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The ‘experienced’ eight-partner banking and finance group at Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados has recently handled numerous debt restructurings. Its client portfolio includes banks such as Banco Bradesco, Banco do Brasil and Itaú Unibanco, as well as other financial institutions and insurers. On the borrower side, the firm advised Vale Canada on securing a €200m public loan from the French Republic. Another highlight was assisting ABBI, the Brazilian national association of international banks, in commenting on the proposed regulation of cybersecurity and the hiring of IT services by financial institutions. Renato Gomes Ribeiro Maggio is ‘a great choice for complex financing agreements’, and is recommended along with José Ribeiro do Prado Júnior and Adriano Schnur Gabriel Ferreira. Nei Schilling Zelmanovits and Eduardo Avila de Castro head the team.

Pinheiro Guimarães – Advogados is held in high regard by clients and peers alike, typically handling large cross-border financings as well as regulatory and compliance matters. In 2017 it acted for a syndicate of banks including Standard Chartered Bank, Société Générale and Rabobank in the renegotiation of R$2.7bn debt held by energy group Usaçúcar. Also on the lender side, the team assisted Citibank and Export Development Canada in relation to a $100m loan granted to a group of energy distributors. Plinio Pinheiro Guimarães Neto and Francisco José Pinheiro Guimarães head the 15-partner group, which includes Ivie Moura Alves, Francisco Pinheiro Guimarães Neto and Fabio Couto.

The ‘service-oriented’ banking and finance group at Brazilian powerhouse Pinheiro Neto Advogados acts for large banks and asset managers. It assisted five Brazilian banks, including Banco do Brasil and Itaú Unibanco, in the formation of a joint venture for the aggregation and processing of data to improve the process of granting, pricing and directing credit lines. Another highlight was advising fintech company Neon Pagamentos, which formed a joint venture with Banco Neon, on the creation of new banking products for money transfer and debit/credit card solutions; the advice was led by Bruno Balduccini, who heads the group together with José Luiz Homem de Mello. Tiago Araujo Dias Themudo Lessa and Fernando de Almeida Prado are also recommended.

Cescon, Barrieu, Flesch & Barreto Advogados’ wide-ranging practice ‘commands respect and credibility in the market’. It advised BNP Paribas, as initial lender of record, on the R$2.9bn financing granted to the State of Rio de Janeiro: a complex transaction involving a local financing, a cross-border financing and a local securitisation. The team also acted for Porto Sudeste do Brasil on its R$1.8bn debt restructuring, and assisted Neoenergia in relation to a term-loan facility financing provided to subsidiaries. Notable practitioners within the 14-partner group include Alexandre Gossn Barreto, Ronald Herscovici, Maurício Teixeira dos Santos, Ana Paula Calil and Eduardo Abrantes. Joaquim José Aceturi de Oliveira has ‘strong negotiating and client skills’, and Daniel Laudisio has ‘an eye for detail’.

Areas of focus for Demarest Advogados’ ‘well-prepared’ team include debt restructuring, and a recent highlight in this area was advising new client BNY Mellon on the restructuring of R$2bn debt related to the construction of a private terminal in the port of Santos. The group also regularly advises on syndicated loan structures, and has specialist expertise in the agribusiness and automotive sectors. Clients include Banco do Brasil, Banco Votorantim, Bradesco, ING Bank, Santander and Wells Fargo. António Manuel França Aires is ‘a reference in the market for banking matters’, and senior associate Marcelo Simon Ikeziri is able to ‘simplify complex matters’. They are recommended along with Antonio Giglio Neto and practice head Fabio de Almeida Braga.

Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados has a broad banking and finance practice including regulatory matters and project finance. It recently advised Goldman Sachs and Fortress Investment Group on a cross-border, multi-currency transaction involving the increase of Nubank’s credit line to R$455m; Renato Schermann Ximenes de Melo led the advice on this, and also assisted Visa in developing an internal regulatory framework concerning authorisation proceedings for payment schemes and card networks. Having ‘excellent negotiator’ Marina Anselmo Schneider as an adviser ‘makes a difference in a complex finance deal’, and project finance expert Pablo Sorj is ‘particularly good’. Also recommended are Alex Hatanaka, who specialises in administrative proceedings, and José Eduardo Carneiro Queiroz.

Veirano Advogados has particular expertise in project finance, with São Paulo based Ana Carolina Barretto regularly handling multibillion-dollar projects. In other work, she and Lior Pinsky advised development finance institution DEG on entering into a loan agreement with Waelzholz Brasmetal Laminação. Rio de Janeiro based practice head Marcelo Mattos, who provides ‘excellent and timely advice’, is experienced in cross-border matters and recently advised JPMorgan Chase, as administrative agent, on the amendment and restatement of a revolving credit agreement provided to companies in the Alcoa group. Rogério Campos made partner in January 2018.

Recent work for the ‘very talented’ lawyers at BMA - Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão includes assisting Abengoa in the renegotiation of debt with over 3,000 creditors, and advising primary copper producer Paranapanema on the refinancing of its obligations with 11 banks. On the lender side, clients include BHP Billiton, Banco PSA and Banco BTG Pactual. The team is also active in M&A transactions involving financial institutions. Rafael D’Avilla Dutra is experienced in infrastructure financings; Paulo Figueiredo is notable for his work with fintech companies; and Anna Carolina de Oliveira Malta is increasingly active in the area of corporate compliance. Camila Goldberg leads the 16-strong group.

Stocche Forbes Advogados’ nearly 40-strong banking and finance team ‘thinks outside the box to find solutions’, and is active across corporate lending, real estate finance and regulatory matters. It advised a syndicate of commercial banks, including Banco do Brasil and Caixa Econômica Federal, on the restructuring of financing facilities granted to Nextel Telecomunicações, which included the extension of the payment schedule and the inclusion of new collateral and equity support arrangements. Miriam Signor, Henrique Bonjardim Filizzola and Guilherme Forbes are recommended along with the ‘trustworthy’ Marcos Canecchio Ribeiro. Marcos Castro and Paulo Padis have both left the firm.

TozziniFreire Advogados regularly advises financial institutions on the negotiation and execution of loan agreements. Among its recent acquisition finance work, it advised JP Morgan Chase, Banco Santander and BBVA Bancomer on granting a $1.3bn bridge loan to Mexican dairy company Grupo Lala, which acquired Vigor Alimentos. Other clients include Banco do Brasil, Bank of America, development finance institution DEG, and the IFC. Antonio Felix de Araujo Cintra and the ‘skilled’ Alexei Bonamin are recommended.

Campos Mello Advogados has a strong focus on finance transactions; the ‘hardworking’ and ‘very responsive’ team is ‘extremely knowledgeable on finance and regulatory matters and can provide in-depth legal analysis on difficult issues’. In 2017, the group assisted Banco do Brasil as borrower in relation to a $500m international loan transaction with the International Investment Corporation and the Inter-American Development Bank. Practice head Roberto Vianna do Rego Barros is ‘extremely hands-on’, and has particular expertise in non-performing loan transactions. ‘Very dedicated’ associate Jorge Luiz Gallo is ‘accessible and precise’.

Dias Carneiro Advogados’ banking, credit and project finance practice is particularly noted for its projects and infrastructure work and its strong expertise in renewable energy, but it is active in a range of other areas; its recent work includes advising the International Investment Corporation and the Inter-American Development Bank on a $500m loan granted to Banco do Brasil. Thiago Vallandro Flores leads the team.

Lefosse Advogados handles regulatory work as well as structured and project finance transactions, and has a strong roster of domestic and international clients including Banco Bradesco BBI, Banco Itaú BBA and Commerzbank. Practice head Renata Cardoso is ‘very experienced’.

Levy & Salomão handles transactional and regulatory work, including project finance. It advised Novelis on granting a guarantee for a term loan to its parent company and on restructuring its debt. The group also acts as day-to-day adviser to small financial institutions such as Banco Rodobens, which engaged the team for advice on new financial products and transactional support. Eduardo Salomão Neto and Luiz Roberto de Assis are the two partners in the team.

Perlman Vidigal Godoy Advogados is highly experienced in structured finance, and also handles cross-border financings and regulatory matters. It recent advised on the ruling proposal for fintech credit and the structuring of other fintech-related transactions. Clients include Banco BMG, Banco Itaú BBA and XP Investimentos. Name partners Marcelo Giovanni Perlman and Rubens de Camargo Vidigal Neto deliver ‘excellent client service’.

Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown regularly advises syndicated lenders on loans to Brazilian companies, and is experienced in cross-border financings. The team has been active in debt restructuring, advising clients such as Banco Bradesco, Banco Santander, Banco Rabobank, Itaú Unibanco and GE Capital. The latter instructed the team on the debt restructuring of Queiroz Galvão Energia and other companies in the group. Eduardo Lima is the name to note.

Cascione, Pulino, Boulos & Santos Advogados provides ‘a very high service level’, with strong expertise in structured finance and debt restructurings. It advised Rede D’Or on drafting a cross-border loan agreement related to a $210m secured credit facility granted by the IFC, a loan agreement granted by Citibank and a derivative agreement; and assisted residential construction company Rossi Residencial in the restructuring of R$1.2bn debt. Marcos Pulino has ‘tremendous technical knowledge’, and Fábio Cascione is ‘clear and smart’. Regulatory expert Marcelo Padua, who also handles means-of-payment, foreign exchange, new financial products and fintech, among other matters, was promoted to partner as of July 2018. The firm has also hired Paulo Fernando Campana Filho to head-up the restructuring and insolvency practice.

KLA-Koury Lopes Advogados is particularly strong in the real estate sector, regularly advising borrowers on development and construction financing. A highlight was advising Iguatemi Empresas de Shopping Centers on inter-company loan transactions. Fernanda Levy is ‘detail-oriented’, and Ricardo Higashitani is ‘helpful’.

Lobo de Rizzo Advogados’ banking and finance, capital markets and projects teams work very closely together, and are active in the infrastructure sector. Other work included advising Itaú Unibanco and Banco Rabobank on a credit capitalisation transaction with Óleoplan in order to finance the company’s export activities. Milton Pinatti and Fabrizio de Oliveira Sasdelli are the names to note.

Trench Rossi Watanabe provides ‘very good technical and business-oriented advice’, and is consistently praised for its responsiveness. Helen Naves, who ‘understands a client’s business challenges’, recently advised Transmissora Sul Litorânea de Energia on the long-term project financing entered into with Brazilian development bank BNDES. Carolina Secches, Luís Alberto Laboissière Ambrósio and José Augusto Martins are also recommended.

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