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Brazil > Bankruptcy and restructuring > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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  1. Bankruptcy and restructuring
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Felsberg Advogados is well regarded for its debtor-side practice, and continues to represent domestic and international companies in high-value reorganisation cases. It acted for Tonon Group in a court-supervised proceeding to restructure its $750m debt; Thomas Benes Felsberg, Paulo Fernando Campana Filho and Pedro Henrique Torres Bianchi took lead roles. On the creditor side, the team acted for an ad hoc group of bondholders in the reorganisation proceeding of Aralco. Distressed M&A also features in the department’s workload.

Pinheiro Guimarães – Advogados’ extensive experience in debt refinancing and restructuring and its longstanding relationships with leading banks ensure a strong flow of work. A São Paulo based team including Francisco José Pinheiro Guimarães, Ivie Moura Alves and Cristina Tomiyama advised Itaú as creditor in connection with the restructuring of Odebrecht’s R$490m debt. Also in the São Paulo office is Eduardo Augusto Mattar, who comes recommended. The firm’s Rio de Janeiro office is also active in this space, with Plinio Pinheiro Guimarães Neto a key figure.

Pinheiro Neto Advogados fields three partners dedicated to restructuring and insolvency work, and draws on the expertise of 25 others with experience in the area. Among its leading names is Giuliano Colombo, who is considered ‘one of the top bankruptcy lawyers in Brazil’. Colombo is representing an ad hoc committee of bondholders and the Sawiris Group in the judicial reorganisation of Oi, which is the largest ever filed in Brazil. Luiz Fernando Valente de Paiva and André Moraes Marques have been acting for a syndicate of banks and the main creditor of Zamin Mineração in the negotiation of a reorganisation plan.

Well-known boutique Renato Mange Advogados Associados specialises in the representation of debtors in judicial and extra-judicial reorganisations and other bankruptcy matters. Its recent clients span numerous areas of the economy, including the fashion, automotive, and food and beverage sectors. Highlights in 2016 included representing GEP Indústria e Comércio in its restructuring. Name partner and leading figure Renato Luiz de Macedo Mange heads the four-partner team.

While Demarest Advogados has a strong track record with financial institutions, which turn to the team for representation in high-stake restructurings, its client base also extends to corporate clients – both debtors and creditors. In the widely reported restructuring of OAS Group, António Manuel França Aires and others are representing Banco Caixa Geral and Votorantim Cimentos as creditors owed over R$2bn. Celso Xavier has a strong focus on judicial restructuring, and is acting for Banco Credit Agricole in the judicial reorganisation of Abengoa. Senior associates Maria Isabel Fontana and Guilherme Fontes Bechara are also active members of the team, regularly taking key roles on major cases.

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados covers the gamut of bankruptcy and restructuring matters, from judicial recovery and out-of-court proceedings to non-performing loan portfolio acquisitions and distressed M&A. In an indication of the firm’s investment in the area, Renata Martins de Oliveira was promoted to the partnership in 2016. Renato Gomes Ribeiro Maggio is another leading figure in the multi-disciplinary team, and worked alongside José Ribeiro do Prado Júnior and Adriano Schnur Ferreira in representing a group of creditors in the restructuring of Odebrecht’s financial indebtedness.

The restructuring and insolvency team at Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados works alongside members of the firm’s banking, M&A and litigation departments, and was bolstered by the arrival of Alex Hatanaka from Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2016. Creditors and investors account for a high proportion of the team’s client base, although it also has experience representing companies in financial distress. A team led by Marcelo Ricupero acted for a group of private creditors in relation to the high-profile restructuring of Oi.

The ‘extremely engaged, available and professional’ team at Veirano Advogados saw an increased number of out-of-court restructurings during 2016, and remained active in judicial restructurings. Recent engagements include Sérgio Bronstein’s representation of Santander in Colombo’s extra-judicial reorganisation, and Gustavo Moraes Stolagli’s representation of several Japanese banks in the restructuring of Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas. Ricardo Gama, senior counsel Cássio Cavalli and senior associate Eduardo Wanderley are recommended.

The team at BMA – Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão expanded with the hire of Sergio Savi from Castro, Barros, Sobral, Gomes Advogados in 2016; ‘very client oriented’, Savi ‘easily understands clients’ needs’. 2016 saw the team further increase its debtor-side work, most notably with the representation of Oi in its R$65bn restructuring, on which Felipe Evaristo dos Santos Galea took a lead role. On the creditor side, the team – again led by Galea – represented a substantial grouping of creditors in the judicial restructuring proceeding filed by the OGX Group.

Galdino, Coelho, Mendes Advogados maintains a balanced workload, attracting instructions from both creditors and debtors. In a significant case in the real estate sector, the team represented homebuilder Viver Group in its court-supervised reorganisation; Eduardo Takemi Kataoka led the team. On the creditor side, João Mendes de Oliveira Castro acted for Banco BTG Pactual as the largest single creditor in the Abengoa Group reorganisation.

Lefosse Advogados has vast experience representing creditors in both court and extra-judicial restructuring procedures, with its broad practice also taking in fraud and asset tracing, distressed M&A, and debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing. In a significant internal development, Roberto Zarour joined from Itaú in 2016. Work highlights included advising HSBC as a major creditor in relation to the judicial reorganisation of agricultural conglomerate Grupo Bom Jesus; practice head Raphael Nehin Corrêa led the advice.

Lilla, Huck, Otranto, Camargo Advogados, led by Luis Gustavo Haddad, has a multi-disciplinary team of experts in corporate, M&A and litigation, and has experience representing debtors, creditors, investors and shareholders. Past clients include Sementes Selecta and Porto Seguro Seguro Saúde. Bruno Robert and Luiz Felipe Pereira Gomes Lopes are also key contacts.

A well-established firm in litigation and insolvency matters, Sergio Bermudes Advogados operates from Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasilia. Marcelo Lamego Carpenter, Marcio Vieira Souto Costa Ferreira and Sergio Bermudes are key contacts.

The busy restructuring department at Soares Bumachar Chagas Barros Advogados is led by Laura Mendes Bumachar. The bulk of its work is on the creditor side, although it also has experience representing debtor companies. It acted for GE Oil & Gas in relation to OGX’s judicial recovery, which as a key supplier also has considerable post-petition credit not subject to the judicial reorganisation.

Cescon, Barrieu, Flesch & Barreto Advogados strengthened its litigation and restructuring capabilities with the hire of Fábio Rosas from TozziniFreire Advogados in 2016. He and Tiago Schreiner Lopes acted for Bratel, Oi’s biggest shareholder, in relation to Oi’s judicial reorganisation and related litigation. In another significant matter, Rafael Baptista Baleroni represented Pacific Exploration and Production and its Brazilian subsidiary in its reorganisation and DIP financing following insolvency filings in Canada, the US and Colombia.

Domestic and international creditors and bondholders turn to the ‘extremely capable and diligent’ team at Stocche Forbes Advogados for representation in high-stakes judicial restructuring proceedings. Complex debt restructurings and workouts are areas of strength, with the team able to leverage the firm’s structured finance capabilities. The multi-disciplinary team includes Domingos Fernando Refinetti and Paulo Padis and associates Guilherme Gaspari Coelho and Beatriz De Vita Amaral Mazzi.

Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown serves a broad range of national and international clients, including creditors, bondholders, trustees and bankruptcy trustees. Among a series of significant recent mandates, it represented Bank of New York Mellon as trustee for the notes issued by Oi in its judicial reorganisation, and advised HSBC as creditor in relation to Tonon Group’s judicial restructuring. Leonardo Morato led on both matters, working with Luciana Celidonio and associate Olivia Roxo Nobre do Amaral Mesquita.

Boutique firm Thomaz Bastos, Waisberg, Kurzweil Advogados was established in 2016 by a team formerly at Dias Carneiro Advogados, including notable leading lawyer Ivo Waisberg, Joel Luís Thomaz Bastos and Ricardo Pomeranc Matsumoto. Debtor-side representation is a mainstay, although the team is also instructed by creditors in judicial reorganisations. Standout work included the Unialco Group reorganisation, on which the team acted for the debtor; the reorganisation plan was confirmed in January 2017.

The sizeable team at TozziniFreire Advogados has experience acting for creditors and investors looking to purchase assets of companies subject to restructuring and insolvency proceedings. Flávia Cristina Moreira de Campos Andrade and Luciana Faria Nogueira are among the key figures in the department.

Castro, Barros, Sobral, Gomes Advogados retains significant litigation capabilities, and has shifted its focus to creditor-side representation in high-stakes cases since the departure of Sergio Savi to BMA – Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão in 2016. Alexandre Espínola Catramby is acting for Petros in credit collection litigation against Sifco S/A, which is currently in the process of a judicial restructuring.

DDSA – De Luca, Derenusson, Schuttoff e Azevedo Advogados regularly acts for judicial administrators in in-court restructurings, and is also developing its debtor-side practice. Luis Augusto Roux Azevedo and Fernando Gomes dos Reis Lobo head the department, which also has experience in distressed M&A transactions.

Litigation is a well-established strength of Leite, Tosto e Barros Advogados Associados. In 2016, the team’s caseload was dominated by creditor-side engagements, although it is also active on the debtor side of judicial restructurings. Rodrigo Quadrante is noted for his ‘appropriate advice and legal strategy’.

Lobo & Ibeas’ restructuring practice draws on lawyers with a range of specialisms including banking, litigation and M&A, based across the firm’s Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo offices. The retail and shopping mall segment is a particular area of focus for the team, which has notable experience in restructuring procedures in this industry. Luiz Eugênio Araújo Müller Filho is a key figure.

The ‘hands-on senior team’ at Perlman Vidigal Godoy Advogados ‘has the required expertise to handle complex cases’. Its broad workload sees it acting on behalf of creditors and trustees, and also potential investors in distressed assets. Luciano de Souza Godoy heads the practice, which was bolstered by the arrival of Ricardo Zamariola Júnior from Tranchesi Ortiz e Andrade Advocacia.

With strong litigation capabilities, RZ Advogados is a popular choice for both national and international financial institutions. Collection lawsuits are a particular area of expertise. Fábio Pascual Zuanon and Bruno Alexandre Gutierres are the names to note.

With four offices across the country, Souto Correa Cesa Lummertz & Amaral Advogados has notable geographic reach within Brazil and also has an active international client base. The team was engaged by Comtul to assist in its extra-judicial restructuring, advising on all aspects from creditor negotiations to payment of debts; Gilberto Deon Corrêa Júnior and associate Fernando Pellenz took lead roles.

Dias Carneiro Advogados now draws on a multi-disciplinary team of banking, corporate and regulatory lawyers following the departure of Joel Luís Thomaz Bastos, Ivo Waisberg and others to form boutique firm Thomaz Bastos, Waisberg, Kurzweil Advogados. Eduardo Zilberberg is a key contact.

E. Munhoz Advogados was established in 2015 by former Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados partner Eduardo Secchi Munhoz. His experience takes in judicial and extra-judicial reorganisations and insolvency-related litigation.

José Fernando Mandel and Julio Kahan Mandel are the heads of boutique firm Mandel Advocacia, which has a long history in the field of bankruptcy law. While its primary focus is on representing debtor companies, its experience also takes in creditor-side representation and distressed M&A.

Belo Horizonte based firm Moura Tavares, Figueiredo, Moreira e Campos Advogados is very experienced in acting for debtor companies in judicial reorganisations, and also attracts creditor-side instructions. Geraldo Luiz de Moura Tavares, Alexandre Figueiredo de Andrade Urbano and Leonardo de Almeida Sandes co-head the team; Ana Carolina Guimarães Nogueira is another key contact.

The ‘very professional and efficient’ team at Pedro Miguel Law has a strong track record acting for companies facing bankruptcy proceedings. The team recently acted for a well-known retail company in severe financial difficulties, concluding negotiations with a major Brazilian creditor. Heitor Miguel and Bruna Tavares Ramos Grizolli are recommended.

Corporate restructuring, credit recovery and debt renegotiations are among Siqueira Castro – Advogados’ areas of expertise. Carlos Fernando Siqueira Castro and Fábio Coutinho Kurtz recently represented the interests of the Brazilian subsidiary of a European company in the judicial recovery of a multinational group.

Marcio de Souza Polto and Gledson Campos head the bankruptcy team at Trench Rossi Wanatabe, which includes associate and litigation specialist Mariana Fernandes Conrado. It regularly acts for creditors – including financial institutions and companies in diverse sectors – in both judicial and extra-judicial proceedings.

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