Firms To Watch: Transport: Aviation

Established in September 2021, Goulart Penteado Advogados  is an aviation boutique with an ‘extremely qualified team dedicated to client operations’ and a strong focus on consumer disputes; Luciana Goulart Penteado  and Victor Hanna  are key partners.
Lefosse Advogados has good relationships with several airlines and airport operators, with Eduardo Carvalhaes particularly strong on the public law and regulatory side.
Souto Correa Advogados has a strong practice under the leadership of Guilherme Rizzo Amaral, with a particular focus on consumer law, which it applies to passenger claims for leading airlines such as LATAM.

Transport: Aviation in Brazil

Basch & Rameh

Basch & Rameh is highly rated for its advice to banks and financial institutions on contentious and non-contentious aviation matters. Carlos Rameh has a standout track record in transactional and insurance-related matters. Renata Duarte Iezzi advises on aircraft financing and leasing mandates, as well as aviation-related disputes.

Bernardi & Schnapp Advogados

Bernardi & Schnapp Advogados is a leading aviation firm, which represents a broad mix of airline operators, aircraft manufacturers, lenders and insurers. This includes advice on litigious and advisory matters, such as airport concessions, domestic permits and commercial agreements. Ricardo Bernardi advises on a range of corporate, regulatory and contractual matters, while Carla Cristina Schnapp provides key support in insurance law, labour matters and disputes.

DDSA - De Luca, Derenusson, Schuttoff e Azevedo Advogados

The multi-faceted aviation practice at DDSA – De Luca, Derenusson, Schuttoff e Azevedo Advogados commands considerable respect in the market. In addition to its excellent market knowledge, the team ‘sets itself apart in terms of always being timely to respond and thorough in following up’. The comprehensive service is used by airlines, banks, air taxi operators, leasing companies and manufacturers in a range of issues. The team regularly assists with high-value financings and aircraft acquisitions, as well as contentious and non-contentious regulatory matters before the National Civil Aviation Agency. Department head Ana Luisa Castro Cunha Derenusson is ‘one of the most experienced aviation attorneys in Brazil’, who ‘combines expertise with practical advice’. She is backed by a strong team of partners, including Rita de Cassia Fernandes de Godoy, an aviation specialist with notable credentials in aviation finance.

Practice head(s):

Ana Luisa Castro Cunha Derenusson

Testimonials

‘Responsiveness. While there are a few other firms with similar expertise in aviation matters in Brazil, DDSA sets itself apart in terms of always being timely to respond and thorough in following up.’

‘Ana Luisa Derenusson is one of the most experienced aviation attorneys in Brazil. She combines expertise with practical advice.’ 

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados is one of the top full-service firms operating in the aviation sector, whose ‘infrastructure and aviation team is second to none, both for the technical knowledge of each team member, as well as for the interpersonal skills and soft skills with clients’. The firm is comfortable handling critical corporate finance issues, such as the LATAM Airlines Chapter 11, as well as more industry-specific mandates, including aircraft leases, financings and regulatory matters. Practice head Fabio Falkenburger is ‘one of the best and most complete lawyers in Brazil in the area’, and partner Eliane Cristina Carvalho is ‘serene and confident in the conduct of litigation’. The talented junior team includes associate Vitor Barbosa, ‘a young and super complete lawyer‘.

Practice head(s):

Fabio Falkenburger

Testimonials

‘I have been working in the aviation sector for ten years, and there is no full service firm with the quality of Machado Meyer. Their infrastructure and aviation team is second to none, both for the technical knowledge of each team member, as well as for the interpersonal skills and soft skills with clients.’

‘Fabio Falkenburger is one of the best and most complete lawyers in Brazil in the area. Pedro Amim stands out in the area of ​​airport concessions. Vitor Barbosa is a “rising star”, a young and super complete lawyer, with a lot of technical knowledge in aeronautical contracts and aircraft leasing/financing.’

‘Fabio Falkenburger – Experienced, creative and is always available. Eliane Cristina Carvalho – Serene and confident in the conduct of litigation. In addition to these partners, a team of very promising and well-prepared young lawyers.’

‘Depth of expertise in aviation, and ability to provide full service, including for ancillary areas of legal expertise. MMSO is presently the premier full service firm in Brazil with aviation expertise.’

Fabio Falkenburger – From years of practice working on cross-border transactions and including periods of working outside Brazil with an international lessor, Fabio is in my view the best licensed Brazilian attorney for cross-border international transactional matters. Pedro Amin is an up-and-coming associate. We found his work to be excellent.’

Key clients

Uniaero – Cooperativa dos Usuários de Aeronaves em Regime de Propriedade Compartilhada

Wilmington Savings Funds Society FSB

Vale

Fly JJJ

AerCap

Pinehurst

GE Commercial Aviation Services

HSBC Bank

Wilmington Trust, National Association

JP Morgan Chase Bank

LATAM Airlines Group

TAM Linhas Aéreas

CAF – Companhia Aérea de Fretamento

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Ventura Holding

Partage Empreendimentos e Participações

Axioma Administração e Participações

Itaú Unibanco

Dédalus Administração e Participações

Elix Aviation

Work highlights

  • Advising LATAM Airlines Group on its DIP financing as part of its Chapter 11 agreement.
  • Advising LATAM Airlines Group on the restructuring of facilities and related lease agreements with Yeco Leasing Limited.
  • Advising ICON Táxi Aéreo on its takeover by a major Brazilian air taxi company.

ASBZ Advogados

ASBZ Advogados has a ‘dedicated' aviation practice, which is equipped to handle a wide mix of strategic and volume mandates for its airline clients, which include several major international operators. This includes a heavy focus on regulatory matters, from ongoing licensing and operational issues through to administrative proceedings before the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency. Strategic disputes and passenger, cargo and labour claims also feature prominently on its agenda, as does advice on related tax, corporate and environmental issues. Guilherme Amaral leads the well-regarded practice, with key support from fellow partner Thiago Carvalho.

Practice head(s):

Guilherme Amaral

Testimonials

‘The team is a partner from beginning to end of the process. It has good people and tools to manage the service provided.’

‘They are dedicated, quickly return to questions/contacts in a clear and assertive way.’

Key clients

United Airlines

Société Air France

American Airlines

Emirates

Iberia Lineas Aereas de España

Trasportes Aéreos Portugueses – TAP

Alitalia Compagnia Aerea Italiana

Gol Linhas Aéreas

Singapore

El Al Israel

ITA Airways

JURCAIB (Organization of Representatives of Foreign Airlines in Brazil)

British Airways

KLM – Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschapij

Taca Peru – Avianca

ABRAPAC – Brazilian Association of Civil Pilots

Work highlights

  • Advising JURCAIB (the Organization of Representatives of Foreign Airlines in Brazil) in an official communication to aeronautical and airport authorities concerning the acceptance of new tests for Covid-19.
  • Defending United Airlines against an action brought by AIG Brasil Seguros for a lost cargo containing aircraft turbine blades.
  • Advising Iberia Lineas Aereas de España on its response to an infraction notice from the aeronautical authorities concerning flight planning and the use of airways.

CAL – Costa & Albino Advogados in Cooperation with HFW

CAL – Costa & Albino Advogados in Cooperation with HFW‘s aviation team is particularly active in insurance and reinsurance matters, and is acknowledged for its ‘perfect understanding of customer operations and associated risks. Its practice encompasses the full suite of liability claims, including accidents, cargo disputes and passenger lawsuits, as well as non-contentious advice on policy documentation. The team, which is led by highly experienced managing partner Julio Costa, also offers substantial expertise in regulatory and finance issues. In addition to lead insurers and reinsurers, the firm also represents major airlines, airport companies and private aircraft operators. Fernando Albino handles high-profile liability claims, and the firm’s cooperation agreement with HFW makes it a popular choice for cross-border issues. Senior associate Eduardo Penna is also singled out for praise.

Practice head(s):

Julio Costa; Fernando Albino

Testimonials

‘Experience and knowledge of the subject associated with an effective and dedicated service provision. Perfect understanding of customer operations and associated risks.’

‘Julio Costa – knowledge and direct involvement in matters related to aviation. Eduardo Penna – knowledge and dedication to processes facilitating the relationship with clients.’

‘Firm with experienced lawyers in the sector in which they operate, committed not only to the best results for clients, but also to the well-being of the team. Impeccable service in all aspects, from the conduct of the legal service itself, to billing.’

Key clients

GOL Linhas Aéreas

Azul Linhas Aéreas

Vinci Airports

GRU Airport

PEC Táxi Aéreo

Helisul Táxi Aéreo

Blue Sky Táxi Aéreo

Passaredo Linhas Aéreas

Fairfax Seguros Corporativos

Mapfre Seguros Gerais

Work highlights

  • Advising the insurers and reinsurers of GOL Linhas Aereas on all liability claims notified by the airline on its aviation insurance policy.
  • Advising the insurers and reinsurers of Azul Linhas Aereas on its aviation insurance policy, including the management and auditing of various passenger, baggage and cargo suits.
  • Advising Mapfre Seguros Gerais on all insurance and liability issues arising from the crash of a King Air in the countryside of Minas Gerais killing all five occupants.

Mattos Filho

Mattos Filho has a good track record in corporate, finance and regulatory matters in the aviation sector, where it advises an impressive roster of major airlines, banks, air taxi companies, manufacturers, maintenance providers and drone operators. The firm provides ‘excellent services in numerous areas of law‘, and the ‘very experienced’ practice head Adriana Simões is ‘always available for the best advice’ and is praised for her ‘excellent technical and business expertise’. The firm’s size and broad scope also makes it well placed to assist in judicial and administrative disputes, and in key areas such as restructuring and insolvency law.

Practice head(s):

Adriana Simões

Testimonials

‘Adriana Simões is very experienced and is always available for the best advice.’

‘Mattos Filho provides excellent services in numerous areas of law, including aviation. What differentiates Mattos Filho from other full service offices in Brazil is the ability to collaborate between areas (I don’t see competition between partners by client, for example), the fact that they are always innovating and show genuine concern with matters of diversity and inclusion.’

‘Mattos Filho’s aviation area is led by partner Adriana Simões, a professional with extensive experience and know-how in the sector, in whom I fully trust. In addition to her excellent technical and business expertise, Adriana has a differential that for me is fundamental: agility and easy dealing with everyone. Associate Marcelle Lopes is also worth mentioning.’

Key clients

Helicidade Heliporto

Ifood.com Agência de Restaurantes Online

GOL Linhas Aéreas

Aero Rio Táxi Aéreo

Air Jet Táxi Aéreo

Omni Táxi Aéreo

United Airlines

Embraer

Work highlights

  • Assisted United Airlines with the regulatory and antitrust analysis of a potential investment into Avianca Airlines as part of Avianca’s corporate reorganisation plan.
  • Assisted iFood with the negotiation and regulatory analysis for the execution of a drone show project with Visual Farm Produções.
  • Advised Air Jet Táxi Aéreo on the regulatory analysis and its participation in the bidding process, led by Infraero, for a hangar area in an airport in São Paulo.

Demarest Advogados

Demarest Advogados has an experienced multidisciplinary team, which is particularly strong on the corporate finance side, as demonstrated by its role advising LATAM Airlines on its Chapter 11 process and subsequent DIP financing. It also has significant expertise in infrastructure projects and airport concessions, as well as related M&A, antitrust, insurance, environmental and tax law. Versatile practice head Gabriel Ricardo Kuznietz is a ‘technically excellent professional' with good credentials in corporate and regulatory matters. Former partner Luciana Goulart Penteado left in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Gabriel Ricardo Kuznietz

Testimonials

‘Demarest Advogados is a firm with a long history and recognized in the national legal market. The service delivered has always been beyond our expectations. They have always presented technically solid solutions, with a lot of added value for our business. The team is multidisciplinary, attentive, ethical, committed, efficient and proactive.’

‘Gabriel Kuznietz – a technically excellent professional, contributed a lot to the project.’

‘High technical qualification and knowledge of the market in general.’

‘Gabriel Kuznietz – a professional with deep technical knowledge, availability and commitment to the client. He has great capacity to act in several areas of law.’

Key clients

LATAM Airlines Group

Aerolíneas Argentinas

Austral

Aerolíneas Cargo

Gol Linhas Aéreas

Socicam Administração, Projetos e Representações

Delta Airlines

Iberia Líneas Aéreas

Air Europa

Air France KLM

Embraer

Eleb

Savis

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras

Work highlights

  • Representing LATAM Airlines Group, including the Brazilian entities TAM and TAM Linhas Aéreas, as the company filed for Chapter 11.
  • Advised Aerolíneas and Austral in the merger of Austral’s Brazilian branch into Aerolíneas’ Brazilian branch.
  • Advised Consórcio Central Airport, led by Socicam Administração, Projetos e Representações, on a bid carried out by ANAC involving the concession of 22 federal airports.

Di Ciero Advogados

Di Ciero Advogados handles the full range of aviation matters, including advice on new airline launches, related licensing and regulatory issues, insurance, employment and passenger complaints. Simone Di Ciero leads the highly specialised boutique.

Montgomery & Associados

Montgomery & Associados has an impressive track record in advising international airlines on the full spread of contentious and non-contentious matters. Clients comment that the firm is ‘knowledgeable in aviation and consumer law and understands a great deal around uncontrollable and controllable disruptions and schedule changes in the airline industry'. The Covid-19 pandemic saw the team providing a significant amount of advice on disruptive issues, and the firm advised South African Airways on the closure of its air route to Brazil. Versatile managing partner Neil Montgomery has experience across a range of issues, including corporate, labour and regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Neil Montgomery; Larissa Paganelli

Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable in aviation/consumer law and understands a great deal around uncontrollable and controllable disruptions and schedule changes in the airline industry.’

Key clients

South African Airways

Air New Zealand

Aerolíneas Argentinas

Austral

Heavyweight Air Express

FB Líneas Aereas (Flybondi)

Virgin Atlantic Airways

ACM Air

Work highlights

  • Assisting South African Airways in a wide range of Brazilian legal matters, including the cessation of its air route with Brazil.
  • Assists Air New Zealand with all of its Brazilian legal matters, including the defence of passenger claims nationwide, tax litigation, and in day-to-day corporate and contractual matters.
  • Advising Aerolíneas Argentinas on a wide range of Brazilian law matters, including labour disputes, litigation and day-to-day corporate and regulatory matters.

Pinheiro Neto Advogados

Pinheiro Neto Advogados has a ‘very specialised, efficient team with technical knowledge about aircraft financing and leasing’. The firm has well-established relationships with several major banks, export credit agencies, lessors and airlines, which instruct the firm on a variety of related transactions, often involving complex corporate or structured components. Key finance partners Adolpho Julio de Carvalho and Fernando Ruiz de Almeida Prado have a combined almost 60 years of experience. The recently promoted Caroline Guazzelli Queiroz Gomes is highly regarded.

Testimonials

‘Very specialized, efficient team with technical knowledge about aircraft financing and leasing.’

‘Caroline Guazzelli, Antonio Siqueira Filho and Mariana Grande stand out for their efficiency and technical quality of work.’

Key clients

Export and Import Bank of the United States

Vmo Aircraft Leasing

Wilmington Trust Company

Société Générale

Lombard North Central

Amazon Serviços de Varejo do Brasil

Natixis

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised EXIM and Société Générale on the restructuring of the financing of four Boeing 777 aircraft operated by LATAM Brasil.
  • Acted as local deal counsel to Wilmington Trust Company and Vmo Aircraft Leasing in the transfer of title to three Airbus A321 aircraft currently leased to LATAM Brasil to Vmo Aircraft Leasing.
  • Acted as local counsel to Citibank in connection with the return of two Airbus A320 aircraft from Germany, which had been subleased by LATAM Airlines Group to Sundair.

Rolim, Viotti, Goulart, Cardoso Advogados

Rolim, Viotti, Goulart, Cardoso Advogados is experienced in aviation-related transactional, regulatory and contentious matters. The team has a good track record advising on aircraft acquisitions, leases and financings, where it represents manufacturers, lessors and air taxi companies. The practice’s ‘quality and knowledge of the subject’ extends to representation before the regulators, and strong support on tax-related issues. Practice head Ricardo Alvarenga is commended for his ‘efficiency, technical knowledge, availability and agility’, with senior associates Bianca Delgado Pinheiro and Henrique Nogueira Pieroni also highlighted by clients.

Practice head(s):

Ricardo Alvarenga

Testimonials

‘The firm’s experience through Ricardo Alvarenga and João Dácio Rolim, in addition to Henrique Pieroni and Bianca Delgado Pinheiro makes us fully trust in the excellence of the work that has been carried out for many years.’

‘Rolim’s team of lawyers, in addition to being specialized in the Aviation area, is able to meet us in various demands, always demonstrating a broad knowledge of the different branches of Law, being a differential of great value for the office and for the clients.’

‘Among the lawyers who serve us at Rolim, Viotti, Goulart, Cardoso Advogados, we always highlight the efficiency, technical knowledge, availability and agility of Ricardo Alvarenga and Henrique Pieroni, who always value excellence in carrying out their work.’

‘Rolim, Viotti, Goulart, Cardoso Advogados has been advising us on aviation matters in recent years with high quality services. What sets them apart from other firms is their quality and knowledge of the subject.’

‘Ricardo Alvarenga and Paulo Fernandes stand out for their knowledge and honesty on the subject of aircraft.’

Key clients

Airbus Group Brasil Representações

Andrade Gutierrez

Construtora Norberto Odebrecht

Líder Táxi Aéreo

Airbus Brasil Negócios Aeroespaciais

EAO Empreendimentos Agropecuários e Obras

Helicópteros do Brasil  – HELIBRAS (Airbus Group)

Pacific Coast Group

Fly and Fun Táxi Aéreo

Conserva de Estradas

Aero Consulting – Consultores Associados

Construtora Cowan

Helivia Aero Táxi (Greenwich Aero Group)

Composite Technology do Brasil Serviços de Reparos em Pás de Helicópteros

Sindicato Nacional das Empresas de Taxi Aéreo

Work highlights

  • Advising a Brazilian aviation company on a R$265m aircraft acquisition.
  • Represented Helicópteros do Brasil  – HELIBRAS (Airbus Group) in a federal and income tax-related dispute with the authorities.
  • Advising Fly and Fun Taxi Aéreo on strategic planning for customs clearance in the import of a Bombardier aircraft.

Veirano Advogados

Veirano Advogados has a ‘very dedicated, responsive' aviation team, which handles a broad range of cross-border transactional and regulatory matters. Practice head João Paulo Servera has strong credentials in aircraft and engine financing and leasing negotiations, and also has a notable track record for contentious issues, including repossessions and insolvency procedures. Tax advice and regulatory challenges before the Aviation Authority also feature prominently in the department's workload. Clients include major domestic and international manufacturers, lessors and banks.

Practice head(s):

João Paulo Servera

Testimonials

‘The Veirano team has a group of very professional lawyers with experience and capability to work in the field of international transactions of aircraft including helicopters; such expertise also includes experience with difficult cases including repossessions in Brasil, Tax and Customs issues.’

‘The individuals are very dedicated, responsive (good in English language) and create practical solutions, including approaches outside and parallel to formal avenues. They also manage the cases in a professional manner.’

Key clients

CHC Helicopters Group

Greenwich Aerogroup

CHC do Brasil Táxi Aéreo

Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing

Capital Aviation Services

CHC Leasing

SMBC Aero Engine Lease

Airbus Financial Services

Airbus

Bocomm Aviation Leasing Ireland

World Star Aviation

Arena Partners

Export Development Canada – EDC

Regional One

Aero Rio Taxi Aéreo

Fly Caribbean Direct

Agrarflug Helilift

Shannon Engine Support

California Airsalembc

Associação Brasileira das Empresas de Transporte Aéreo – ABEAR

Professional Aircraft Services

Bank of Utah

Rolls Royce

TVPX Aircraft Solutions

Embravision Trading Comercio Importação e Exportação