Projects and infrastructure in Brazil
Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados has an 'organised and multidisciplinary group' that is 'always looking for a way to make the deal happen in a safe and creative way'. The group is a leader when it comes to project financings, as evidenced by its assistance to the financing entities on a R$5bn investment in the Porto de Sergipe thermoelectric complex. In addition to ports, the team is also regularly involved with air, rail, road, water and energy projects. Several partners stand out: Mauro Bardawil Penteado is 'smart and creative', Adriano Schnur is a 'great advisor' and Alberto Faro is 'able to evaluate situations swiftly and adapt accordingly'. In addition, José Virgílio Lopes Enei and José Ribeiro do Prado Júnior are considered leaders in the field. Paloma Valéria Lima left to join Demarest Advogados in July 2018.
'Experience, deep knowledge and negotiation skills' are what sets Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados apart from its peers. The leading practice combines knowledge of PPPs, construction and project finance with expertise handling transactions. It works across various sectors: highlights include assisting Gás Natural Açu with the drafting and negotiation of the development agreements for a combined cycle power plant; advising Bahia Mineração on the bidding procedure for a major railway project; and acting for Concessionária do Aeroporto de Salvador on the project finance and EPC contract for the expansion of the airport infrastructure. Thiago Fernandes Moreira is 'able to provide full assessments as he combines regulatory and finance knowledge'; and Pablo Sorj is recognised as a leading individual. However, Bruno Werneck moved to Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown in March 2019, taking former senior associates Bruno Salzano and Mario Saadi with him.
Cescon, Barrieu, Flesch & Barreto Advogados stands out for its project finance expertise and recently advised Banco BTG Pactual and Itaú BBA on the R$220m project financing of five solar power plants. The team also handles project developments and assisted BNDES with the structuring of two PPP projects for the modernisation, expansion, operation and maintenance of public lighting networks. Practice head Maurício Teixeira dos Santos has a 'unique understanding of various aspects of cross-border financing transactions, including issues that are key to driving investor demand as well as rating-agency criteria'. Karin Yamauti Hatanaka is another name to note for project financings.
Dias Carneiro Advogados has a 'good commercial understanding' and regularly advises international clients on the negotiation of project contracts, regulatory matters and project financings. A recent highlight in the renewables sector was assisting Vestas Wind Power with the negotiation of agreements with Queiroz Galvão Energia for the operation and maintenance of wind farms. Ricardo Sanches has 'incredible negotiation skills and know-how' and Thiago Vallandro Flores is 'excellent'.
One of the best firms for large energy and infrastructure projects in Brazil is Pinheiro Neto Advogados. In a case in point, the team advised the Port of Rotterdam on entering into a partnership agreement with the state of Ceará for the joint operation of the port of Pecém. On the financing side, it assisted Citibank -as onshore collateral agent and account bank, settlement bank and local debenture book-keeper- in relation to the funding of the CELSE thermoelectric plant, one of the largest in Latin America and the Caribbean. Highly recommended practitioners include Ricardo Coelho, Júlio Bueno and Ricardo Russo.
The 'efficient' team at Stocche Forbes Advogados is best known for corporate, financing and restructuring transactions in the infrastructure sector. Of late, the group has been particularly busy with energy sector projects: long-term client CELSE relied on it for the financing for the development, construction, operation and maintenance of a combined-cycle thermal power plant, for example. Guilherme Forbes and Miriam Signor are stand-out names in São Paulo, while the team can also count on project finance experts in Rio de Janeiro.
Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown is 'highly responsive and committed' and can rely on its strong international network. The client portfolio includes numerous financial institutions such as Banco Santander, which instructed the group to handle the issuance of surety letters worth R$91m to guarantee the long-term financing provided by Banco do Nordeste for the construction and development of a solar power project. Other matters included contractual assistance for a private port terminal project. The 'highly dedicated and deal-oriented' Luis Montes and 'strategic thinker Eduardo Lima, who is 'agile' and 'supportive' are both highly regarded. The team was strengthened further by the arrival of Bruno Werneck (who provides 'practical and forward-looking advice'), and former senior associates Bruno Salzano (infrastructure M&A) and Mario Saadi (infrastructure and administrative law) from Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados in March 2019. However, Bruno Aurélio subsequently left the firm, moving to Demarest Advogados in October 2019.
TozziniFreire Advogados has an 'excellent network and reputation', and is 'capable of mobilising a large scope of competencies on a sole project'. The team assisted development finance institution Proparco on the granting of a €90m loan to Enel Green Power for a photovoltaic power plant. The group regularly advises Saab and gained Acciona as a new client. Antonio Felix de Araujo Cintra handles project finance matters; the 'dedicated and professional' Pedro Seraphim approaches projects from the corporate perspective; and Claudia Elena Bonelli adds public law expertise to infrastructure, water and sewage undertakings.
Veirano Advogados handled numerous infrastructure, energy and aerospace projects in 2018. A highlight was assisting Fraport with the financing granted by Banco do Nordeste for the expansion and maintenance of the Fortaleza airport. The group also continued advising Move SP on the performance of the concession contract for the construction of São Paulo's sixth underground line. Ana Carolina Barretto and Pedro Freitas are recommended. In September 2019 the firm moved to deepen its bench-strength with the hires of Daniel Engel and João Paulo Severa from Cascione Pulino Boulos Advogados.
Arap, Nishi & Uyeda Advogados
Azevedo Sette Advogados
Demarest Advogados recently advised Grupo Cobra on the sale of five photovoltaic power plants to AES Tietê. On the concessions-side, EcoRodovias is a client. André Luiz Freire is a stand-out professional; moreover the firm has moved to further strengthen the practice hiring Paloma Valéria Lima (July 2018) and Bruno Aurélio (October 2019) from Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados and Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown, respectively.
In addition to transactions and project financings, Pinheiro Guimarães – Advogados is regularly involved in the full-life cycle of projects. One of many energy sector project highlights was assisting EDF Renewables with the development and implementation of four wind farms. André Sigelmann 'thinks outside the box to deliver tailored solutions' and 'responds quickly any time of the day'. Project finance expert Maria Costa Neves Machado joined from an inhouse position at Itaú BBA in November 2018.
Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira & Agel Advogados has a 'good understanding of an international investor's needs'. A national highlight was assisting Terminal Portuário do Mearim with the redefinition of its port project. Paulo Valois Pires and Rogério Sobral de Miranda are recommended. The firm also made a number of lateral hires, including oil and gas expert Luis Fernando Pacheco, who provides 'practical, relevant and timely advice', from Veirano Advogados.
Trench Rossi Watanabe combines M&A, oil and gas, energy and public law expertise to advise international clients on a regular basis. Since winning Canadian Solar as a client, the group has assisted the company with various power auctions and transactions. Anna Tavares de Mello and José Roberto Martins stand out.
BMA - Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão is 'clear from the outset' and 'understands a client's needs in terms of timing, results and internal decision making'. Recent work includes assisting Gás Verde with obtaining all permits to operate a biogas purification plant. Camila Goldberg and Rafael Dutra are recommended along with Eduardo Hayden Carvalhaes Neto, who is an 'expert with a 360 degree view'.
Cascione Pulino Boulos Advogados 'acts like a team' and is 'very careful handling relations with the client'. Key figures Milana Antoniolli Martins and Marcos Vinicius Pulino was joined by Fábio Sertori who arrived from Felsberg Advogados, as did Daniel Engel, who subsequently moved to Veirano Advogados in Spetember 2019. GRU Airport, Grupo Gransolar, Goldwind International Holdings and American Airlines are clients.
Clients consider Lobo de Rizzo Advogados a 'true partner' in energy and transportation projects. The pratice was strenthened still further in July 2018 when the firm absorbed Renata Castanho's environmental boutique Pires Castanho Advogados. She joins key figures Rodnei Iazzetta ('a name to note'), and Fabrizio de Oliveira Sasdelli and Milton Pinatti who are 'professional, reliable and tireless in finding the best conditions for the client'. Recent matters include assisting the municipality of Santa Vitória do Palmar with the financing of a wind farm.
Manesco, Ramires, Perez, Azevedo Marques Sociedade de Advogados has 'impressive expertise in PPP projects' and 'delivers at pace under time constraints'. Recent matters include assisting the road concessionaires' association ABCR with regulatory matters. Floriano de Azevedo Marques Neto and 'outstanding leader' Tatiana Matiello Cymbalista are names to note. Adriana Roldan Pinto de Lima left in early 2019.
Siqueira Castro – Advogados acts for both national and international companies on a broad range of infrastructure projects. For example, it assisted Fraport with airport concession bidding rounds and advised Construtora Passarelli on administrative contracts. Fernando Villela de Andrade Vianna joined Vella Pugliese Buosi e Guidoni Advogados.
Barros Pimentel, Alcântara Gil, Rodriguez e Vargas Advogados
Barros Pimentel, Alcântara Gil, Rodriguez e Vargas Advogados acts mainly on the public procurement of construction and transport projects. Name partner Caio Farah Rodriguez is the key practitioner.
Dal Pozzo Advogados provides 'clear, objective and practical legal advice at short notice'. It advises highway concessionaires CART, Rota das Bandeiras and ViaRondon on regulatory matters, and also acted on sewage / sanitation, construction and public transport projects. Antonio Araldo Ferraz Dal Pozzo, Augusto Neves Dal Pozzo and 'exceptional lawyer' João Negrini Neto stand out.
2018 saw movement in Felsberg Advogados' projects team: Fábio Sertori and Daniel Engel left for Cascione, Pulino, Boulos & Santos Advogados, while public law expert Marianne Albers joined from KLA-Koury Lopes Advogados and Rodrigo Bertoccelli joined from an inhouse position at GS Inima Environment. Bertoccelli provides 'consistent assertiveness and assurance to clients'. Maria da Graça is a recognised project finance expert within a group that is described as 'extremely available and experienced'. It assisted Rio Alto Energia with the construction of a solar power plant.
L.O. Baptista Advogados
Leite, Tosto e Barros Advogados Associados
Newly-founded projects boutique firm Toledo Marchetti Advogados already boasts a strong client portfolio including Consórcio Expresso Linha 6, Construtora Queiroz Galvão and Estaleiro EBR. The name partners Leonardo Toledo da Silva and Marcelo Vicentini Marchetti come from a law firm (Porto Lauand Advogados) and an in-house role at an engineering company, respectively, and combine legal expertise to provide counsel throughout the full life cycle of project's full life cycle.