GAR 100 - 14th Edition

Ferro Castro Neves Daltro & Gomide Advogados

Ferro Castro Neves Daltro & Gomide Advogados

Professional notice

Favoured Brazilian co-counsel for international firms

People in Who's Who Legal1
People in Future Leaders4
Pending cases as counsel10
Value of pending counsel workUS$5 billion
Treaty cases as counsel0
Third-party funded cases0
Current arbitrator appointments2 (1 as chair or sole)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator2

Established in 2005 by a group of experienced disputes specialists, including a breakaway faction from Sergio Bermudes Advogados, Brazilian boutique Ferro Castro Neves Daltro & Gomide Advogados (FCDG) is held in high regard by prominent international firms, many of whom it has partnered with on recent cases.

Today it has 50 lawyers spread across its offices in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, most of whom devote their time to arbitration, with many of the partners also acting as arbitrators. The best known is Marcelo Roberto Ferro, a former member of the LCIA Court and ex-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 reforms to Brazil’s arbitration law in 2015.

GAR’s sister directory Latin Lawyer 250 says the firm’s lawyers “have established themselves within Brazil’s litigation and arbitration circles at the very highest levels”.

Who uses it?

Brazilian billionaire Abílio Diniz is known to have used the firm. It has acted for renewables company Energia Sustentável do Brasil in a pair of LCIA arbitrations against a Brazilian insurer. Renova, another renewables company, is also a client.

Other clients include Brazilian oil drilling rigs construction company Enseada Indústria Naval, brewery operator Cervejarias Kaiser, and Uruguayan-based Ekanprel Sociedad Anonima.

Track record

One of Ferro Castro’s highest-profile cases to date was acting for Diniz, chairman of supermarket chain Grupo Pão de Açúcar (GPA), in a long-running dispute with France’s Casino, which is a shareholder in GPA. Counsel managed to negotiate a favourable settlement in 2013, just two days before the hearing. The firm partnered with Debevoise & Plimpton on the case.

The firm represented companies owned by Brazilian businessman Nelson Tanure in a US$150 million ICC claim against TIM, a Brazilian mobile operator owned by Telecom Italia, which he accused of fraud in connection with a merger deal. A tribunal threw out all of Tanure’s claims in 2016 but also dismissed a US$140 million counterclaim against him. In another case for Tanure, the firm helped his company Sequip defeat a claim by his former business partner Paulo Marinho worth 305 million reais.

It also acted for the Via Amarela consortium in an ICC arbitration against São Paulo’s state-owned underground rail operator, Metrô, ending in an award of US$180 million for the client plus legal fees.

The practice also gained a good outcome for seven clients in an ICC dispute worth US$100 million, by excluding them from the proceedings at the jurisdiction stage.

It reached settlement in 2019 for Mexican-owned Vigor Alimentos in a shareholder dispute worth over US$500 million relating to the ownership of Brazil’s largest dairy exporter at the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce (CAM-CCBC).

Recent events

The firm won a favourable partial award for a subsidiary of Paper Excellence, which is owned by Indonesia’s Widjaja family, in its ICC claim against agribusiness group J&F. The multibillion-dollar dispute concerns J&F’s termination of a deal to sell a majority share in a pulpmaker. The dispute has also given rise to allegations of hacking.

In another arbitration related to the pulp and paper industry, the firm is representing a major producer in a claim against its insurer seeking indemnification for losses in an industrial accident; the matter has also seen discovery proceedings against a US-based reinsurer.

The firm is representing a pair of Odebrecht entities in a São Paulo-seated ICC arbitration against a nine-member consortium responsible for the construction of Brazil’s fourth-largest hydroelectric power plant, claiming around US$478 million in damages arising out of delays in the works.

It is advising a client in the renewable energy industry in an ICC arbitration with a US entity over wind power plants in northern Brazil. Another renewable energy client is using the firm as it seeks specific performance of obligations relating to a US$286 million wind farm construction project.

It promoted three new partners – Gabriel Ribeiro Prudente, Tiago Muñoz and Miguel Fleichman.

Client comment

Leonardo Fonseca, legal counsel at Eneva, has used the firm for a dispute over a gas supply agreement and a lease over land used to build a coal power plant. He calls their performance “outstanding”, with a “sharp, aggressive” team that can handle complex matters. “They are very competent at what they do.” He says Jose Roberto Castro Neves is “a very good attorney and a good leader”.

Ferro, Castro Neves, Daltro & Gomide Advogados (FCDG) is a law firm established in 2005, by a group of renowned and highly experienced professionals who shared the aspiration of offering to their clients superior law services. FCDG has reported a remarkable growth of activity in arbitration, upholding an outstanding position in the market, especially regarding commercial arbitration and construction, as well as arbitration-related court matters.

Since 2007, FCDG has been recognized by a number of international law guides, such as Chambers and Partners, Who’s Who and The Legal 500. Since 2013, FCDG has been consistently recommended by Chambers and Partners in Band 1 in two different categories: arbitration and litigation. FCDG has also been previously nominated in the boutique regional practice category of the Global Arbitration Review Award, as well as listed by GAR 100.

The firm has represented clients before foreign institutions (International Chamber of Commerce – ICC, The London Court of International Arbitration – LCIA, American Arbitration Association – AAA, Court of Arbitration of Sport – CAS) and national ones (Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce – CCBC, Brazilian Mediation and Arbitration Center – CBMA, FGV Conciliation and Arbitration Chamber, São Paulo Mediation and Arbitration Chamber (FIESP).

FCDG partners also act as arbitrators in domestic and international arbitration proceedings before the main Arbitration Institutions. FCDG partners and associates are usually recommended as future leaders in the area of arbitration and regularly publish in specialized publications.

Website: www.fcdg.com

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