Firms To Watch: Transport: Shipping

In May 2022, Salomão, Kaiuca & Abrahão – SKA, Raposo Avogados and a team of former Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados’ lawyers joined forces to establish Salomão, Kaiuca, Abrahão, Raposo e Cotta, which already boasts strong credentials in the shipping and maritime sectors. Led by dispute resolution specialists Luis Felipe Salomão Filho, Rodrigo Cotta and Livia Sancio, the team is well-versed in the resolution of shipping disputes and negotiation of industry contracts.

Transport: Shipping in Brazil

Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados

One of the top shipping law firms in Brazil‘, Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados is the first port of call for a multitude of industry stakeholders, from P&I clubs to terminal operators, engaged in complex wet and dry shipping matters. The 90-year-old firm is not only equipped to assist in the sale and purchase of vessels, shipbuilding and financing agreements, and contractual issues, it is also a go-to destination for assistance in ship arrests, cargo claims, maritime casualties and incidents. ‘One of most admired lawyers in the maritime segment‘, Godofredo Mendes Vianna focuses on shipping and international trade disputes. He oversees the Rio de Janeiro-based group alongside Camila Mendes Vianna Cardoso, who regularly advises on contractual disputes and projects involving LNG and FRSU vessels, and Iwam Jaeger, another name to note for dispute resolution in this space. This is also an area of expertise for Lucas Leite Marques. The recently promoted Fernanda Martinez Campos Cotecchia handles corporate, contractual and regulatory matters pertaining to the shipping sector. Tarik Bergallo Kalil Jacob stands out at the associate level.

Practice head(s):

Camila Mendes Vianna Cardoso; Godofredo Mendes Vianna; Iwam Jaeger


‘I consider Kincaid’s maritime team to be the most specialised in the country, in addition to being very connected with other top firms worldwide.’

‘Godofredo Mendes Vianna is one of most admired lawyers in the maritime segment. Lucas Marques is equally knowledgeable of maritime law, and always attentive to changes in the sector.’

‘The firm is without doubt one of the top shipping law firms in Brazil. The wealth of expertise, the client base, and the quality of service make it stand out. Nobody comes close.’

Key clients

TMS Offshore


CBO Companhia Brasileira Offshore

Bram offshore (Edson Chouest Group)





Maersk Brasil

Solstad/ Farstad/ Deep Sea


Supreme Offshore

Ultrabulk do Brasil


Sealion do Brasil Navegação

Blue Amazon Shipping





Shipping Consultoria

Boasting over three decades of experience in the shipping sector, Rio de Janeiro-headquartered boutique Shipping Consultoria provides legal support in the context of wet and dry matters to a stellar international client base of charterers, P&I clubs, shipowners, insurers, terminals, shipyards and traders. In addition to its solid performance in complex mandates concerning ship arrests, bills of lading, marine insurance, casualties and environmental liability, the practice is also often engaged in contractual and transactional matters, including ship finance and purchases. At the helm of the practice, Fernando Porto is especially sought out for his experience in charterparty, construction and insurance contracts. Fernando Porto Filho specialises in litigation, frequently acting in ship arrests, marine casualties and insurance claims. Cargos and bills of lading disputes are a core area of expertise for Luciano Luz, who is also retained by P&I Clubs in accidents and casualty matters.

Practice head(s):

Fernando Porto


‘Deep knowledge of the subject.’

‘Fernando Porto and Fernando Porto Filho are recommended.’

‘Cooperative and knowledgeable team, which is up-to-date on the various legal shipping aspects.’

Key clients

Companhia de Navegação Norsul

Lyra Navegação Marítima



Camorim Serviços Marítimos

Wilson Sons Shipping Services



Sulnorte Serviços Marítimos

Best Oasis

SeaGroup Holding

Work highlights

  • Assisted H Dantas in a restructuring and refinancing deal with BNDES – Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Social.
  • Acted for Camorim in a charterparty dispute against Sapura Energy.
  • Advised Coscol on a charterparty dispute relating to a bankruptcy proceeding and credit recovery.

Escritório Jurídico Carbone

Shipowners, P&I clubs, trading and salvage companies turn to the Rio de Janeiro-based maritime boutique Escritório Jurídico Carbone for advice on contentious shipping matters. Artur Carbone is the main point of contact in the team; he often acts for shipping clients in litigation and arbitration, and is also knowledgeable of marine insurance law.

Castro Barros Advogados

Showcasing significant experience in dry and wet shipping matters, Castro Barros Advogados stands out for its strong track record in contentious cross-border work. The group, which often works in collaboration with the firm’s litigation, insurance, infrastructure and corporate practices, continues to be engaged by shipowners, insurers, shipyards and industry service providers, and has recently gained ground in the P&I club segment. Typical mandates range from ship arrests to maritime casualties, P&I claims, charterparty and cargo disputes, but the group is also well placed to handle transactions. The practice, whose ‘in-depth knowledge of maritime law‘ is rated by clients, is under the joint leadership of the ‘very prompt and commercially mindedOlympio Carvalho and Camilla Werneck, the latter of whom is a strong performer in shipping and transport disputes. Associate Ana Luiza Rizzo Cardoso specialises in dispute resolution in the shipping sector, including cases involving offshore oil and gas projects.

Practice head(s):

Olympio Carvalho; Camilla Werneck


‘Fast services and great knowledge of our business area. They are always available when we need guidance.’

‘Camilla Werneck stands out for her legal knowledge.’

‘Olympio is very responsive and provides straightforward, commercially oriented legal advice.’

Key clients

Brasbunker Participações (Bravante)

Mizuho Sangyo

West of England Insurance Services (Luxembourg)

Golar Spirit UK


Canpotex Shipping Services

Baker Hughes


Shipowners’ Club

The Hartford (former Navogators) Syndicate at Lloyds

Work highlights

  • Assists Mizuho and Fair Wind in a proceeding before the Superior Court of Justice against a cargo insurer involving the recognition and enforcement of two foreign judgments issued by the High Court in London.
  • Acts for Bravante in 43 lawsuits brought by ER Offshore (German shipowner) involving operational agreements executed between Brasbunker and ER in connection with 6 charter parties entered by ER/Brasbunker and Petrobras.
  • Advising Brasbunker on seven of its largest lawsuits against Petrobras arising from time charters and services contracts executed with Petrobras.

Cescon Barrieu

Standing out for the breadth of its services, Cescon Barrieu‘s offshore, shipping and maritime team is seen with great regularity advising on high-end financing transactions and regulatory issues. Dry shipping contractual matters, including shipbuilding and charter agreements, are core areas of activity for the firm, which is also skilled in assisting offshore drilling contractors in deals with shipyards and oil companies. The multidisciplinary team, which is able to call upon the firm’s strong network of corporate, tax and litigation practitioners, is led by the ‘hands-on, commercial and solution-orientedRafael Baleroni. Baleroni specialises in project finance, M&A and restructurings, with a special focus on the infrastructure sector.

Practice head(s):

Rafael Baleroni


‘We have worked mainly with Rafael Baleroni and would describe him as very hands-on, commercial and solution-oriented.’

Key clients

Bourbon Offshore Marítima

Empresa de Navegação Elcano

Norskan Offshore

Seadrill Limited and its Brazilian subsidiaries

OOG-TKP Produção de Petróleo, a joint venture between Altera Infrastructure and Ocyan

Log-in Logística Intermodal

Yinson Boronia Production and its Brazilian subsidiary

ICBC Financial Leasing

DBN Bank

Sparebank 1 SR-Bank ASA

Intermarítima Portos e Logística

Bank of America

Nordic Trustee

Work highlights

  • Advised Bourbon Offshore on its business combination with MLOG group.
  • Represents DOF Group in lawsuits against Petrobras regarding maritime torts and contractual matters.
  • Acts for Log-in in a lawsuit before the Federal Supreme Court involving the construction project of the Porto das Lajes, a terminal that is intended to be built near the meeting of the rivers Negro and Solimões in the Amazon rainforest.

Farinon, Carvalho da Silva & Advogados Associados

Based in Porto Alegre, boutique Farinon, Carvalho da Silva & Advogados Associados attracts instructions from the full array of shipping players, including P&I clubs, charterers, shipowners, salvage companies, and operators, among others. The firm is particularly well versed in mandates involving marine casualties and incidents, such as collisions, grounding and salvage claims. Roberto Farinon – ‘one of Brazil’s most admired lawyers in the shipping sector‘ – specialises in admiralty law, and often acts in salvage and pollution claims. The ‘well-respectedRuy Fernando Carvalho Da Silva is singled out for his litigation skills and ‘deep expertise in shipping, civil and contractual matters‘. José Augusto Mendes Marques handles a variety of dry and wet shipping matters, including vessel arrests and releases, P&I issues and marine incidents.

Practice head(s):

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


‘This law firm has built a reputation in Brazil for expert, trusted legal advice on all aspects of shipping law and their commitment and personal approach to each client’s specific needs are highly appreciated by our company.’

‘Roberto Farinon is truly one of Brazil’s most admired lawyers in the shipping sector and is known for his in-depth knowledge of maritime law and strong commitment to his clients’ causes.’

‘Ruy Fernando Carvalho da Silva is an experienced and well-respected lawyer in the market for his litigation skills and deep expertise in shipping, civil and contractual matters.’

Key clients

Steamship Mutual Management (Bermuda)

Steamship Insurance Management Services



Frota de Petroleiros do Sul (PETROSUL)

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

TT Club

Work highlights

  • Retained by ITIC – International Transport Intermediaries Club to provide legal assistance to their member AWOT GLOBAL CORPORATION in respect of certain aspects of customs clearance of cargo in Brazil.

Mattos Filho

Covering both dry and wet shipping matters, Mattos Filho fields a ‘team specialised in maritime law‘ which is particularly noted for its strength in non-contentious work. The group attracts instructions from a variety of international shipping clients in relation to complex contractual arrangements for the construction, financing, purchase and sale of vessels, and is also adept in regulatory issues involving charterparty, services, crew management and operational agreements. Singled out for his commercial skills and ‘deep knowledge of the shipping industry‘, Nilton Mattos acts for shipowners, energy companies, port operators and offshore drillers in an array of shipping matters. He receives support from a strong team of associates: Gabriel Acciarito, who focuses on dry shipping; Ana Clara Nascimento, a name to note for wet mandates, most notably marine casualties, cargo claims and charter party disputes; and Duane Sarlo, who brings together expertise in maritime incidents, contracts and transactional matters.


‘The firm has a team specialised in maritime law and is able to assist us in day-to-day matters, from simple doubts to more complex transactions.’

‘Nilton Mattos is a partner who is always available to help us in various matters; his greatest differentiator is his availability, good relationship and technical quality.’

‘Mattos Filho has a unique and highly qualified team in maritime law, under the leadership of Nilton Mattos, a maritime expert renowned in Brazil and abroad.’

‘I would recommend Nilton Mattos for his high legal knowledge and commercial skills that make him perfectly understand the best way to serve his clients.’

‘A strong team, excellent in complex negotiations.’

‘Nilton Mattos has a deep knowledge of the shipping industry. He is always fully aware of the needs of the clients, and can react appropriately in any situation.’

Key clients

ATEM Group

BW Energy Maromba do Brasil

CBO – Companhia Barsileira Offshore


COFCO Innternacional Freight

Cosco Shipping

Dislub Equador Group

Ecopetrol Óleo e Gás do Brasil

Norsk Hydro

Log-In – Logística Intermodal

Maersk Supply

Mercosul Line Navegação e Logística

New Fortress Energy

Ryia Shipping Corporation

Seacrest Group (Karavan Seacrest)


Work highlights

  • Advised BWE on the acquisition of FPSO Cidade de Vitória from Saipem.
  • Assisted SBM Offshore in the emergency response related to marine pollution caused by an oil spill incident.
  • Advised CBO in connection with an accident in Santos involving the vessel AH Valet.

Pedro Calmon Filho & Associados (PCF&A)

Founded in Rio de Janeiro in 1962, Pedro Calmon Filho & Associados (PCF&A) is entirely devoted to shipping and maritime law. Domestic and international shipowners, P&I clubs, and energy companies routinely instruct the group in complex contentious matters. Noteworthy practitioners include Pedro Calmon Neto and Henrique Oswaldo Motta.

Work highlights

Promare | Rabb Carvalho Advocacia

Dedicated to shipping and international trade, Promare | Rabb Carvalho Advocacia is home to a ‘highly qualified and experienced‘ team made up of practitioners who are active in both contentious and non-contentious shipping matters. Based in Fortaleza, the firm has notable strength in maritime litigation and arbitration proceedings, including those arising from collisions, grounding, pollution and contractual issues, acting on behalf of shipowners, insurers, export companies and port operators. Larry Carvalho – ‘a trusted advisor‘ rated for his cross-border capabilities – steers the group in several dry and wet shipping mandates, including the sale and purchase of vessels, charter contracts and regulatory issues. Mariana Félix focuses on labour disputes, while Jeová Costa Lima Neto excels in matters involving shipping accidents and casualties.

Practice head(s):

Larry Carvalho


‘The law firm is well suited to handle international disputes in the commercial and commodities space.’

‘Larry Carvalho is a trusted legal advisor who understands the international legal market and needs of clients.’

‘I have had the opportunity to work with the team in a number of projects over the years and have always been impressed with the level of knowledge, skill and professionalism they bring to each case. Their team is highly qualified and experienced, and is always up-to-date on the latest changes in laws and regulations. They are very committed to their clients and always seek to find creative and effective solutions to solve complex legal problems. The team is very approachable and works collaboratively to ensure that their clients are always informed and involved in every step of the process.’

Key clients

Aliança Navegações

The Standard

Happag Lloyd

Thomas Miller (Hellas)


Aço Cearense



American P&I Club

Shipowners P&I Club

Work highlights

  • Assisting GaláxiaMarítima in a dispute regarding the operation agreement of six vessels.
  • Hired by Great Enterprise to obtain a court order suspending the berth request by the Brazilian Health Authority.
  • Assisting Brandão Filhos in the liquidation process of a joint venture that acquires and maintains the client’s mobile harbour cranes (MHCs).

Siano & Martins Advogados Associados

With offices in Rio de Janeiro, Santos and Paranaguá, shipping boutique Siano & Martins Advogados Associados offers legal support to shipowners and P&I clubs in a litany of dry and wet mandates, including maritime pollution issues, salvage, cargo loss and damage claims. Fabiana Simões Martins and Luiz Roberto Leven Siano are the main points of contact in the firm.

Work highlights

Vieira, Rezende, Barbosa e Guerreiro Advogados

Noted for its ‘in-depth experience and knowledge of maritime law and the Brazilian court system‘, Vieira, Rezende, Barbosa e Guerreiro Advogados provides ‘high quality‘ maritime law services. The firm, which is singled out for its presence in the oil and gas and offshore segments, is a popular choice for non-contentious matters, including charter and transportation agreements, cargo trading, insurance and regulatory issues, and litigation arising from collisions, marine incidents, pollution, and explosions. Practice head Bernardo Mendes Vianna is routinely retained by shipowners and P&I clubs seeking advice on wet shipping, most notably casualties, while Daniela Ribeiro Davila focuses on the oil and gas sector. Erika Feitosa Chaves possesses ‘solid experience in maritime litigation‘.

Practice head(s):

Bernardo Mendes Vianna; Daniela Ribeiro Davila


‘The firm provides personalised services, is always available, accessible, and technically excellent.’

‘Bernardo Vieira Rezende and Erika Chaves are brilliant and very attentive.’

‘In-depth experience and knowledge of maritime law and the Brazilian court system.’

Key clients

Sistac – Sistemas De Acesso

Amaggi Navegação (Hermasa Navegação Da Amazônia)

Subsea7 Do Brasil Serviços

Granel Quimica

Bw Offshore Do Brasil Servicos Maritimos

Navegaçao Taquara

The Meco Group P&i Club

Terminal Portuário De Angra Dos Reis – Tpar

Siem Offshore Rederi


Transportes Fluviais

Navegações Unidas Tapajos

Nippon Express

Fertimar Mineracao E Navegacao

Costa Cruzeiros Agência Maritima E Turismo

Axa Corporate Solutions

North Of England P&i Club

Açu Petróleo

Work highlights

  • Assisted Sistac in the filing of a precautionary measure lawsuit aiming to ensure Sistac’s participation in an upcoming bid before Petrobras.
  • Assists BW, which is seeking to recover the amount unduly discounted by Petrobras for infractions related to the Operational Safety Management System found in one of their units during an inspection.
  • Provided Subsea7 with a legal opinion regarding the chance of success in an eventual lawsuit to be filed against Petrobras seeking compensation for the irregular application of downtime that happened in January 2017.

Garbois + Melo Advogados

Established in April 2021, Garbois + Melo Advogados is entirely devoted to shipping, tax and dispute resolution matters, acting for a diverse client roster comprised of shipowners, oil and gas companies, offshore service providers, ports, terminals, international traders and insurers. The practice is ‘extremely experienced in shipping litigation‘ but is equally adept at advising on the purchase and sale of vessels, ship financings, registrations and charterparty agreements. With ‘a great knowledge of law, the market and operational issues‘, practice head Breno Garbois, a key contact for shipowners, concentrates on maritime disputes, including cargo claims, accidents, and oil spills. Covering both dry and wet shipping, Flavia Melo is regularly sought out by shipowners, offshore service providers and insurers in crisis management involving high-profile casualties.

Practice head(s):

Breno Garbois


‘The team has a wide range of knowledge, not only in the area of maritime law, but also in operational and market issues. Always proposes intelligent and adequate solutions, with a good response time.’

‘Breno Grabois is not only a pleasant person, but also has a great knowledge of law, the market and operational issues, thus facilitating dialogue.’

‘They are extremely experienced in shipping litigation. They really are experts in their area; you know you are in a safe pair of hands. ’

Key clients

Altera Infrastructure

Locar Guindastes e Transportes Intermodais

SBM Offshore

Grupo Wilson Sons (Wilson Sons Offshore, Wilson Sons Estaleiro, Wilson Sons Serviços Marítimos)


Starnav Serviços Marítimos (Detroit Chile)

Camorim Serviços Marítimos

Baru Offshore (Intertug)

Sistac Sistemas de Acesso

Britannia P&I

Work highlights

  • Advised Wilson Sons Offshore, Starnav, Baru Offshore, Camorim, Bravante, Sistac and Locar on disputes involving their vessels under charterparties with Petrobras.
  • Appointed by Britannia P&I to assist shipowners who had their vessels retained in Brazilian ports due to complex cargo issues.
  • Advised Estaleiro Brasa on the process of waiving the title of port concession and termination of the public contract to operate a port terminal in Rio de Janeiro.

Pinheiro Neto Advogados

Drawing on the firm’s first-class capabilities in corporate, litigation, tax and labour law, Pinheiro Neto Advogados is well positioned to act in wet and dry shipping claims at the judicial, administrative and arbitration levels. Standing out for its experience in oil and gas-related maritime matters, the group is also skilled in the negotiation of industry contracts, ranging from shipbuilding and financing agreements to vessel registrations and joint ventures. Luis Claudio Furtado Faria is ‘able to skillfully combine his strong background in dispute resolution (litigation and arbitration) with maritime law and regulatory issues‘.


‘The team knows the characteristics of the maritime sector, its trends and market realities. They position themselves as experts in the sector and facilitate contractual and regulatory solutions.’

‘Luis Claudio Faria is highly engaged, always available and presents adequate solutions from a contractual and regulatory point of view, depending on the issue.’

‘One of the few full-service firms with people qualified to act in maritime law and associated regulatory issues, both in terms of consultancy and litigation. Luis Claudio Faria is recommended.’

‘Luis Claudio Faria is able to skillfully combine his strong background in dispute resolution (litigation and arbitration) with maritime law and regulatory issues.’

‘Pinheiro Neto’s maritime team is led by the brilliant lawyer Luís Cláudio. Luís Cláudio’s great differential is his ability to support clients in litigation and consultancy with the highest quality standards.’

‘Luís Cláudio Furtado is a highly credible lawyer with clients and competitors. He manages litigation and advisory cases very well. He is a very technically sound lawyer and contributes a lot to the legal community at large by publishing relevant articles on the industry.’

Key clients

Ferreira International

Saipem do Brasil Serviços de Petróleo

Alcoa World Alumina Brasil

Work highlights

  • Assisted Saipem in the agreement to sell the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) Cidade de Vitoria to BW Energy.
  • Advising Subsea 7 on contractual and litigation matters involving Petrobras.
  • Assists Ferreira International in a lawsuit over a spill against Kingscote Roajy (KRL) and Amtrans Logística e Transportes Internacionais.