GAR 100 - 15th 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 Legal3
People in Future Leaders3
Pending cases as counsel10
Value of pending counsel workUS$5 billion
Treaty cases as counsel0
Third-party funded cases1
Current arbitrator appointments4 (1 as chair or sole)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator2

Established in 2005 by a group of experienced disputes specialists, including a breakaway team from Sergio Bermudes Advogados, Brazilian boutique Ferro Castro Neves Daltro & Gomide Advogados (FCDG) is held in high regard by prominent international firms, many of which it has partnered with on a variety of 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. Health insurance provider Notre Dame Intermedica Saúde is a recent client addition.

Track record

One of FCDG’s highest-profile cases to date was acting for Diniz, chair 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.

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.

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 a deal to sell a majority share in a pulp maker. The dispute has also given rise to allegations of hacking.

It is representing a pair of Odebrecht entities in a São Paulo-seated ICC case against a nine-member consortium responsible for the construction of Brazil’s fourth-largest hydroelectric power plant, claiming around US$478 million over delays to the works.

It is advising a renewables client in an ICC case against a US entity over wind power plants in northern Brazil. Another renewables client is using the firm as it seeks specific performance relating to a US$286 million wind farm project.

The firm is representing a Brazilian equity investment fund in a US$250 million arbitration over alleged breach of fiduciary duties by the fund’s former manager and administrator. FCDG has already secured for its client a favourable award on the merits.

It is also advising Rumo, one of Brazil’s largest rail transportation companies, in an arbitration regarding the valuation of the stake of its subsidiary Brado Logistica.

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

Client comment

Lino José Rodrigues Alves, counsel at Notre Dame Intermedica Saúde, praises the team’s “extreme focus and precision” when proposing defence strategies, and says it is “always looking for solutions”.

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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