The Brazilian firm has an enviable list of clients in the energy sector
|People in Who’s Who Legal||1|
|Pending cases as counsel||9|
|Value of pending counsel work||US$980 million|
|Current arbitrator appointments||2 (of which 2 are as sole or chair)|
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator||1|
Lefosse was founded in 1987 as a spin-off of Pinheiro Neto Advogados. Until recently, it was better known in Brazil for its corporate, tax and finance work, for which it is highly rated by GAR’s sister title Latin Lawyer 250. It had a small and well-regarded disputes practice that did some arbitration, but it wasn’t prolific in this area.
That changed in 2014 with the hire of Pedro Maciel, the former head of litigation and arbitration at Veirano Advogados and a team from his old firm. Maciel was involved in some of the earliest construction arbitrations in Brazil and has acted in cases spanning the banking, energy, mining and telecoms sectors.
Maciel now heads the litigation and arbitration practice. Another name to know is Raphael Corrêa, a long-term member of Lefosse who’s also been involved in some landmark cases in which Maciel was on the other side.
Lefosse has offices in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Who uses it?
Recent clients include BP Biofuels, Shell, Citibank, private equity firm Southern Cross Group, Brazilian pharma group Aché, power company IE Madeira, steel producer Usiminas, France’s Areva, Chinese carmaker Chery and Germany’s SKW Group.
The firm says it secured a favourable award for Spain’s FerroAtlántica in an ICC arbitration seated in São Paulo, related to a joint venture agreement with a Brazilian company for the research and development of mining rights.
It also acted as co-counsel for BP Biofuels in an ICC arbitration with New York-based private equity firm Riverstone over an agreement to purchase shares in a Brazilian sugar and ethanol company. The matter was settled in 2014.
The firm successfully settled a shareholder dispute in the logistics sector that played out in four different arbitrations, having previously helped the client secure third-party funding.
It had a significant win for an Asian pharmaceuticals client in a post-M&A dispute seated in Rio de Janeiro and obtained a partial award in a dispute over construction of power lines that excluded most of the other side’s claims.
Litigation partner Carlo Verona, who was part of the team that joined with Pedro Maciel from Veirano in 2014, left for Demarest Advogados.
Clara Cerdán Molina from FerroAtlántica describes the firm as “very professional and competitive”, praising Maciel in particular for his efficiency.