Legal market overview in Brazil
Connecting the centre west and northeast of Brazil to the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and the wider region of Minas Gerais enjoy a strategic geographic position in the country. The state combines a rich agricultural landscape with a longstanding tradition in the mining sector, as well as strong construction, automotive and steel industries, which are some of the core foundations of its diversified economic profile. In addition, Belo Horizonte has emerged as an important tech hub in the country, boasting a number of companies in the fields of biotechnology and computing. Dubbed as a research and innovation centre, the city fields a bustling and important start-up community - San Pedro Valley - which counts over 300 enterprises, operating in sectors such as technology and life sciences. Minas Gerais, which is home to some of the biggest players in the domestic and international mining sector (including Vale), has recently featured on the front page of several international news organisations following the two fatal mining disasters of Mariana (2015) and Brumadinho (2019). The collapse of the tailings dams have had domestic and international repercussions, proving necessary a shift in the sector and existing regulations to guarantee the safety of systems and operations. The local legal market is populated by full-service firms including Azevedo Sette Advogados and Rolim, Viotti & Leite Campos Advogados, which both originated in Belo Horizonte and have nationally recognised reputations in M&A and dispute resolution. National player Cescon, Barrieu, Flesch & Barreto Advogados opened an office in the city in 2009, and has already established itself as a go-to destination in the region, having recently merged with local office Mendo de Souza Advogados, which boosted its offering in the mining sector. Fialho Salles Advogados is a key local player in various legal practice areas, and has an increasingly relevant national profile. Other firms to note in Belo Horizonte include Vilas Boas, Lopes e Frattari Advogados, Freitas Ferraz Capuruço Braichi Riccio Advogados, Humberto Theodoro Jr. Sociedade de Advogados, which stands out in dispute resolution, and leading tax boutique Sacha Calmon e Misabel Derzi Consultores e Advogados.