business Report, World Trade executive, volume 12, number 12, December 2004.
• Co-author. Comparison Chart on arbitrators' standards of conduct. Transnational Dispute Management, and World Trade & Investment Materials, 17(3), 2005.
• The Teleology of International Investment Law: The Role of Purpose in the Interpretation of the International Investment Agreements, The Journal of World Trade and Investment, Vol 6:5, October, 2005.
• Preparing for CAFTA-DR: The Need of Commercial Law Reform in Central America.
Forthcoming 2006. Express Preprint Series. Working Paper 868.
• El objeto y propósito de la Convención CIADI a la luz del caso Tokios Tokeles contra Ucrania.
The Interamerican Bar Association Law Review, Volume II, 2005.
• Comparing Arbitrator Standards Of Conduct In International Commercial And Investment Disputes, Dispute Resolution Journal, Vol 60:4, November 2005.
• The issue of a foreign company wholly owned by national shareholders in the context of ICSID arbitration, Transnational Dispute Management, Vol 2:5, November 2005.
• El Derecho Internacional de Inversiones Extranjeras en Venezuela: los acuerdos, la ley y la jurisprudencia. 2007.
• El desconocimiento de la personalidad jurídica del inversionista corporativa en la jurisprudencia del Derecho Internacional de Inversiones Extranjeras.
Revista Internacional de Arbitraje, # 6, 2006.
• Enforcement of contract in Central America: Is arbitration a viable alternative to solve disputes? Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas. Vol XII, N 2, 2006.
• Co-Author Formalization, legal reform, and empowerment of the poor: overview and issues paper, USAID, 2006.
• Informal economy: is it a problem, a solution or both? The perspective of the informal business, Northwestern University School of Law, Law and Economics papers, 2006 and Expresso Preprint Series, paper 1065, 2006.
• Investor-State disputes in Latin America: a judgment on the interaction between arbitration, property rights protection and economic development, Law and Business Review of the Americas, Volume 13, Number 1, Page 67, 2006.
• International Legal Protections for Property Rights in Latin America, Volume 14, Number 05, Latin America Law and Business Report, May 31 2006.
• Co-author. Legal Empowerment of the poor: from concepts to measurement, USAID, 2007.
• A broader definition of legal empowerment of the poor, Oslo, Norway 2007, forthcoming.
• Is the International Law of Foreign Investment in need of reform?, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 2007, forthcoming.
• El arbitraje en el marco de la Ley de Promoción y Protección de Inversiones: las posibles interpretaciones, Caracas, Venezuela, 2007.

·   The law as a poverty fighting instrument: reflections on law, development and empowerment of the poor, ExpressO (2008).

·   International Law of Foreign Investment at a crossroads: the need to reform, ExpressO (2008). Reprinted by the ICFAI (Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India) University.

·   The surge of investment disputes: Latin America testing the international law of foreign investments, Asian Society of International Law, Tokyo, 2009.

·   The Latin American struggle with the international law of foreign investment: is it a demand for a more balanced system?, Transnational Dispute Management, 2009.

·   Nociones básicas del Derecho Internacional de Inversiones Extranjeras, 2009.

·   Una aproximación crítica al Derecho Internacional de Inversiones, 2009.

·   Simplification of administrative procedures and secured transaction laws as tools to empower informal businesses, Academic Network for Legal Empowerment of the Poor Workshop, Uganda, September 2009.

·   Economic development at the core of the international investment law regime, University of Sydney Law School, February 2010.

·   Sovereignty v. Investment protection: back to Calvo? In 50 years of BITs book. ICSID. 2010.

·   Protected Investment And Protected Investors: The Outer Limits of ICSID’s Reach, Trade Law and Development Journal, India, 2010.

·   Ethics in International Arbitration: Comparing Arbitrator Standards of Conduct in International Commercial, Trade and Investment Disputes, in AAA handbook on International Arbitration Practice, 2010.

·   Talking points: dispute resolution in Latin America, Financier Worldwide, Oct. 2010.

Some publications are available at:


He was weekly contributor to daily Venezuelan newspaper Economía Hoy since August 1997 until March 2000 and occasionally for Venezuelan El Universal. He has been interviewed many times by CNN, ABC and Newsweek.

He has command of Spanish, English, French and Portuguese.

He was born in June 17, 1965 and is married and father of two children. Omar is also an avid marathon runner and contributes in many children charities.

Email: omargarcia@bg-consulting.com

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