This Brazilian boutique is home to the highly regarded Marcelo Roberto Ferro
|People in Who’s Who Legal||1|
|Pending cases as counsel||4|
|Value of pending counsel work||US$3 billion|
|Current arbitrator appointments||4 (of which 0 is as sole or chair)|
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator||1|
Highly recommended by international firms, this outfit was established in 2005 by a group of experienced disputes specialists, many of whom broke away from the much-respected Sergio Bermudes. With offices in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, most of the lawyers devote their time to arbitration and many of the partners also act as arbitrators.
The best known is Marcelo Roberto Ferro, who is a member of the LCIA Court and vice chair of the ICC commission on arbitration and ADR. Another member of the practice, Jose Roberto de Castro Neves, was part of the commission that drafted the recent reforms to Brazil’s arbitration law.
GAR 100’s sister directory Latin Lawyer 250 says the firm’s lawyers “have established themselves within Brazil’s litigation and arbitration circles at the very highest levels”.
Who uses it?
Brazilian billionaire Abílio Diniz and businessman Nelson Tanure (see below) are known to have used the firm. It’s acted for renewables company Energia Sustentável do Brasil in a pair of LCIA arbitrations against a Brazilian insurer.
One of the firm’s highest-profile cases to date was acting for Abílio Diniz, chairman of supermarket chain Grupo Pão de Açúcar (GPA), in a long-running, complex and ugly dispute against France’s Casino, which is a shareholder in GPA. Counsel managed to negotiate a favourable settlement in 2013, just two days before the arbitration hearing. The firm partnered with Debevoise & Plimpton on the case.
It also acted for the Via Amarela consortium in an ICC arbitration against São Paulo’s state-owned underground rail operator, Metrô, ending in an award of US$180 million for the client plus legal fees.
The practice also gained a good outcome for seven clients in an ICC dispute worth US$100 million, by excluding them from the proceedings at the jurisdiction stage.
The firm represented companies owned by Nelson Tanure in a US$150 million ICC claim against TIM, a Brazilian mobile operator owned by Telecom Italia, which he accused of fraud in connection with a merger deal. A tribunal threw out all Tanure’s claims in June 2016 but also dismissed a US$140 million counterclaim against him.
In another case for Tanure, the firm helped his company Sequip defeat a claim by his former business partner Paulo Marinho worth 305 million reais and obtain a costs award that is now the subject of enforcement proceedings in Miami. Felipe Basto was promoted to partner in February 2016. Ferro was nominated as chair of ICC Brazil’s arbitration and mediation committee.
One client who works with Ferro Castro for both litigation and arbitration told Latin Lawyer 250, “The firm is highly responsive to our concerns and demands. We have resorted to their work in several stressful situations and they do not disappoint. The quality of their work is remarkable and they have secured important results for us. That is why we completely rely on their judgement and experience.”