|People in Who's Who Legal||2|
|Pending cases as counsel||10|
|Value of pending counsel work||US$2 billion|
|Third-party funded cases||0|
|Current arbitrator appointments||17 (7 as chair or sole)|
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator||3|
Pinheiro Neto was one of the first firms to see the opportunities of arbitration in Brazil. Practice head, Gilberto Giusti, led the team in a handful of international arbitrations and proceedings for the recognition of foreign awards before Brazil’s 1996 Arbitration Act came into force. While the Act was mired in a five-year debate on its constitutionality, the pace of the team’s work increased, reaching a more constant flow of matters after the Supreme Court finally blessed the legislation. All the while Giusti was leading a study group on international arbitration, whose activities were intensifying.
In 2007, the firm made a serious bid to internationalise the practice, bringing on board Renato Stephan Grion, a former assistant general counsel at the ICC Court in Paris. He featured in GAR’s most recent “45 under 45” in 2011 and was promoted to partner in 2013.
Today, GAR’s sister title Latin Lawyer 250 describes the arbitration group as “the best of any of the full-service firms and a real competitor for any of the players in the market.”
Grion and Giusti both sit as arbitrators in domestic and international cases. Giusti is a former member of the LCIA Court and sits on the advisory boards of the American Arbitration Association and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution in New York, while Grion is co-chair of the Arbitration and Mediation Committee of Brazilian law firm organisation CESA.
Pinheiro Neto’s arbitration team is concentrated in São Paulo, with a smaller contingent in Rio de Janeiro. The firm also has offices in the country’s capital, Brasilia, and in Palo Alto California.
Who uses it?
A number of international energy and construction companies, including Duke Energy, Chevron, General Electric, AES, Alstom, Siemens, Tecnimont, Carrefour and EDP. Other clients include Korea’s Hyundai, French sportswear brand Le Coq Sportif and the Brazilian arm of pharma company Sanofi-Aventis.
In 2007, the team represented Paraná state power company Copel in a highly publicised US$850 million arbitration with the United States’ El Paso over a thermoelectric plant. The case won the disputes category in Latin Lawyer’s “Deal of the Year” awards.
For AES, it managed to win the dismissal of a US$15 million claim. It also helped Aracruz settle a US$70 million dispute that had threatened to go to arbitration.
In 2013, the firm obtained a favourable ICC award for a German client in a US$28 million dispute with a Brazilian company regarding the transfer of technology and export of products to Brazil.
That year, the firm also achieved success for a creditor client in an ICC claim brought by a Brazilian dairy company seeking to annul a debt restructuring deal. The case was worth US$80 million.
Grion was recently named as the next president of the Arbitration and Mediation Committee of the ICC in Brazil, beginning his term in January 2019. Senior associate Luis Claudio Furtado Faria was promoted to partnership in 2018.
The firm continues to act in a pair of arbitrations worth over US$600 million relating to the construction of an arena.