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Brazil > Energy and natural resources > Electricity > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Energy and natural resources: electricity
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Noted for its ‘excellent client service’, TozziniFreire Advogados has very strong credentials in renewable energy, and also covers a broad range of power matters. A recent highlight was assisting Proparco with due diligence and the development of tax and regulatory structures relating to a €90m loan to Enel Green Power to further finance the Ituverava photovoltaic plant, which will make it the biggest plant in Brazil. The firm also advised Renova Energia on the R$650m sale of its Alto Sertão II wind farms to AES Tietê Energia; and China Three Gorges on its $1.2bn acquisition of Duke Energy’s Brazilian business. Heloísa Scaramucci ‘finds the best solutions for her clients’.

Power heavyweight Ulhôa Canto, Rezende e Guerra Advogados covers regulatory and transactional matters, as well as administrative arbitration and litigation, regularly drawing on the expertise of the firm’s tax, projects and infrastructure, and corporate departments. It is representing Eletropaulo before the public prosecutor’s office regarding a regulatory proposal made by ANEEL which states that power distribution concessionaires must share their infrastructure with telecoms companies. Practice head Isabel Lustosa and senior associate Alberto Büll da Silva are recommended.

With a focus on environmental mediation, arbitration, and administrative and court litigation, Advocacia Waltenberg regularly acts for major Brazilian energy companies such as EDP Energias do Brasil, ABEEólica and Votorantim Energia, as well as for wind, solar, hydro and biothermal power producers and consumers. Under the leadership of David Waltenberg, the eight-strong team also covers tax and contractual matters.

The infrastructure and natural resources group at Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados is renowned for its financing work and its strength in the renewable energy sector. A recent highlight was assisting State Power Investment Corporation in the attainment and negotiation of a concession agreement for the operation of the 1.7GW São Simão hydroelectric power plant. The firm also assisted Siemens Energy with the due diligence of a joint venture project to develop, implement and operate a new thermal power plant. Ana Karina Esteves de Souza is recommended.

Renowned for both its transactional and regulatory expertise in the power sector, Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados also regularly handles disputes. The group advised Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on its joint acquisition of two operational wind farms in northeastern Brazil; and advised AES Tietê Energia on its acquisition from Renova Energia of a 386MW wind farm located in the state of Bahia. Another highlight was advising Contour Global on the acquisition of all shares held by Neoenergia in six energy generation companies, with Pablo Sorj and Fabiano Ricardo Luz de Brito both acting. Felipe Rodrigues Caldas Feres was made up to partner in 2017. Thiago Luís Sombra joined from now-defunct firm Odon Sombra Advogados.

Mundie e Advogados is particularly recommended for regulatory work in the electricity sector, acting for an impressive roster of clients including Engie, BTG Pactual, Nova Energia and Eneva. The group advised the latter on an investigation regarding the renewal of the insurance policy for all of the company’s plants, as well as conducting an analysis of sector regulation in the context of public hearings held by ANEEL. Another highlight was assisting CTEEP in relation to an investigation concerning the implementation of new transmission lines. Rafael Fabbri D’Avila is the name to note.

Veirano Advogados is recommended for its work on transactional and financial matters, and also in regulatory litigation. It advised Statoil on its investment in a 162MW solar project which aims to provide around 160,000 households with electricity. The team also advised development banks CAF and DIE on the debt financing of a two-stage 84MW hydroelectric power plant and a 63km transmission line in Peru. Ana Carolina Barretto and Tiago Figueiró are recommended.

The ‘excellent’ team at Cescon, Barrieu, Flesch & Barreto Advogados is focused on transactional support, but is also experienced in financial and regulatory matters. It is advising Eletrobras on regulatory and corporate aspects of its divestment plan. Another highlight was advising Enel Green Power Brasil on the financing and development of two solar power plants with a combined capacity of 546MW. Maurício Teixeira dos Santos is recommended. Alecia Bicalho joined from now-defunct firm Motta & Bicalho.

The six-strong team at Demarest Advogados has ‘excellent knowledge’ and notable ‘negotiation skills’, with an excellent track record in disputes in the power sector. A recent highlight was advising Ferbasa on the acquisition of seven wind farms from Santander Investimentos, with a total capacity of 81MW and a value of R$811.7m. The team is also representing Energia Sustentável do Brasil in litigation brought by Agência Nacional de Águas regarding the mitigation measures of the Jirau hydroelectric power plant. Practice head Rafael Gagliardi is recommended along with ‘very helpful’ senior associate Raphael Gomes.

In 2017, the ‘great’ team at Dias Carneiro Advogados added multiple clients to its roster, including Trina Solar and EDP Renováveis. A recent highlight was assisting Solairedirect in the negotiation of agreements relating to the sharing of a transmission grid and a substation. The firm has expertise advising both lenders and creditors on energy sector projects, and it recently assisted Voltalia in relation to the long-term financing, from the Brazilian Development Bank, of four of its wind farms. Ricardo Sanches has ‘incredible negotiation skills and know-how in his field’, and is recommended alongside Thiago Vallandro Flores.

José Roberto Oliva leads the electricity group at Pinheiro Neto Advogados, which covers energy regulation, project finance and M&A. It is representing Total Alimentos, São Marco and Mangels Industrial in an administrative proceeding before ANEEL concerning a shared transmission substation. Another highlight was advising BIC Amazônia on obtaining ANEEL’s authorisation for the construction and implementation of a private power grid in Manaus.

Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira & Agel Advogados is noted for its expertise in the development of power projects and commercial transactions in the sector. A highlight in 2017 was advising Shell on the regulatory structure of a power trading company. The firm is also assisting Barcarena Geração de Energia and LMP Energy Participações e Consultoria in negotiations for the construction of a 600MW thermoelectric power plant. Rio de Janeiro based Guilherme Schmidt and Celina Ozorio are recommended. Alexei Macorin Vivan7 joined in January 2018 from now-defunct firm Vivan Law, and is based in São Paulo.

Delivering a ‘very good cost-benefit ratio for a specialised service’, Souto Correa Cesa Lummertz & Amaral Advogados has experience in a broad range of power sector matters. It is representing Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional and the SIMEC Group in a high-profile case concerning their obligation to raise tariffs to pay for indemnities. Gustavo Kaercher Loureiro is ‘dedicated’, and Rômulo Greff Mariani ‘involves the right people’.

With ‘an exceptional response time’, the power team at Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown has ‘strong technical knowledge of the law’. It is assisting Parnaíba Gás Natural in the acquisition of stakes in the Azulão oil field previously owned by Petrobras; and advised Total on the acquisition of a number of thermal power plants. ‘Business-oriented’ senior counsel Débora Yanasse is recommended alongside Eduardo Lima.

Trench Rossi Watanabe is highly regarded for its corporate and transactional work in the sector. A highlight for the team was assisting two Chinese companies, ZN Energy and State Power Investment Corporation, in their joint venture to acquire the São Simão hydroelectric plant, located in the state of Minas Gerais. The group also advised Casa dos Ventos on the sale of the Araripe III wind power complex. José Roberto Martins is recommended.

BMA - Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão regularly handles financings and transactions in the power sector. On the contentious side, a highlight was representing Abengoa before ANEEL in relation to a number of potential regulatory penalties, while other work included advising Prumo on the construction and operation of a thermoelectric power plant. Eduardo Hayden Carvalhaes Neto is the name to note.

Campos Mello Advogados’ wide-ranging power practice was busy in 2017. A highlight was assisting Scatec Solar in relation to due diligence, negotiations and corporate and contractual matters related to the company’s move to build, own and operate four solar photovoltaic plants in Brazil. Newly promoted partner Carolina Marcondes Sant’Angelo and Fabiano Gallo are recommended.

Well known for its flagship timberland practice, Gasparini, De Cresci e Nogueira de Lima Advogados stands out for its biomass energy expertise. The power group added several new clients to its roster including Grupo Andrade, Sealed Air and Diferencial Energia. On the contentious side, power company Grupo São Fernando is a client. Aldo de Cresci Neto and Rafael Janiques co-head the group.

Julião Coelho Advocacia is noted for its ‘value for money’ and ‘strength in depth’. The energy boutique has seen significant growth since re-opening in 2014, and regularly handles complex regulatory cases in the sector. It is representing Light Energia and Lightger in litigation filed with the objective of safeguarding the economic and financial balance of the hydroelectric companies following the governmental decision to prioritise thermoelectric power. Other clients include Brookfield Renewable, Engie and CTG Brasil. Julião Silveira Coelho has ‘deep legal and technical knowledge’.

Leite, Tosto e Barros Advogados Associados is highly regarded for its work in relation to electricity generation and transmission concession bids, and regularly represents concessionaires in administrative proceedings. The team is defending Transnorte Energia in a public civil action filed by the federal department of public prosecution which aims to prevent the company from continuing to build a transmission line in the north of Brazil. In other work, the firm continues to defend Bioenergy in administrative proceedings before ANEEL seeking to revoke a concession to operate seven wind power generation parks. Tiago Lobão Cosenza and Eduardo Nobre are the names to note.

Providing ‘valuable advice’, Rolim, Viotti & Leite Campos Advogados is best known for its work on regulatory matters in the power sector. It is representing CPFL Paulista in arbitration regarding power purchase agreements, as well as in litigation concerning the enforcement of ANEEL regulations. Maria João Rolim is the name to note.

Specialist dispute resolution firm Sergio Bermudes Advogados has a highly regarded power sector group which includes Elena Landau and associate Vitor Ferreira Alves de Brito. Energy distribution group Abradee and energy companies Cemig, Coelba and Enersul are among its clients.

Siqueira Castro – Advogados has a dedicated power litigation department which regularly handles strategic cases. A highlight in 2017 was representing Interligação Elétrica do Madeira in several administrative proceedings regarding the environmental and regulatory licensing of a transmission line. Fernando Villela de Andrade Vianna and Simone Paschoal Nogueira are recommended. Environmental law expert Marina Vieira Freire Colosio and Rodrigo Alexander Calazans Macedo made partner.

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