Bankruptcy and restructuring in Brazil
Felsberg Advogados has a strong profile for restructuring and insolvency in Brazil, with a reputation that it has cemented through years of high-profile mandates, particularly on the debtor side. In a long-running dispute, name partner Thomas Benes Felsberg and a team that included Clara Moreira Azzoni, Fabiana Solano and associate Thiago Dias Costa acted for Rede Energia in the restructuring of its R$3.5bn indebtedness. Other stakeholders also frequently seek the team's advice and representation in large restructurings, including creditors, investors and shareholders. Paulo Fernando Campana Filho left for Cascione, Pulino, Boulos & Santos Advogados in 2018. Distressed M&A specialist Renato Brandão was promoted to partner in 2019.
Well established as a leading firm for debt restructuring in Brazil, Pinheiro Guimarães – Advogados draws on its extensive experience in banking and litigation to handle a variety of matters. Its clients include household name financial institutions and international investors. One such client is Itaú Unibanco; in recent work, a team led by Eduardo Augusto Mattar in São Paulo represented the bank as creditor in the judicial reorganisation of PDG Realty SA Empreendimentos e Participacoes. Also in São Paulo are Francisco José Pinheiro Guimarães, Sergio Ramos Yoshino, Renata Veloso and associate Guilherme Bergamin de Barros. Plinio Pinheiro Guimarães Neto is a name to note in Rio de Janeiro.
The restructuring and insolvency team at Pinheiro Neto Advogados comprises three partners, who are regularly instructed by clients in high-profile and complex distressed situations. The team also benefits from the firm’s full-service capabilities, with the core team often working alongside colleagues in the banking and corporate departments. The practice also stands out for its ability to handle cross-border proceedings. In a major restructuring in the agricultural sector, Luiz Fernando Valente de Paiva and a team acted for CHS Agronegócio as creditor in the judicial reorganisation of Seara Indústria e Comércio de Produtos Agropecuários. Giuliano Colombo and André Moraes Marques are key partners; associates to watch include Joana Bontempo.
BMA - Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão combines transactional expertise with vast litigation experience, allowing it to handle the gamut of restructuring matters, from out-of-court reorganisations to bankruptcy-related litigation. The firm particularly stands out for its debtor-side practice, though it also has a good reputation for creditor-side representation. Sectors in which the team has been the busiest in recent years include telecoms, construction and energy. In the former sector, Sergio Savi and Felipe Evaristo dos Santos Galea continue to act for Oi Group in its highly-publicised debt restructuring. Elsewhere, Eduardo Guimarães Wanderley acted for Electrolux do Brasil in the context of retail company Máquina de Vendas’s extrajudicial restructuring.
The ‘very responsive’ lawyers at Demarest Advogados illustrate ‘great business acumen’. The restructuring team remains busy, continuing to assist clients in all types of restructuring proceedings and in distressed M&As. In recent work, Celso Xavier acted for Macquarie Bank as creditor in the judicial reorganization of Seara Indústria e Comércio de Produtos Agropecuários. Guilherme Fontes Bechara, who was promoted to partner in January 2019, receives strong praise for his ‘very practical approach to problems and legal solutions’. Associate Matheus Azevedo Bastos de Oliveira is also recommended. Fabio de Almeida Braga has broad experience in banking, finance and restructuring, and is another key member of the team.
Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados has established a strong restructuring team, drawing particularly on the expertise and experience of key partners Renata Martins de Oliveira Amado and Renato Gomes Ribeiro Maggio. It covers the gamut of in- and out-of-court restructurings and distressed deals, and the firm’s multidisciplinary capabilities allow it to staff cases with restructuring, corporate, banking and other sector specialists. In significant work, Gomes Ribeiro Maggio and Camilo Torres Gerosa Gomes acted for creditors Itaú Unibanco, Banco Santander (Brasil) and Banco Bradesco in the pre-packaged reorganisation plan of Máquina de Vendas.
Boutique restructuring and insolvency firm Mange Advogados has built its reputation in the market over several decades. Large and medium-sized companies from various sectors, including retail, chemicals and automotive, turn to the team for advice and representation in judicial and extrajudicial recoveries. Renato Luiz de Macedo Mange leads the team, which also includes Eduardo Foz Mange.
The multidisciplinary team at Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados combines knowledge and experience in banking, corporate transactions and litigation, while the firm’s full-service offering ensures the input of tax and capital markets specialists when relevant. The firm is particularly strong in distressed transactions, drawing on the firm’s well-known and leading corporate M&A practice. In one highlight, Marcelo Sampaio Góes Ricupero and a team advised TPG Strategic Infrastructure in the acquisition of Abengoa Group unit UPI Operacional through a competitive proceeding. Marina Anselmo Schneider has extensive experience in financing techniques and transactions. Bruno Mastriani Simões Tuca is another key name.
Highly-regarded boutique firm Thomaz Bastos, Waisberg and Kurzweil Advogados has an impressive debtor-side restructuring practice, often representing debtors in the largest and most high-profile proceedings in Brazil. Recently, this has included acting for Saraiva in its judicial restructuring proceeding, and Máquina de Vendas in its out-of-court restructuring. Ivo Waisberg, Joel Luís Thomaz Bastos, Bruno Kurzweil de Oliveira and Ricardo Pomeranc Matsumoto are leading figures in the team.
The ‘very committed’ and ‘hardworking’ team at Veirano Advogados is split between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and includes experts in litigation, M&A and banking. Its partners can often be found representing creditors in high-profile insolvency proceedings, and it is also adept in distressed M&A. Among Cássio Cavalli’s recent workload was his representation of Banco Santander (Brasil) in the judicial reorganisation of Bom Jesus Agropecuária; the transaction involved the restructuring of debt through debentures and the replacement of a security package. Sergio Bronstein, Gustavo Moraes Stolagli and Ricardo Gama are also leading figures in a team which was further reinforced in April 2020 with the hire of Paulo Fernando Camana Filho from Cascione Pulino Boulos Advogados.
The restructuring group at Cescon, Barrieu, Flesch & Barreto Advogados is led by Fábio Rosas and benefits from the firm’s strong banking, corporate, capital markets and litigation practices. For example, the team often works closely with colleagues in the corporate department to assist investors in distressed transactions. Also of note is the team’s particular expertise in the oil-and-gas sector; in this space, the team has notable experience in domestic and cross-border restructurings. Rafael Baptista Baleroni is also recommended. Tiago Lopes left for Lollato Lopes Rangel Ribeiro Advogados.
Galdino & Coelho Advogados
Galdino & Coelho Advogados fields a sizeable team that is split between the São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro offices. It is especially renowned for debtor-side work in restructuring and insolvency procedures, and often has a role in complex and innovative matters. Flavio Galdino and Sergio Coelho are the founding partners; Eduardo Takemi Kataoka is another name to note. João Mendes de Oliveira Castro left to join investment management firm Prisma Capital, and Pedro Mota joined from BMA - Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão.
Huck, Otranto, Camargo Advogados maintains a varied practice, representing creditors and investors in addition to debtors and shareholders of distressed debt. Its areas of practice are similarly diverse; it advises on restructuring plans, the sale and acquisition of distressed assets, special situations and refinancing. Luis Gustavo Haddad and Luiz Felipe Pereira Gomes Lopes head the practice, which also includes Diego Billi Falcão.
The restructuring team at Lefosse Advogados combines dispute resolution, capital markets and corporate and M&A expertise, with an emphasis on creditor-side work. Among its areas of specialization are judicial and extrajudicial restructuring, debt renegotiation and distressed transactions. In recent work, Raphael Nehin Corrêa and Roberto Zarour acted for Itaú Unibanco as creditor in the reorganisation proceeding of Livraria Cultura and 3H Participações. The team expanded at the associate level in 2018 with the hires of Tatiana Flores Gaspar Serafim from Perlman Vidigal Godoy Advogados and Alexandre Paranhos Tacla Abbruzzini from Leite, Tosto e Barros Advogados Associados. Renata Cardoso co-heads the team alongside Corrêa and Zarour.
Well-established firm Sergio Bermudes Advogados excels in restructuring, insolvency and dispute resolution. It has solidified its reputation through its roles in major judicial-recovery proceedings involving companies in the energy, natural resources and agribusiness sectors, among others, and it has experience acting for both creditors and debtors. Marcio Vieira Souto Costa Ferreira and Sergio Bermudes are key names.
The ‘committed’ team at Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown ‘goes the extra mile’. Many of its lawyers have litigation backgrounds, and the team also benefits from the firm’s international office network. Of particular note is its work for trustees in restructuring and bankruptcy procedures. Recommended partner Leonardo Morato has been representing Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Consultores as the bankruptcy trustee in the judicial reorganisation of Alumini Engenharia. Luciana Celidonio draws on over 18 years of experience in corporate, commercial and bankruptcy-related litigation.
Cascione Pulino Boulos Advogados established a bankruptcy and restructuring practice in 2018 with the arrival of Paulo Fernando Camana Filho from preeminent restructuring firm Felsberg Advogados. In ongoing work, he is representing three affiliates of a company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in their Brazilian expedited reorganisation proceeding. Senior associate Karina Ferraz Deorio has strong experience in this field. Since publication however, in April 2020, Campana has moved to Veirano Advogados.
The restructuring group at Castro Barros Advogados is led by credit-recovery expert Alexandre Espínola Catramby. In litigation, the team is regularly instructed by creditors in court-supervised restructurings and bankruptcy proceedings while, on the transactional side, it has experience in distressed M&As and financial restructuring.
Operating from São Paulo, DDSA - De Luca, Derenusson, Schuttoff e Azevedo Advogados specialises in representing judicial administrators in reorganisation proceedings, where it has developed an active practice. Fernando Gomes dos Reis Lobo and Luis Augusto Roux Azevedo are the practice co-heads.
Dias Carneiro Advogados excels in litigation and as such is regularly instructed in judicial restructuring proceedings, where it has a solid track record representing creditors. In recent work, Laura Mendes Bumachar acted for Organización Corona, the largest individual creditor and former joint-venture partner of Eternit group, on the latter’s judicial reorganisation. Other key team members include Eduardo Zilberberg, along with Antonio Nachif and Lucas Paulino, who were appointed partner and counsel, respectively, in January 2020.
E. Munhoz Advogados
Established in 2015, E. Munhoz Advogados specialises in restructuring, dispute resolution, capital markets and corporate law. Its experience includes in-court and extrajudicial restructuring, acting for creditors, debtors and investors. Carolina Kiyomi Iwamoto and Eduardo Secchi Munhoz are leading figures in the team.
Leite, Tosto e Barros Advogados Associados
Demonstrating ‘great knowledge and experience’, the team at Leite, Tosto e Barros Advogados Associados is highlighted for its ‘technical knowledge and loyal engagement’ to the client’s best interests. It maintains a broad client base, which includes domestic and international financial institutions. Rodrigo Quadrante and Paulo Guilherme Lopes receive strong praise.
Vidigal Neto Advogados
Perlman Vidigal Godoy Advogados is receiving increasing recognition for its restructuring and bankruptcy practice, and is also active in distressed M&A transactions. Luciano de Souza Godoy and Ricardo Zamariola Júnior are the key partners in the team, which benefits from a pool of experienced associates, including Leonardo Dib Freire and Janaína Dutra Thuller.
Siqueira Castro – Advogados has a broad practice that spans restructurings, renegotiation of debt and credit recovery, with experience acting for both debtors and creditors. In one major case, André Gondinho and Guilherme Dantas are acting as one of the main external counsels to Avianca in the company’s judicial reorganisation. Recent internal developments included the promotion of Alexandre Wider and Marina Magalhães Gomes Ramacciotti to partner.
The Porto Alegre-based team at Souto Correa Cesa Lummertz & Amaral Advogados acts for national and international clients and handles a range of restructuring matters across the country. In one highlight, Luis Felipe Spinelli acted for Norsul Group in the judicial reorganisation of Azevedo Bento. The sizeable team also includes Gilberto Deon Corrêa Júnior and Rodrigo Tellechea.
Stocche Forbes Advogados has a notable creditor-side restructuring practice. Illustrating its commitment to this area, the firm promoted Guilherme Gaspari Coelho to partner in December 2018. He was involved in advisng an ad hoc group of bondholders in the judicial reorganisation of the Tonon Group, and also worked alongside Guilherme Forbes to advise an ad hoc committee of lenders on the $1.6bn restructuring of Samarco Mineração. However, firm founding partner and department head Domingos Refinetti left the firm having reached its mandatory retirement age; he has moved to Wongtschowski & Zanotta Advogados as an associate counsel. Frederico Moura is a key contact in Rio de Janeiro.
ASBZ Advogados hired restructuring specialist Bruno Delgado Chiaradia from Bernardi & Schnapp Advogados in 2018. The firm has quickly developed a significant practice in representing banks as creditors in reorganisation proceedings. In a recent example, Delgado Chiaradia acted for Banco Bradesco in the reorganisation proceeding filed by Viver Group; the bank entered into an agreement with Jive involving the sale of the bank's credit against Viver Group.
Moura Tavares, Figueiredo, Moreira e Campos Advogados assists debtors in debt renegotiations, corporate-recovery strategies, judicial reorganisations and bankruptcy proceedings. Alexandre Figueiredo de Andrade Urbano and Leonardo de Almeida Sandes are key names in the team, which is based in Belo Horizonte.
Founded in 2013 and best known for its strength in the agribusiness sector, Petribu, Cabrera, Pires de Mello e Fernandes Advogados fields a ten-strong team in the bankruptcy sector. Offering both consultancy and litigation services, it handles the full range of sector issues but is particularly active in restructuring and high-value judicial credit recovery. Work highlights include ongoing credit recovery work on behalf of a chemicals group (with approx. BR$100m recovered to date); credit recovery litigation in relation to Chapter 11 procedures; the purchase of distressed debt portfolios; and advising an international client on a debt restructuring transaction involving a Brazilian debtor. Name partners Ben-Hur Cabrera, Rodrigo Pires de Mello, Henrique Petribu and Oswaldo Fernandes N are all contacts for the practice area.
Based in São Paulo and with additional offices around the country, Rayes & Fagundes Advogados Associados celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018. The experienced restructuring, insolvency and credit-recovery team includes Eduardo Vital Chaves, Ligia Azevedo Ribeiro and Renata Cavalcante de Oliveira and is particularly active in the financial services, technology and life sciences sectors.
Scalzilli Althaus Chimelo Spohr Advogados
Established in 2006, Souza Araujo Butzer Zanchim Advogados – SABZ Advogados has experience in numerous sectors, including financial services, agriculture and real estate. Litigation and insolvency expert Paulo Doron Rehder Araujo recently acted for Braskem in the judicial reorganization filed by Sintex Laminados Sintéticos. Kleber Luiz Zanchim is another contact.
Leveraging its litigation capabilities, Ulhôa Canto, Rezende e Guerra Advogados has an active practice in judicial reorganisations, where it represents well-known banks as creditors. Dispute resolution partner Marcelo Beltrão da Fonseca and associate Débora Chaves Martines Fernandes are the names to note.