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

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Full-service firm BMA – Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão is consistently recognised among the country’s elite. Its corporate and M&A team is comprised of ‘diligent’, ‘high-level professionals’ with ‘strong business acumen’. It continues to attract instructions in high-profile transactions, acting for domestic and international companies, and has a particularly strong track record representing listed companies. The firm’s strength in competition and antitrust is another draw, allowing the team to see a transaction through to final approval from competition authorities. Among a raft of cross-border deals, it advised KORE Wireless Group on its acquisition of Wyless Group, a transaction that involved the US, the UK, Spain and the Netherlands; leading the advice was Francisco Müssnich, with assistance from Carlos Frederico Lucchetti Bingemer among others. In what was the first public M&A deal initiated by an unsolicited offer in Brazil, the team also advised Kroton Educacional on a binding offer for Estácio Participações; Paulo Cezar Aragão (‘one of the best experts on corporate law in Brazil’) led the team. The sizeable department includes a number of well-known figures in the market, among them Monique Mavignier, Plinio Simões Barbosa and Luiz Antonio Campos. Also attracting praise is Fabiana Fagundes, whose areas of expertise include the agribusiness sector and third sector, and associate Carlo Sivieri de Assis Rocha, who is ‘great at providing creative solutions’.

The ‘business-savvy’ and ‘highly skilled team’ at Demarest Advogados is a ‘step ahead’, demonstrating ‘great business acumen’ and providing ‘excellent legal advice’. Also highlighted by clients is the team’s ‘high level of commitment’ and ‘true engagement’ with the companies it represents. It has successfully carved out a space in the top echelon of firms for corporate transactions in Brazil, regularly attracting instructions in multimillion-dollar deals. In 2016, it was active in M&A in a number of sectors of the economy, including banking, infrastructure and agriculture. The firm’s regional desks also ensure a steady flow of instructions from clients in foreign jurisdictions, with the department’s Asian and Iberian desks being particularly active. Among its recent highlights, Thiago Barbosa Sandim acted for Vinci Group on the €1.5bn acquisition of Lamsac and Pex Perú, the largest toll road M&A in Brazil in 2016. Internal developments included the promotion to partner of Gonçalo Capela Godinho in January 2017, and the arrival of Thiago Rodrigues Maia from Soares Bumachar Chagas Barros Advogados in October 2016 and Ana Carolina Botto Audi from Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados in May 2017. ‘Incredible lawyerLuciana Cossermelli Tornovsky is ‘committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty’; Lucas Tavares Buenoadds fresh knowledge and a risk-oriented mind-set’; and Glaucia Ferreira is ‘very alert to details’. Maria Lucia Almeida Prado e Silva, João Luis Ribeiro de Almeida and Paulo Coelho da Rocha are also recommended.

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados demonstrates ‘deep knowledge of the market and of the risks that a client should or should not worry about’, and is praised for its ‘very focused approach’. It stands out for its impressive track record in M&A, while the firm’s expertise in ancillary areas such as tax and real estate adds to its appeal. The department has an impressive portfolio of international and domestic private equity clients, and remained active in that area in 2016. Other sectors in which it has an established track record include retail, technology and pharmaceuticals. Practice head Adriana Pallis Romano and José Ribeiro do Prado Júnior led a multi-disciplinary team advising a consortium of Asian investors on a US$16bn joint venture with Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (CSN). Guilherme Bueno Malouf is ‘trustworthy’ and a ‘good negotiator’, and other key figures in the team include name partner José Roberto de Camargo Opice, Arthur Bardawil Penteado and Mauro Cesar Leschziner. The team added to its international experience in 2017 with the hire of two partners from US firms: Elie Sherique from Jones Day, and Thiago Spercel from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Carlos José Rolim de Mello meanwhile left to establish his own practice, and Daniella Teixeira de Carvalho Tavares left for Lobo de Rizzo Advogados.

Well established as a leading firm in Brazil, Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados has a steady track record in M&A and is equally at ease on the buy and sell side of transactions. João Ricardo de Azevedo Ribeiro and Pedro Whitaker de Souza Dias led a multi-disciplinary team advising Bradesco Seguros on its joint venture with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, involving the transfer of the client’s large risks portfolio to the joint venture company; and, in a cross-border transaction involving Brazil and Greece, Daniel Calhman de Miranda advised Titan Cement Company on its acquisition of 50% of the capital stock of Companhia Industrial de Cimento Apodi. Private equity transactions are another area of strength for the department. The standalone corporate and M&A team includes 18 partners following the arrival of Adriano Castello Branco from an in-house position at Eneva. He joined the Rio de Janeiro office, where Claudio Oksenberg and Kevin Altit are also based. Leading figures in the São Paulo office include Paula Vieira de Oliveira and Moacir Zilbovicius.

Top law firmPinheiro Neto Advogados draws on a long history in the market, and celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2017. It continues to attract instructions in major M&A transactions, and is appreciated for its ‘multi-disciplinary team, where the lawyers are able to attend to a client in a wide variety of legal areas’, providing ‘full legal coverage’. Complementary to the firm’s well-known M&A capabilities is its proficiency in tax, competition, insurance and real estate. In a significant transaction in the Brazilian market, Ricardo Coelho and Marcello Lobo advised Mitsui Gás e Energia on the acquisition of 49% of the voting corporate capital of Petrobras Gás (Gaspetro), following a competitive and closely followed bid process: this was a complex deal which required close collaboration between the firm’s corporate, compliance, antitrust and tax teams. The firm is also regularly involved in cross-border transactions; among its recent highlights, Carlos Vilhena advised China Molybdenum on the acquisition of the niobium and phosphate operations of Anglo American in Brazil. Fernando Zorzo, ‘senior and impeccable M&A lawyerFernando Alves Meira and the ‘very thoughtfulJosé Luiz Homem de Mello are also recommended.

The ‘really outstanding’ M&A department at Souza, Cescon, Barrieu & Flesch Advogados is highlighted for its ‘professionalism and creativity’ and its ‘non-stop commitment to the client, regardless of what the legal matter is’. Under the leadership of Marcos Rafael Flesch and Maria Cristina Cescon – ‘one of the top M&A and corporate lawyers in the country’ – the team continues to attract a steady flow of work from domestic and international clients in the food and beverage, private equity, retail, and healthcare sectors, among others. Among its work for household-name companies, Roberto Pary acted for Coca-Cola on the acquisition of dairy company Laticínios Verde Campo. Elsewhere, Cescon worked alongside Fernanda Bastos Buhatem, Maurício Teixeira dos Santos and Carlos Augusto Junqueira in advising Eneva on its merger with Cambuhy Investimentos and Parnaíba Gas Natural (PGN), through a private capital increase. The firm also advised The Carlyle Group on the acquisition of public corporation Tempo Participações, which was subsequently delisted. ‘Remarkable professionalCristina de Freitas Bueno is ‘trustworthy, committed and organised’. Tiago Bonatti Peres, Ana Carolina Passos and associate Fernanda Cirne Montorfano also attract strong praise.

TozziniFreire Advogados maintains a leading position in the corporate and M&A market in Brazil, regularly playing a key role on major, high-value transactions. Multi-jurisdictional deals are another area of strength, with recent examples including acting for Coca-Cola on the purchase of Unilever’s soy-based beverages business, which has operations in Mexico, Argentina and Chile, among other jurisdictions; Maria Elisa Gualandi Verri led the advice. After a busy year in 2016, the team also attracted instructions on several large deals in the first quarter of 2017; among them, João Alfredo Busin Fernandes advised the Brazilian subsidiary of French company Elis on its US$403m acquisition of local company Lavebras, and Marcela Waksman Ejnisman advised Italian company Luxottica on its US$117m purchase of Brazilian opticians Óticas Carol. The firm also stands out for its corporate management and compliance capabilities, a burgeoning area in the Brazilian market in which Shin Jae Kim has established herself as a leading figure. Marcio Mello Silva Baptista, who heads the firm’s New York office, is another key contact.

Lefosse Advogados grew significantly at partner level in 2016 and 2017, through organic growth and also through the arrival of Maurício Paschoal from Pinheiro Guimarães – Advogados; the team now includes ten partners dedicated to corporate and M&A transactions. The firm has notable experience in large transactions across a range of industries; particularly busy areas in 2016 were healthcare, education, infrastructure and private equity. Luiz Octavio Duarte Lopes advised Petrobras on the R$2.7bn sale of Liquigás Distribuidora to Companhia Ultragaz as part of Petrobras’ divestment programme, the first of its transactions in which a “hell or high water” clause was successfully negotiated and included. Carlos Barbosa Mello and Mirella Abe acted for Reckitt Benckiser on the acquisition of Brazilian condom and lubricants businesses Jontex, Olla and Lovetex. Other names to note in the team are Christian Roschmann and Sergio Machado. Since research concluded, the firm has also hired Eduardo Soares to develop its new projects and infrastructure practice.

An ‘excellent choice for M&A transactions’, Lobo de Rizzo Advogados is ‘fast to react’ and ‘accurate’. Clients highlight the strong involvement of senior lawyers; ‘a partner is normally involved in deals, meetings and e-mails’. Key lawyer Rodrigo Millar de Castro Guerra advised Verzani & Sandrini on the acquisition of cleaning company JR Higienização; Otávio Lucas Solano Valério acted for chemical products manufacturer Elekeiroz on its purchase of a 50% stake in Nexoleum; and José Orlando de Arrochela Lobo advised Coca-Cola on its acquisition of a stake in water company Crystal Águas do Nordeste. Valdo Cestari de Rizzo and associate Marcelo Frioli Droghetti impress with ‘their ability to interact with opposing counsels, which makes the negotiations lighter and helps overcoming the challenges that normally pop up in M&A deals’. Daniella Teixeira de Carvalho Tavares joined from Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados. Other contacts in the ‘experienced’ team include Regina Gasulla Bouza and In Hee Cho.

A great law firm’, Pinheiro Guimarães – Advogados is a well-established name in the Brazilian market, acting for a strong client base of leading financial institutions, private equity firms and corporations and attracting new instructions in 2016 from, among others, foreign investors looking at opportunities in the Brazilian market. The firm added to its well-known track record in the financial services sector when it acted for HSBC Brasil on its sale to Banco Bradesco, and Citibank on its acquisition by Itaú. Recent highlights on the buy side included acting for Cromossomo Participações on the purchase of 37% of the capital stock of the Mafra Hospitalar Group. The ‘always available’ Plinio Pinheiro Guimarães Neto attracts strong praise. Other names to note in the seven-partner team include René Mostardeiro Brunet, Roberto Thedim Duarte Cancella, Francisco José Pinheiro Guimarães and Marcelo Lamy Rego. Maurício Paschoal left for Lefosse Advogados in August 2016.

Stocche Forbes Advogados has an impressive corporate and M&A offering across São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and benefits from strong ties to the firm’s specialists in the real estate, infrastructure and tax departments. The team has developed a particular forte in private equity transactions, and counts several major private equity firms among its longstanding clients. Among its standout deals in this space, André Mestriner Stocche and Fernanda Rezemini Cardoso advised Tarpon Gestora de Recursos on the sale of its majority stake in Dental Cremer Produtos Odontológicos. In a cross-border deal involving Brazil, Argentina and Belgium, a team led by Flavio Meyer advised Unipar Carbocloro on its acquisition of a stake in Solvay Indupa. Alongside its transactional work, the department also maintains a busy public companies desk, assisting several well-known public companies in day-to-day corporate and commercial matters. Luiz Felipe Martins Costa has a broad corporate practice that spans M&A, corporate restructurings and disputes, and Fabiano Marques Milani is also recommended.

Trench Rossi Wanatabe is particularly noted for its capabilities in cross-border deals, where it utilises its broad office network to assist domestic and international companies on inbound and outbound transactions. The team is praised for its ‘very good level of service’ and ‘strong involvement from highly specialised partners’. In 2016 it saw an uptick in transactional activity in numerous sectors, including healthcare, retail and infrastructure. A cross-office team, involving partners in the UK, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia as well as Brazil, advised longstanding client Unilever on the sale of its soy beverage business to Coca-Cola; Lara Schwartzmann led the Brazilian team. Other household-name clients include Procter & Gamble, which Nazir Takieddine advised on the sale of certain assets to Johnson & Johnson. Elsewhere, Alberto Mori worked alongside colleagues in the tax and IP teams in advising Enterprise Holdings on the purchase of a stake in Unidas. Anna Tavares de Mello co-heads the practice, which includes newly promoted partner Mauricio Pacheco. Esther Miriam Flesch is the name to note for compliance and anti-corruption matters.

Veirano Advogados has carved out a strong position for itself in the Brazilian M&A market, having had a hand in major transactions over a number of years. It has experience on the buy and sell side of diverse M&A deals, recently handling transactions in the energy, private equity, infrastructure and healthcare sectors, among others. Carlos Lobo and Lior Pinsky acted for State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) on its acquisition of a stake in CPFL Energia, marking the largest investment by a Chinese company in Brazil to date. Lobo also took a lead role in advising Prumo Logística on the sale of a 20% stake in Açu Petróleo to German company Oiltanking, working alongside Paula Surerus and a team of associates. Fábio Figueira and Augusto Cesar Barbosa de Souza co-head the corporate department, which is well established in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and has also been growing in Porto Alegre. Roberto Rudzit Neto is also recommended.

Azevedo Sette Advogados has a busy corporate and M&A department, and ancillary expertise in banking, tax and succession planning. Following the expansion of the firm with the arrival of Paulo Brancher and Ricardo Barretto Ferreira da Silva and others from Barretto Ferreira e Brancher (BKBG) in 2016, the practice has gone from strength to strength, and continues to attract instructions from public and private companies and financial institutions. Among its recent engagements, Rafael Adler’s advised Zopone Engenharia on the acquisition of construction company Rodovia Terraplenagem e Pavimentação. The firm has also developed significant capabilities in anti-corruption and compliance, with Luiz Eduardo Salles, Roberto Ribas Wilson and Ana Paula Terra Caldeira key contacts in this space. Luiz Augusto Azevedo Sette and Fernando Azevedo Sette co-head the practice.

The ‘very hands-on’ corporate lawyers at Cascione, Pulino, Boulos & Santos Advogados are ‘capable of thinking outside of the box’ and demonstrate ‘commitment to the success of a transaction’. Clients also praise the team for its ‘responsiveness’; it ‘consistently meets requested deadlines’. Among its recent deals, Milana Martins acted for CGD on the sale of a joint venture to XP Investimentos. Other key figures in the ‘very smart and proactive’ team are Augusto César Rodrigues; ‘top-notch professional’ Eduardo Boulos; and Eduardo Juaçaba, who is ‘smart, professional and personable’. At associate level, Luiz Eduardo Malta Corradini and Guilherme Bertolini Fernandes dos Santos are the names to note.

The ‘very effective’ team at KLA-Koury Lopes Advogados is praised for its ‘loyalty’ and ‘proactive approach’. It has notable experience in a range of industries including telecoms, infrastructure and retail, and has carved out a particular niche in the advertising sector, where it counts Dentsu Aegis Network and Omnicom Group among its clients. Melissa Kanô advised General Mills and its affiliate Yoplait SAS on the purchase of Laticínios Carolina, and Miriam Machado assisted SPAR Group in its expansion into Brazil via a new joint venture corporation through which it acquired New Momentum and New Momentum Services. Venture capital is another area of expertise; key contacts in this space include Karin Alvo and Luiz Filipe Aranha. Alessandra Höhne and associates Marina Bittar Orizzo and Mario Fioratti Neto are also recommended.

Able to turn very complex and complicated matters into manageable matters’, Levy & Salomão has a lean but busy corporate team which ‘always meets deadlines’. The firm is well known for its expertise in regulated industries, with clients spanning the energy, healthcare and TMT sectors, among others. Among its transactional highlights in 2016, Jorge Prada Levy advised Fiagril Participações on the establishment of a joint venture for a construction project. The team also assisted various longstanding clients in day-to-day corporate and commercial, corporate governance and compliance matters. The team is co-headed by the ‘extremely knowledgeable and precise’ Daniel Tardelli Pessoa, and includes key partner Ana Cecília Giorgi Manente and senior associate Christian Galvão Davies.

The ‘responsive’ and ‘business-oriented’ team at Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Browndelivers a high-quality service’. The sizeable corporate practice benefits from the firm’s full-service capabilities, which sees multi-disciplinary teams of corporate, tax, real estate and competition partners working together on large transactions. Strengths include the energy, infrastructure and construction sectors, where many of the team’s largest M&A transactions take place. In a recent highlight, Carlos Motta advised CR Almeida on the bidding process for a share in the control of major infrastructure company EcoRodovias Infraestrutura e Logística. Victor Galante and Alexandre Chequer co-head the team alongside Motto, with Guilherme Vieira da Silva also recommended. Paulo Rage made partner in 2017; he has significant experience in cross-border transactions involving Latin American, Middle Eastern and African jurisdictions. Brasília-based Luís Inácio Lucena Adams is a key contact for compliance matters.

Vella Pugliese Buosi e Guidoni Advogados maintains a busy corporate practice, and is particularly strong in highly regulated sectors such as energy, infrastructure and TMT. In 2016, the compact team saw an uptick in private equity transactions; engagements included advising a major Brazilian private equity firm on a new investment, with Frederico Buosi leading the advice. Healthcare is another area of expertise, with Denise Salles recently advising a leading healthcare company providing medical services to low-income citizens on the creation of new clinics and laboratories. Rodrigo Vella is another key figure in the department. In a major move, the firm agreed a strategic alliance with multinational firm Dentons in 2017.

A ‘strategic law firm specialising in business advisory services’, Araújo e Policastro Advogados is ‘outstanding in terms of response times, business acumen, strength-in-depth of team and value for money’. The corporate department is active in a range of areas, including M&A, incorporation in Brazil, corporate restructuring, compliance and acquisition finance. It is also recommended for corporate litigation, which was an area of significant growth for the group in 2016. Contacts within the ‘proactive and reliable’ team are Camila da Motta Pacheco Alves de Araújo, José Paulo Bueno, José Theodoro Alves de Araújo, and the ‘business-oriented’ Eduardo Correa Fazoli. Associate Bárbara dos Santos Moreira also attracts praise.

Campos Mello Advogadoscombines technical knowledge, partner availability, and a business point of view’. Highlights among Fabiano Gallo’s recent workload include advising chemicals company LANXESS on a joint venture with Saudi Aramco, and acting for Alphatec on the sale of its international operations and distribution channel to Globus Medical. Marcus Vinicius Bitencourt, who co-heads the department with Gallo, is highlighted for his ‘top-notch negotiation skills’. The firm has also developed its compliance and internal investigations expertise under the leadership of Juliana Sá de Miranda. Sergio Ros Brasil left the firm in 2016.

Dias Carneiro Advogados has a strong name in the technology and energy sectors and in venture capital transactions, among other fields. Eduardo Zilberberg advised venture capital fund Monashees Capital on the purchase of an equity stake in Strider Software. The team was also involved in transactions in the renewable energy industry, where Thiago Vallandro Flores and Ricardo Sanches are active.

Lilla, Huck, Otranto, Camargo Advogadosbrings a valued level of expertise, and exceptional professionalism’. 2016 was a busy year for the practice, which attracted instructions from both new and longstanding clients, and significantly expanded its international client base. It has also grown its private equity, venture capital and start-up investments practice. Among a selection of significant transactions, Fabio de Campos Lilla and Luis Gustavo Haddad advised Brasil Norte Bebidas on an asset purchase agreement with Coca-Cola in which the latter acquired IP rights to the Guaraná Tuchaua trademark. Bruno Robert co-heads the practice alongside Haddad, and has taken a leading role on many of the department’s major deals.

Lobo & Ibeas is highlighted for its ‘very good knowledge of Brazilian law and how to translate its peculiarities to an international M&A environment’. It assists a diverse client base in a range of corporate transactions, and it has recently expanded its footprint in private equity and venture capital transactions. In the healthcare sector – a particularly active area for the practice – the team recently advised a longstanding client on the purchase of a healthcare clinic. Daniela Bessone and Gabriel Rios Corrêa are ‘excellent lawyers, and provide top-quality advice’. Joaquim Simões Barbosa also attracts praise.

Machado Associados acts for a range of major local and foreign companies in corporate transactions, and is also a popular choice for international law firms requiring local support. 2016 saw the team advise on the buy and sell side of various M&A deals, as well as assisting companies entering and exiting the Brazilian market in relation to corporate and tax matters. Key figures in the sizeable team include practice head Renata Almeida Pisaneschi and Luciana Felisbino. Isabel Aparecida Bertoletti, whose practice takes in tax, M&A and corporate reorganisations, is also recommended.

The five-partner team at Motta Fernandes Advogados handles a broad range of corporate and commercial transactions for companies in industries such as energy, infrastructure and pharmaceuticals. It has steadily increased its roster of Japanese clients, which turn to the team for assistance regarding their entry into, or operations in, the Brazilian market. Key contacts in the team, which is split across the firm’s São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro offices, are Horacio Bernardes Neto and Roberto Liesegang.

Mundie e Advogadoshas multiple US-trained partners and a wide variety of expertise in M&A, general corporate work and regulatory matters’. It acts for a range of clients including private equity firms, and infrastructure, logistics and energy companies, among others. Rodolpho Protasio has ‘unsurpassed understanding of the law and contracts, as well as a sharp memory of all discussions’. Eduardo Zobaran and Ana Cristina Moraes are also key contacts in the team.

The ‘business-driven’ team at Soares Bumachar Chagas Barros Advogados is noted for its ‘deep market knowledge’ and ‘very quick response times’. It demonstrates strong capabilities in domestic and cross-border M&A on both the buy and sell side. Among a number of new clients are Companhia de Transmissão de Energia Elétrica Paulista and ISA Capital, with the team advising the latter on restructuring redeemable preferred shares held by HSBC and Banco Votorantim. Eduardo Soares and Marcela Figueiró co-head the practice, with João Ribeiro da Costa also recommended.

The sizeable corporate department at Ulhôa Canto, Rezende e Guerra Advogados is spread across the firm’s Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo offices, and handles high-value M&A and other corporate matters for a range of companies in diverse sectors of the economy. Among the firm’s transactional highlights of 2016, Guilherme Rocha Murgel de Rezende advised Crystal Águas do Nordeste on the sale of a 50% stake to Coca-Cola, and Aloysio Meirelles de Miranda Filho acted for DAS Brasil Serviços de Marketing (an affiliate of Omnicom Group) on its acquisition of Grupo ABC. Marcelo Maria Santos is another key contact.

Very modern’ law firm ASBZ Advogados has quickly established itself as a noted player in the Brazilian market. Felipe Gruber Ribeiro and Ricardo Augusto de Machado Melare joined in 2015, bringing broad international experience which assists the team in handling a range of cross-border and domestic corporate transactions. The practice was busy throughout 2016, advising both longstanding and new clients; examples of the latter include Unilever and Worldpackers. Sector strengths include aviation, energy, IT and real estate.

The ‘complete and competent’ team at Almeida Advogados is ‘very diligent and accurate’ and ‘always up-to-date with the latest legal developments’. It has a varied practice covering M&A, commercial contracts, corporate governance, restructuring and litigation, and acts for a mixed client base of domestic and international players. ‘Consummate professional’ André de Almeida ‘stands out for his very strong legal and commercial knowledge, as well as for his international reach’. Natalie Yoshida and Ruy Menezes Neto are also highly recommended.

CMT – Carvalho, Machado e Timm Advogados has a broad office network, with professionals based in São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Curitiba and Indaiatuba. 2016 saw the team advise on M&A transactions and construction and infrastructure agreements, among other matters. Rafael Bicca Machado heads the corporate department, which includes Renato Vieira Caovilla and Rodrigo Vinícius Dufloth. Raquel Stein left for Souto Correa Cesa Lummertz & Amaral Advogados in 2017.

Henrique de Faria Martins leads the team at Candido Martins Advogados, which also draws on the experience of fellow name partner and tax, finance and private equity expert Alamy Candido. The duo recently advised the buyer in an acquisition in the food and beverage industry, through which the client consolidated its presence in the Brazilian market.

Castro, Barros, Sobral, Gomes Advogados has a broad corporate department active in both domestic and cross-border transactions, and is particularly recommended for mid-market M&A. 2016 was another busy year; in one highlight, Fernanda Alves Wolf and Helen Gaudio Valente Figurelli advised Legion Consumer Assets on the acquisition of a distressed retail company. Marco Deluiggi and Anna Cecilia Rostworowski da Costa Buff both attract praise. Renato Stetner co-heads the practice alongside Rostworowski da Costa Buff, and draws on 20 years’ experience in corporate matters.

João Claudio De Luca and Guilherme Filardi head the department at DDSA – De Luca, Derenusson, Schuttoff e Azevedo Advogados, which has recently expanded at associate level. As well as regularly taking roles on corporate transactions in the local market, the team is well-versed in cross-border M&A. In one recent example, a team led by De Luca, Filardi and Ana Luisa Derenusson advised a US-based aviation company with global operations on the sale of two Brazilian companies.

Felsberg Advogados’ corporate department includes four partners and a sizeable pool of associates, many of whom have international experience and ties. Well-versed in advising on the full life-cycle of companies, from incorporation and day-to-day corporate governance issues to acquisitions and sales, the team has a varied client base that includes a number of foreign companies. Claudia Maniaci Salim advised a major German company on the purchase of three Brazilian targets. João Carlos Anderson, Maria da Graça de Brito Vianna Pedretti and Evy Cynthia Marques are also key contacts.

The ‘very dedicated and very qualified’ corporate team at Advocacia Fernando Rudge Leite has a long history in the Brazilian market, and is regularly entrusted by domestic and multinational clients to handle high-value corporate transactions. Fernando Rudge Leite Neto leads the department, overseeing many of its major deals. In one recent example, he led advice to a Brazilian client on an acquisition of two companies from a European company. Other active members of the ‘serious, ethical and accurate’ team include Katia Rastelli Faustino and Thiago Del Persio Iannarelli.

The corporate practice at Fialho, Canabrava, Andrade, Salles Advogados is well-versed in M&A and private equity transactions, and sees a steady flow of engagements from foreign investors establishing businesses or acquiring companies in Brazil. In a recent highlight, Alice Dourado advised Axado Informação e Tecnologia on its acquisition by Mercado Livre. Luciano Fialho leads the team, which also counts Grupo de Moda Soma and General Cable Brasil among its clients.

Sector strengths for the corporate group at Gasparini, De Cresci e Nogueira de Lima Advogados include retail, agribusiness and education, and it has also been steadily developing its corporate and M&A work in the IT industry. The team is active in both domestic and cross-border transactions; recent work for Marcus Phelipe Barbosa de Souza includes advising US-based company Prince Minerals on its acquisition of Oxidry Minerals. Felipe Mavignier co-heads the department with Barbosa de Souza, and takes a lead role on many of its major transactions.

L.O. Baptista Advogados has significant M&A experience, and is regularly instructed by its established client base of energy and infrastructure companies. In one recent example, Daniela Zaitz advised São Martinho on the purchase of Petrobras’ stake in joint venture company Nova Fronteira BioEnergia. Renata Castro Veloso is also recommended.

Landi, Rodrigues, Nakano e Giovannetti Advogados was instructed in several private equity and venture capital transactions during 2016, and also maintains an active practice advising start-ups on a range of corporate and commercial issues. As well as M&A, the team represents clients across the full life-cycle of business, from establishment to corporate restructuring. Rogerio Padua Nakano and Ronaldo Bassitt Giovannetti are the names to note.

The ‘excellent’ team at Mattos Engelberg Advogados has gone from strength to strength since its establishment in 2016. Alongside its M&A practice, clients appreciate the team’s ‘engagement on the day-to-day needs of businesses’. Its highlights in 2016 included advising Eurofarma Laboratórios on the sale of a 50% stake in Inova Biotecnologia Saúde Animal, with Fernando Engelberg de Moraes taking a lead role. André de Godoy Fernandes and Cristiane Borges da Costa attract strong praise.

The ‘high-level professionals’ at Pereira Neto | Macedo adopt ‘a simple, direct, professional approach’ which earns plaudits from clients. The firm acts for corporate clients, financial institutions and asset management firms in corporate, commercial and financial transactions. Mônica Figueiredo de Camargo Arruda advised a non-profit organisation on an acquisition from another non-profit organisation. Practice head Ricardo Ferreira de Macedo is also recommended.

Perlman Vidigal Godoy Advogados has a strong position in the financial services sector, and its corporate and M&A team is active in several sectors in addition to this field. The ‘client-facing’ Marcelo Giovanni Perlman leads the practice, which attracts plaudits for its ‘thorough and speedy advice’ and recently expanded at associate level with the arrival of Érico Lopes Tonussi from Lefosse Advogados. Other active associates in the team are Vinícius Azambuja de Oliveira, Andrea Coimbra de Oliveira Anger, Claudio Dener Diaz Gomez and Mayra Naomi Sakaguti.

The ‘fantastic’ team at Rothmann Sperling Padovan Duarte Advogados acts as a ‘business partner’ to its clients, who appreciate the firm’s ‘expert analysis’ and ‘flexibility’. Its multinational client base has continued to grow, with the team attracting new engagements from a number of leading companies in the pharmaceutical and technology sectors. In 2016 it advised on numerous corporate transactions including acquisitions, joint ventures and the establishment of operations in the Brazilian market. In a cross-border transaction, Gerd Willi Rothmann and Camila Machado de Assunção assisted BDI – BioEnergy International in the termination of a joint venture with TNL Indústria Mecânica. Marcio Sperling is also recommended.

Siqueira Castro – Advogados stands out for its geographic reach across Brazil, and its international expertise and strong relationships with leading law firms in other jurisdictions also ensure a flow of instructions in cross-border deals. A team including Alfredo Ferrari, Carlos Fernando Siqueira Castro and Leonardo Cotta Pereira advised Apax Partners on the acquisition of Marlink from Airbus. Guilherme Dantas attracts praise for his ‘very commercial approach’ and ‘focus on innovative commercial outcomes’. The firm’s compliance and anti-corruption expertise is another distinguishing feature.

Andrade, Pannunzio, Ricardo, Foz e Hypolito Advogados acts for a diverse range of clients, from small local companies to large transnational companies, operating in industries such as transport, education, and food and beverages. Carolina Moura Foz, Denise Hypolito Passaro and Celina Pannunzio Soares are key contacts.

Corporate law is a longstanding area of focus of Boccuzzi Advogados, which also offers tax, labour and commercial litigation support to its clients, ranging from small, family-owned companies to large regional companies. Name partner Eduardo Boccuzzi co-heads the corporate department alongside Marco Ferreira Orlandi, who has a varied practice and is particularly active in the technology sector. The team recently acted for a Russian client on the acquisition of a software company in Brazil.

Coimbra & Chavesoffers a personalised service with direct contact with and involvement of senior and founding partners’. Its client base spans various sectors of the economy, and includes Easy Food do Brasil, Starline Tecnologia and Canal do Crédito. In 2016, the team acted on the buy and sell side of various acquisitions, and assisted clients in negotiating corporate and commercial agreements as well as representing them in litigation. Paula Andrade Ribeiro Chaves, Eugênia Aguiar Siqueira and Izabela Veloso Vieira Clemente da Matta are recommended.

Recent M&A transactions for the corporate department at Costa e Tavares Paes Sociedade de Advogados span the pharmaceutical, healthcare and infrastructure sectors, with many involving a cross-border element. In one highlight, a team including Antonio Tavares Paes acted for a French client on its acquisition of a Brazilian company. Rodolfo Teixeira Egli is active in corporate and commercial matters, and has a specialism in the aviation industry. Vamilson José Costa’s broad corporate practice takes in litigation and arbitration.

The technology sector is a sweet spot for Rosely Cruz Sociedade de Advogados “by neolaw.”, which has a significant track record representing start-ups and growing companies in this field, while other areas of expertise for founding partner Rosely Cruz include e-commerce, seed capital and venture capital. Recent highlights include acting for an investor on the purchase of a stake in a technology and software company. Priscila Titelbaum attracts praise for her ‘analytical skills’.

The ‘very accurate’ and ‘proactive’ team at Gaia Silva Gaede Advogados has offices in strategic locations across the country. Among a number of recent corporate transactions in the healthcare industry, Guilherme Faria de Oliveira Roxo and Hugo Johan Silverio Wery advised a major health and hospital company on a potential sale. The team is also active in the technology and start-up industry, and has developed its corporate compliance practice. Vanessa Cristina Santiago and Mauro da Cruz Jacob head the São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro teams respectively.

Cristina Alckmin Lombardi and Mariana Nogueira are key members of the corporate practice at Leite, Tosto e Barros Advogados Associados, which is active in M&A, corporate transactions, contracts and other commercial matters. Compliance and white-collar criminal defence are other areas of focus within the firm. Maurício Silva Leite left to establish his own firm.

The ‘quick and always available’ team at Mannrich, Senra e Vasconcelos Advogados (MSV) assists its clients in relation to M&A, commercial agreements, corporate disputes, restructuring and compliance. It has seen some departures, with Luísa Brandão Arantes and Saulo Sordi Marchi leaving in 2015 and 2016 respectively, but under the leadership of practice head Fernanda Desio Senra has continued to attract engagements from longstanding clients and has also picked up a number of new clients in the real estate, sport and chemicals sectors.

Neil Montgomery heads the team at Montgomery & Associados. In a recent highlight, Helena Calderano and others advised the buyer in a cross-border transaction involving Brazil, Israel and Luxemburg. Areas of focus for the team, in addition to corporate and M&A, include succession and wealth planning, where Pedro Cafaro is a key contact, and real estate, which is among Eduardo Tunchel’s areas of practice.

Navarro Advogados acts for clients ranging from major conglomerates to small, family-owned enterprises, with the real estate sector a well-established sweet spot. A multi-disciplinary team of corporate, tax and real estate experts, including practice head Elvis Camargo de Brong Mattar and Flavia Bueno Gonçalves, advised SDI Group on structuring the development of a new real estate project. The practice also counts WTorre, Banif Finance and Elemidia Consultoria e Serviços de Marketing among its clients.

Providing ‘high-level service’, Nogueira, Elias, Laskowski & Matias Advogados earns plaudits for its ‘quick response times’ and ‘excellent industry knowledge’. Practice head Eduardo Felipe Matias maintains a broad corporate transactional and non-transactional practice, and has notable expertise in the field of sustainability. Clients span the technology, automotive and healthcare sectors, and the team also counts a number of start-up companies among its clients.

The ‘excellent professionals’ at Olivério Advogados act for a range of companies, including large multinationals, start-ups and entrepreneurs, in corporate and commercial transactions and regulatory matters. Highlights in 2016 included advising a client headquartered in São Paulo on its potential acquisition by a US-based company. Name partner João Otávio Pinheiro Olivério is ‘business-oriented’ and ‘very experienced’.

José Ricardo de Bastos Martins heads the ‘business-oriented’ and ‘responsive’ corporate team at Peixoto e Cury Advogados, where the partners ‘are not just very good legal advisers, but also add value due to their knowledge of the market and industry’. The team has broad experience advising sellers and buyers in M&A transactions. Rafael Villac Vicente de Carvalho made partner in 2016 and is recommended.

The two-partner team at RZ Advogados is based in São Paulo and acts for companies and shareholders in M&A and other corporate and commercial transactions. In one highlight, it advised the shareholders of a Brazilian company on the sale of majority equity participation to a Chinese investor. Other engagements included advising a major private equity firm on a cross-border acquisition. Mauricio Jun Higashino took a lead role on both deals.

Rolim, Viotti & Leite Campos Advogadosprovides services with professionalism and agility, and always meets expectations’. With offices in strategic locations throughout the country, it is well placed to advise a range of companies, and counts among its clients key players in the energy, automotive, and food and beverage industries. Fabio Appendino leads the practice from the Belo Horizonte office, where associate Alessandra Rezende Torres is also a key contact. The ‘knowledgeableFrederico de Almeida Fonseca is also recommended.

The ‘excellentSaud Advogados was formed in 2016 with the arrival of a team from Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown. In cooperation with US-based firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, it is carving out a name for itself in the anti-corruption and compliance space. Practice head Salim Jorge Saud Neto is highly recommended, and the ‘young yet experienced’ Bernardo Viana also attracts praise.

The ‘committed and high-quality’ team at Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira & Agel is particularly active in corporate transactions in the infrastructure and construction sectors, and counts Shell, INPEX Brasil and Prumo Logística among its clients. Rogério Sobral de Miranda, José Gustavo Braga and Bruna Santini Borges are recommended.

Pedro Dominguez Chagas leads the team at Silveiro Advogados, which had another busy year in 2016, advising on a range of corporate and commercial matters. Among its highlights, Dominguez Chagas and Guilherme Queirolo Feijó advised a client in the education sector on its sale to a private equity fund. While Porto Alegre is the firm’s main base, it also has resources in São Paulo. Succession planning is another area of strength within the practice.

Souto Correa Cesa Lummertz & Amaral Advogados has experience across M&A, joint ventures, inbound and outbound investments, and restructuring, and has complementary expertise in IP, tax and antitrust. Associates Luis Felipe Spinelli and Clarissa Yokomizo advised the sellers in a cross-border M&A deal which required documentation in three languages. The department was bolstered in April 2017 by the arrival of Raquel Stein. Other recommended lawyers in the team – which is highlighted for its ‘good response times and industry knowledge’ – include Carlos Fernando Souto, Jorge Cesa and Vinícius Fadanelli.

Vaz, Barreto, Shingaki & Oioli Advogados has experience in a range of corporate and commercial transactions and ‘impresses with its agility and availability’. It acted for Banco BMG on the sale of the equity interest held by it in Itaú BMG Consignado and, in a separate matter, advised the same client on an agreement with Generali Group relating to the distribution and sale of insurance products. Practice heads Erik Oioli and Amanda Rosa Visentini are ‘extremely dedicated and have complete mastery of the subjects in which they act’.

Vieira, Rezende, Barbosa e Guerreiro Advogados has notable experience in private equity and venture capital investments, acting for both domestic and international clients. Camila Borba Lefèvre has a broad corporate practice, and a particularly strong track record in the telecoms sector. Corporate and capital markets expert Marcelo Barbosa is another contact.

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