The Legal 500

Brazil

Editorial

Legal market overview

Despite recent media reports suggesting that the Brazilian economy has gone from boom to bust, the reality is much less dramatic. Although growth has indeed decelerated since the dazzling 7.5% hike recorded in 2010, in 2013 it actually picked up pace: Brazil saw its economy expand by 2.3% that year, up from 0.9% in 2012. That said, the IMF has lowered its forecast for 2014 and currently projects growth of around 1.8%.

Significantly, that sentiment has been echoed across Brazil’s legal market as lawyers anticipate a sluggish upcoming year for businesses; the country’s hosting of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is expected to herald infrastructure headaches and potential civil unrest, which could be further exacerbated by the political uncertainty in the run-up to national elections in October.

Against that backdrop, Brazil’s dynamic legal market is a startling contrast to the perceived inertia of its economy. The country has long provided fertile ground for new start-ups and spin-off firms and the past twelve months has proved no exception.

In March 2013, Galdino Carneiro Advogados was established by Bernardo Carneiro and Flavio Galdino, former partners of the now defunct Xavier Bragança Advogados partners. In early 2014, the firm rebranded as Galdino, Coelho, Mendes, Carneiro Advogados (GCMC) following the arrivals of Sergio Coelho, who joined from Coelho Ancelmo Advogados, and João Mendes de Oliveira Castro, who was formerly an in-house counsel at Opportunity. The new firm will have a strong litigation and insolvency focus.

In 2013, new tax boutique BRATAX – Brazuna, Ruschmann, Piovesan e Soriano Sociedade de Advogados set up shop. The firm was founded by José Luis Ribeiro Brazuna and Cristiano Frederico Ruschmann, both formerly of Dias Carneiro, Arystóbulo, Flores, Sanches e Thomaz Bastos Advogados, as well as Ciro César Soriano de Oliveira, who joined from his own firm Soriano & Woiler, and Fábio Piovesan Bozza, who was previously a partner at Mariz De Oliveira e Siqueira Campos Advogados.

In another notable boutique launch, two highly-rated associates from Veirano Advogados’ top-ranked international trade practice split off to form a new international trade and WTO firm: Claudia Marques Ciavolih and Rodrigo Pupo opened the doors of MPA Trade Law in 2014.

Restructuring and insolvency stalwart Felsberg Advogados has undergone a significant restructuring exercise of its own over the past year. In December 2013 the firm announced an association with Rio de Janeiro-based Vitor Costa Advogados, which will become a full merger in mid-2014. Prior to the combination, the firm has seen a string of high-profile exits and some strategic new hires as it looks to overhaul its business offering.

Among the other market developments in 2013: Stocche Forbes launched a competition practice through the hire of Camila Castanho Girardi from Franceschini e Miranda, Advogados; Koury Lopes Advogados (KLA) absorbed antitrust boutique Gianni Nunes de Araújo Sociedade de Advogados; and energy specialist MMA Lawyers boosted its global reach by entering into a cooperation agreement with US firm Haynes and Boone, L.L.P..

Leading full-service firms Barbosa, Müssnich & Aragão, Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice – Advogados, Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados, Pinheiro Neto Advogados and TozziniFreire Advogados continue to stand out as the market benchmark. However, Brazil houses a strong band of boutique firms that excel in certain niche areas and provide viable alternatives to the market monoliths.

The Brazilian Bar Association restricts close collaboration with foreign firms but some international associations do exist, namely Campos Mello Advogados, which enjoys a cooperation with transatlantic giant DLA Piper LLP, Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown LLP and Trench, Rossi e Watanabe Advogados, associated with Baker & McKenzie.

In terms of general practice trends, the increasing value being seen in the Brazilian market is driving private equity deals as investors move in to snap up competitively-priced assets. On the other hand, M&A deal numbers during 2013 remained below 2010 levels and the equity capital markets remain quiet.

On the competition side, Brazil’s competition authority CADE (Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica) continues to hit the headlines for baring its teeth. As a result, antitrust has become an increasingly important area for law firms and departments are scrambling to beef up their expertise.

Real estate practices have also developed significantly over the past year as sophisticated financial instruments become more commonplace in the market.

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Legal Developments worldwide

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  • China Drug Registration Regulation - Public consultation on amendment closes - March 2014

    In February 2014, the China Food and Drug Administration (“CFDA”) invited second-round comments from the public regarding proposed amendments to the China Drug Registration Regulations (“DRR”). One of the proposed amendments touches upon patent protection for drugs in China.
  • Revised NDRC Measures for Approval and Filing of Outbound Investment Projects - April 2014

    The National Development and Reform Commission ( NDRC ) released a new set of Management Measures for Approval and Filing of Outbound Investment Projects ( 境外投资项目核准和备案管理办法) ( New Measures ) on 8 April 2014. The New Measures take effect on 8 May 2014 and will replace the Interim Management Measures for Approval of Outbound Investment Projects ( 境外投资项目核准暂行管理办法) ( Original Measures ) which have been in force since 9 October 2004.
  • Insurance Update - CIRC Issues Insurance M&A Measures: What are the impacts and applications?

    On 21 March 2014, CIRC issued the Administrative Measures on the Acquisition and Merger of Insurance Companies (the Insurance M&A Measures ) which will take effect from 1 June 2014. The Insurance M&A Measures apply to M&A activities whereby an insurance company is the target for a merger or acquisition. The target insurance company could be either a domestic or a foreign invested insurer. However, the Insurance M&A Measures will not apply to any equity investment by insurance companies in non-insurance companies in China or in overseas insurance companies.
  • China issues new rules to regulate medical devices - May 2014

    The Regulations on Supervision and Administration of Medical Devices (in Chinese《医疗器械监督管理条例》, State Council Order No. 650) (the Medical Device Regulations) were amended by China's State Council on 31 March 2014 and will come into effect on 1 June 2014. This is the first amendment in more than a decade since the Medical Device Regulations were first promulgated in 2000, even though the amendment was initiated eight years ago in 2006. The 2014 amendment unveils reforms on the regulatory regime for medical devices market in China from various aspects.
  • Walking a fine line in China:Distinguishing between legitimate commercial deals and commercial bribe

    China in the 21st century exemplifies an atmosphere of great opportunity and intense competition. Against this backdrop, it has become increasingly common for businesses to adopt a variety of practices in order to make their products and services competitive. Such practices may include paying middle-men to promote sales and giving incentives to buyers directly. However, whilst revenue spikes are undoubtedly welcome, businesses should bear in mind the potential backlash arising out of these commercial arrangements. The risk that such arrangements may not comply with anti-bribery and corruption laws and therefore cause business significant damage in the long term should not be underestimated.
  • Rise of the private healthcare sector - July 2014

    As of 2013, China had 9,800 private hospitals, representing almost half of the total number of hospitals in the country 1 . However, private hospitals still severely lag behind their public peers due to low utilisation, talent shortages and incomplete social insurance coverage. As part of China's ongoing healthcare reform initiatives, the Chinese government has set a goal to increase the share of patients treated by private hospitals to 20% by the end of 2015 2 .
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    On 30 November 2014, the State Council of China released a draft Deposit Insurance Regulation (the Draft), to establish a deposit insurance system in order to "protect interests of depositors, prevent and mitigate financial risks and maintain a stabilised financial system". The public are invited to submit comments on the Draft by 30 December 2014.
  • Tackling bribery: China toughens criminal law - December 2014

    Following earlier reforms of the PRC's anti-corruption rules (for further information, please see our previous briefings published in January 2013 and March 2011 ), the National People's Congress (NPC) has recently published a proposed amendment to the PRC Criminal Law in draft form for public comments (the Draft). The Draft expands the reach of official bribery offences, gives more autonomy to judges to inflict severe punishments, and generally increases the level and type of punishments that can be imposed on individuals who commit bribery offences. It further demonstrates the government's determination to tackle corruption in China.
  • China banking restrictions relaxed: New rules further open banking sector to foreign investors

    The State Council of China recently released amendments to the Foreign Bank Administrative Regulations of China (the Amendments) with effect from 1 January 2015.
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Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
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    Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 It has been around one year and a half since the Eurogroup decisions to recapitalise Bank of Cyprus via a bail-in on 25 th of March 2013. Cyprus has worked hard since then to exit the financial crisis and to maintain its status and reputation as an international financial centre. Within October 2014, several positive developments which took place suggest that Cyprus is on a good path. These positive developments include: /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}
  • Avellum Partners Advised Nadezhda Group on Corporate Restructuring

    Kyiv, 29 December 2014  - Avellum Partners advised Nadezhda Group ("Group"), operating in the liquefied petroleum and gas industry, on tax planning for holding structure of the Group, all legal and tax aspects of corporate restructuring and acquisition finance issues, aimed at obtaining finance from international finance institutions ("IFIs").
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    Schoenherr advised AIM Software Group ("AIM") on the receipt of an investment from and transfer of a majority interest to U.S.-based private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe ("WCAS"). AIM is a leading provider of data management software products to the financial services industry. Under the terms of the transaction, which was announced on 14 January 2015, AIM's existing management team will continue to operate the business and maintain a significant ownership stake in the company. WCAS is also investing primary capital in the business which will be used to further accelerate AIM's expansion.  read more...