Firms To Watch: Transport: Shipping

CAL – Costa & Albino Advogados in Cooperation with HFW   has a good track record in assisting insurers and P&I clubs in maritime claims, with partner Julio Costa   a key contact, alongside Geoffrey Conlin  , through the firm’s association with HFW.
Established in April 2021, Garbois Melo Advogados Associados is a promising new shipping boutique, whose name partners Breno Garbois  and Flavia Melo  have built strong reputations as litigators from their time practising at previous firms.
Tauil & Chequer Advogados significantly boosted its shipping credentials with the recruitment of highly rated partner Joyce Jacobsen from Vieira, Rezende, Barbosa e Guerreiro Advogados.

Transport: Shipping in Brazil

Farinon, Carvalho da Silva & Advogados Associados

Highly rated shipping boutique Farinon, Carvalho da Silva & Advogados Associados has been operating in the market for 50 years. The firm advises clients from across all corners of the market, including shipowners, charterers, P&I clubs, agencies, port operators and salvage companies. It is often the first port of call for clients seeking advice on marine casualties and groundings, as well as broader dry shipping issues. In addition to maritime law, the team also has substantial expertise in environmental law and foreign trade issues. Its lawyers ‘deliver what they promise'; partners Jose Augusto Marques, Roberto Farinon and Ruy Fernando Carvalho Da Silva are all ‘very experienced lawyers who complement each other, resulting in the delivery of a good job’.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Porto Farinon; Ruy Fernando Carvalho da Silva; José Augusto Mendes Marques


‘Our long-lasting relationship with this law firm simply confirms our satisfaction with their legal work, which has played a key role in the success of our expansion projects over the last years.’ 

‘José Augusto Marques is a dynamic and proactive lawyer with a solid background in Maritime Law and a strong focus on shipping matters.’

‘They deliver what they promise. Very substantiated comments supported with evidence of jurisprudence. Reasonable prices.’

Key clients

Steamship Mutual Management (Bermuda)

Steamship Insurance Management Services


Bulkhaul Limited

Boskalis Do Brasil Dragagem e Serviços Marítimos

Frota de Petroleiros do Sul (PETROSUL)

SINDOP RG (Association of Port Operators of Rio Grande, RS)

SAAM Towage

TT Club

Work highlights

  • Advised the owners of the barge “Prof. Luiz L. De Faria” on the approval of a salvage plan after it ran aground in Porto Alegre.

Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados

Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados fields a ‘hands-on, knowledgeable, efficient and practical' team, with practitioners who are among ‘the best maritime lawyers in Brazil'. The practice covers every aspect of the market, from insurance, cargo and charterparty disputes, through to debt recovery proceedings and maritime accidents and ship arrests. On the non-contentious side, it provides corporate advice on the launch of new shipping companies, and assists in shipbuilding and financing agreements, as well as related employment, registration, environmental and customs issues. The firm’s deep bench of partners includes disputes expert Godofredo Mendes Vianna (‘a star individual'), and Camila Mendes Vianna Cardoso and Lucas Leite Marques, who ‘maintain constant contact to position cases, recommend strategies and warn of possible problems that may arise'. Iwam Jaeger is also active in contentious and non-contentious insurance matters.

Practice head(s):

Camila Mendes Vianna Cardoso; Godofredo Mendes Vianna; Iwam Jaeger


‘They are among the best maritime lawyers in Brazil. Hands-on, knowledgeable, efficient and practical.’

‘Godofredo Mendes Vianna is a star individual.’

‘Kincaid offers expertise in all matters related to maritime law, including the handling of labor claims involving seafarers or port workers. Furthermore, it is familiar with the treatment to be given to P&I Clubs, providing regular reports, possible strategies for each case and recommendations.’

‘Camila Mendes Vianna Cardoso and Lucas Leite Marques maintain constant contact with our team to position cases, recommend strategies, and warn of possible problems that may arise with suggestions for preventive measures.’

‘The team is very responsive and always able to support within a short time frame.’

‘Very good understanding of the local legislative practices and are able to provide meaning advice.’

Key clients

TMS Offshore


CBO Companhia Brasileira Offshore

Bram Offshore (Edson Chouest Group)



Celba – Centrais Elétricas de Barcarena


Maersk Brasil

Solstad / Farstad

Work highlights

  • Advised a joint venture between Atlantis, SK Tecnologia Subaquática and Boskalis do Brasil Dragagem e Serviços Marítimos on its successful public bid for a dredging services contract in the port of Paranaguá.
  • Represented Solstad in a lawsuit against Petrobras following the early termination of a charter contract.
  • Representing Saipem in lawsuits against Petrobras concerning several unpaid debts.

Shipping Consultoria

Shipping Consultoria is praised for its ‘very collaborative team‘ and ‘very good lawyers‘. The shipping boutique fields a selection of highly experienced partners, including Fernando Porto Filho, who is considered by clients to be ‘outstanding in maritime transport litigation – an excellent lawyer with deep knowledge in the area’. Other key individuals include Fernando Porto, who has over 40 years of experience in the market, handling both ship financings and disputes. On the dry shipping side, Luciano Luz advises on cargo and bills of lading disputes.

Practice head(s):

Fernando Porto


‘We have found them very collaborative, and meeting client requirements with personal attention.’

‘The personal attention to clients’ demands within required deadlines.’

‘Very collaborative team, very good lawyers and good focus on the overall result we want to achieve.’

Key clients

Companhia de Navegação Norsul

Lyra Navegação Marítima



Camorim Serviços Marítimos

Wilson Sons Shipping Services



Sulnorte Serviços Marítimos

Best Oasis

Work highlights

  • Advised a Brazilian shipping conglomerate in obtaining a R$600m financing before BNDES.
  • Advised Olam Agricola in arrest proceedings to obtain a R$35m guarantee.
  • Advised Coscol (HK) Investment & Development on a charterparty dispute relating to a bankruptcy proceeding and credit recovery in excess of R$100m.

Escritório Jurídico Carbone

Rio de Janeiro-based maritime boutique Escritório Jurídico Carbone has a strong market presence, particularly for contentious claims. Clients include major ship owners, P&I clubs, and trading and salvage companies. Artur Carbone has established a good reputation for shipping advice.

Castro Barros Advogados

Castro Barros Advogados is praised for its ‘quick and hands on’ shipping practice, which has ‘great capacity in maritime litigation’. The popular team handles a broad range of dry and wet shipping disputes and also acts for shipowners, insurers and shipyards on transactional issues, including finance and charterparty agreements. Practice head Olympio Carvalho ‘excels in maritime litigation and advice’ and is noted for his ‘remarkable international experience’. Recently promoted partner Camilla Werneck has ‘extensive experience in the maritime area, with excellent client service’. Associate Ana Luiza Rizzo Cardoso is also singled out for the ‘quality of her work and her dedication’.

Practice head(s):

Olympio de Carvalho e Silva


‘Practical concise advice. Compared to other Brazilians firms we worked with the team is quick and hands-on.’

‘Easily approachable, quick to reply and practical advice instead of long theoretical statements.’

‘I have dealt with Olympio de Carvalho e Silva and Camilla Queiroz Werneck whose assistance was swift, on the spot and clear. I would recommend them to any maritime company seeking assistance in Brazil.’

Key clients

Brasbunker Participações

Posidonia Shipping & Trading

Mizuho Sangyo Co.

Navigators Syndicate 1221 at Lloyd’s (now The Hartford)

Golar Spirit UK

Norte Marine Indústria, Reparos e Operações Fluviais

Canpotex Shipping Services

Shipowners’ Club

Fugro Brasil Serviços Submarinos e Levantamentos

Shipowners P&I Club

Work highlights

  • Assisted Brasbunker in a group of 43 lawsuits brought by ER Offshore over the non-payment of operational agreements connected to six charter parties entered between ER/Brasbunker and Petrobras.
  • Acting as Brasbunker’s counsel in seven of its largest charter-related lawsuits against Petrobras.
  • Assisted an FSRU owner in negotiations with Petrobras and litigation against the federal tax authorities regarding the compensation fee arising from the early termination of a charterparty.

Cescon Barrieu

Cescon Barrieu has a versatile practice with a good reputation in the market. The firm’s full-service offering and strong transactional focus give it an edge in high-value and complex corporate and financing mandates, as well as port terminal and offshore oil and gas infrastructure projects. Key partners include Maurício Teixeira Dos Santos for related infrastructure and project financings, and Rafael Baleroni, who leads the firm’s shipping and oil and gas team. Salvador-based partner Gabriel Seijo Leal de Figueiredo is also active on the disputes front. The department's clients include major banks, shipping companies and offshore oil and gas companies.

Practice head(s):

Mauricio Teixeira dos Santos; Rafael Baleroni

Key clients

Bourbon Offshore Marítima

Empresa de Navegação Elcano

Helexia BR

Norskan Offshore

Seadrill Limited

Yinson Boronia Production


Credit Agricole Asia Shipfinance

Nordic Trustee

Banco Itaú BBA

Banco Santander (Brasil)

Work highlights

  • Advising Bourbon Offshore on the business combination between the Bourbon group and the MLog group.
  • Provided assistance to Helexia on a demurrage dispute resulting from a truck drivers’ strike and from contractual disagreements with the foreign exporter of equipment.
  • Represented Norskan Offshore in a lawsuit against Petrobras regarding an offshore accident that resulted in the rupture and submersion of the anchoring system of one of the Petrobras’s oil platforms.

Mattos Filho

Mattos Filho is a popular choice for shipping-sector clients seeking a broad range of non-contentious advice. The firm regularly assists clients on major M&As, restructurings, asset sales and acquisitions, financings, and customs and licensing issues. Its clients include major ship owners, energy companies, offshore drillers and port operators, which use the firm for advice on various stages of their supply chains. The full-service firm is also equipped to provide support in related disciplines such as environmental law and litigation when required. Rio de Janeiro-based partner Nilton Mattos heads the young team, which often works alongside major Norwegian, Danish and UK law firms in cross-border shipping transactions.

Key clients



Alunorte (Norsk Hydro)

Blu Logistics

CBO – Companhia Brasileira Offshore

COSCO Shipping

GDE – Grupo Dislub Equador


Mercosul Line (CMA-CGM)

Navemazônia (Atem)

Oceânica Engenharia e Consultoria

SBM Offshore

Karavan Seacreast

Shell Brasil

Trident Energy


Work highlights

  • Represented the CBO Group in the acquisition of Finarge Apoio Marítimo (including the vessel AH Giorgio P).
  • Assisted Norsk Hydro in the emergency response involving a ship unloader and a bulk carrier at the Port of Vila do Conde in the state of Pará.
  • Represented Grupo Dislub Equador in negotiations to charter a power-ship to make electricity generation capacity available to the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MMA) under an emergency Energy Offer Procedure.

Pedro Calmon Filho & Associados (PCF&A)

Shipping boutique Pedro Calmon Filho & Associados (PCF&A) has been in the market since 1962. Based in Rio de Janeiro, it represents a mix of domestic and international shipowners, P&I clubs, and energy and natural resources companies. Key partners include Pedro Calmon Neto and Henrique Oswaldo Motta.

Promare | Rabb Carvalho Advocacia

Based in Fortaleza in the northeast of Brazil, popular maritime boutique Promare | Rabb Carvalho Advocacia can regularly be seen representing clients from across the country. Major shipowners and operators instruct the firm on their dry and wet shipping matters, as well as international trade and customs. Regular contentious mandates for the department involve ship arrests, maritime accidents and cargo damage, among other matters. Clients also benefit from a 24/7 emergency response team. Lead partner Larry Carvalho is highly regarded. ‘The specialisation of the lawyers allows them to respond quickly to questions’, with partner Mariana Félix a key contact for labour and personal injury issues.

Practice head(s):

Larry Carvalho


‘I’d highlight Larry Carvalho for his availability in the solving of problems, often outside the normal working hours.’

‘The specialisation of the lawyers allows them to respond quickly to questions.’

Key clients

Aliança Navegações

The Standard

Happag Lloyd

Thomas Miller (Hellas)


Aço Cearense



American P&I Club

Shipowners P&I Club

Work highlights

  • Advising Galaxia Marítima on a lawsuit regarding the operation agreement for six vessels operating in the Brazilian oil and gas industry.
  • Advising Thorco Management, the shipowner, on the need to ratify a sea protest issued weeks before by the captain of a maritime vessel that had just arrived in a Brazilian port.
  • Assisting MARFRET in lifting a quarantine imposed on one of its container vessels in French Guiana, where some crew members had tested positive for Covid-19.

Siano & Martins Advogados Associados

Siano & Martins Advogados Associados is a well-regarded shipping boutique with offices in Rio de Janeiro, Santos and Paranaguá. Its clients include shipowners and P&I clubs, and the firm regularly advises on casualty, salvage, cargo loss and damage, and maritime pollution issues. Fabiana Simões Martins and Luiz Roberto Leven Siano are two of the lead partners.

Vieira, Rezende, Barbosa e Guerreiro Advogados

Vieira, Rezende, Barbosa e Guerreiro Advogados has a well-regarded multidisciplinary shipping and offshore practice, which provides ‘clear, helpful, conscientious and practical advice and assistance' and is noted for its ‘extensive knowledge of the Brazilian maritime sector'. Clients include major shipowners, port and terminal owners, P&I clubs and offshore operators. Dry and wet shipping disputes feature prominently in the department's workload, as do insurance claims and support on broader non-contentious matters, including charter and transportation agreements. Bernardo Mendes Vianna is praised for his ‘insightful and clear advice and his considerable knowledge and expertise in the maritime sector', while Daniela Ribeiro Davila is particularly experienced in offshore oil and gas. Former partner Joyce Jacobsen left the firm in November 2021.

Practice head(s):

Bernardo Mendes Vianna; Daniela Ribeiro Davila


‘Clear, helpful, conscientious and practical advice and assistance. They work as if they were a part of our in-house team.’

‘We have worked with Bernardo Mendes Vianna for a number of years and have the highest regard for his insightful and clear advice and his considerable knowledge and expertise in the maritime sector and especially when it comes to the conduct of proceedings in Brazil.’

‘The response was very quick and polite’.

Key clients

Odfjell Terminals (Granel Química)

Japan Ship Owner’s Mutual P&I Association

Nippon Express do Brasil

Nippon Express

Amaggi Navegação (Hermasa Navegação da Amazônia)

SISTAC – Sistemas de Acesso

BW Offshore Serviços Marítimos

The Meco Group (Carina) P&I Club

Ocyan (Gard P&I Club)

Bunge GVA

Yara Brazil


Work highlights

  • Represented BW Offshore and three of BW’s foreign crew members in an incident that occurred inside the pump room of the FPSO Peregrino.
  • Represented Odfjell Terminals in a pre-arbitration precautionary lawsuit to recognise the validity of a contract concerning a storage terminal.
  • Represented Nippon Express in indemnity lawsuits filed by Tokio Marine seeking reimbursement concerning cargo damages.

Pinheiro Neto Advogados

The experienced team at Pinheiro Neto Advogados is noted for its ‘advisory and litigation capabilities in maritime law’. The firm is particularly active in oil and gas-related maritime issues, and also has considerable credentials in traditional dry and wet shipping claims, including accidents and cargo disputes. Litigator Luis Claudio Furtado Faria is highlighted as ‘a very complete lawyer who combines extensive experience in litigation and maritime law with a very commercial and pragmatic approach’. Marcello Lobo and Ricardo Coelho handle a broad range of non-contentious shipping matters.


‘Pinheiro Neto is an excellent firm at all levels, especially litigation.’

‘PNA is unique for the quality of the professionals that make up the office – trained, specialized and in constant improvement in the best educational institutions in the country and in the world. This recognition for academic excellence, however, does not prevent PNA from having a practical and business-appropriate vision, personalized for each client in their respective segments of operation.’

‘PNA distinguishes itself from others for its unshakable ethics and transparency in its relationship with its clients. PNA innovates by institutionally adhering to pro bono activities and by implementing diversity within and outside the law.’  

‘Pinheiro Neto Advogados has a team specialized in all market segments, which allows it to efficiently handle complex cases.’

‘Luis Claudio Furtado is a very complete lawyer who combines extensive experience in litigation and maritime law with a very commercial and pragmatic approach. Such skills make clients often see him as a trusted advisor on topics that extend beyond maritime law. Luis Claudio is also seen as a great reference by his peers, which further demonstrates his technical ability and personal qualities.’   

‘Full service firm that has a team with advisory and litigation capabilities in maritime law.’

‘Luis Claudio Furtado Faria – experienced lawyer, has been working in the field for many years and brings an interesting background in arbitration and civil law. Extremely polite person and easy to work with.’

Key clients

Subsea 7 do Brasil Serviços

Saipem do Brasil Serviços de Petróleo

Alcoa World Alumina Brasil

Work highlights

  • Advising Subsea 7 on a bid opened by Petrobras to charter a pipe-laying support vessel.
  • Advising Subsea 7 in a charter dispute with Petrobras.
  • Advised Saipem do Brasil Serviços de Petróleo on an investigation into a fire that occurred on the FPSO Cidade de Vitória, belonging to Saipem SPA and chartered to Petrobras.

Advocacia Rocha Baptista

Advocacia Rocha Baptista is an experienced shipping boutique with a strong contentious practice. Clients, including insurers, shipowners, agents and freight forwarders, regularly use the firm on cargo claims and ship arrests. Fabricio Rocha is a key partner.

Veirano Advogados

Veirano Advogados has a keen focus on the offshore industry, where it represents a mix of banks and shipowners. Major ship and FPSO financings feature heavily in the firm’s workload, as do refinancings, M&A and project finance deals. The team is also well versed in negotiating charter and transportation agreements. Practice co-head Marcelo Mattos is one of the main contacts for ship financings, while fellow co-head Rogério Campos also advises on maritime regulatory issues and charter agreements.

Practice head(s):

Marcelo Mattos; Rogerio Campos

Key clients

DNB Bank

DVB Bank

Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation

Solstad Offshore

Yinson Holdings

South32 Minerals

Subsea 7




Work highlights

  • Acted as Brazilian counsel to HSBC in a $670m facility to finance the Anna Nery FPSO, which will be chartered by Petrobras.
  • Advising DNB Bank on the $457m financing to Shearwater Geoservices.
  • Advising DVB Bank on a $60m loan to Atlantic Offshore Services.