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GAR 100 - 12th Edition

Lefosse Advogados

05 April 2019

The Brazilian firm has been retained for an M&A dispute concerning a pulp producer

People in Who's Who Legal 1
People in Future Leaders 1
Pending cases as counsel 8
Value of pending counsel work US$3.4 billion
Treaty cases 0
Third-party funded cases 0
Current arbitrator appointments 6 (4 as chair or sole)
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. He also sits as arbitrator and is on the advisory boards of two leading arbitral institutions in the country.

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.

Network

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.

Track record

The firm 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.

It had a significant win for an Asian pharmaceuticals client in a post-M&A dispute; and successfully settled a shareholder dispute in the logistics sector that was playing out in four different arbitrations.

Recent events

J&F Investimentos, an agribusiness group owned by Brazilian brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista, has retained Lefosse to defend against an ICC claim instigated by Indonesian-owned paper company Paper Excellence. The dispute concerns J&F’s termination of a deal to sell its stake in a Brazilian pulpmaker.

Pedro Maciel submitted evidence to a Cayman court in support of two private equity funds managed by New York-based Matlin Patterson. The funds were successful in thwarting the enforcement of a US$55 million ICC award issued a decade earlier in favour of a Brazilian airline. Maciel had been part of the counsel team for the funds in the arbitration while at his former firm Veirano.

Insight

Reviews

Regional analysis from arbitrators around the globe, focussing on key developments in specific industry areas and jurisdictions.

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The Asia-Pacific Arbitration Review 2020

Highlights

DCF: Gold Standard or Fool’s Gold?

Montek Mayal and Alexander Davie

FTI Consulting

Distinction and Connection: Hong Kong and Mainland China, a View from the HKIAC

Sarah Grimmer

Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre