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  1. Competition and antitrust
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The ‘very knowledgeable’ and ‘business-oriented’ antitrust team at BMA – Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão is held in high regard by peers and clients alike. It continues to handle complex merger filings for major domestic and international companies, and is also active in cartel cases. Current work includes representing three leading telecoms companies in a preliminary investigation opened by the Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE). ‘One of the greatest lawyers in the area’, practice head Barbara Rosenberg is ‘recognised by the regulators as a top professional, and has the requisite negotiation skills to come to solutions in difficult circumstances’. 2016 saw some internal personnel changes, with the departure of José Carlos da Matta Berardo to Lefosse Advogados and the promotion to partner of José Inácio Ferraz de Almeida Prado Filho. The team’s pool of dedicated associates includes Marcos Exposto and Camilla Paoletti.

Founded by ‘father of antitrust in Brazil’ Mauro Grinberg and Leonor Cordovil, who ‘shines in the antitrust legal community’, Grinberg e Cordovil Advogados is a well-established boutique which is ‘clearly up there with the very best firms’. 2016 was another busy year for the practice, which acted in over 20 cartel investigations as well as a host of other behavioural matters including sham litigation complaints and abuse of dominance litigation. Highlights on the merger control side included acting for Ball Corporation on the Brazilian aspects of its acquisition of Rexam; the deal was approved in Brazil, the US and the EU. The ‘proactive’ Karen Ruback is highly recommended.

Noted for its ‘flexibility’ and ‘personalised service’, Advocacia Jose Del Chiaro saw high levels of demand from both longstanding and new clients in 2016, prompting expansion at associate level with the hire of four new lawyers. In an indication of the firm’s focus on high-level and complex work, it acted for Google in three investigations by CADE as well as acting as lead counsel in defending the company against a complaint filed by Yelp, with well-known antitrust expert José Del Chiaro and the ‘very talented and hardworking’ Ademir Antonio Pereira Júnior leading on these matters. The duo also acted for Boa Vista SCPC in opposing the creation of a new credit bureau involving five major banks, leading to the imposition of a substantial set of remedies by CADE. Merger notifications also feature in the team’s recent workload.

Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados has an ‘excellent’ competition practice, maintaining a broad workload across merger notifications and behavioural work and also ‘highly recommended for antitrust compliance and internal investigations’. Its strong reputation and well-established client base of major companies ensure regular roles in high-profile transactions; among recent examples, Marcio Dias Soares acted for ChemChina on its proposed acquisition of Syngenta, which drew intense scrutiny from CADE. Lauro Celidonio Gomes dos Reis Neto represented Novafarma and Fresenius Kabi in relation to a significant investigation into public procurement for drugs acquisition, which reached a settlement agreement with CADE in 2016. Also recommended are Amadeu Ribeiro and Renata Fonseca Zuccolo Gianella, who made partner in 2016.

Noted for its ‘deep knowledge of the business and market’, Pinheiro Neto Advogados is regularly engaged by Brazilian and international companies in high-stakes antitrust matters. In the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft, Leonardo Peres da Rocha e Silva represented both companies, with CADE being the first authority to formally approve the deal. Elsewhere, José Alexandre Buaiz Neto successfully represented Evonik Degussa in the investigation into the sodium perborates market, with the company granted full immunity by CADE in February 2016. The practice was further strengthened by the arrival of senior associate Daniel Costa Rebello from a position at CADE. Other leading figures in the team include Cristianne Saccab Zarzur and Renê Medrado.

‘Particularly good in cartel cases’, TozziniFreire Advogados has a strong reputation in negotiating leniency agreements with CADE, and is also active in major cross-border merger filings. The team’s close cooperation with the firm’s highly regarded compliance and white-collar department is another draw. Among a host of standout instructions in 2016, Marcio de Carvalho Silveira Bueno acted for Dell in the $62bn acquisition of EMC, which was approved without restrictions by CADE; and Marcelo Calliari and Daniel Oliveira Andreoli represented NEC TOKIN in the settlement negotiation with CADE regarding the alleged capacitors cartel. The team continues to see strong organic growth, most recently in the form of the promotion of Vivian Anne Fraga do Nascimento Arruda to the partnership. Joana Temudo Cianfarani is another key member of the team.

The ‘very responsive’ team at Demarest Advogados demonstrates ‘sound understanding of the client’s business’. Its cartel practice is particularly buoyant, with the department attracting regular instructions in major investigations and related litigation. On the merger side, Paola Pugliese acted for Reckitt Benckiser in the notification to CADE of its acquisition of Hypermarcas’ condom and lubricant business. Elsewhere, Bruno Drago acted for Comgás in an abuse of dominance investigation filed by the company against a consortium between Petrobras and White Martins. Junior partners Paula Salles and Milena Fernandes Mundim are also recommended.

Levy & Salomão ‘impresses with its total commitment to the case’ and its ‘vast legal knowledge’. The highly experienced team is well known for its track record in complex anti-competitive cases and merger filings, and in 2016 picked up new clients in the pharmaceutical and business solutions sectors. Current cases include acting for HSBC in the FX market investigation, with Ana Paula Martinez and Alexandre Ditzel Faraco leading the advice. ‘Extremely good professional’ Mariana Tavares de Araujo is also recommended.

‘Among the top law firms in Brazil’, Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados is ‘effective in conducting antitrust and regulatory cases’. Its impressive roster of clients includes leading multinationals across a variety of industries. Recommended partner Maria Eugênia Novis acted for Canon in the merger review procedure of its acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation. Practice head Tito Amaral de Andrade ‘applies himself vigorously to defend his clients’ interests’, and Marcos Paulo Verissimo is ‘talented, wise and sensible’. The team includes a dedicated pool of experienced associates.

Well-established boutique Magalhães e Dias – Advocacia provides a ‘very high-quality service’. On the cartel side, it has played a role in various major investigations initiated by CADE and obtained favourable results for its clients, which include domestic and international companies. Complex merger cases also feature prominently in its workload; in one recent highlight, it acted for Nestlé in litigation challenging CADE’s rejection of its acquisition of popular chocolate manufacturer Garoto. Gabriel Nogueira Dias and Carlos Francisco de Magalhães lead the team, with Thaís de Sousa Guerra and Francisco Niclós Negrão featuring among its group of dedicated associates.

Pereira Neto | Macedo has a strong track record in abuse of dominance cases, having represented numerous companies across diverse industries before CADE; in one highlight, it successfully acted for Oi in an investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices in the fixed-telephone market, with Caio Mario da Silva Pereira Neto leading the advice. On the merger control side, Olavo Zago Chinaglia represented Sherwin-Williams in the Brazilian filing for its worldwide acquisition of Valspar. Cartel investigations are another area in which the team demonstrates notable capabilities.

Souza, Cescon, Barrieu & Flesch Advogados maintains a strong reputation for merger filings, although its competition practice encompasses a broader spread of behavioural work and antitrust compliance. It is currently acting for a number of clients – both companies and individuals – in administrative proceedings that form part of investigations into alleged anti-competitive conduct. Among its many merger instructions in 2016, it acted for several companies which were formerly part of the Fernandes Vieira Group in their acquisition by Rede D’or, which was approved without restrictions. Practice heads Joyce Midori Honda and Ricardo Lara Gaillard and associate Leonardo Mansur Lunardi Danesi are recognised for their ‘experience and professionalism’.

Trench Rossi Wanatabe takes an ‘informal, straightforward and clear approach, which makes the attorney-client relationship friendlier and more effective’. Its multinational clients turn to the team in cross-border M&A transactions and high-stakes cartel investigations by the Brazilian authorities. It recently acted for AT&T on its acquisition of Time Warner; practice head Francisco Ribeiro Todorov (who ‘takes a holistic approach, considering all practical implications of a given strategy and going beyond the legal boundaries of it’) and Adriana Giannini led the advice. Recent internal developments included several hires at associate level and the relocation of senior associate Lorena Leite Nisiyama from London to the Brasília office.

Noted for its ‘sound, reasoned advice’, Veirano Advogados has a diverse practice across merger filings and investigations into cartels and anti-competitive conduct. Pedro Garcia and Leonardo Maniglia Duarte represented Grimaldi Group in the Brazilian aspects of an international investigation into alleged cartel activity in maritime transportation. Duarte also took a lead role acting for Claro in its challenge to the joint venture between three open-TV channels in Brazil and in an alleged abuse of dominant position investigation into major telecoms companies. The highly experienced Mariana Villela is another key member of the team, and is well-versed in the field of anti-corruption and compliance.

Brazilian and international companies from a diverse range of industries instruct Cascione, Pulino, Boulos & Santos Advogados’ antitrust department, which is highlighted for its ‘great technical knowledge’ and ‘straight-to-the-point’ answers. Its recent caseload spans merger reviews, cartel investigations and the negotiation of leniency claims as well as competition compliance training. Ricardo Botelho and Aurélio Santos both attract strong praise.

Providing an ‘outstanding service’ and demonstrating ‘deep knowledge of both the legal and political arena’, Mattos Engelberg Advogados is particularly renowned in antitrust investigations and litigation. In a longstanding case concerning an alleged cartel in the chlorine market, the team continues to represent Braskem in an administrative proceeding brought by CADE. Practice head Ubiratan Mattos is ‘an excellent partner and true problem solver’. Associate Andrea Astorga dos Prazeres and international trade specialist Carla Junqueira are also active members of the team.

The ‘experienced and responsive’ team at Mundie e Advogados provides ‘proactive and pragmatic advice’ to clients, which include Brazilian and international companies active across a multitude of industries. It is currently acting for Gates do Brasil in an investigation into the alleged exchange of sensitive information. Merger reviews and anti-competitive conduct investigations also feature in the team’s recent workload. Practice head Guilherme Favaro Corvo Ribas and associate Enrico Spini Romanielo are ‘high-quality competition lawyers with impressive experience’.

Boutique firm Sampaio Ferraz Advogados draws on the experience and reputation of renowned name partner Tercio Sampaio Ferraz. It saw significant expansion in 2016 with the hire of a multi-disciplinary group of lawyers including Luís Wielewicki and Rodrigo De Campos Maia, whose practices take in anti-corruption and compliance. Juliano Souza de Albuquerque Maranhão and Thiago Francisco da Silva Brito are also prominent members of the team.

‘Highly recommended for antitrust and competition’, Inglez, Werneck, Ramos, Cury e Françolin Advogados (IWRCF) ‘delivers outstanding work at a fair price’. It acts for companies and individuals in high-stakes antitrust investigations and litigation, concerning restrictive measures, cartels and abuse of dominant position, and also assists clients in the preparation of competition compliance manuals. ‘Upstanding and ethical attorney’ Ricardo Inglez de Souza heads the practice.

L.O. Baptista Advogados saw the arrival of competition, compliance and regulatory expert Patricia Agra Araújo from Lobo de Rizzo Advogados in 2016. She has been representing numerous clients in procedures before CADE, including acting for Corning in a cartel investigation. New clients of the team include Supergasbras Energia and Invepar.

Lino, Beraldi, Belluzzo e Caminati Advogados hired Leda Batista from Pinheiro Neto Advogados, building on the firm’s already well-established presence in the Brazilian antitrust market. She joined Fábio Francisco Beraldi and Eduardo Caminati Anders, who handle merger notifications and behavioural work.

Lobo de Rizzo Advogados maintains an active merger review practice; the team works in combination with the firm’s strong corporate and M&A department, and often advises on transactions with a cross-border element. Recent engagements include advising Coca-Cola on its acquisition of certain assets from Brasil Norte. Cartel investigations also feature. Sérgio Varella Bruna leads the practice, which counts a number of experienced associates among its ranks, notably Natalia Salzedas Pinheiro da Silveira.

The arrival of renowned antitrust specialist Paulo Leonardo Casagrande to Stocche Forbes Advogados in 2016 added weight to the firm’s competition department, which was established by experienced senior associate Fabricio Cardim de Almeida in 2015 and is particularly active in merger review cases. Highlights included acting for Unipar Carbocloro in the filing of its acquisition of Solvay Indupa, which was particularly challenging due to CADE having blocked a similar transaction two years previously. In another significant matter, Casagrande acted for BT in its complaint against Claro, Vivo and Oi before CADE.

Eduardo Molan Gaban heads the antitrust practice at Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown. Cross-border merger reviews are a particular strength, with the team able to leverage the firm’s broad international network. Among a host of significant engagements in 2016, the firm acted for Wells Fargo on its acquisition of a loan and commercial lease portfolio from GE Capital. Paulo Leonardo Casagrande is now with Stocche Forbes Advogados.

Noted for its ‘extensive technical knowledge and business-oriented approach’, Vella Pugliese Buosi e Guidoni Advogados has ‘partners who participate directly in the case’. Its clients include major companies in Brazil’s technology, education and automotive sectors. Practice head Priscila Brolio Gonçalves is recommended.

2016 was a busy year for the team at Araújo e Policastro Advogados. Bruno Lanna Peixoto is taking a leading role in the new and burgeoning field of private cartel damages litigation in Brazil, and his reputation in this area continues to draw new clients, both Brazilian and international. The practice – which benefits from the oversight and expertise of founding partner José Theodoro Alves de Araújo – is also experienced in traditional antitrust work, including merger filings and cartels.

With resources in São Paulo and Belo Horizonte, Ayres Ribeiro Advogados’ practice is experienced in a range of antitrust procedures, including merger notifications and cartel investigations. Compliance training is another area of activity. Name partner Elisa Silva de Assis Ribeiro is a key figure in the team.

Azevedo Sette Advogados has a broad economic law practice which takes in antitrust, compliance and international trade. Its workload spans merger reviews, cartel investigations, antitrust litigation, and competition and anti-corruption compliance training, where it acts for a range of companies from diverse sectors of the economy. Luiz Eduardo Salles heads the practice, with Paulo Marcos Rodrigues Brancher also recommended.

Operating from São Paulo and Brasília, the two-partner team at Castro, Barros, Sobral, Gomes Advogados has broad experience in merger reviews and behavioural matters. It is also regularly engaged by clients for competition compliance training. In a recent highlight, Renato Stetner and Tiago Gomes successfully represented Legion Holdings in the notification of its acquisition of Lojas Leader before CADE, which was approved in July 2016 despite strong opposition from the target’s creditors.

Dias Carneiro Advogados has a three-partner, multi-disciplinary team that includes Ricardo Sanches, Henrique Dias Carneiro and Joyce Ruiz Rodrigues Alves, who was promoted to partner in 2017. Clients include Brazilian and international companies, and the team has a particularly strong track record acting for clients in the pharmaceutical sector. It continues to act for Cristália Produtos Farmacêuticos in an investigation into an alleged cartel in the public procurement for drugs acquisition.

Merger review cases are an area of focus at Felsberg Advogados, with the firm’s active corporate and M&A practice generating a steady stream of instructions. The team also advises clients on the strength and viability of corporate and commercial agreements from an antitrust and economic law perspective, as well as handling a range of behavioural matters. Evy Cynthia Marques is a key contact, and recently acted for BR Capital – Distribuidora de Títulos e Valores Mobiliários in administrative proceedings that centred on the use of a radius clause.

The competition practice at Fialho, Canabrava, Andrade, Salles Advogados sits within the firm’s broader private and economic law department. Among its recent successes, it acted for numerous fuel distribution companies in cartel cases and sham litigation complaints before both CADE and the judiciary. As well as having a strong track record in conduct cases, the team is active in merger filings, acting for Brazilian companies across a range of industries. Leonardo Canabrava and Lucas Spadano are the names to note.

At Franceschini e Miranda, Advogados, name partner José Inácio Gonzaga Franceschini has a strong reputation in the Brazilian antitrust market. Associate Cristhiane Helena Lopes Ferrero Taliberti is another contact.

Cartel investigations are an area of strength for Gico, Hadmann & Dutra Advogados’ competition team, which is currently representing a Brazilian company and its executives in an investigation into alleged bid rigging brought by CADE. Highly experienced name partner Eric Hadmann Jasper leads the practice, which recently expanded at associate level with two new hires.

KLA-Koury Lopes Advogados’ busy M&A practice provides a consistent flow of merger filing work for the firm’s competition team. Recent highlights include acting for Votorantim Cimentos and Brasmix in the submission to CADE of the acquisition by the latter of certain assets of the former; practice heads Gianni Nunes de Araújo and Tiago Cortez led the advice. The team is also experienced in administrative proceedings before the antitrust authority.

Lefosse Advogados has invested in its competition practice, most notably through the hire of José Carlos da Matta Berardo in 2016. The team’s recent workload is dominated by high-value and high-profile mergers, although it has also been expanding its behavioural practice. A highlight was acting for Banco Bradesco in the acquisition of HSBC Brasil, on which counsel Paulo Lilla played a key role.

The ‘focused’ lawyers at Siqueira Castro – Advogados act as ‘excellent partners’ to their clients; the key contacts are ‘very intelligent and energetic lawyer’ Guilherme Dantas and Heitor Faro de Castro, who is noted for his ‘extensive experience’. The diverse practice covers cartel investigations and related litigation, merger reviews and compliance training.

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