Environment in Brazil
The 'very experienced' environment team at Demarest Advogados is one of the best in Brazil. It is particularly recommended for advising on contaminated sites, but has a broad take on environmental matters. Recent work included acting for Rural Brasil, on whose behalf the group handled the administrative defence, civil investigation and negotiations with the public authorities concerning the acquisition of soybeans that allegedly came from embargoed areas. New client wins include Copart do Brasil, RMS do Brasil Administração de Florestas and Mohawk Industries. 'Dedicated' and 'competent' practice head Luiz Sant’Anna is 'very accessible'. Senior associates Marise Hosomi Spitzeck and Lourdes de Alcântara Machado also stand out.
A firm specialised in environmental work, Milaré Advogados is described as 'outstanding'. Clients include International Paper and Grupo Isolux. Main pillars of the practice are permitting matters; contaminated sites and solid waste (led by managing associate Rita Maria Borges Franco); agribusiness, forestry and paper matters (led by managing associate Roberta Jardim de Morais). Additionally, the team is often instructed to act on dispute resolution and criminal law issues; in this area, leading lawyer Édis Milaré, who frequently acts in arbitrations, is the name to note.
Brazilian powerhouse Pinheiro Neto Advogados handles the civil, administrative and criminal liability of contamination cases, as well as environmental litigation in the energy sector. Waste disposal was an important topic for the group in 2018. Recent work included representing beverage industry association ABRABE in litigation concerning the package take-back system. Another highlight is the continued representation of BHP Billiton in several cases related to the Fundão dam failure; these are led by Werner Grau Neto, Alexandre Outeda Jorge and Andre Vivan de Souza. Antonio Monteiro leads the team.
Graça Couto, Sequerra, Levitinas, Bicudo, Leal & Abby Advogados
Combining litigation with licensing and permitting expertise, Graça Couto, Sequerra, Levitinas, Bicudo, Leal & Abby Advogados handles the gamut of environmental work. Oil and gas, energy, climate change and bioinvasion matters have been some of the major topics in recent years. An example is representing a client in a case concerning environmental damages caused by an invasive species to the marine environment and coastal zone of Rio de Janeiro. New client wins include pulp and paper company Fibria, and marine and offshore engineering group Sembcorp Marine, while BP, Chevron and Vale are long-term clients. Oscar Couto and Guilherme Leal are recommended.
The 'committed' and 'swift' environment team at Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados is highly recommended for crisis management. It continues defending Samarco in litigation concerning the Bento Rodrigues dam disaster. Another highlight was assisting Coalizão Embalagens, a group of industry associations, with waste take-back matters. Practice head Roberta Danelon Leonhardt is 'client-focused' and Daniela Stump is recognised as a next-generation lawyer.
Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados impresses clients with its 'availability' and prides itself with having a broad practice offering both consultancy and litigation services. The group has particular expertise advising on brownfield sites and site contamination, while it has also been active handling waste take-back matters in recent years. It represented Vale in a public civil action concering the responsibility for the spreading of sun coral, an invasive species; and acted for Dow Química concerning the environmental impacts of a sinkhole that occurred at a mining site. Demonstrating 'ample technical and practical knowledge', Lina Pimentel Garcia is recommended; however, Luiz Gustavo Bezerra moved to Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown in October 2019.
Next to environmental licensing, administrative and judicial procedures, the 'excellent' team at TozziniFreire Advogados is also experienced with pre-acquisition and compliance due diligences. Such transactional work includes assisting McCain Foods with the acquisition of Forno de Minas Alimentos and advising Merck on the sale of its consumer health business. Bianca Bilton Signorini Antacli has 'excellent regulatory knowledge'. 'Business-oriented' practice head Adriana Mathias Baptista's 'experience is an asset when it comes to environmental risk assessment'.
At Trench Rossi Watanabe, 12 lawyers in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre handle environmental work. Walter Hellmeister Junior, the ‘professional’ Renata Amaral and senior associate Giovani Tomasoni stand out. The team is particularly strong assisting with issues concerning contaminated sites, while solid waste, forestry and crisis management are further pillars of the practice. Highlights include advising Shell on the licensing of oil platforms, and defending Plastivida against a public civil action concerning a take-back scheme for packaging.
Veirano Advogados recently acted on solid waste, protected area, remediation of contaminated areas and air pollution matters. It advised wood-based fiber and yarn producer Lenzing on the structuring of its forest and paper business in Brazil. On the contentious side, a highlight was defending Kawasaki Heavy Industries in litigation brought by the public prosecutor's office in Bahia concerning the construction of a shipyard in an allegedly protected area without license. Ana Luci Grizzi is the name to note.
Felsberg Advogados stands out for its strong solid-waste practice, recently advising industry associations such as ABIHPEC (personal hygiene, perfume and cosmetics), Eletros and Interfarma on waste take-back matters. Another main focus is assisting with new regulations; topics included chemicals in electrical and electronic equipment (on behalf of Dell) and single-use plastic (on behalf of Dart Container). Fabricio Soler also handles packaging, water and sanitation matters.
Siqueira Castro – Advogados is a firm with unparalleled reach across Brazil. Contentious issues are a particular focus. For example, the group is representing AES Brasil in several cases concerning irregular occupations on environmentally protected areas surrounding the hydroelectric power plants and concerning vegetation suppression around transmissions energy lines. BASF, Bunge Alimentos and Cosan Logística are also clients. Simone Paschoal Nogueira and Marina Vieira Freire Colósio are the two partners on the team following public law expert Renato Otto Kloss' departure to Vella Pugliese Buosi e Guidoni Advogados in February 2019.
Tabet, Bueno & Franco Advogados
Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown is particularly strong in the energy sector, with other recent work touching upon toxic waste matters and Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) for the exploitation of natural resources. Paulo de Bessa Antunes is recommended for complex litigation and alternative dispute resolution.
Bichara Advogados regularly handles contentious matters in the environmental sphere: It is defending marine geophysical company PGS Investigação Petrolífera against IBAMA fines for the non-compliance with a compensation plan. The team, which is led by Luciana Gil Ferreira, gained a number of new clients including Braskem, InterCement and Consórcio Construtor Transolímpica.
BMA - Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão's assistance spans waste, water, contaminated sites, bioinvasion and biodiversity. The environment group provides consultancy on regulation, permitting matters and crisis management, and is frequently instructed to handle disputes. Examples are advising Fresenius Kabi Brasil on the decommissioning procedure of its former site in Campinas; and defending Construtora Queiroz Galvão against administrative penalties imposed by the São Paulo environmental agency regarding the Tamoios highway improvement. Senior associate Beatriz Paulo de Frontin and the 'dedicated' Márcio Pereira are recommended.
Next to transactional assistance, Gasparini, De Cresci e Nogueira de Lima Advogados frequently represents clients in administrative and judicial litigation. For example, it is representing Agrovia in litigation concerning environmental fines following a fire. Environmental compliance due diligences were conducted for Nexa Resources and Companhia Brasileira de Aluminio. Heloísa Verri Paulino Gomes is the name to note.
Azevedo Sette Advogados
Campos Mello Advogados acts on risk assessment, licensing, crisis management and environmental due diligence matters, often related to infrastructure and construction projects. Recent mandates saw the team handle contentious cases for Grupo Vilela de Queiroz, Votorantim Cimentos and Walmart. Terence Trennepohl is 'extremely knowledgeable' and gives 'practical advice'.
An oil-and-gas specialist, Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira & Agel Advogados' client portfolio includes clients such as Schlumberger, which was represented against infraction notices. Anna Paula Barbosa de Carvalho Góes joined from Ulhôa Canto, Rezende e Guerra Advogados to head the practice.
Souto Correa Cesa Lummertz & Amaral Advogados has experience handling solid-waste management and reverse logistics, while also acting on forestry, water and mineral resources matters. A highlight was advising Southern Cone Reflorestamento e Exploração de Madeira on the purchase and sale of land and standing timber. Associate Fabiana Figueiro is the key name.
The seven-strong environmental group at Almeida Advogados recently assisted investment fund Permian Global with the development of nature conservation projects; and also advised Stericycle on renewing its license for hazardous waste transportation. Leonardo Palhares and Rafael Zinato Moreira are recommended.
Public law specialist Manesco, Ramires, Perez, Azevedo Marques Sociedade de Advogados regularly advises concessionaires of public sanitation and waste disposal contracts. Wladimir Antonio Ribeiro leads the team.
Pinheiro Pedro Advogados
Pinheiro Pedro Advogados' environment team is strongly recommended for handling disputes. It acts for clients such as waste-collection service concessionaire LOGA Logística Ambiental de São Paulo and InterCement Brasil. Founding partner Antonio Pinheiro Pedro also acts on licensing matters and impact assessments.
Belo Horizonte-based infrastructure specialist Sion Advogados has a broad take on environmental matters, handling litigation, licensing matters as well as transactions. Recent work touched upon air pollution, solid waste and matters involving indigenous communities. Founding partner Alexandre Sion stands in high regard with clients and peers alike.