Firms To Watch: Wealth and succession planning

Wealth management and estate planning is a core focus for Farroco Abreu Advogados, which was established in 2019 and acts for multinational families and individuals; José Mauricio Abreu and José Dumont Neto jointly lead the team.
A spin off from its former firm in 2019, Junqueira Ie Advogados has a notable wealth management practice, where it acts for private clients in tax, family governance, succession and immigration matters; Cristiane Ie and Lavinia Junqueira are key contacts.
Pierre Moreau heads the wealth management department at Moreau Valverde Advogados, which advises national and international HNWIs and family offices on managing assets, corporate structuring and family law, among other areas.

Wealth and succession planning in Brazil

Abe Giovanini Advogados

Abe Giovanini Advogados has firmly established itself as a market leader for wealth management and succession planning. The firm represents a broad mix of business owners and entrepreneurs from across a wide range of sectors, and is regularly referred work by private banks and financial advisers. Asset protection was high on the agenda throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, during which time the firm has been busy providing advice to clients on investing in foreign real estate throughout Europe, the US and Japan. Renato Giovanini Filho heads the practice, and in addition to wealth planning, he also offers strong support on related M&A and venture capital issues. Key associates include Isabella da Mata Oliveira and Lúcia Alonso Falleiros, and for tax matters, Lucas Barducco.

Practice head(s):

Renato Giovanini Filho

Testimonials

‘Abe Giovanini is a firm dedicated to its clients. The level of detail, knowledge and involvement of lawyers is impressive.’

‘They do an outstanding job in formulating their opinions and recommendation alternatives. Because their research is first rate, they do that with deeper insight and certainty and with a clearer explanation to the clients than other firms.’

‘All very competent and dedicated, and available 24/7.’

‘Renato Giovanini is an excellent and dedicated lawyer. His experience and care with every detail in the structure of his clients’ assets impress. And his willingness to help is captivating.’

‘Renato Giovanini is master lawyer with exceptional skills, and knows wealth planning in depth.’

A high-level team and personalized service, understanding all the elements that involve the customer’s cause.’

Humberto Sanches e Associados

Boutique private client firm Humberto Sanches e Associados was launched in December 2020 by Humberto Sanches, who previously worked at the market-leading practice at Ulhôa Canto, Rezende e Guerra Advogados. 'A standout leader in his field', Sanches has a distinguished track record offering the full spectrum of strategic wealth management and succession planning advice to Brazilian high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and their family offices and businesses. He is backed by Adriane Pacheco, who has over 20 years' experience in the area. The firm also fields a talented team of younger partners, including Beatriz de Souza Lima Martinez, who is especially active in family law matters, and Juliana Forte de Araújo Cavalcanti, who has notable expertise in structuring onshore and offshore investment vehicles.

Practice head(s):

Humberto Sanches

Testimonials

‘Humberto and his partners are a great team: responsive, creative and extremely knowledgeable when it comes to cross-border tax and succession planning.’

‘Efficient, diverse, to the point.’

‘Very professional team with proactive touch.’

‘Excellent team with expertise in private clients and wealth planning. Super differentiated service and focused on customer objectives. All the partners are super available and maintain close contact with the client and closely monitor all the work developed.’

‘Adriane Pacheco is exceptional, very kind, efficient, and intelligent.’

‘Our contact is Humberto Sanches. He is peerless when it comes to Brazilian tax advice. Always responsive, pragmatic and commercial. He is our go to.’

‘Humberto de Haro Sanches is a standout leader in his field. He has a deep understanding of cross border tax and succession issues, and that understanding of and familiarity with other legal systems which is essential in a practitioner in the field.’

‘Humberto Sanches and Beatriz Martinez are well-versed in the Brazilian Private Wealth industry. They are always willing to support our interests, even if the legal questions at stake require in-deep research.’

FreitasLeite Advogados

FreitasLeite Advogados has a dedicated two-partner team working out of São Paulo and is highlighted for its 'greater knowledge of offshore structures'. The practice is led by Raul de Paula Leite Filho, who has a strong following among high-profile business leaders and families, and Humberto de Paula Lima Isaac, who handles wealth planning and capital markets issues. The combination of tax and capital markets knowledge gives the firm an edge in structuring local and offshore financial products. It is regularly referred work by financial institutions, family offices and financial advisors, and is also strong on related litigation matters. Associate Rodrigo Tosto is also highly experienced in tax and succession planning.

Practice head(s):

Raul de Paula Leite Filho; Humberto de Paula Lima Isaac

Testimonials

‘The entire staff is experienced, flexible and available. FreitasLeite is one of the few firms in Brazil that actually has experience with offshore structures and knows how to guide the Brazilian client with property in this area.’

‘The Brazilian firm with greater knowledge of offshore structures.’

‘Humberto Issac – deep knowledge in offshore structures. Luiz Guilherme Noronha – knowledge in structures, practicality in solving problems.’

‘Raul Leite Filho – besides being very experienced in the tax and offshore area,  a very nice and kind person to work with.’

Specialised legal service and adaptability to the client’s profile. Raul Leite has technical expertise, in addition to managing to impress clients by conducting various topics with lightness and professionalism!

Huck, Otranto, Camargo Advogados

Huck, Otranto, Camargo Advogados has a versatile team in São Paulo, which covers the full sweep of wealth planning issues, including tax, disputes, real estate and related corporate planning and M&A. The firm has been especially active on the contentious front, helping family businesses with complex corporate disputes. Repatriation of assets, cross-border investments and risk assessments also feature prominently on the agenda. Key members of the team include Isabel Garcia Calich Da Fonseca and João Paulo de Seixas Maia Krepel for tax matters, Luis Gustavo Haddad for corporate advice, Guilherme Gomes Pereira for dispute resolution, and Thalita Duarte Henriques Pinto for real estate. Since publication: the firm endured a significant split in February 2022 with the departure of 24 lawyers to found HRSA; while the firm retains 47 attorneys, all those named above with the exception of Henriques Pinto have left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Isabel Garcia Calich da Fonseca; Luís Gustavo Haddad; João Paulo de Seixas Maia Krepel; Guilherme Gomes Pereira

Testimonials

‘Strong professionalism and ethics.’

KLA Advogados

With ‘very skilled professionals and a high level of service‘, KLA Advogados has notable experience in wealth management and family law. Name partner Fernando Koury Lopes is a trusted counsel to several well-known Brazilian families, assisting with the management, protection and international and domestic planning of their estates. Partners such as Carolina Ducci also offer strong support in family law matters and contentious divorce and inheritance issues. The firm also advises several international banks and financial services providers on related issues. Vera Helena Cardoso - who was promoted to partner in October 2021 - is also highly rated.

Practice head(s):

Fernando Koury Lopes

Testimonials

‘KLA is  a very complete law firm specializing in corporate, taxation, succession and various other aspects of law. It has very skilled professionals and a high level of service and satisfaction of customers. It has an exceptional quality to fully treat all customer needs in a very professional and complete way. They are always available and are fast and efficient in delivery.’

Fernando Koury Lopes and Vera Helena Cardoso are recommended.’

I would highlight Carolina Ducci.’

‘The team led by Fernando Koury  has been going for more than 20 years. They analyze all the important points and from there make an initial plan to discuss with the client about the alternatives (reorganization, succession, taxation, jurisdictions etc). The service is very fast and effective.’

Lefosse Advogados

'Well-prepared and high-quality firm' Lefosse Advogados represents a mix of families, senior executives, family offices and private banking clients. The team's strong crossover into complementary areas such as tax, corporate and real estate gives it an edge, particularly with regard to cross-border matters. Wealth planning head Andrea Caliento has twenty years of experience in estate planning, asset protection and family law, and she has a good track record in mediating family disputes. Gustavo Haddad and associate Ricardo Santos provide considerable support on the tax front.

Practice head(s):

Andrea Caliento

Other key lawyers:

Gustavo Haddad; Ricardo Santos

Testimonials

‘Well-prepared and high-quality firm in the services of estate planning and succession. The lawyers have a lot of technical knowledge and great posture with clients. It is transparent with client and provides a lot of security.’

‘Undoubtedly, Dr. Andrea Caliento, is a professional of high competence, who is not restricted only to the legal content, but joins the client in finding the paths that most suit them.’

‘The whole team is always very up to date on the latest legal news and taxation. Gustavo Haddad has a lot of experience, and is assertive in his recommendations, which makes my consultations with him always quick, agile and profitable.’

Lembi Advogados

Well-regarded boutique Lembi Advogados is highlighted for its 'engagement, ownership and accountability' and 'agility and hands-on manner'. With a multidisciplinary approach to wealth and estate planning, the firm provides support to a wide range of private individuals and families on domestic and international matters, particularly with regard to securities, corporate and real estate assets. Tax and family law are also prominent areas of expertise. Name partner Rachel Katlauskas Muraro Lembi has a strong background in this area, both as a lawyer and in private banking, and is also a certified mediator. Manuela Madeira Calheiros is also active on the tax side.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Katlauskas Muraro Lembi

Testimonials

They are very prepared and are accessible to both the professional and the client. They are very good professionals, sympathetic and with a lot of desire to help and find a solution.’

What makes this practice unique is the engagement, ownership and accountability of its partners and associates, as well as their ready accessibility upon request. Personalisation is also a strong trait of the servicing model adopted, focused on matching the right expertise to the needs of the clients. The agility and hands-on manner with which the partners engage on matters of wealth and succession planning is also a positive factor which distinguishes the practice.’

Name partner Rachel Lembi brings vast experience of her years in the banking world advising UHNW clients’ wealth and succession planning needs. Knowledgeable in the field of expertise and a professional with very solid knowledge and outstanding interpersonal skills. The boutique size helps the dynamics of servicing and recent additions of some seasoned professionals makes the experience not only enjoyable but highly productive.’

Rachel Lembi and Manuela Madeira Calheiros are recommended.’

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados brings a strong combination of tax, corporate, litigation and civil law expertise to its private wealth group. High-net-worth families and individuals often seek advice from the team on the cross-over between their commercial and private interests, including the companies they control. This includes support on inheritance, asset planning and protection, real estate, criminal law and philanthropy. The firm also works with several high-profile domestic and international private banks on the development of their products. Well-regarded tax specialist Fernando Tonanni heads the team, with strong support from partners Celso Costa and Fernando Colucci on related tax, corporate and asset structuring.

Practice head(s):

Fernando Tonanni

Testimonials

‘The partners and lawyers of the team are extremely competent and easy to communicate with.’

‘Strong technical service adapted to the needs of each client.’

‘Their attention, competence, language and communication really make them stand out from the competition. Here I should mention Fernando Colucci, Carlos and Rafael.’

‘Fernando Colucci acts in a very technical way, leading to the clients always receiving relevant solutions.’

Key clients

UBS

Lombard Odier

Julius Baer

Edmond de Rothschild

Credit Suisse

Mattos Filho

Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados is 'very internationally focused and accustomed to dealing with cross-border tax and estate planning issues'. It has a multidisciplinary private client team, which offers the full suite of services, from family and corporate governance, succession and estate planning to immigration. This is supported by the firm's top-notch expertise in corporate finance, tax, real estate and litigation. Among the partners, Alessandro Amadeu da Fonseca has an impressive track record advising HNWIs, family offices and family-controlled businesses on domestic and cross-border issues. Highly regarded partner Nicole Najjar is very active on the tax and succession planning side.

Testimonials

‘The staff provide excellent service, technically suitable and updated. The service is diligent and within compatible deadlines, that is, lawyers have the sense of urgency necessary when demanded in this sense and meet the deadlines adjusted in the projects or subjects that require greater dedication and debate. The firm is organised so that the services contracted by the client have ease in transiting through interdisciplinary teams, providing a service that enables the analysis by the various areas of law and enriching the result delivered.’

‘Notable for its consistent high quality. Very experienced in international matters.’

‘I have been working with this team for over 5 years. In the complex cases we worked together, this team has always had the ability to extract from clients aspects that other client consultants did not have the ability to obtain.’

‘With a total focus on the client, it excels in innovation and the high degree of commitment to the solutions presented. Acting, whenever necessary, with multidisciplinary groups, able to generate solutions more appropriate to each specific demand. Team of employees of the highest level of training and professional experience and latest generation technology support.’

‘They are very internationally focused and accustomed to dealing with cross-border tax and estate planning issues. Alessandro Amadeu Da Fonseca stands out as particularly expert.’

‘Nicole Najjar Prado de Oliveira is a special highlight in a team of many other renowned lawyers. Today I consider Nicole the most competent Brazilian authority in the world of Wealth Services, to which I have dedicated many of the years of my long professional career. Nicole has extensive knowledge of Brazilian and international laws. She has great ability to develop and provide the best and most effective solutions for the most complex demands. She relates with incredible skill to all members of a family.’

‘Alessandro Fonseca and Nicole Najjar are excellent! Both always serve customers in a very professional and dedicated way!’

Pinheiro Neto Advogados

Pinheiro Neto Advogados has a multi-faceted private wealth practice, which can draw upon the firm’s deep pool of experience in areas such as corporate law, tax and litigation. The team’s main focus is on structuring assets in Brazil and abroad, including advice on wills, trusts, offshore companies and investment funds, estate planning, as well as philanthropic activities. Another strength is in highly sensitive family law matters, where Flávio Belliboni is especially experienced. Celso Cintra Mori is one of the lead partners on the disputes side, while Carlos Alberto Moreira Lima Jr regularly advises on M&A, wealth and estate planning, where the up-and-coming Pythagoras Carvalho is also developing a good name.

Practice head(s):

Celso Cintra Mori; Flavio Belliboni; Carlos Alberto Moreira Lima Jr; Pythagoras Carvalho

Testimonials

‘Pinheiro Neto’s wealth and succession planning team has consistently offered a composition that includes life-long solutions from a global legal point of view and in a way that has been fully accepted by customers.’

‘Good technical knowledge and availability.’

‘Pythagoras Carvalho is an excellent lawyer, great communicator and has good business orientation.’

Pythagoras Carvalho is a complete and mature lawyer: he knows the law and is sensitive in dealing with the client, in addition to not neglecting the strategic part of the cases in which he works. Gabriela Ghelman is a rising star who will certainly be one of the big names of the future in the Wealth area.’

I especially recommend the partner Marcos Ladeira who, in addition to demonstrating enormous knowledge in the field of corporate law, is an elegant and polite person – always trying to bring the best result to the client.’

Ulhôa Canto, Rezende e Guerra Advogados

Ulhôa Canto, Rezende e Guerra Advogados has longstanding expertise in the area of wealth and succession planning. The firm saw a significant change with the departure of Humberto de Haro Sanches in December 2020. Nevertheless, it retains a strong focus on this area, representing several large families on estate and succession planning and corporate governance. Corporate partner Aloysio Meirelles de Miranda Filho now leads the team, and has considerable experience on the private client side, and the intersection with clients' corporate interests. Rio de Janeiro-based Guilherme Rocha Murgel de Rezende and tax partner Flavia Cavalcanti Pepe are also names to note.

Practice head(s):

Aloysio Meirelles de Miranda Filho; Guilherme Rocha Murgel de Rezende; Flávia Cavalcanti Pepe

Testimonials

‘Ulhoa Canto has over many years oriented measures to protect the wealth of the family. They have come up with suggestions which represented significant savings – which I would not have known on my own. Moreover their suggestions have preceded actual changes in tax laws. I consider them top lawyers and very efficient.’

‘There have been changes in personnel, but a high standard of service always continues. The senior partner Aloysio Miranda is always available, and spontaneously brings new ideas.’

Veirano Advogados

Veirano Advogados has a high quality, multidisciplinary team that combines expertise in succession and family law, tax, dispute resolution, real estate and M&A. The team regularly advises wealthy families on estate planning and the restructuring of their domestic and offshore assets and businesses. Recently, the firm has been involved in several complex cross-border divorce and probate negotiations with significant implications for family estates. The practice also leverages off strong relationships with major banks, family offices and accounting firms. Tax partner Andre Carvalho and wealth and estate planning expert Pedro Boueri Affonso de Almeida jointly lead the well-regarded team. Paula Surerus and associate Guilherme Fonseca de Oliveira are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Andre Carvalho; Pedro Boueri Affonso de Almeida

Testimonials

‘Excellent technical knowledge combined with customisation and adaptability to clients.’

‘Andre Carvalho, Paula Surerus and Pedro Bouri Affonso de Almeida – unite technical capacity and a high capacity for customised client solutions.’

‘The lawyers are extremely qualified and have extensive experience in the matter, which makes the client feel very confident in implementing the suggestions.’

Dr. Pedro Affonso Boueri: Excellent positioning in the face of challenges. Undisputed experience and technical capacity, in addition to enormous skill in customer relations; Dr. André Carvalho: Great tax knowledge and vision; Dr. Guilherme Fonseca Oliveira: Excellent professional, complementing the team very well.’

Bastos Bari Vilela Zugman Advogados

Bastos Bari Vilela Zugman Advogados was established in 2018, and is a young and up-and-coming boutique with a strong focus on contentious and non-contentious tax and related wealth planning issues. Founding partners Frederico Silva Bastos, Daniel Leib Zugman and Renato Vilela jointly lead the practice, which represents a mix of HNWIs and families, including several high-profile entrepreneurs, on domestic and cross-border planning. The team also benefits from strong relationships with major banks such as Itaú Unibanco.

Practice head(s):

Frederico Silva Bastos; Daniel Leib Zugman; Renato Vilela

Testimonials

‘The team is young, but hungry, strong, and growing (as far as I see). My experience with BVZ can be summed up in two words, care and reliability (which is not trivial in the legal market). Care for the reason that I truly felt that my case and my personal concerns were also BVZ concerns and reliability because throughout the project I was very well apprised and ready for each step.’

‘BVZ is a small but very good player. The team is very proactive, competent, and agile, especially Frederico Bastos who was the partner I was in touch with. I found the team very organised and hard-working. Frederico Bastos was extremely knowledgeable and responsive. Also, it should be noted that services were provided according to high-quality standards (organised materials, very well presented, and always on time).’

The quality of care, knowledge and mastery of the topic dealt with.’

Key clients

Itaú Unibanco

Work highlights

  • Assisted Itaú Unibanco in organising and updating its private bank guidelines for tax returns in Brazil.

BMA - Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão

BMA - Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão has a well-established private client group, covering a range of key areas, including tax, estate planning, litigation and related corporate and capital markets work. The last two came to the fore in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic gave rise to significant family and commercial reorganisations, debt restructurings, as well as philanthropy work. The firm has strong relationships with many of the key private banks, and in addition to advising families and individuals, also acts for several major family offices. Hermano Notaroberto Barbosa and Debora Bacellar jointly lead the team.

Practice head(s):

Hermano Notaroberto Barbosa; Debora Bacellar

Testimonials

‘Technically qualified  lawyers. They are attentive and helpful and customers always praise the treatment and partnership.’

‘Hermano Barbosa manages to impress clients of different profiles with impeccable service.’

The team is very accessible and available to customers, very technical and used to more complex structures, involving liquid assets, illiquid and structures abroad. I would highlight Hermano Barbosa, Jane Goldman and Lígia Regini.

Hermano Notaroberto Barbosa – technical knowledge far above average, clarity in placement and relationship.’

Camila Chouzal and Debora Bacellar – dedicated, business insight, depth.’

It was an excellent experience with the firm and with the individual lawyers I worked with. At all times my family and I felt very confident in the work of the team and very well taken care of by them.’

Key clients

Turim Investimentos

Banco Santander

J.P.Morgan

Itaú Unibanco

BTG Pactual

Banco Opportunity

Vinci Partners

JGP Investimentos

Gávea Investimentos

XP Multi Family Offices

Terciotti Andrade Gomes Donato Advogados

Terciotti Andrade Gomes Donato Advogados offers a strong blend of corporate, dispute resolution, tax, inheritance and estate planning advice to its private clients, which include HNWIs and families. The practice is also regularly referred work and clients by leading private banks. The firm advises on pre-migration tax planning for Brazilians moving to the US and Europe, where the firm works closely with a strong network of favoured law firms. The team's lead partners are Edgar Santos Gomes and Gustavo Teixeira Godoy, both of whom have active tax practices.

Practice head(s):

Edgar Santos Gomes; Gustavo Teixeira Godoy

Testimonials

A firm that offers an excellent service to its customers and with a great quality. It is at the level of other renowned law firms and its employees are always in the position to accommodate the needs of clients.’

The service provided is the best quality, enhanced by the relationship of friendship with the lawyer who serves us. Always looking for the best solution and that can bring some kind of income / savings to us. Few times have I seen such a dedication in a law firm.’

Personalised customer service, always with a lot of quality.’

Edgar Santos Gomes is an excellent professional and is always willing to share his knowledge and be part of discussions on various topics of interest to clients. I’ve always received very good feedback about him.’

Edgar Santos Gomes combines excellent technical knowledge with the ability to suit different customer profiles.’

Gustavo Godoy is highly Skilled and has deep knowledge of Brazilian and International Tax Law. For me, the strong point is that Dr. Gustavo Godoy is extremely pro-business. He always acts in favor of the client’s dynamics and needs, being extremely proactive, agile and efficient in presenting us with the best and safest legal solution. Gustavo Godoy is a legal professional like few I’ve had the opportunity to meet.’

They are very strong technically but also creative and pragmatic. They are very client oriented and always ready to find meet all the legal standards and simple but creative solutions.

Trench Rossi Watanabe

Trench Rossi Watanabe handles a broad range of complex family, estate planning, tax, corporate and real estate matters on behalf of its private wealth clients. The firm's longstanding cooperation agreement with Baker McKenzie LLP gives it access to an extensive global network. This has been useful for contentious and non-contentious matters, including a multimillion-dollar international probate, and cross-border estate planning involving the restructuring of assets in onshore and offshore jurisdictions. Practice head Marcos Vinicius Neder de Lima brings a huge amount of experience, and is ably supported by associate Flávia Allegro Gerola.

Practice head(s):

Marcos Vinicius Neder de Lima

Testimonials

Technical knowledge, global team, attention to clients.’

Marcos Neder and Flávia Allegro Gerola are recommended.’

Utumi Advogados

Utumi Advogados is highlighted for its 'great experience in cross-border planning'. With acknowledged strengths in key areas such as tax, the firm also has an impressive offering in private wealth management and succession planning. Regularly working with HNWIs, family offices and international private banks, the practice has a good track record on cross-border issues and regularly assists in foreign asset sales and acquisitions, including real estate and financial and business investments. Practice head Ana Cláudia Akie Utumi is extremely well regarded and has almost 30 years' market experience. Litigation head Camila Abrunhosa Tapias is also noted for her tax expertise.

Practice head(s):

Ana Cláudia Akie Utumi

Testimonials

‘This firm has the DNA of being in the top tier of global trends on the ever- changing rules and obligations. I rely on Ana Utumi and her team to check on specific requests as well as to submit my client´s inquiries.’

‘In the area of Wealth, Dr. Ana Claudia Utumi and her team are highly recognized. The work done for HNW and UHNW clients is exceptional; with special attention to all members of the family and clear studies of succession/tax planning. Utumi’s team of qualified professionals are able to structure complex planning and pass on trust to their customers and partners. It’s exactly this mix of qualification and exceptional customer service that makes Utumi’s services unbeatable.’

‘This team is an excellent boutique private client planning firm, with great experience in cross-border planning.’

‘Ana Claudia Utumi is an expert in her field, always practical, technically brilliant and extremely reliable.’

‘The founding partner is one of the most engaged professionals I have had the pleasure of working with around the world. She has an almost magical ability to be informed about all items that matter, as well as those that will matter in the future. On top of that, she is a delight to work with.’