Firms To Watch: Transport: Aviation

Goulart Penteado Advogados was established in September 2021 by Luciana Goulart Penteado and former colleagues from Demarest; the firm specialises in aviation, consumer law and corporate litigation.
Former director of the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), Ricardo Fenelon Junior established aviation boutique Fenelon Advogados in February 2020; he acts from Brasília and works alongside São Paulo-based aeronautical and regulatory law specialist Roberta Andreoli.

Transport: Aviation in Brazil

Basch & Rameh

Basch & Rameh is one of Brazil's leading aviation law firms, with a particularly strong reputation for advising banks and financial institutions on aircraft transactions. Aside from transactional matters, partner Carlos Rameh is also strong on the insurance front. Renata Duarte Iezzi handles a mix of disputes and non-contentious matters, including aircraft financing and leasing.

Bernardi & Schnapp Advogados

Bernardi & Schnapp Advogados is one of the leading firms for aviation law in Brazil. The firm represents most corners of the industry, including aircraft manufacturers, airline operators, insurers and lenders. Its expertise covers the full suite of contentious and non-contentious matters, such as domestic permit negotiations, airport concessions and commercial agreements. Among the partners, Carla Cristina Schnapp handles labour, insurance and disputes, while Ricardo Bernardi is experienced in corporate, regulatory and contractual issues.

Costa, Albino & Lasalvia Sociedade de Advogados

Costa, Albino & Lasalvia Sociedade de Advogados has a notable aviation practice, with considerable experience in liability, finance and regulatory matters across Latin America. The firm represents several major airlines, airports, hangar keepers, private aircraft operators and insurers and reinsurers. Managing partner Julio Costa has strong credentials in international contentious and regulatory issues and has advised on over 100 aviation accidents in the region. Fernando Albino is highly experienced in cross-border liability claims. The firm’s cooperation agreement with HFW gives it a strong edge in multi-jurisdictional matters. Felipe Bonsenso left the firm in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Julio Costa; Fernando Albino

Testimonials

‘The knowledge about the area with which we deal with and the dedication of its lawyers  are, without a shadow of a doubt, factors that distinguish this office in the national market.’

‘All individuals are very attentive and interested in solving any problem, but in meeting our needs we highlight the partners Julio Costa and Fernando Albino and associates Mariana Somensi and Eduardo Penna.’

Key clients

GOL Linhas Aéreas

DHL Brazil

Two Táxi Aéreo

Azul Conecta

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions

Passaredo Linhas Aéreas

GRU Airport

Helisul Táxi Aéreo

AIG Europe Limited

BR Distribuidora

Work highlights

  • Advising GOL and GOL’s insurers/reinsurers on numerous passenger, baggage and cargo liability claims.
  • Assisting DHL Brazil on various cargo disputes.
  • Advising Two Taxi Aereo on claims brought by passengers injured during the forced landing of Cessna 208B Grand Caravan in Manaus.

DDSA - De Luca, Derenusson, Schuttoff e Azevedo Advogados

DDSA - De Luca, Derenusson, Schuttoff e Azevedo Advogados provides a comprehensive service to its clients, which range from airlines to banks and aviation leasing companies. The team is especially strong on the aircraft finance side, but is also highly rated for regulatory, insurance, litigation and related tax advice. Lead partner Ana Luisa Castro Cunha Derenusson is a prominent figure in the market.

Practice head(s):

Ana Luisa Castro Cunha Derenusson

Testimonials

The DDSA team is highly qualified in assisting clients in the acquisition, sale and legal proceedings involving aircraft. They will always meet their responsibilities to help customers and are available 24 hours. And the service and treatment is very differentiated from all the other firms with which we work.’

Ana Derenusson is the best lawyer of air law in Brazil. Total knowledge of the area, much experience in the most diverse types of operations. Very flexible and available.’

Knowledgeable and responsive, offering practical advice and following up on details.’

Ana Luisa Derenusson – extra competent and updated with the aviation market.

Ana Luisa Derenusson is my top pick in Brazil for aviation transactional matters. While there are a select few attorneys of similar caliber in Brazil, Ana Luisa and her team stand out for their client service and attention to detail, and follow-up for post-closing items.’

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados has established a strong reputation in the aviation market. The firm's clients range from major airlines like LATAM, through to leading banks and leasing companies. The firm regularly advises on aircraft leases and financings, and is also strong in regulatory and M&A. In addition, the team has a strong litigation arm, where Eliane Cristina Carvalho is especially active. Practice head Fabio Falkenburger and Marina Estrella are the main contacts for acquisitions, financings and regulatory advice. The firm also provides strong support to clients in the airport sector, assisting with airport concessions and related public law matters.

Practice head(s):

Fabio Falkenburger; Eliane Carvalho

Testimonials

The team is very punctual and defends the client in a very committed and faithful way. I’d highlight Fabio Falkenburger and Pedro Amim, who have always been very punctual and helpful.

Extremely competent team, specialist in aviation and with excellent flexibility of schedules and deadlines. Added to this is the knowledge of the partners and international law.’

‘This is the premiere aviation transactional practice group in Brazil. While there are excellent aviation attorneys at smaller firms, Machado Meyer stands out as being a full service firm with expertise in aviation transaction matters, with complementary depth for any ancillary issues that may come up in the life of a deal.’

‘Fabio Falkenburger has extensive experience in aviation matters, and offers practical and prompt advice. He is one of two attorneys in Brazil who I am fully comfortable in using for larger aviation matters, not only for his expertise, but also for having the support of a team that can handle all aspects of a deal, and follow up on the details. Lucas Scaff, Pedro Amim are rising stars, with each of them having the added professional experience of an LLM in the US and stints as international attorneys for aviation practices in the US.’

The team’s knowledge of Aviation, added to the legal background, make Machado Meyer a differentiated firm. We took to Fabio Falkenburger and his team various issues in the aviation world that are always resolved in the best way, leaving us in no doubt that it was the best decision to be made. Fabio Falkenburger and Marina Estrella both have an exemplary service with technical content.’

Fábio Falkenburger – undisputed technical knowledge, partnership with clients and a reference in the sector not only in Brazil but in the world. Pedro Amim – dedication and customer care, undeniable technical knowledge, is one of the most promising lawyers in the sector.’

Excellent office, especially the aviation and infrastructure projects team and the banking and financing team, which have served us for over 10 years, offering an extremely high-quality service and commitment to the delivery deadlines.’

Key clients

GE Commercial Aviation Services

CAF – Companhia Aérea de Fretamento, Taxi Aéreo

Fulwood Investimentos E Participações

Banco Votorantim

ICON Táxi Aéreo

Bank of America

MUFG Bank

Rolls Royce Financing

TAM Linhas Aéreas

Elix Leasing

JP Morgan Bank

Arys Tecnologia Aeroespacial

Neo Taxi Aéreo

Jetsmart Airlines

TMF Brasil Administração e Gestão de Ativos

LATAM Airlines (Chile)

Work highlights

  • Assisted ICON Taxi Aéreo in drafting and negotiating the aircraft sale and purchase agreement with a buyer headquartered in the US.
  • Assisted GECAS in the negotiation of various agreements, including lease extensions, lease deferrals, reduction of monthly payments and maintenance requirements.
  • Advising GECAS on its lease agreements with GOL as part of GOL’s restructuring plan under the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.

Mattos Filho

Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados has a strong presence in the aviation sector. Its clients benefit from the input of the firm's team of specialised lawyers, particularly practice head Adriana Simões, who has good experience of contractual and regulatory matters, having worked in the market for over 15 years. The firm is unsurprisingly well versed in corporate and finance matters, as demonstrated by the team's advice to Qatar Airways Investments on the LATAM Airlines debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing.

Practice head(s):

Adriana Simões

Testimonials

‘The firm stands out for its pedigree and history, and the internal capabilities that address virtually every possible legal issue. The staff level contributes to its quality. As one of the oldest and most respected firms in Latin America, Mattos Filho continues to bring value, especially in the area of the aviation. There is no problem that cannot be solved by this team, whether in general, executive or commercial aviation.’

‘Adriana Simões is highly recommended, bringing competence and professionalism in any case involving general, executive or commercial aviation.’

Key clients

QATAR Airways Investments (UK)

Ifood.com Agência de Restaurantes Online

GOL Linhas Aéreas

Gotogate Agência de Viagens

Air Jet Táxi Aéreo

Work highlights

  • Advised Qatar Airways Investments on a $2bn debtor-in-possession loan granted by Oaktree and Qatar Airways to LATAM Airlines Group, while the company operates under bankruptcy protection in federal court in New York.
  • Advised iFood on the structuring of its drone operations in Brazil (the first of its kind).
  • Advised GOL Linhas Aéreas with the issuance of senior notes from GOL Finance with principal value of $200m.

Montgomery & Associados

Montgomery & Associados is a popular choice among major international airlines. Regulatory work has been a mainstay of the practice, including advice to airlines establishing new routes to Brazil. The impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on international travel saw the firm's work shift more to the litigation side, and the team secured several notable victories for airlines in passenger claims. The firm also advises its airline clients on broader day-to-day, corporate, tax and employment issues. The well-regarded Neil Montgomery leads the team, with strong support from associate Larissa Paganelli Torelli.

Practice head(s):

Neil Montgomery

Key clients

South African Airways

Air New Zealand

Aerolíneas Argentinas

Austral

Air Tahiti Nui

Heavyweight Air Express

Chapman Freeborn

FB Líneas Aereas

Virgin Atlantic Airways

Work highlights

  • Assisting South African Airways in a wide range of Brazilian legal matters, including passenger claims, complex labour claims and day-to-day corporate and regulatory matters.
  • Advised Air New Zealand with all of its Brazilian legal matters. This includes defending Air New Zealand in passenger claims nationwide.
  • Advised Aerolíneas Argentinas in a wide range of Brazilian law matters, including complex labour disputes, litigation and day-to-day corporate and regulatory matters.

ASBZ Advogados

ASBZ Advogados has a solid reputation for assisting foreign airlines with their operations in Brazil. The team is strong on the regulatory side and regularly represents clients before the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency. The firm's offering is a full-service one, incorporating employment, tax, environmental, corporate and civil law. This extends to its litigation advice in strategic civil disputes as well as smaller passenger and labour claims. Guilherme Amaral leads the team and is especially active on the litigation front. Thiago Carvalho also has a notable practice in this area.

Practice head(s):

Guilherme Amaral; Thiago Carvalho; Renan Melo; Priscila Zanetti

Key clients

United Airlines

Société Air France

American Airlines

KLM

Emirates

Trans America – Taca Peru

Trasportes Aéreos Portugueses – TAP

Alitalia Compagnia Aerea Italiana

JURCAIB (Organization of Representatives of Foreign Airlines in Brazil)

Gol Linhas Aéreas

El Al Israel

British Airways

Work highlights

  • Represented American Airlines on a notice of infraction from the Consumer Protection Office.
  • Assisted United Airlines in a dispute concerning a passenger being restricted from entering Brazil due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Representing Société Air France in a dispute with Chubb do Brasil concerning a lost baggage claim.

Demarest Advogados

Demarest Advogados represents a wide cross-section of the aviation industry, including airlines, aircraft manufacturers, airports, catering suppliers and governmental bodies. The multidisciplinary team handles a range of matters, from corporate and financing deals through to regulatory and environmental advice. The disputes side of the practice covers liability claims as well as related insurance and accident defence disputes. Key team members include corporate partner Gabriel Ricardo Kuznietz. Luciana Goulart Penteado left the firm in September 2021.

Testimonials

‘Demarest understands the aviation regulatory bodies, and they have a preventive approach towards the numerous problems created by the consumer law and courts in Brazil. They are very responsive and and focused on clients needs. Also they have an economic approach towards litigation which avoids unnecessary costs to clients. They prepare very useful reports that help in house councel decision-making.’

Key clients

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras

Delta Airlines

Iberia Líneas Aéreas

Air Europa

Air France

KLM

LATAM Airlines Group

Aerolíneas Argentinas

Austral

Aerolíneas Cargo

Globalia Linhas Aéreas

Embraer

Eleb

Savis

Socicam Administração, Projetos e Representações

Work highlights

  • Advised Aerolíneas and Austral on the merger of Austral’s Brazilian branch into Aerolíneas’ Brazilian branch, in the context of a global corporate reorganisation.
  • Advising Air Europa on the drawing up and implementation of a business plan aiming to change the procedures related to airline ticket sales and the back office’s readjustment in accordance with new Law 14.034/2020.
  • Assisting Aerolíneas Argentinas on managing its legal process portfolio in Brazil, including day-to-day corporate assistance, as well as advising on its portfolio of product liability, tax, customer cases and administrative proceedings.

Di Ciero Advogados

Di Ciero Advogados is a specialised aviation boutique which advises on the full range of contentious and advisory matters. This includes advice on passenger complaints, new airline launches, and customs, insurance and employment matters. Simone Di Ciero is a highly experienced practitioner.

Pinheiro Neto Advogados

Pinheiro Neto Advogados has a particular focus on transactional and regulatory matters in the aviation sector. The firm advises a number of leading carriers and has been involved in several key restructurings emerging as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Other key clients include major aircraft lessors, as well as banks, which it advises on aircraft financings (as well as subsequent restructurings, such as LATAM). Adolpho Julio de Carvalho has worked in the market for nearly 30 years and has established an extremely good name for aviation finance.

Testimonials

Extensive experience in the aviation market in Brazil, long-standing presence and participation in different types of transactions.’

Adolpho Carvalho has great experience.’

Key clients

Citibank

Airbus Financial Services

Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank

Société Générale

BNP Paribas

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

LATAM Airlines Group

Azul

Lombard North Central

Lease Corporation International

Work highlights

  • Acted for Citibank on a revolving credit facility granted to LATAM Airlines Group secured by aircraft, engines and aeronautical spare parts owned by the debtor and located in Brazil.
  • Acted as local counsel to the EETC investors in the termination of leases of two Airbus A350 and five Airbus A321 with LATAM Airlines Group.
  • Acted as local counsel in the management of Lease Corporation International’s fleet in Brazil, including in the lease of two Sikorsky S76 to Emar Táxi Aéreo.

Rolim, Viotti, Goulart, Cardoso Advogados

Rolim, Viotti, Goulart, Cardoso Advogados has substantial experience in contentious and non-contentious aviation matters. The firm represents a mix of airlines, aircraft owners and aeronautical infrastructure companies. Aircraft leasing transactions and financings are key areas of work, and the team is especially strong in advising on related tax and customs issues. The firm also has a good track record in related litigation, and represents clients before public administrative bodies such as the National Civil Aviation Agency. Practice head Ricardo Alvarenga has a good reputation in the market both for litigation and consulting.

Practice head(s):

Ricardo Alvarenga

Testimonials

‘Strong credibility, technical advice and ease in the relationship.’

The team is always very up-to-date and trained, which makes the service provided increasingly effective and satisfactory before the courts. In addition to the technical capacity of the team, the personalised and cordial service is a very important difference to be considered.’

Dr. Ricardo Alvarenga and Dr. Henrique Pieroni are recommended.’

Key clients

Airbus Group Brasil Representações

Construtora Norberto Odebrecht

Líder Táxi Aéreo

EAO Empreendimentos Agropecuários e Obras

Helicópteros do Brasil – HELIBRAS

Pacific Coast Group

Andrade Gutierrez

Conserva de Estradas

Aero Consulting – Consultores Associados

Construtora Cowan

Helivia Aero Táxi

Fly and Fun Táxi Aéreo

Airbus Brasil Negócios Aeroespaciais

Composite Technology do Brasil Serviços de Reparos em Pás de Helicópteros

Sindicato Nacional das Empresas de Taxi Aéreo

Work highlights

  • Represented Helicópteros do Brasil in a $10m lawsuit filed in order to assure the company’s right to have its tax returns’ requests analysed and deferred.
  • Provided advice to Airbus Brasil Negócios Aeroespaciais on tax issues linked to an operational lease agreement for a flight simulator.
  • Advising Fly and Fun Taxi Aéreo on strategic planning for customs clearance in the import of a Bombardier aircraft.

Veirano Advogados

Veirano Advogados is a popular choice for aircraft and aircraft engine financings; it represents several leading international lessors and banks on commercial and corporate aircraft transactions. The team also has experience advising on the financing of other related assets, including flight simulators. Practice head João Paulo Servera has built a good name in this area, and is also noted for his expertise in related litigation and insolvency proceedings. Major clients include Airbus Financial Service, Export Development Canada and Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing.

Practice head(s):

João Paulo Servera

Testimonials

‘A bright team that is eager to provide information and find answers. Good attention to the details and a willingness to understand the business objectives from a commercial perspective – not just applying the law.’

Key clients

CHC Helicopters Group

Greenwich Aerogroup

Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing

BNP Paribas

SMBC Aero Engine Lease

Airbus Financial Services

Arena Parners

Export Development Canada – EDC

Regional One

Argraflug Helilift

Shannon Engine Support

California Airsales

Work highlights

  • Assisting Arena Partners in structuring a bridge loan financing to FBR Aviation for the acquisition of six aircraft from two different manufacturers.
  • Assisting CHC Leasing Sarl (CHC Helicopter Group) in the restructuring of aircraft lease agreements and consequential changes and assignments to full security packages affected by the new finance structure of five aircraft currently operated by CHC do Brasil Táxi Aéreo.
  • Assisting Macquarie Rotocraft Leasing in the negotiation and execution of lease agreements for two helicopters to OMNI Táxi Aéreo.