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Brazil > Corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and M&A
  2. Leading lawyers

BMA – Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão’s renowned M&A department has significant resources in both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and also draws on the expertise of competition and tax lawyers in Brasília. The size and breadth of expertise at the full-service firm allows it to deploy integrated teams in complex corporate transactions, and it is regularly instructed to act as Brazilian counsel in high-value deals, often exceeding the R$1bn mark. Highlights in 2015 included advising hospital chain Rede D’Or São Luiz on an investment by The Carlyle Group, following a change in Brazilian legislation which allowed foreign direct investment in hospitals; senior partner Francisco Müssnich led the advice. Other cross-border deals included Compagnie de Saint-Gobain’s sale of Verallia to funds managed by Apollo Global Capital, where a multi-disciplinary team including practice area coordinator Carlos Frederico Lucchetti Bingemer acted for the sellers. Elsewhere, Paulo Cezar Aragão and Roberto Dias Carneiro acted for América Latina Logística on its high-profile merger with Rumo Logística Operadora Multimodal, which required close cooperation with the firm’s antitrust department. Other names to note within the sizeable department include Monique Mavignier, who acts as practice area coordinator from São Paulo; and Tatiana Amorim de Brito Machado, who took key roles on numerous transactions during 2015. Senior partners Plinio Simões Barbosa and Luiz Antonio Campos remain active, and are well-known figures in the market.

One of the best law firms for a multinational company that wants to do business in Brazil’, Demarest Advogados had an outstanding year in 2015, continuing to attract significant mandates from its existing client base of local and international companies, and also winning a number of new clients. CRH is one example of the latter category; Paulo Coelho da Rocha advised the Dublin-based group on the acquisition of the Brazilian assets sold by Lafarge and Holcim as part of their global merger. Cross-border deals are a mainstay of the practice, which is noted for its ‘high-level’ full-service capabilities; among other recent deals, a multi-disciplinary team of corporate, real estate and labour specialists led by Lucas Tavares Bueno acted as Brazilian counsel for US food processing company Archer Daniels Midland on the sale of its cocoa business to Singapore-listed company Olam. The ‘extremely intelligentJosé Setti Diaztransmits a lot of confidence’, and the ‘very pleasant and inspiringLuciana Cossermelli Tornovskyalways understands the client’s needs and concerns, and addresses them flawlessly’. Thiago Barbosa Sandim is another major figure in the team, regularly taking leading roles in significant transactions. In mid-2016, Spanish-qualified corporate specialist Andoni Hernández joined the team and now heads the firm’s Iberian desk.

One of the top firms in Brazil’, Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados has built up a solid reputation in high-end M&A transactions, with clients also appreciating the firm’s broader corporate finance and capital markets expertise. The ‘well-respected’ team has experience acting for clients in diverse industries, including pharmaceuticals, agriculture, chemicals and retail. Private equity is another area of strength, with the team offering experience on both the buy and sell sides. Among its recent high-value transactions, the firm acted for AVINTIV on its sale to Berry Plastics by The Blackstone Group, which resulted in the indirect transfer of control of publicly traded company Companhia Providência Indústria e Comércio; Carlos José Rolim de Mello led the advice. Guilherme Bueno Malouf has a broad corporate and private equity practice, and recently acted for Burger King do Brasil in the drafting and negotiation of an investment agreement for an investment and subscription by TEMASEK. Practice head Adriana Pallis Romano led an integrated team of corporate, tax and competition experts advising longstanding client Telefónica and three other telecoms companies on the incorporation of a joint venture which will expand 4G technology across the country. Name partner José Roberto de Camargo Opice has broad expertise that takes in corporate, banking and project finance; and ‘experienced lawyerArthur Bardawil Penteado is also recommended. Giovanni Cardoso Leite Biscardi left the firm to take up practice in the US, and José Samurai Saiani moved to Saiani & Saglietti Advogados. Since publication, Rolim de Mello has announced his departure to establish Rolim de Mello Sociedade de Advogados.

Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados’ 17-partner team provides ‘a high level of service, even by international standards’ and is well versed in multimillion-dollar deals, taking leading roles in numerous headline transactions in the market during 2015. Claudio Oksenberg and infrastructure specialist Giovani Loss advised Petrobras on the sale of a 49% stake in gas distribution company Gaspetro to Mitsui Gás e Energia; and a team of corporate, tax and capital markets experts including Renato Tastardi Portella and Jean Marcel Arakawa acted for Banco do Brasil and its subsidiary BB Elo Cartões Participações in the latter’s joint venture with Cielo for the formation of a new company in the electronic payments market, based in large part on new legislation and regulations for payment transactions in Brazil. In an indication of its private equity prowess, a team led by Pedro Whitaker de Souza Dias acted for The Carlyle Group in relation to its investment in Rede D’Or São Luiz, which was a significant transaction following legislative changes allowing direct foreign investment into hospitals in the country. Marcelo Sampaio Góes Ricupero is noted for his ‘problem-solving approach’. Also recommended are Sabrina Naritomi, who draws on previous experience working in the US; Rodrigo Figueiredo Nascimento; Hiram Bandeira Pagano Filho; and corporate integrity, compliance and corporate crisis management partner Thiago Jabor Pinheiro, who joined from Mattos Muriel Kestener Advogados.

Excellent firmPinheiro Neto Advogados maintains its position at the forefront of the M&A market; its 12-partner group has experience in domestic and cross-border transactions and a workload equally split between buy and sell-side mandates. Sector strengths include banking, telecoms, energy, and food and beverage; in the latter area, practice head Fernando Alves Meira and Andrea Barbosa Campos recently acted for Lactalis do Brasil in the $700m acquisition of the dairy division of BRF, which included 11 production facilities and numerous brands. Private equity is another area of expertise; Miguel Tornovsky and Franco Musetti Grotti acted for The Blackstone Group on its purchase of seven property-owning SPVs and an industrial warehouse from BR Properties. Among other highlights, Ricardo Simões Russo led advice to Lafarge on a divestment of assets to CRH in the context of its global merger with Holcim; and Carlos Vilhena advised Berry Plastics on the acquisition of AVINTIV. Other leading names include managing partner Alexandre Bertoldi, who has earned a strong reputation in the market through his roles in major corporate and finance deals. While the bulk of the team’s resources are to be found in São Paulo, Marcelo Viveiros de Moura is a name to note in the Rio de Janeiro office. Private equity specialist Eduardo Paoliello Jr, who is based in São Paulo, made partner in 2016.

Souza, Cescon, Barrieu & Flesch Advogados has a significant presence in both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, with additional offices across the country, and prides itself on its full-service offering and integrated, cross-practice approach to instructions. Among its recent highlights, Marcos Rafael Flesch and Marina Prado worked alongside the firm’s antitrust team to advise Bematech on its merger with Totvs, which was one of the largest mergers in the IT sector in Brazil in recent years. Many of the team’s most impressive deals are in the power, energy and infrastructure sectors, where the firm has well-known expertise; a multidisciplinary team which included Flesch and Roberto Pary on the corporate side recently advised Royal Dutch Shell on its acquisition of BG Group, valued at around £47bn. On the seller side, Ronald Herscovici acted for Brazilian infrastructure group Triunfo Participações e Investimentos on the sale of hydropower plants to China Three Gorges. Maria Cristina Cescon co-heads the practice along with Flesch, and is also recommended. Recent developments on the personnel front include the promotion of Ana Carolina Castro Reis Passos to partner in 2016, and the departure of Gyedre Palma Carneiro de Oliveira to establish Carneiro de Oliveira Advogados.

Always outstanding’, the ‘excellent professionals’ at TozziniFreire Advogados were kept busy throughout 2015, with a steady stream of instructions from major domestic and international companies across a broad range of industries. With some 27 partners dedicating a significant portion of their time to corporate transactions, the firm ‘has the resources to conduct intensive work within a short period of time’. In a headline deal, Marcelo Calliari and Maria Beatriz Bueno Kowalewski acted for Holcim on the Brazilian aspects of its sale of global assets, as part of the conditions for its merger with Lafarge. In the private equity space, João Alfredo Busin Fernandes is advising Axxon Group and Investment Tech on an investment in America Net. Elsewhere, a sizeable team led by João Busin acted for Feira Hospitalar on its sale to UK-based events organiser UBM. The firm has carved out a leading position for corporate management and compliance, where Shin Jae Kim is a key contact; her broad practice also regularly sees her advising on M&A and foreign investment. Also recommended are Mauro Guizeline; the ‘business savvy’ Maria Elisa Gualandi Verri; and the ‘exceptional’ Marcio Mello Silva Baptista in the New York office, who ‘provides very practical advice and responds very punctually’.

The six-partner group at Lefosse Advogados punches above its weight; it often takes key roles on major deals in the market, and is comfortable acting in transactions which exceed the $1bn mark. In a recent demonstration of its strength, practice head Carlos Barbosa Mello acted for Banco Bradesco on its $5.2bn acquisition of HSBC’s Brazilian operations; and also took the lead role advising private equity firms Advent International and Warburg Pincus as majority shareholders of Dudalina on its merger with fashion company Restoque Comércio e Confecções de Roupas. Renata Cardoso worked alongside colleagues in the antitrust team to advise a consortium of investors on the purchase of LeasePlan from Volkswagen for $4.04bn. Christian Roschmann is another active member of the team; dual qualified in Brazil and Germany, he has a broad corporate client base and is also experienced in private equity transactions. Corporate/M&A and capital markets specialist Luiz Octavio Duarte Lopes joined the team from Credit Suisse, where he was a managing director. Since going to press, Mauricio Paschoal has joined the firm from Pinheiro Guimarães – Advogados.

Lobo & de Rizzo Advogados’ ‘top-notch’ corporate department services a broad client base of Brazilian and international companies, with a good track record advising strategic buyers and private equity houses. Transactions with a cross-border component feature heavily among recent mandates, with Valdo Cestari de Rizzo and Regina Gasulla Bouza advising Mosaic Fertilizantes do Brasil and Mosaic Berg on the purchase of ADM’s Brazilian and Paraguayan fertilizer business, and a subsequent commercial agreement between the parties. Rodrigo Millar de Castro Guerra and Luciana Pietro Lorenzo advised private equity backed retailer Dudalina on its internal corporate acquisition and merger with Restoque Comércio e Confecções de Roupas. M&A and foreign investment expert In Hee Cho is another important figure in the department, with experience representing clients across the pharmaceutical, insurance, banking and entertainment sectors, among others. Rodrigo Delboni Teixeira has broad corporate and capital markets expertise and is also recommended. Corporate and infrastructure specialist Daniella Tavares joined from Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados.

Pinheiro Guimarães – Advogados is a well-established firm with a solid reputation, and covers the full gamut of issues affecting the operation of businesses in Brazil; it is well versed in M&A, corporate restructuring, commercial agreements, finance, capital markets and compliance matters. Banks and private equity houses account for many of its instructions; the firm maintains longstanding client relationships with leading financial institutions in Brazil and abroad. Highlights included acting as local counsel to HSBC Bank Brazil on its sale to Banco Bradesco, through São Paulo based partners Marcelo Lamy Rego, Maria Amélia Senra Mastrocola and Mauricio Negri Machado Paschoal. Elsewhere, a Rio de Janeiro team led by Plinio Pinheiro Guimarães Neto and René Mostardeiro Brunet advised Participações Industriais do Nordeste on the exchange of its equity interest in Latapack for shares issued by Ball Corporation. Senior partner Francisco José Pinheiro Guimarães is a well-known name in the market, and André Sigelmann is also recommended. Since going to press, Mauricio Paschoal has left the firm to join Lefosse Advogados.

The ‘outstandingStocche Forbes is noted for its ‘remarkable capacity to find creative solutions to overcome critical situations’, and has a ‘competitive advantage’ in its ability to ‘respond on time and with high quality’. The team has established a strong position in private equity transactions; recently, the ‘extremely intelligent and very committedLuiz Felipe Martins Costa acted for One Equity Partners and the Radomysler family (as founding shareholders) on the sale of a majority stake in Allied to Advent International. Other clients in this space include ACON Investments, The Blackstone Group and Pátria Investimentos. Elsewhere, Fernanda Rezemini Cardoso, who is noted for her ‘great knowledge of corporate laws and superb business sense’, advised Highline do Brasil Infraestrutura de Telecomunicações on a purchase of assets from another company in the telecoms sector. The department maintains a busy public companies desk, which provides day-to-day assistance for certain longstanding clients in relation to corporate and commercial matters and interactions with regulators. Counsel Artur Fernandes Andrezo is ‘extremely efficient’, and Flavio Meyer is ‘extremely valuable in negotiations’. Fabiano Marques Milani and André Mestriner Stocche are other names to note.

Leveraging the firm’s broad office network, Trench, Rossi e Watanabe Advogados, associated with Baker & McKenzie is active in major cross-border transactions; its solid client base of multinational companies was active throughout 2015, attracted by the comparatively low prices of Brazilian assets following the devaluation of the Brazilian real. A recent cross-office collaboration saw José Roberto Martins work alongside colleagues in Tokyo to advise Toyota Tsusho Corporation on the acquisition of NovaAgri Infra-Estrutura de Armazenagem e Escoamento Agrícola. Nazir Takieddine acted for a US-based global food and beverage group in relation to its joint venture with a large player in the local market for the co-manufacturing of certain food products in Brazil. The sizeable team also includes Lara Schwartzmann, who had a hand in a number of the department’s major transactions, notably CommScope’s acquisition of TE Connectivity’s telecoms, enterprise and wireless businesses. Alberto Mori has an active practice advising foreign investors on establishing and developing operations in Brazil, and has also built up a strong track record in the agriculture sector. Industry strengths for co-practice head Anna Tavares de Mello include infrastructure, energy and insurance. The firm has earned a strong reputation for corporate compliance and anti-corruption work, with Esther Miriam Flesch a key contact.

Veirano Advogados’ corporate department is spread across the firm’s São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre offices, and advises a broad client base of financial institutions, private equity funds and companies from myriad industries. Equally at home on the buy and sell sides of transactions, the buoyant practice had another busy year in 2015. Among its highlights, Fábio Figueira acted for Lupin Farmacêutica do Brasil on the acquisition of Medquímica Indústria Farmacêutica. Carlos Alexandre Lobo has played a key role in many of the department’s recent mandates, including advising Prumo Logística on the sale of a stake in an oil terminal to Oiltanking. SunEdison is another key client, which Lobo recently assisted in relation to a share swap agreement and option agreement with Renova Energia for the purchase of certain wind and hydropower project companies. The return of corporate governance, M&A and compliance expert Marcos Ludwig as senior counsel in 2015 was a boost for the team. Otavio Carneiro co-heads the practice alongside Amaral Figueira; both are based in Rio de Janeiro.

Clients of Azevedo Sette Advogados appreciate its ability to staff transactions with ‘teams which are always well balanced, with senior and junior lawyers to cover the demands, with appropriate costs’. Much of the department’s caseload has a cross-border bent, and many of its lawyers have previous experience in US law firms. Joyl Gondim de Alencar Filho acted for PGM in its acquisition of Heraeus Vectra do Brasil, the subsidiary of German technology group Heraeus. In a significant move for the Brazilian foreign exchange market, Luiz Augusto Azevedo Sette represented Renova Câmbio Exchange in its merger with Confidence Câmbio, a subsidiary of the UK-based Travelex group, which created the largest foreign exchange bureau in the country. Other key names within the team, which is highlighted for its ‘accuracy and availability’ are Fernando Azevedo Sette, Roberto Ribas Wilson and Ana Paula Terra Caldeira. In 2016, the group was expanded by the arrival of Paulo Brancher and Ricardo Barretto Ferreira da Silva from Barretto Ferreira e Brancher (BKBG).

KLA – Koury Lopes Advogados has built solid relationships with clients across various industries, both domestic and international. Tania Liberman led advice to Aliança Transporte Multimodal on a purchase of assets from Reefercon Engenharia de Containers; and Mariana Cortez acted for longstanding client Whitney do Brasil on the termination of an investment agreement and the subsequent negotiation of a partnership and cooperation agreement with Anima Educação. Karin Alvo is another key figure in the team, which is noted for its ability to ‘quickly analyse new issues that arise during negotiations’. Miriam Machado and Mirella Kaufman are also recommended.

Levy & Salomão has a strong track record in regulated sectors, and services a broad client base featuring companies in the telecoms, energy and agriculture sectors, among others. Large transactions account for much for the team’s workload, although it maintains a busy practice advising its longstanding clients on day-to-day corporate and commercial issues. Practice head Jorge Eduardo Prada Levy advised Fiagril Participações on a joint venture with Summit Brazil Renewables for the establishment of Brazil’s first corn-based ethanol plant. The ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Daniel Tardelli Pessoa and a multi-disciplinary team of banking and tax specialists are acting for a multinational chemicals company on a complex corporate reorganisation. Senior associate Christian Galvão Davies is another active member of the team, regularly taking a hand in major deals.

Motta, Fernandes Rocha, Advogados has a sizeable team of corporate and transactional lawyers across its offices in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. With substantial experience in M&A, privatisations, project finance and restructurings, the department is regularly sought by a client base which takes in Brazilian companies, commercial and investment banks and other financial institutions. Otto Eduardo Fonseca de Albuquerque Lobo is a key figure in the team, as are founding partner Luiz Leonardo Cantidiano and senior partner Maria Lucia Cantidiano. Clients have included Michelin, Americas Trading Group and IBM.

The ‘excellent professionals’ at Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown impress with their ‘robust technical and practical knowledge’, the firm’s full-service model ensuring that there are ‘experienced experts capable of providing thorough legal support in virtually all legal matters’. Carlos Motta and Alexandre Chequer co-head the corporate practice, which had another outstanding year with roles on major deals in the energy, construction and infrastructure sectors. Highlights included advising Martifer on the sale of its Brazilian subsidiaries to a group of investors, in a transaction which marked the exit of the company from the Brazilian construction sector. Daniel Gunzburger is ‘innovative’, and has ‘extensive experience from a myriad of transactions’. The team was bolstered by the arrival of Daniella Raigorodsky Monteiro from Campos Mello Advogados in 2015, and oil-and-gas experts Paulo Francisco de Almeida Lopes and Claudia Travi Pitta from Almeida Lopes Pitta Pinheiro Advogados in 2016. Since the conclusion of resarch, the firm has opened a new office in Brasília led by former Attorney General Luís Inácio Adams.

Noted for its ‘business-oriented mindset and pro-deal approach’, Vella Pugliese Buosi e Guidoni Advogados fields a team of three partners supported by a sizeable pool of associates. It had another busy year in 2015, with particular activity in the health and education sectors. Highlights in the former included acting for private equity backed client Alliar in the roll-up acquisitions of 15 health clinics, with Rodrigo Vella leading a multi-disciplinary team of corporate, tax and labour law experts. The ‘very smart and creative’ Frederico Buosi co-heads the department with Vella. Denise Salles has a busy practice advising on commercial agreements, corporate governance and compliance, and also has a hand in some of the team’s transactional mandates.

The ‘exceptional attorneys’ at Araújo e Policastro Advogados attract praise for their ‘highly professional’ approach; with a strong international focus, the team is well equipped to advise Brazilian and international clients on both domestic and cross-border transactions. Eduardo Correa Fazoli led a team of corporate, tax and labour specialists advising UK-based company Rentokil Initial on the acquisition of two companies through its Brazilian subsidiary. Camila da Motta Pacheco Alves de Araújo, José Paulo Bueno and José Theodoro Alves de Araújo come highly recommended.

Under the leadership of Sergio Ros Brasil, Campos Mello Advogados has a strong client base of banks, private equity funds and companies across highly regulated sectors including energy and healthcare, and is active in M&A, foreign investment and corporate governance matters. Fabiano Gallo advised European renewable energy company Statkraft on its purchase of a 36.85% stake in Brazilian power company Desenvix. Cristiano Chaves de Melo made partner in 2015, creating a five-partner team across the firm’s Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo offices.

The ‘very cost-effective and fast’ corporate department at Cascione, Pulino, Boulos & Santos Advogados earns plaudits for its ‘good team work’; ‘senior lawyers (including partners) are always involved’ in transactions. It acts for financial investors, strategic buyers, and other domestic and multinational companies. Augusto César Rodrigues acted for Minor Hotel Group on the purchase of two hotels in Brazil from Rioforte Investments Holding Brasil, which was complicated by the involvement of several Portuguese assets. Elsewhere, Eduardo Boulos and Eduardo Juaçaba acted for Suramericana on the acquisition of RSA Seguros. Milana Martins is also recommended.

With ‘strength in depth’, the 12-lawyer team at Lilla, Huck, Otranto, Camargo Advogados handles the full range of corporate transactional and advisory work. Its client base covers many sectors of the economy, and is increasingly international. Highlights in 2015 included acting for Brasil Norte Bebidas on an asset purchase agreement with Coca-Cola Indústrias under which the latter acquired IP rights over the Guaraná Tuchaua trade mark; Fabio de Campos Lilla and Luís Gustavo Haddad led the advice. A cross-departmental team which included Hermes Marcelo Huck, Carol Saposnic Grunkraut and Ana Carolina Barbuio Affonso advised Cabo Serviços de Telecomunicações on its sale to private equity backed Alaof Brasil Midia Holdings.

Lobo & Ibeas has broad experience in corporate transactions, representing local and international buyers and sellers, whether large corporations, private equity investors or family-owned enterprises. The majority of its resource is based in the Rio de Janeiro office, but it has additional capability in São Paulo, where recommended partner Alfredo Divani is based. Highlights in 2015 included advising a group of investors on the takeover of Brazilian agricultural company Renar Maçãs, and assisting Jockey Club Brasileiro in the negotiation and drafting of a partnership agreement with French company PMU. Joaquim Simões Barbosa and Paulo Eduardo Penna are other key figures in the department.

With an international flavour to much of its workload, Soares Bumachar Chagas Barros Advogados has a good track record in both buyer and seller-side M&A, and also provides day-to-day non-transactional corporate and commercial assistance to a number of longstanding clients. Thiago Rodrigues Maia co-heads the practice, and took a key role on many of the department’s recent transactional highlights, including acting for a US corporation on its acquisition of a Brazilian communication service provider. Eduardo Soares co-leads the team alongside Rodrigues Maia, and another key name is Marcela Britto Correa Figueiró, whose broad expertise takes in corporate law, capital markets and infrastructure projects.

Ulhôa Canto, Rezende e Guerra Advogados remained busy throughout 2015, picking up numerous instructions from buyers and sellers in high-value M&A. In a significant show of confidence, the firm promoted three of its corporate specialists to partner in 2016: Vivian Coelho dos Santos, Fernanda Freitas and Luciana Pereira Costa. Highlights included acting as Brazilian counsel for Olin Corporation on its merger with Dow Chemical, a $5bn transaction on which Aloysio Meirelles de Miranda Filho and Marcelo Maria Santos took lead roles.

Noted for its ‘outstanding professional service’, Almeida Advogados has a diverse roster of clients across the energy, food and beverage, transport and healthcare sectors. ‘Brilliant lawyer’ and ‘inspiring leader’ André de Almeida heads the practice, which includes the ‘very diligent and accurate’ Natalie Yoshida.

Based in São Paulo, boutique firm Andrade, Pannunzio, Ricardo, Foz e Hypolito Advogados focuses on corporate, commercial contracts, tax and real estate. In the former area, the team has experience in M&A, joint ventures, foreign investment and the incorporation of companies in Brazil; it also advises on compliance and corporate ethics. Carolina Moura Foz, Denise Hypolito Passaro and Celina Pannunzio Soares are the names to note.

Under the leadership of Rafael Bicca Machado, the ‘dynamic and innovative’ team at CMT – Carvalho, Machado e Timm Advogadosspares no effort to find the best solution’. The practice is active across a broad range of corporate transactions and commercial agreements; highlights in 2015 included acting for an investment fund on its acquisition of a stake in a veterinary company, and advising a company in the garment and footwear sector on the establishment of a retail franchise. Raquel Stein is highly rated.

The ‘very hands-on’ team at Campos, Fialho, Canabrava, Borja, Andrade, Salles Advogados has strong experience in private equity and corporate transactions, and is a popular choice for foreign investors looking to establish operations or acquire companies in Brazil. Alice Cotta Dourado’s ‘finance and accounting background complements her legal knowledge and adds lots of value to M&A transactions’. Practice head Luciano Fialho is also recommended.

Providing a ‘high-quality service’ that is ‘good value for money’, Candido, Martins & Galizzi Advogados impresses with its ‘refined technical knowledge’ and ‘solid advice’. 2015 saw the team act on joint ventures and corporate reorganisations, and on M&A deals (advising both buyers and sellers). Aqua Capital is a key client; recent work includes advising it on the acquisition of a majority stake in a Brazilian agricultural company. Among the ‘many lawyers in the team worth mentioning’ are Henrique de Faria Martins, Gustavo Oliva Galizzi and Alamy Candido.

Renato Parreira Stetner and Anna Cecilia Rostworowski da Costa Buff head the active corporate department at Castro, Barros, Sobral, Gomes Advogados. Among its recent highlights, Tiago Gomes advised EC Eco Investments on the sale of a stake in Odebrecht Ambiental Blumenau. Marco Deluiggi is also recommended. While a substantial part of the team is based in the São Paulo office, several members of the group work from Rio de Janeiro.

Knowledgeable and professional’, the internationally focused corporate practice at DDSA – De Luca, Derenusson, Schuttoff e Azevedo Advogados is co-led by João Claudio De Luca and Guilherme Filardi. Though traditionally more focused on buy-side transactions, the team is increasingly instructed by sellers, and is active in restructurings and reorganisations. 2015 was another busy year, with cross-border highlights including De Luca and Filardi’s work for a European equipment rental company on the acquisition of a Brazilian company.

Dias Carneiro, Arystóbulo, Flores, Sanches e Thomaz Bastos Advogados’ corporate department had a successful year in 2015, continuing to advise a range of international names as well as steadily increasing its domestic client base. It was particularly active in the energy sector, where highlights included acting for Renova Energia and SunE Solar on the acquisition of a company which owns several solar power plants in the country; Ricardo Sanches led the advice. Venture capital is a strong area of expertise for Eduardo Zilberberg, who assists US-based funds as well as Brazilian start-ups.

Noted for its ‘excellent communication and response times’, Felsberg Advogados is active in mid-market M&A and particularly in distressed M&A, where the team leverages the firm’s well-known bankruptcy and insolvency expertise. The internationally focused group has a number of foreign desks, including a German desk led by Christian Moritz, and a French desk headed by the multi-lingual Anneliese Moritz. Evy Cynthia Marques acted for US-based company Novo Fogo on the acquisition of organic cachaça distillery Agroecológica Marumbi. João Carlos Anderson is also recommended.

Knowledgeable’ and ‘responsive’, the corporate team at Advocacia Fernando Rudge Leite enjoys strong relationships with longstanding clients across a broad range of sectors, including construction, healthcare, infrastructure and energy. In a recent highlight, managing partner and practice head Fernando Rudge Leite Neto assisted a Brazilian client in the negotiation of a joint venture with an international automotive company. At associate level, Katia Rastelli Faustino and Juliana de Lira Inaba Scarpelini are both recommended. Ana Ligia Gomiero-Guthrie left the firm in 2015.

L.O. Baptista, Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira, Agel maintains an active corporate and M&A practice and is particularly strong in the energy and infrastructure sectors; it impresses with its ‘total commitment’, ‘commercial approach’ and ‘unparalleled knowledge of the oil-and-gas industry’. Highlights included acting as Brazilian counsel to Canadian company Enerflex on the acquisition of Axip Energy Services’ international contract compression and processing business. Highly rated individuals include Fernanda Domingues Pereira, Daniela Zaitz, ‘master strategist’ Paulo Valois Pires and Rogério Sobral de Miranda, who has ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of the law’. Since publication the firm has divided into L.O. Baptista Advogados and Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira & Agel Advogados.

Landi, Rodrigues, Nakano e Giovannetti Advogados’ recent workload includes buy and sell-side M&A instructions in the technology and agriculture sectors. It is also known for its expertise in private equity and venture capital, and is a popular choice to assist start-ups in relation to corporate and commercial matters. Rogerio Padua Nakano and Ronaldo Bassitt Giovannetti are the key contacts, and have broad corporate and capital markets practices.

Leite, Tosto e Barros Advogados Associados’ corporate practice is focused on the regulated sectors, particularly energy, infrastructure and healthcare. Past work has included advising a French-based construction company on the establishment of operations in Brazil, and the team also assists in negotiating and drafting commercial agreements. The four-partner team includes Cristina Alckmin Lombardi and Mariana Nogueira, whose broad business law expertise ensures a steady and diverse stream of instructions.

The highly regarded team at Machado Associados acts for a mix of local and international companies on a host of corporate and commercial transactions, including advising foreign clients on entering and exiting the Brazilian market. Recent highlights include acting on the purchase of Málaga Produtos Metalizados by Belgian company AR Metallizing, with Luciana Felisbino and Mauro Takahashi Mori advising the buyer. Renata Almeida Pisaneschi heads the department and leads on many of its major transactions.

The corporate department at new firm Mattos Engelberg Advogados is led by André de Godoy Fernandes and Cristiane Borges da Costa, who joined from Barretto Ferreira e Brancher (BKBG) in early 2016. They work alongside Fernando Engelberg Moraes and Marcello Lutz Vidigal, whose broad expertise includes corporate finance and capital markets. Recent instructions include acting for a French client on its acquisition of a well-known Brazilian company.

With a broad corporate practice, Mundie e Advogados is active in regulated sectors including energy, telecoms, transport and infrastructure, and is experienced in deals with a cross-border element; among its recent highlights, Eduardo Migliora Zobaran advised a Brazilian company on the sale of its Argentine subsidiary. Rodolpho Protasio oversees the five-partner team, with Ana Cristina Moraes noted for her expertise in finance, corporate and commercial matters.

Pereira Neto | Macedo has vast experience in the negotiation and drafting of joint venture agreements in a range of industries, including financial services, telecoms, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Cross-border M&A is another area of strength. Ricardo Ferreira de Macedo heads the practice, and has a good track record representing family-owned businesses. Clients include Cielo, Ericsson Telecomunicações and Banco Votorantim.

Perlman Vidigal Godoy Advogados’ corporate team earns plaudits for its ‘proactive’ and ‘hardworking’ approach. The bulk of its instructions come from the firm’s financial institution clients, which turn to it for assistance on a host of corporate, commercial and capital markets transactions. Marcelo Giovanni Perlman heads the department, which includes associates Mayra Naomi Sakaguti and new arrival Claudio Dener Diaz Gomez.

Siqueira Castro Advogados maintains a broad corporate department, with experience spanning numerous sectors of the economy. Alfredo Ferrari and the ‘organised and strategicCarlos Fernando Siqueira Castro co-head the sizeable team, across offices in multiple regions of the country. The São Paulo office was bolstered by the arrival of the ‘very talentedGuilherme Dantas in 2015 from what is now LBCA | Lee, Brock, Camargo Advogados, where he was a name partner.

Private equity is an area of strength for Vieira, Rezende, Barbosa e Guerreiro Advogados, which advises international investors on transactions in Brazil, and Brazilian funds on foreign opportunities. The firm’s full-service capabilities are of benefit in large M&A deals, where the corporate department draws on the expertise of specialists in real estate, environmental law, tax and finance. Marcelo Barbosa is a key contact.

The two-partner team at Bichara Advogados is recommended for mid-market M&A, and corporate and commercial advisory work. Felipe de Freitas Ramos recently acted for a client in the real estate sector on the purchase of a major hotel. The firm boosted its corporate governance and compliance capabilities in 2015 with the hire of Almir Rogerio Gonçalves from Lilla, Huck, Otranto, Camargo Advogados.

São Paulo-based firm Boccuzzi Advogados draws on 20 years’ experience in the corporate arena. Name partner Eduardo Boccuzzi co-heads the department, which has experience representing domestic companies and family-owned businesses in the construction, healthcare and financial services sectors, among others. Marco Ferreira Orlandi jointly leads the practice alongside Boccuzzi; his broad practice includes corporate, commercial, banking and finance matters.

The ‘extremely professional’ group at Coimbra & Chaves Advogados demonstrates a ‘great ability to work on complex cases and offer smart solutions’. The team acts for a diverse range of companies, which turn to it for assistance in the structuring of corporate and commercial transactions and agreements. Its work in 2015 included acting for a client on the establishment of business operations in Brazil, with Paula Andrade Ribeiro Chaves leading the advice.

Costa e Tavares Paes Sociedade de Advogados is experienced in cross-border M&A, regularly acting as Brazilian counsel to European and US companies in high-value transactions. In a recent highlight, the team acted for a buyer on the acquisition of a technology company from a global group. Key names among the sizeable team are Vamilson José Costa, Rodolfo Teixeira Egli and Antonio Tavares Paes.

IT, software and e-commerce are particular areas of expertise for Cruz e Associados/neolaw. Founding partner Rosely Cruz has a broad practice which sees her leading on a number of the firm’s corporate and commercial matters. However, Natasha Pryngler left the firm in 2015, as did managing associate and São Paulo-based contact Priscila Titelbaum in 2016.

Gaia Silva Gaede & Associados – Advogados has a significant presence in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba, with additional offices in Brasília and Belo Horizonte. The corporate team has experience representing domestic and multinational clients, and in 2015 acted for a global company in the food and beverage sector in a complex corporate restructuring. Among the partners highlighted as providing an ‘astonishing level of service’ are Fernando Antonio Cavanha Gaia and Bruno Gomes Cunha.

Gasparini, De Cresci e Nogueira de Lima Advogados is instructed by a wide range of companies, though it is particularly renowned for its expertise in real estate and agriculture, where recent highlights include acting for a Brazilian client on the purchase of real estate, forestry and equipment assets; timberland expert Aldo de Cresci and Felipe Mavignier led the advice. Elsewhere, Marcus Phelipe Barbosa de Souza has been advising a telecoms company on corporate, commercial and finance agreements.

Gustavo Padilha Advogados Associados is notable for its experience in transactions in the real estate and retail sectors, with property law expert Luciana Henriques Ismael and founding partner Gustavo Pinheiro Guimarães Padilha recommended. João Pedro Barroso do Nascimento left the firm for FreitasLeite.

São Paulo based firm MHM Advogados is noted for its ‘24-hour availability’. 2015 saw the team assist clients in relation to M&A deals, corporate restructurings, investments and shareholder matters. Byung Soo Hong and Gabriel Sollero Figueira, who was promoted to partner in 2015, are recommended.

Luísa Brandão Arantes is the name to note at Mannrich, Senra e Vasconcelos Advogados (MSV). Recent work includes acting for a company in the food and beverage sector on the termination of a joint venture agreement, and assisting the Brazilian subsidiary of a multinational financial services company with the negotiation of commercial agreements.

Montgomery & Associados services a primarily international client base, with notable expertise in the aviation and technology sectors, among others. Recent highlights for Neil Montgomery and his team include assisting Air New Zealand in the establishment of an offline ticket sales operation in Brazil, and advising a telecoms company on various commercial and credit agreements concerning the construction of a new tower.

Navarro Advogados saw a steady flow of corporate, commercial, regulatory and compliance instructions in 2015. Real estate remains a key area of focus for the team, which services a strong client base of property developers and other major players in the industry. Brazilian construction group WTorre is an important client, with practice head Elvis Camargo de Brong Mattar recently advising it on a joint venture for the establishment of a real estate project.

Nogueira, Elias, Laskowski & Matias Advogados has a broad corporate practice, with recent mandates including joint ventures, acquisitions and other transactions. It also provides day-to-day commercial advice to its solid client base, across a wide range of sectors. The ‘high-level’ team is led by Eduardo Felipe Matias, who has particular expertise in sustainability matters.

Olivério Advogados is active in mid-market M&A deals and commercial agreements, and is noted for its ‘great customer service’. Among recent highlights, it acted for a Mexican client on the acquisition of a Brazilian company. Practice head and founding partner João Otávio Pinheiro Olivério is highly recommended.

Mauricio Jun Higashino heads the practice at RZ Advogados, which covers M&A transactions and other corporate matters. It recently advised the shareholders of a major retail group on the sale of the company. Co-founding partner Christian de Lima Ramos is another key contact.

Rolim, Viotti & Leite Campos Advogados’ corporate team works closely with the firm’s experts in energy, mining and infrastructure, with key clients including Anglogold Ashanti and Aliança Energia. Other sector strengths include automotive and telecoms. In 2015, the team acted for Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais (CEMIG) in the negotiation and incorporation of a joint venture with Vale. Fabio Appendino heads the practice.

Rothmann Sperling Padovan Duarte Advogados provides ‘an excellent level of service’, advising a broad client base of mid-sized multinational companies with operations in Brazil. In a demonstration of its cross-border expertise, Marcio Sperling recently advised the Brazilian subsidiary of a European-based group on the incorporation of new branches and numerous commercial agreements in Latin American countries. Felipe Garcia de Souza and Camila Machado de Assunção, who made partner in 2015, are recommended.

Silveiro Advogados is best known for its strength in Porto Alegre, but also has resources in its São Paulo office. Pedro Dominguez Chagas leads the team, which has broad experience in domestic and cross-border corporate transactions. He and Vasco Maestri Trindade recently advised a Brazilian client on its conversion from a limited liability company to a stock company.

The ‘accessible and attentive’ corporate team at Souto Correa Cesa Lummertz & Amaral Advogados has seen significant expansion since the firm’s establishment in Porto Alegre in 2013, and services a range of companies across the technology, entertainment, energy and paper and pulp industries, among others. Among its recent highlights, Carlos Fernando Souto advised Invensys Systems on the purchase of Limeware Serviços de Software and a subsequent software assignment agreement. Gilberto Deon Corrêa Junior is also recommended.

Vaz, Barreto, Shingaki & Oioli Advogados has experience across M&A deals, incorporations and corporate governance issues. In 2015, José Barreto da Silva Netto acted for BMG Participações on the purchase of an equity stake in Lending Serviços de Administração e Correspondente Bancário.

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