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Brazil > Environment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Environment
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Who Represents Who

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Demarest Advogados provides ‘swift and high-quality’ advice in areas including industrial contamination, the implementation of reverse logistic systems, and the handling of environmental accidents. A recent highlight was representing airline Iberia in discussions with the Municipality of Guarulhos, where São Paulo’s airport is located, concerning potential compensation for air emissions through the maintenance of green areas. Senior associate Marise Hosomi Spitzeck led the successful defence of Fronteca Agroflorestal in an administrative action concerning alleged infringement of the new code concerning deforestation. The ‘knowledgeable, competent and service-oriented’ Luiz Fernando Henry Sant’Anna leads the six-strong team.

‘Outstanding’ environmental boutique Milaré Advogados is highly recommended for permitting matters and dispute resolution. It obtained a favourable administrative decision for Grupo Isolux concerning the installation of a transmission line allegedly without an environmental licence. Another highlight was advising International Paper on the execution of an agreement with a public entity converting 90% of administrative fines into environmental services. The group was also instructed by Alphaville Urbanismo, Norte Energia and new client China Three Gorges Brasil. Édis Milaré’s 18-strong group has a separate solid waste and contaminated sites department led by managing associate Rita Maria Borges Franco, as well as a criminal environmental law practice. Another name to note is managing associate Roberta Jardim de Morais, who focuses on the agribusiness, forestry and paper sectors.

Pinheiro Neto Advogados’ ‘dedicated and knowledgeable’ team is regularly instructed in complex environmental litigation, and has strong expertise in water and land contamination, as well as accident response matters. Practice head Antonio José Monteiro assisted major highway concessionaires including AutoBAn and SPVias in a civil inquiry concerning the running over of domestic and wild animals on roads; and advised mining company CBMM on environmental compensation, and the rescue and release of wild animals. The ‘accessible’ Alexandre Jorge represented Eternit in civil public actions brought by the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro concerning the discontinuance of asbestos use in industrial plants and compensation for former and current employees and family members. André Vivan de Souza was promoted to partner in January 2017.

Newly established firm Graça Couto, Sequerra, Levitinas, Bicudo, Leal & Abby Advogados has a strong focus on environmental matters, with a ten-strong group handling environmental licensing and permitting procedures as well as judicial and administrative litigation. Among its accident response work, it defended Chevron in a civil action filed by a fishermen’s association concerning the Frade Field oil spill, and defended Vale in a $43.8bn claim for compensation following the Bento Rodrigues dam disaster. Other clients include Belo Monte Transmissora de Energia, Prumo Logística and Rio Energy. Both formerly at Lobo & Ibeas, name partner Oscar Graça Couto and Guilherme Leal are the names to note.

Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados stands out for its expertise in relation to brownfield and contaminated sites, and the management of waste take-back schemes. Lina Pimentel Garcia has ‘both technical and practical knowledge’, and is currently defending SINOBRAS in litigation concerning environmental damage caused by the illegal acquisition of forestry raw material, in which the firm is trying to convert the largest fine ever levied by IBAMA into an environmental services programme. Luiz Gustavo Bezerra, who joined from Motta Fernandes Advogados, advised Votorantim on financial benefits to be obtained from environmental forestry assets. Associate Rafael Fernando Feldmann is also recommended.

Benefiting from the firm’s strong M&A department, TozziniFreire Advogados’ environmental group regularly handles pre-acquisition due diligence, recently acting for Coca-Cola FEMSA on the acquisition of Unilever’s soy-based beverage business. Another 2016 highlight was assisting China Three Gorges in the environmental due diligence of Duke Energy projects in Brazil. The practice also covers permitting matters, the management of contaminated sites, and disputes. Bianca Signorini Antacli has ‘excellent regulatory knowledge, and acts as a client’s partner’, and the ‘outstanding’ Adriana Mathias Baptista is ‘practical, objective, and a great communicator’.

Trench Rossi Wanatabe has ‘excellent technical skills, with deep knowledge in the area’. In the area of soil and groundwater contamination, the group is defending several companies including Procter & Gamble and International Indústria Automotiva da América do Sul against class actions brought by the São Paulo state district attorney’s office seeking compensation for environmental damage caused by the operation of plants in the Jurubatuba region. The team has also been acting in the areas of solid waste, the deforestation of native trees, and licensing. Hércules Celescuekci and the ‘very professional’ Renata Amaral are recommended along with senior associate Giovani Bruno Tomasoni, who provides ‘assertive risk analyses’.

Veirano Advogados regularly handles contamination matters, and has seen an uptick in administrative litigation. It represented Sandvik do Brasil in litigation filed by the public attorney’s office concerning the full remediation of a contaminated area, including the clean-up of deep underground water. The firm also acted for Oxbow Carbon in three cases filed by NGOs concerning pollution through petroleum coke, and represented Santos Brasil in an environmental class action regarding the chemical contamination of an area partially owned by Santos Brasil. The ‘very competent’ Ana Luci Grizzi and senior associate Bibiana Carvalho Azambuja da Silva are the names to note.

Felsberg Advogados has a standout solid waste practice, acting for Electrolux, Estre Ambiental and numerous industry associations. A recent highlight was advising Motorola Solutions on the environmentally compliant management of electronic equipment and its components. The environmental licensing of projects and the handling of contaminated areas are also key areas, with Toyota a major client. Team head Fabricio Soler is ‘well prepared, concise and experienced’, with a practice extending to criminal environmental matters.

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados’ ‘committed’ team provides ‘swift replies’ and covers areas such as biodiversity, solid waste, contamination, climate change and crisis management. The group continues to defend Samarco against a R$155m claim and approximately 80 public civil actions concerning the Bento Rodrigues dam disaster of 2015. Azul Linhas Aéreas, Fertilizantes Heringer and Gerdau also instructed the ten-strong team, which includes the ‘very client-focused’ Roberta Danelon Leonhardt and newly made-up partner Daniela Stump.

With a wide-ranging practice, Siqueira Castro – Advogados has recently acted in solid waste matters, licensing procedures and environmental disputes. It represented AES Tietê and AES Eletropaulo in disputes concerning irregular property occupation in protected areas around hydroelectric power plants, and vegetation suppression around energy transmission lines; and also advised Cosan Logística, waste and sanitation group Solví, and Votorantim Cimentos. Simone Paschoal Nogueira and Renato Otto Kloss are recommended.

São Paulo based boutique Tabet Advogados covers the gamut of environmental matters, including due diligence, risk assessments and litigation. The three-partner team is particularly recommended for crisis management in the aftermath of environmental accidents. Founding partner Fernando Tabet and Ana Claudia Franco are recommended. Heloisa Verri Paulino Gomes is now with Gasparini, De Cresci e Nogueira de Lima Advogados.

Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown was active in 2016 in relation to the environmental licensing of new projects. Particularly active in the energy sector, it regularly acts for large national corporations such as Transpetro and thermoelectric plant operator Pecém. Practice head Paulo de Bessa Antunes is highly rated for disputes, and is experienced in native community matters.

Notable for its expertise in the environmental aspects of construction projects, Andrade & Fichtner Advogados was involved in a number of large projects in 2016; it advised Construtora Norberto Odebrecht on the establishment of a shipyard and naval base for the construction of conventional and nuclear-powered submarines, and assisted Companhia Siderúrgica do Pecém in the construction of a steel mill. Vivianne Fichtner and Julio Rebello Horta are recommended.

Recent work for BMA – Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão, on the M&A side, includes advising Ipiranga and Ultrapar on the environmental aspects of the acquisition of gas distribution company ALE Combustíveis. Elsewhere, the experience of its emergency response team in handling environmental accidents came to the fore when advising Terminal Químico de Aratú on the environmental repercussions of a fire incident at Latin America's largest fuel tank storage facility, which is operated by the client. Senior associate Beatriz Paulo de Frontin and Eduardo Hayden Carvalhaes Neto co-head the practice, following the departure of former practice head Miriam Mazza in September 2016.

Luciana Gil Ferreira’s group at Bichara Advogados is particularly recommended for infrastructure-related environmental matters. It is defending MRS Logística in a public civil action brought by the public prosecutor requesting indemnification for the community for the noise caused by railroad activities. It is also defending Oi against a civil public action brought by the public prosecutor of Amapá state, concerning the environmental licensing of the installation of a fibre optic network which runs through an indigenous area.

Gasparini, De Cresci e Nogueira de Lima Advogados has strong biodiversity, forestry and timberland investment practices, and regularly handles environmental due diligence. Clients include Greenwood Resources Capital Management, Tree Florestal and Vale Fertilizantes. Heloisa Verri Paulino Gomes joined from Tabet Advogados and now co-heads the practice with Aldo de Cresci Neto.

Lilla, Huck, Otranto, Camargo Advogados is highly rated for arbitration and litigation in the environmental area, currently representing clients in numerous civil class actions concerning environmental permits for infrastructure projects. ‘Reliable’ founding partner Estela Maria Lemos Monteiro Soares de Camargo and Gabriel Felício Giacomini Rocco are also experienced in matters relating to pesticides and other agricultural products.

Recent work for Lobo de Rizzo Advogados includes assisting Mercedes-Benz in the environmental licensing procedure for a new industrial site. Practice head Renata Soares Piazzon ‘always strives to find an excellent solution’, with experience in areas including solid waste, climate change, and contaminated areas.

Belo Horizonte based Rolim, Viotti & Leite Campos Advogados specialises in energy and natural resources projects, recently advising clients such as Kinross and Vale on the environmental licensing and conflict mediation of mining projects. On the litigation side, it is defending agribusiness and food production company Bunge against a public civil action, infraction notices, and administrative and judicial litigation. Thiago Pastor heads the six-strong team.

Rio de Janeiro based Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira & Agel regularly handles environmental licensing proceedings, particularly in the oil and gas sector. It recently advised oilfield services company Schlumberger on regulatory matters, and assisted Açúcar Guarani in obtaining an operating licence for an industrial unit. Marcio Silva Pereira has ‘solid knowledge of environmental issues, and a very good network’.

A specialist in mining activities, Azevedo Sette Advogados regularly advises companies on environmental regulation, and has recently undertaken a due diligence exercise into environmental compliance. Belo Horizonte based associate Svetlana Maria de Miranda is the name to note for environmental matters. Clients include Belo Sun, Samarco Mineração, and Tiberina Automotive MG.

Regularly involved in infrastructure and construction projects, Campos Mello Advogados’ environmental group acts on licensing, environmental compliance and remediation matters. Practice head Terence Trennepohl is also recommended for litigation in the area.

DDSA – De Luca, Derenusson, Schuttoff e Azevedo Advogados is noted for land, and particularly forest, acquisitions. Practice head Flávia Marcilio Barbosa is recommended for real estate related environmental matters.

Dannemann Siemsen Advogados acts on environmental compliance and licensing matters as well as in disputes. Andrea de Menezes Carrasco is the name to note.

KLA-Koury Lopes Advogados defended Viação Santa Cruz in a claim seeking damages for soil contamination from the leakage of diesel storage tanks, and has also been active in the areas of due diligence, forest land acquisition and contamination recovery. Vanessa Tafla ‘renders excellent services’. Also recommended are Marianne Albers, who joined from De Vivo, Whitaker e Castro Advogados, and Paulo Prado.

A specialist in public law, Manesco, Ramires, Perez, Azevedo Marques Sociedade de Advogados is recommended for advising concessionaires of public sanitation and waste disposal contracts. Wladimir Antonio Ribeiro is recommended.

Pinheiro Pedro Advogados, under founding partner Antonio Fernando Pinheiro Pedro, is regularly retained to advise on the environmental licensing of infrastructure projects and to act in environmental disputes. Clients include waste collection service concessionaire LOGA Logística Ambiental de São Paulo, and InterCement Brasil.

At specialist infrastructure firm Sion Advogados, Alexandre Sion and Bernardo Pessoa handle all environmental matters related to large projects. Regularly representing clients in litigation, the group recently defended a company in a civil public action concerning pollution allegedly caused by a production plant.

The ‘competent’ team at Souto Correa Cesa Lummertz & Amaral Advogados advised Via Varejo on solid waste management matters and the disposal of post-consumer waste, and is defending Habitasul in a class action seeking indemnification due to the allegedly irregular construction on a permanent preservation area. Porto Alegre based associate Fabiana Figueiró is recommended.

Benefiting from the firm’s signature corporate practice, Souza, Cescon, Barrieu & Flesch Advogados’ environmental team regularly handles due diligence matters. In other work, it defended Bunge Fertilizantes against over 500 lawsuits filed by individuals claiming compensation for damage to their health allegedly caused by the ingestion of water contaminated by barium. Associate Rebeca Alves Corrêa de Lima Stefanini is the name to note.

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