Private Practice

Corporate M&A (High-end)

With transactions the motor of corporate legal business, this award reflects not only outstanding advice and delivery on high-value, complex and strategic M&As, disposals, joint-ventures and PE investments, but also factors-in capability (including the depth of the team; sophistication of key practitioners, etc.), and performance (deal flow, deal profile, transactional sophistication, etc.)

Corporate M&A (Mid-market)

As with firms, so with deals: size is not all. And what the mid-market lacks in headline figures it more than makes up for in deal volume, not infrequently with a complexity approaching -or indeed comparable to- that found in big ticket transactions. (As in the above category, capability and performance are also taken into account).

Capital Markets

This award recognises outstanding, ongoing involvement in the most high-profile and complex finance matters in the Brazilian market – be they debt, equity, structured finance, derivatives or securitisation(s).

Competition & anti-trust

Long regarded as an ancillary aspect of transactional activity, today competition practice groups require a sophistication second to none, from economic analysis to the reading of competition agency CADE’s posture and proclivities or the negotiation of a leniency agreement. This award reflects strength across the gamut of competition matters, both transaction and anti-trust related.


This emergent legal sector that has very much come of age over the last decade. In a period characterised by both increasing regulation (the current administration’s Economic Law notwithstanding) and numerous corruption scandals, compliance has become non-negotiable. This award recognizes practices that have proven capable of providing outstanding, comprehensive, and tailor-made advice to clients whatever their compliance requirements.

Energy Regulatory

Oil-production exceeded 1bn barrels for the first in 2019 and pre-salt gas production rose over 23%; with sub-sectors such as gas-to-power booming and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes’ privatisation program likely to result in the sale of further Petrobras’ assets, the need for sophisticated energy-regulatory advice remains strong. Our energy regulatory award recognizes genuine, technical, industry know-how combined with effective delivery.


This award recognizes full-spectrum contentious capability informed by the strategic creativity, commercial vision and tenacity required to obtain a successful outcome.

Project Finance

The government’s National Privatisation Program aims not only to raise funds but also propel investment in the modernization of Brazil’s infrastructure, a prospect further enhanced by Minister Guedes’ removal of many of the barriers foreign companies encountered when looking to participate in the country’s $12bn p.a. public tender market. Suffice to say that a boom in projects matters -and associated financings- is on the cards: this award will recognise those teams undertaking the most sophisticated and complex project financings.

Public Law and Regulatory

The transformation of the role of the State promoted by the Bolsonaro administration -most immediately visible in the Economy Ministry’s $300bn-plus privatization plans, will ensure healthy demand for sophisticated regulatory and public law advice going forward. Here we recognise full public and regulatory law capability, including in relation to PPPs, concessions and contentious administrative matters.


Fifteen years on from the enactment of Law 11,101/2005, which transformed the insolvency and restructuring sector, spurring not only the development of specialised bankruptcy courts but also the emergence of secondary markets in distressed assets, the practice has become a highly sophisticated and multi-faceted specialisation. This award recognizes full-spectrum capability in the sector, from out-of-court reorganisations to bankruptcy-related litigation, be it on behalf of debtor or creditors.


It is not incidental that we have two associated awards in this area. The burgeoning of the tech-sector over the last twenty years has not only broadened its relevance into previously unimagined areas of law, but also made it ever more central to contemporary business requirements, raising both its relevance and sophistication to new heights:

  • Telecoms and Media – the communications revolution of the digital era has seen telecommunications move from the status of a tool (one among many), to being an integral aspect of the very architecture of our economy; consequently its manifestation as media has similarly diversified and multiplied.
  • Cybersecurity and Data Privacy – as technology facilitates, so it increases risk; in the face of threats ranging from extorsion and IP-theft to class action litigation and fines, this pair of associated practices have rapidly become ‘mission-critical’.

Real Estate

From zoning, urban planning and land use to sales-and-purchase agreements and REITs, mortgages structures and management across the agricultural, residential, housing, office, industrial, and hospitality and leisure sectors, this award recognizes pre-eminence in service delivery across the full spectrum of real estate practice.


If, as Pablo Parenti commented at our GC conference last year, it is risk -its appraisal, analysis and management- that should be at the heart of a corporate advisor’s thinking, then insurance is the cornerstone of multiple defensive strategies. From marine to D&O, claims adjustment to reinsurance and litigation, the sector itself is an entire constellation of sub-specialities of which stand-out practices have to display mastery.


Always a fundamental practice, the growth in the relevance of transactional tax structuring has often seen it task centre stage of late. Nevertheless, tax practice is an entire constellation of sub-practices, and this award recognizes all-round strength across its multiple constituent sub-areas, from counselling and contentious issues to general and indirect taxation.

Law Firm Innovation

Conceiving of innovation as a process that is at once internal (seeking to re-engineer the law firm itself in an ongoing manner) and external (not only in terms of client relations and service delivery but beyond that, reaching into the social arena), this category recognizes those firms that are genuinely seeking to rethink legal service delivery for the 21st century, which necessarily touches on every aspect of a law firm’s operation from management to billing.


In-house lawyer of the year

Recognising the in-house lawyer with the most excellent all around innovation and skill. This involves going beyond the average competence and demonstrating insightful quality across practice areas. The winner also displays a culmination of excellence across the other award categories.

In-house team of the year

Recognising the in-house legal teams that have demonstrated excellent all around innovation and skill – going beyond marketing superficiality to provide real insight and quality across numerous categories as highlighted in interviews during GC Powerlist research. The winner also displays a culmination of excellence across the other award categories.

Diversity and Inclusion Champion

The shortlisted in-house teams demonstrate their leadership on this issue within the Brazilian in-house legal market. Considerations include the quality of the company’s diversity and inclusion policies either as locally initiated or locally implemented policy, and the company’s public outreach on this subject. We consider evidence of the legal team’s direct involvement in this area and how it impacts the company’s behaviour for example, its external counsel appointment and hiring policy.

In-house use of technology

As legal technology becomes ubiquitous within in-house legal management, the teams recognised display exceptional and innovative use of technology and lead the field in this regard. The winning team demonstrates the value that this has brought to their organisation in the form of legal operational management or a new business model.

In-house M&A team of the year

Recognising the in-house team for its role in the most significant M&A deal of the past year. Taken into consideration are the value, complexity and influence of the deal within the Brazilian legal market and business. Shortlisted companies demonstrate their team’s crucial involvement in the deal and strong cooperation with external law firms, regulators and other actors.