Brazil 2018: Leading Firms

WWL's research into the Brazilian market is more comprehensive than ever. This year, practitioners from 299 firms are highlighted, nearly 40 more than in our 2017 edition. However, almost 30 per cent of all of the listings are shared among six excellent firms in the market. Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados lead the pack, with 71 listings in this edition, closely followed by Pinheiro Neto Advogados with 57 practitioners recommended. The leading firms this year are profiled below.

Total number of listings: 35

Demarest Advogados is one of the pre-eminent law firms in Brazil, with a staff of 700 professionals and a superb international client list. This year the firm has increased its WWL listings to 35 across an even wider range of practice areas. The firm demonstrates strength and depth of expertise in and knowledge in 18 practice areas from arbitration to trademarks. It has an impressive international presence, with over 270 practitioners at offices in every major Brazilian city as well as in New York. This presence, when allied to its membership of the Lex Mundi network, makes Demarest a truly global player.

The firm is particularly strong in corporate and company law, with its seven listings in M&A and four in corporate governance the joint-most and most respectively in our research this year. It also receives the most listings in our trade and customs chapter, another area where it boasts outstanding expertise.

Key players in the firm include José Setti Diaz, who ranks highly in all three of these key areas of strength. Other prominent Brazilian practitioners at the firm include Paulo Frank Coelho da Rocha, who achieves distinction for his work in M&A and corporate governance, and Amadeu Ribeiro who leads the field in competition law.  

Total number of listings: 30

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados is a major player in the Brazilian market. It is home to over 700 professionals who service clients in a complete range of corporate and commercial law matters. Headquartered in São Paulo, the firm has four offices in Brazil, complemented by an additional office in New York, to boost its cross-border capabilities for major Brazilian and multinational companies.

The full-service firm achieves 30 listings spanning 14 practice areas and is well equipped to advise clients on business-critical commercial, regulatory and contentious matters. The firm demonstrates the strength of its finance practice with three lawyers featured in the banking chapter, and a further two in capital markets. With five lawyers listed, it is a market leader in the project finance space and sees more lawyers listed than any other firm in this year’s research. Furthermore, it is among the top firms for sophisticated corporate tax advice, where an additional five lawyers are highlighted.

Eminent individuals at the firm include Nei Schilling Zelmanovits, a top name in the firm’s banking practice. José Virgílio Lopes Enei excels in the project finance arena, while Eliana Helena de Gregorio Ambrosio Chimenti is a leading name for sophisticated capital markets advice. For aviation work, Fabio Falkenburger is a go-to name and is very well regarded for his work in the area.

Total number of listings: 72

Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados stands out as one of the premier full-service law firms in the Brazilian market. It boasts a strong footprint across the country with offices in its key business centres São Paulo, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro. With additional presences in New York and London, the firm is well equipped to provide clients with strong support both domestically and internationally. Its dominant position in the market is reflected in our research this year as the firm showcases the depth and breadth of its offering achieving 71 nominations across 23 practice areas.

Corporate tax is an area in which the firm particularly excels, achieving 11 nominations this year and standing out as the country’s foremost offering in the field. The team is well equipped to handle related matters across a wide array of areas from transactions to dispute resolution.

Corporate finance is a key strength for the firm, as evidenced by an impressive number of listings across our M&A and capital markets chapters. The firm also performs well across a broad range of sector and industries, including banking, energy, insurance and data.

Standout indiviudals at the firm include Thought Leaders Giovani Loss, the foremost energy lawyer in the country, and Roberto Quiroga Mosquera, a top name in the corporate tax space. Rossana Fernandes Duarte is recognised for her top-tier real estate and forestry investment practice while Pablo Sorj comes highly recommended for his work on project financings. Moacir Zilbovicius is a highly respected corporate lawyer and José Eduardo Carneiro Queiroz is highlighted for his strong banking and corporate finance expertise.

Total number of listings: 57

Premier independent full-service outfit Pinheiro Neto Advogados stands out as one of the leading firms in the Brazilian market, achieving 57 listings in this year’s guide. The firm is a key player in the global market, offering first-class legal services to clients in more than 60 countries. The breadth of expertise on offer is reflected across our research, with members of the firm securing listings across an impressive 23 practice areas.

The firm once again showcases its strength in the corporate sphere, achieving a total of 15 listings across our M&A, corporate governance and corporate tax chapters. This is complemented by the financial expertise of its members, who are also highlighted for their stellar work in the banking area, including Tiago Lessa and Giuliano Colombo who rank prominently in our research.

Standout figures at the firm include Gilberto Giusti, who is regarded as a leading arbitration specialist in the Brazilian market, and Carlos Vilhena, who tops our listings in the mining chapter. Other noteworthy individuals include Luiz Roberto Peroba Barbosa (corporate tax), Angela Fan Chi Kung (life sciences) and André Zonaro Giacchetta (trademarks), who are each recognised as leading lights in their respective fields.

Total number of listings: 23


TozziniFreire Advogados has a strong track record in the Brazilian market, with over 40 years of experience and a full-service approach to business law. It continues to impress in our research, maintaining its reputation as a go-to firm for corporate matters in the Latin American sphere. An outstanding 23 of its practitioners receive listings in this year’s guide, with particular strength shown in the fields of arbitration, competition, and mergers and acquisitions.

The firm is home to some of the country’s foremost individuals. In the firm’s competition department, Marcelo Calliari is a standout name, while he also performs well in the trade and customs space, where he is recognised alongside Vera Kanas – a top name in the Brazilian market. Maria Elisa Verri and Mauro E Guizeline are both recognised in our M&A chapter for their excellent work in the space.

Total number of listings: 41

Veirano Advogados is a standout business law firm with offices across Brazil, advising clients since 1972 on a broad range of issues. It achieves 41 listings in 20 practice areas this year, illustrating the extensive and impressive knowledge of its practitioners.

Our research has identified it as an excellent outfit for labour matters, boasting practitioners with significant experience in matters including litigation, collective dismissals and IP protections. The firm additionally demonstrates strong influence in areas such as energy, data and mining, indicating an in-depth knowledge of significant industries in the Brazilian economy. The firm also stands out for its corporate expertise as, reflected in its five listings in our M&A chapter and three in Corporate Governance.

Ana Carolina Barretto receives recognition across three practice areas, being highlighted by peers for her work in energy, construction and project finance. Luiz Guilherme Migliora similarly achieves listings in three areas: labour and employment, litigation and product liability defence. Alberto de Orleans e Bragança is another standout name at the firm who impresses with his M&A expertise.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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