• Search

GAR 100 - 12th Edition

TozziniFreire Advogados

05 April 2019

A go-to Brazilian firm for international banks and investors

People in Who's Who Legal 2
Pending cases as counsel 8
Value of pending counsel work US$10.6 billion
Treaty cases 0
Third-party funded cases 0
Current arbitrator appointments 9 (2 as chair or sole)
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. One of the drafters of that law, José Emilio Nunes Pinto, was a senior partner at the firm at the time (he left in 2004).

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. He is president of the advisory council of AMCHAM Brasil’s Arbitration and Mediation Centre and a member of both the advisory council of the Brazil Corporate Arbitration Chamber and the advisory board of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration.  

Other partners hold board positions at major domestic institutions such as the American Chamber of Commerce and the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce.


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. The firm has further offices in Brasilia, Caxias do Sol and New York.

Who uses it?

It advises banking clients such as Merrill Lynch, Santander and Unibanco as well as biofuels companies, food producers and businesses that have encountered post-closing M&A issues. AES and Cargill have used the team, as have real estate investor Cadillac Fairview Corporation and Japan’s Kirin Holdings.

Track record

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

It recently teamed up with Quinn Emanuel to help a Brazilian client favourably settle a US$250 million dispute over the sale of energy assets.

Recent events

In April 2017, the Superior Court of Justice in Brazil refused to enforce a US$110 million arbitral award in Abengoa’s favour against Tozzini’s client, Brazilian businessman Adriano Ometto. The court found that the arbitral tribunal’s chair failed to disclose that his firm had advised clients on corporate transactions to which Abengoa was a counterparty. An extraordinary appeal to Brazil’s Supreme Court is underway.



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

Meaar reviews banner 1024 300 230x67

The Middle Eastern and African Arbitration Review 2019


CRCICA Overview

Ismail Selim and Dalia Hussein

The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA)

DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Overview

Alec Emmerson

DIFC Arbitration Institute (DAI)

Robert Stephen, Matthew Harley and Katy Hacking

DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre