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GAR 100 - 10th Edition

TozziniFreire Advogados

10 March 2017

The Brazilian firm is co-counselling with Quinn Emanuel on one matter

People in Who’s Who Legal 2
Current arbitrator appointments 13 (of which 4 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 3

Like most Brazilian firms, TozziniFreire’s arbitration department only really developed post-2001 – after the Supreme Court declared that the 1997 Arbitration Act was constitutional.

Since then, the firm has relied on its established corporate practice to provide arbitration work. Combined with an already strong litigation practice, the firm quickly made a name for itself – whether or not they were already clients of TozziniFreire.

The firm now handles cases seated in Brazil and abroad involving a wide variety of subject matters and industries, including M&A-related disputes (pre and post-closing issues), distribution agreements, shareholders’ disputes, construction projects, complex financial instruments and joint-ventures disputes.

The practice is headed by Fernando Serec – a São Paulo-based partner with an impressive caseload both as counsel and as an arbitrator. In 2013 he was appointed to hear a fractious dispute between a Portuguese government entity and Angola’s national diamond producer (now settled).

With arbitration professionals located in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre and Campines, TozziniFreire is well positioned to represent clients in proceedings seated in any of Brazil’s major cities.

A number of the partners hold board positions at major domestic institutions, such as the Brazilian Arbitration Committee (CBAr) and the Arbitration Center of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM).

The team had a critical role in one of the biggest cases of 2013, advising the Casino Group in its heated dispute with Brazilian supermarket tycoon Abilio Diniz over Pão de Açúcar’s intended merger with Carrefour. The case was eventually settled in 2013.

The firm’s other Brazilian clients include heavy equipment supplier CBC Indústrias Pesadas and renewable energy group Renova. It also acts for Alstom, LarfargeHolcim, Cadillac Fairview Corporation (a subsidiary of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan) and paperboard manufacturer Westrock.

Recent events

Brazilian-Italian lawyer Giovanni Ettore Nanni left to establish his own boutique practice in São Paulo after 15 years at TozziniFreire. Senior associate Lucas Mejias was promoted to partner in São Paulo.

On one recent energy-related matter it has been co-counselling with Quinn Emanuel Urqhuart & Sullivan.

Client comment

Francine Bolutavicius, legal director at LafargeHolcim, called TozziniFreire’s performance “remarkable”. She praised Fernando Serec for his “strong expertise” and Rafael Medeiros Mimica for his “proactive behaviour and strategic thinking”.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation chair Cintia Guimarães said the firm is “really focused and always available. They are also very organised, meet all deadlines and are always prepared for meetings.”

Guimarães singled out Antonio Barbuto for praise. She said “He really knows how to deal and communicate effectively with foreign clients. He is always very prepared for meetings and usually thinks about issues before we even ask. It is hard to find a lawyer with such amazing client-handling skills.”

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