The Brazilian boutique has international appeal
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Highly recommended by international firms, this outfit was established in 2005 by a group of experienced disputes specialists, many of whom broke away from 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 recently enacted reforms to Brazil’s arbitration law.
GAR’s sister directory Latin Lawyer 250 says the firm has quickly grown to make a name for itself in the industry and has “earned itself a seat at the table with the country’s recognised arbitration teams”.
Who uses it?
Brazilian billionaire Abílio Diniz and media mogul Nelson Tanure 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, 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, in an award of US$180 million for the client plus legal fees.
The practice also gained a good outcome seven clients in an ICC dispute worth US$100 million by excluding them from the proceedings at the jurisdiction stage.
André Seabra and Natália Lamas were promoted to the partnership in August 2015.
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.”