Norton Rose Fulbright > Sao Paulo, Brazil > Firm Profile

Norton Rose Fulbright
3900 AVENIDA BRIGADEIRO FARIA LIMA,
SAO PAULO
04538-132
Brazil

Latin America: International firms > Banking and finance Tier 2

Norton Rose Fulbright has achieved further growth in restructurings and general lending for Brazilian and international banks, along with a notable uptick in ESG and sustainability-linked loans. The firm continues to be at the forefront of rail and metro financings across Latin America and remains active in renewable energy financings in Mexico and elsewhere. Its presence in Sao Paulo and Mexico City is complemented by its US offices, particularly New York and Washington DC, which have teams strongly focused on Latin America. Moreover, its London and other European offices, are integral to international bank relationships that bring the Latin America team a wealth of engagements. Sao Paulo managing partner Charles Johnson has spent more than two decades in Brazil, specialising in structured trade finance, project finance, asset finance and restructurings. Michael McCourt is another key partner in Sao Paulo, along with Daniel Spencer, who is a leader in infrastructure finance across Latin America. Sao Paulo counsel Caspar Davey, a fluent Mandarin speaker, has had a pivotal role in representing Chinese banks and sponsors in Latin America infrastructure financings, particularly in the rail sector. Raquel Bierzwinsky splits her time between New York and Mexico City, and specialises in project finance in Mexico, particularly in the renewable energy field. Washington DC partners Sarah Devine, a Spanish speaker, and Jeremy Hushon, hold strong connections to a wealth of agency lenders that are active in Latin America. London partner Giles Brand is active in offshore oil and gas financings in Brazil.

Practice head(s):

Charles Johnson; Raquel Bierzwinsky

Testimonials

The team is always available and very on top of every discussion during the transactions. They are very pro-deal but always provide important legal advice. A very technical and knowledgeable team. Compared to other firms, they stand out especially for their comprehensive set of abilities and skills.

The team in the São Paulo office speaks Portuguese (makes the negotiation with Brazilian clients very easy). They are pragmatic and business oriented in the sense that they do not waste time/energy on less relevant topics (such as minor wording issues) and really focus on the legal risks of the transaction. They are very experienced and help find workable solutions when the negotiations are harder. Aside form that, they are committed to timetables (sometimes challenging ones) and deliver good quality documents.

In my point of view, Charles Johnson stands out, specially given his legal knowledge and understanding of business aspects of each deal. He’s particularly very detailed-oriented and, at the same time, very straight-forward and timing aware.

Key clients

KfW IPEX

CABEI

Deutsche Bank

Banco del Estado de Chile

BCI

Bancomext

IDB Invest

FinDev Canada

DFC (formerly OPIC)

Braskem

Banco Rabobank International Brasil

BRK Ambiental Participações

Vale

Macquarie

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO)

Société de Promotion et de Participation Pour la Coopération Economique  (PROPARCO)

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Hedera Investimentos e Participações

Banco Itau BBA

ING Bank

Banco Bradesco

Iochpe Maxion

Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF)

Ultrapar Participações

Goldman Sachs

JP Morgan

MUFG Bank

Banco Credit Suisse do Brasil

Banco ABN AMRO

Banco do Brasil

BNDES

DNB Bank

Banco BTG Pactual

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Bank of America

Work highlights

  • Advised Biosev and its shareholder the Louis Dreyfus group with respect to the restructuring of $1.3bn of Biosev debt with a large group of international and Brazilian banks.
  • Advised the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) on a $2.8bn credit facility earmarked to promote economic growth and development in Ecuador.
  • Advised Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem (and its subsidiaries Braskem Netherlands and Braskem America), in connection with a $1bn syndicated revolving credit facility.

Latin America: International firms > Projects and energy

Norton Rose Fulbright 's wide-ranging Latin America practice has successfully targeted the energy, mining and infrastructure segments, acting for a variety of commercial lenders, development banks and ECAs, sponsors and developers, and financial investors. It has achieved particular prominence in renewable energy projects, notably in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and many other jurisdictions. The firm is also at the forefront of mining projects, including copper, gold and lithium projects in Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Ecuador, among other countries. Raquel Bierzwinsky is a native Spanish speaker, based in New York and Mexico City, and has a broad practice covering renewable energy, infrastructure and mining in Mexico and the wider region. Sarah Devine and Jeremy Hushon are key figures in Washington DC, where they have close connections to commercial lenders, development banks and agency lenders. New York’s Todd Alexander is an experienced name in renewable energy and energy transition projects. Hernán González in Mexico City and Sao Paulo-based infrastructure finance specialist Daniel Spencer are also important members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Keith Martin; Ben Koenigsberg

Key clients

KfW IPEX

Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica (CABEI)

Enel Green Power

Marubeni

Bancomext

IDB Invest

FinDev Canada

DFC (formerly OPIC)

Braskem

Itapoá Terminais Portuários

Banco Rabobank International Brasil

BRK Ambiental Participações

Vale

Macquarie Capital

FMO

Groupe Agence Française de Développement (Proparco)

IFC

MUFG Bank

Banco Itaú BBA

ING Bank

Banco Bradesco

Corporación Andina de Fomento

Goldman Sachs

JP Morgan

Work highlights

  • Represented Fiduciaria Bancolombia, as concession trust trustee, in connection with a $209m social bond issued to refinance the 4G Colombian highway corridor project, Puerta de Hierro-Cruz del Viso; this was the first social bond issued in Latin America in connection with an infrastructure project.
  • Represented AMP Capital Investors as the lender in a $280m holdco financing of a 1.3GW portfolio of wind and solar projects in Chile.
  • Acted as international counsel to commercial lenders and ECAs in a $520m financing and $51m bonding facility to Mantoverde to finance its $847m  Mantoverde Sulphide expansion project, located in the Atacama Region of Chile.

Latin America: International firms > Corporate and M&A

Norton Rose Fulbright is building its name in Latin America M&A, especially in energy, infrastructure and technology deals. Having a sizeable presence in Sao Paulo and Mexico City brings it additional credibility and has led to engagements on a series of headline and high-value transactions. Sao Paulo partner Silvia Fazio is an experienced figure in Brazil transactions, including energy and infrastructure deals. Raquel Bierzwinsky divides her time between New York and Mexico City and has an increasingly prominent corporate and transactional aspect in addition to her well-known finance capabilities; the M&A and capital markets credentials of the latter office has been further strengthened with the April-2022 hire of  Andrés Nieto from Creel Abogados, SC.

Practice head(s):

Silvia Fazio; Hernan Gonzalez Strada

Testimonials

Partners’ availability and commitment – objective, high quality and straight-to-the point advice. Team spirit. In a high profile M&A transaction, the NRF team provided extremely objective and straight to the point advice, which was decisive for our common client to be successful in the M&A transaction, and worked together with Brazilian counsel (our firm) as a one-team (no attempt to overtake/control the deal).

The NRF team is differentiated. All lawyers have a multi-jurisdictional view of operations, are extremely efficient, responding to requests quickly and in detail. We wouldn’t be able to handle all of the company’s work demands without the technical assistance of the Norton Rose team.

Silvia Fazio – always available, regardless of the time difference. They provided very objective and top-notch advice, worked in close cooperation with our firm. They worked in a very efficient way and brought other team members (from the insurance area) to the extent necessary to secure a smooth deal. Also, they were very flexible with fees, which was highly appreciated by our common client.

Silvia Fazio is our partner. An extremely helpful, technical, organized and business-oriented professional.

Key clients

Equatorial Energia

LATAM Airlines

Suzano

Bemobi

Sumitomo Chemical

Cosan

Clear Channel Brasil

Banco do Brasil

Itau BBA

Osisko Gold Royalties

General Motors

RKIM

Accenture

American International Group

Shell

Work highlights

  • Advised Equatorial Energia on a successful bid to purchase the entire issued share capital of Brazil Echoenergia Participações from Ipiranga Fundo de Investimento em Participações Multiestratégia, a fund owned by Actis.
  • Advised Sumitomo Chemical Company on its agreement to purchase Nufarm’s crop protection business in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile.

The firm: Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm. We provide the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 4,000 lawyers and other legal staff based in more than 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.

Areas of practice: Recognized for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. Through our global risk advisory group, we leverage our industry experience with our knowledge of legal, regulatory, compliance and governance issues to provide our clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks facing their businesses.

Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss verein, helps coordinate the activities of Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. Norton Rose Fulbright has offices in more than 50 cities worldwide, including London, Houston, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Sydney and Johannesburg. For more information, see nortonrosefulbright.com

Offices: We have offices in the world’s most important business, financial and regulatory centres and are active in strategically important growth markets. Our offices are located in:  Amsterdam ● Athens ● Austin ● Bangkok ● Beijing ● Brisbane ● Brussels ● Bujumbura** ● Calgary ● Canberra ● Cape Town ● Casablanca ● Dallas ● Denver ● Dubai ● Durban ● Frankfurt ● Hamburg ● Harare** ● Hong Kong SAR ● Houston ● Istanbul ● Jakarta* ● Johannesburg ● Kampala** ● London ● Los Angeles ● Luxembourg ● Melbourne ● Mexico City ● Milan ● Minneapolis ● Monaco ● Montréal ● Moscow ● Munich ● New York ● Nairobi** ● Ottawa ● Paris ● Perth ● Piraeus ● Québec ● Riyadh* ● San Antonio ● San Francisco ● São Paulo ● Shanghai ● Singapore ● St. Louis ● Sydney ● Tokyo ● Toronto ● Vancouver ● Warsaw ● Washington DC
*associate office **alliance

Number of partners (worldwide): 1,000+
Number of other fee-earners (worldwide): 2,000+
Total staff: 7,500+

Global key contacts
Financial institutions:
James Bateson
Energy: Anne Lapierre and John Mauel
Infrastructure, mining and commodities: Nick Merritt
Transport: Harry Theochari
Technology: Nick Abrahams
Life sciences and healthcare: Randy Sutton and Jonathan Skidmore

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Rio de Janeiro Alison Baxteralison.baxter@nortonrosefulbright.com+5511 3372 0030 / + 5511 98996 6741
Sao Paulo Charles Johnsoncharles.johnson@nortonrosefulbright.com+55 11 3372 0001
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Silvia Fazio photoMs Silvia Fazio
Charles Johnson photoMr Charles JohnsonPartner, Norton Rose Fulbright US Consultores em Direito Estrangeiro
Michael McCourt photoMr Michael McCourt
Daniel Spencer photoMr Daniel SpencerPartner
English (fluent)
Portugese