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

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Energy and natural resources: mining
  2. Leading lawyers

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With strong relations in mining-rich countries South Africa, Australia and Canada, Lobo & Ibeas is excellent at ‘translating peculiarities of Brazilian law into an international context’. As well as acting on the structuring, implementation and expansion of mining projects, the group also acts on sales and acquisitions, recently advising Anglo American on the $1.5bn sale of its phosphates and niobium businesses in Brazil to China Molybdenum. The ‘extremely knowledgeable and responsive’ Virgilio Cezar de Moraes Borba is ‘top of the class’, ‘very hands-on’ and recommended along with the ‘business-savvy’ Daniela Bessone.

Pinheiro Neto Advogados’ lawyers have ‘superb business acumen, profound industry knowledge, and an excellent network’. The group regularly acts on financings on both the lender and borrower sides, and recently assisted Sprott Resource Lending on extending a financing to Jaguar Mining. Other recent highlights include advising Galvani in relation to the development a phosphates mining project, and assisting China Molybdenum in its acquisition of Vale’s niobium and phosphates operations in Brazil. ‘Dedicated, accessible and knowledgeable’ practice head Carlos Vilhena and counsel Adriano Drummond Trindade are recommended.

One of the most renowned teams in Brazil’s mining sector is Pedro Garcia’s group at Veirano Advogados, which is particularly experienced in M&A and private equity transactions in the sector. Garcia led negotiations on behalf of Centaurus for an earn-in agreement for gold and copper prospects forming the so-called Pará Exploration Package held by Terrativa Minerais. Another highlight was advising Luna Gold on entering into a joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti for the exploration and exploitation of mining targets in the state of Maranhão. Of counsel Carlos Americo Castro and the ‘strategic and precise’ Pedro Freitas are also recommended.

Azevedo Sette Advogados’ Belo Horizonte based mining group has an impressive client portfolio including Ferro+ Mineração, Jaguar Mining, Luna Gold and Samarco Mineração. With an active disputes practice, the group recently defended Anglo American in litigation brought by Mineração Trindade concerning alleged breach of a shared mineral rights assignment contract. Fernando Azevedo Sette, Leonardo Pereira Lamego and Leonardo Farinha Goulart are the names to note.

Mining and environmental boutique William Freire Advogados regularly conducts due diligence on mining rights, assists clients in establishing mining companies, and advises on the strategic management of mineral assets. The firm also has a specialist mining tax team and represents clients in administrative proceedings, litigation and arbitration. Its impressive client portfolio includes Lipari Mineração, Mineração Ibirité, Amarillo do Brasil Mineração, and Bahia Mineração. Founding partner William Freire and Tiago de Mattos Silva are the key names.

Belo Horizonte based Mendo de Souza Advogados Associados has a growing reputation for handling the full spectrum of mining sector work, including contractual, regulatory and contentious matters. Name partner Marcelo Mendo Gomes de Souza and Maurício Pellegrino de Souza are the standout names.

At Rolim, Viotti & Leite Campos Advogados, Thiago Pastor and his five-strong team advise mining sector clients on a broad range of matters, often assembling a multi-disciplinary team. Recent highlights include advising Vale on the development of an iron ore mining project on indigenous territory; and assisting Tamasa Engenharia in relation to the extraction of mineral substances for immediate use in public infrastructure construction. Other clients include AngloGold Ashanti, Kinross and Yamana Gold.

Rio de Janeiro based Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira & Agel, which recently split from L.O. Baptista Advogados, benefits from an excellent network across other Lusophone countries. The group has a strong record in greenfield mining projects, and is regularly instructed by mining companies on regulatory matters. Márcio Silva Pereira and Rogério Sobral de Miranda are particularly recommended.

A firm focused on energy and natural resources matters, Sion Advogados has recently assisted clients in negotiating leases of mining rights and sale and purchase agreements relating to natural resources. Founding partner Alexandre Sion also represents clients in mining disputes.

TozziniFreire Advogados’ work in the sector in 2016 included due diligence exercises and financing matters. The six-strong group, which is led by Luiz Fernando Visconti, also advised Brasil Kirin on the assignment of a mineral water production facility to a third party, and assisted Vonpar in an assignment of mining rights to Femsa.

Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados handled due diligence matters and the sale of mining businesses and assets, and regularly assists clients, often on the lender side, in financing matters. Bruno Werneck led advice to Silver Wheaton on the negotiation of an amendment to a gold purchase agreement with Vale Switzerland.

Commended as ‘proactive and efficient’, Siqueira Castro – Advogados advised Mineração Potilider on regulatory issues and assisted Mineração Caraíba in environmental and mining matters. Fernando Villela de Andrade Vianna and the ‘dynamic, flexible and professional’ Simone Paschoal Nogueira are the names to note.

Cescon, Barrieu, Flesch & Barreto Advogados stands out for its project finance expertise, and recently advised Brio Gold on its $51m acquisition of a mining project. On the contentious side, it is defending Bunge Fertilizantes in indemnification litigation filed by neighbours whose health was allegedly affected by mining activities through the intake of barium-contaminated water. Belo Horizonte based Frederico Viana Rodrigues is recommended.

Particularly recommended for transactional support in the mining sector, Trench Rossi Wanatabe counts Southeastern Asset Management, Weir Minerals and Constructora Meco among its clients. The group assisted the latter company in the negotiation of mineral sales agreements. Joaquim de Paiva Muniz heads the practice.

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