Ferro Castro Neves Daltro & Gomide Advogados
Representing América Móvil in a claim against Brazilian telecoms operator Oi
|People in Who’s Who Legal||4|
|People in Future Leaders||3|
|Pending cases as counsel||15|
|Value of pending counsel work||US$7 billion|
|Treaty cases as counsel||0|
|Third-party funded cases||1|
|Current arbitrator appointments||4 (1 as chair or sole)|
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator||2|
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 nearly 70 lawyers spread across its offices in Rio de Janeiro, Brasília 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, José 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 disputes practice is “often considered second to none”, that its lawyers are “not afraid to tackle complex issues” and that the team “often guides clients through unprecedented disputes that hit headlines worldwide”.
Who uses it?
Brazilian billionaire Abilio 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 financial services companies BTG Pactual and Brasil Plural, Heineken, global paper manufacturer Paper Excellence, and health insurance provider NotreDame Intermédica. It has also acted for Brazilian oil drilling rigs construction company Enseada Indústria Naval, brewery operator Cervejarias Kaiser and Uruguayan-based Ekanprel Sociedad Anonima.
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 Italy’s Gruppo TIM (formerly 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.
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 also gave rise to allegations of hacking, which were dismissed by a São Paulo court in July 2022.
It is advising a renewables client in an ICC case against a US entity over wind power plants in northern Brazil.
The firm acted for Chilean paper company CMPC in a dispute against Spanish insurance company MAPFRE, over a faulty boiler at a Brazilian pulp mill. In January 2023, MAPFRE paid US$215 million to settle the dispute.
Mexican telecoms company América Móvil has instructed the firm for an arbitration it has launched together with Telefónica and TIM to significantly reduce the US$3.1 billion price they agreed to pay for Brazilian operator Oi’s mobile assets. The claim was filed at the Market Arbitration Chamber of the São Paulo stock exchange and will be governed by Brazilian law and seated in Rio de Janeiro.
Ana Caroline Catarcione Schmidt and Francisco Rüger Antunes Maciel Müssnich were promoted to partner in July 2022.
Lino José Rodrigues Alves, counsel at NotreDame Intermédica, 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.