Labour & Employment - Brazil
THE FIRM This stellar labour boutique is widely recognised as one of the best players in the local market. The team comprises six partners and 15 other lawyers, and is equipped to handle some of the most complex consultancy and contentious cases in the country. The firm's client base consists of high-profile Brazilian corporates from a range of industry sectors, including banking, telecoms and food.
Sources say: "They stand out for their bespoke service, business awareness and deep knowledge of labour matters."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Estêvão Mallet is unanimously hailed as an authority on labour matters. "His commitment to his client and to providing a versatile service is remarkable," enthuse sources.
Olinda Maria Moreira Alves de Oliveira Mallet is another valuable team member and specialises in civil procedural law.
THE FIRM This well-respected firm is a one-stop shop for labour matters. The group provides day-to-day advice alongside support in due diligence, and stands out particularly for its work in collective bargaining and complex litigation cases. The firm has offices in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Porto Alegre and Campinas, and is well placed to provide coverage throughout the country. Representative clients in this area include GM, Siemens and MasterCard.
Sources say: "The team gives solid, well thought-out advice and has an interdisciplinary approach to labour matters. The partners are directly involved and always available."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Mihoko Sirley Kimura is a key member of the team and receives glowing praise from clients, who say: "She is knowledgeable, assertive and solution-focused."
Department head Marcelo Pereira Gômara is recommended as an excellent lawyer for contentious and advisory matters. He co-ordinates the team's mass litigation work.
Interviewees highlight Alexandre de Almeida Cardoso for his strong management skills and wealth of experience in the area.
Roberto Pierri Bersch heads the firm's Porto Alegre office and enters the table following strong praise from clients: "I have only good things to say about Roberto," said one interviewee, adding: "He is accessible, has great legal knowledge and always meets my needs."
THE FIRM The labour department at this full-service firm underwent a radical reorganisation process in 2012 when it lost two key partners, but continues to provide excellent counsel for labour and employment, according to sources. It focuses on complex litigation cases, trade union negotiations, day-to-day strategic advice and social security matters. A recent case in point saw the firm advise Mercedes-Benz in collective bargaining negotiations regarding a profit-sharing programme at the company's Campinas plant.
Sources say: "The team's advice was crucial to our company. They have a business-minded approach and profound technical knowledge."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Cássia Fernanda Pizzotti heads up the labour practice and receives warm praise from market sources: "She is an extremely versatile and devoted lawyer who always secures great results for her clients."
THE FIRM The sizeable employment group at this Brazilian powerhouse is split between the firm's Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Porto Alegre offices. The practice provides a range of advisory and litigation services, and is frequently retained by leading national and multinational companies for complex labour matters. Representative mandates include assisting adidas and Fundação São Paulo with their labour lawsuits, and advising medical giant Fleury on the negotiation of several collective labour agreements.
Sources say: "The whole team is 100% focused on our interests as a client and is always aiming to minimise risks and reduce our operating costs."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Sólon de Almeida Cunha is the driving force behind the team's reputation. He wins accolades from clients and peers, who describe him as an "extremely knowledgeable and prestigious lawyer who is at the top of his game."
Rodrigo Takano receives warm reviews from clients, who praise his customer care and the excellent quality of his work.
Associate Caroline Marchi earns positive feedback from clients, who highlight her "extensive knowledge and broad experience in labour matters."
THE FIRM This labour and employment boutique is one of the longest-standing players in the market. It has a 30-lawyer team fully dedicated to labour matters and provides comprehensive advice on contentious and non-contentious mandates, although the practice is particularly noted for its expert handling of court proceedings in this area.
Sources say: "This is a great firm and the lawyers are specialists in labour litigation."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Founding partner Luiz Carlos Robortella is described as an "excellent lawyer with a solid academic background."
THE FIRM This multi-platform firm has a consolidated labour and employment practice that covers the full catalogue of consultancy and contentious matters. It advises on strategic mandates such as dismissal lawsuits and expatriation issues, and gives full support to the firm's corporate department for labour-specific due diligence as part of M&A deals. Recent highlights include assisting FedEx with its acquisition of Rapidão Cometa, a domestic player that employs 8,600 people across Brazil.
Sources say: "The team stands out for its availability, technical quality and market awareness."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Partner Ana Paula Vizintini specialises in labour and employment disputes and workplace health and safety issues. She is recognised by peers for her extensive track record in this field.
Ana Lúcia Pinke Ribeiro de Paiva has acted in labour matters across many sectors, including IT, entertainment, higher education and manufacturing.
According to clients, Tricia Maria Sá de Oliveira stands out for her "dedication, pragmatism and proactive attitude."
THE FIRM The 29-strong team at this prominent Brazilian firm is equipped to handle labour and employment matters across the board. Its workload includes collective bargaining negotiations, mass dismissal cases, workplace-related class actions and complex termination disputes for top executives and expatriated employees. The firm's client portfolio features high-profile names such as AT&T, Masterfoods and Philip Morris, and in recent highlights the team helped Flextronics to take over two Motorola plants in Brazil and China.
Sources say: "The firm is a strategic partner for our company - they are highly practical and show real commitment to our internal goals."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Key partner Luiz Guilherme Moraes Rego Migliora is a well-regarded litigator in the labour and employment field. Clients underline his "vast knowledge and business awareness."
José Carlos Wahle is admired by clients for his "profound knowledge and remarkable responsiveness."
Former labour judge Maria Luisa Soter lends her experience to some of the firm's most complex litigation cases.
Luiz Antonio dos Santos Jr has a broad labour practice that spans contracts, compliance and corporate social responsibility.
Since publication, Eduardo Soto Pires has joined Mattos Muriel Kestener Advogados
THE FIRM The labour and employment department at this renowned Brazilian firm has earned considerable market share and visibility in recent years. The group advises on staple employment issues, represents clients in contentious cases and assists the firm's M&A practice as required. A recent mandate saw the team act for Marte Engenharia in a labour claim filed by former shareholders regarding non-competition obligations. Other notable clients in this area include Lazard, Magnesita Refretários and NBCUniversal.
Sources say: "The team provides us with a versatile service and creative advice that is tailored to our needs."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Commentators applaud partner Luiz Felipe Tenório da Veiga for his dedication and describe him as a practical and client-oriented lawyer.
Maurício Pessoa arrived from Mallet Advogados in May 2013. According to sources, he is "a combative lawyer who is deeply knowledgeable about labour law."
THE FIRM This long-standing boutique draws warm praise from sources for its vast experience in labour and employment matters. The team comprises more than 30 lawyers based out of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and routinely handles litigation and collective bargaining on behalf of clients. It is also well placed to provide expert legal opinions and to represent clients in dealings with public bodies.
Sources say: "The firm has excellent knowledge of labour legislation in Brazil."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Cristóvão Soares Guimarães is the main point of contact for clients.
THE FIRM The 30-strong team at this traditional labour boutique provides contentious counsel and advisory services to a diverse client base. Its caseload ranges from administrative and civil litigation to due diligence and trade union negotiations, and the team has experience in acting across a range of industry sectors, such as banking, gas, cosmetics and life sciences.
Sources say: "This firm is highly specialised and has broad experience in this market."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gustavo Granadeiro Guimarães is the key point of contact.
THE FIRM This well-respected firm specialises in labour and employment matters. The team handles the full catalogue of needs in this area, and stands out particularly for its contentious practice, which encompasses mass lawsuits and sophisticated disputes before the Labour Department of Justice. The firm has offices in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and attracts clients across a range of industry sectors, including media, telecoms and pharmaceuticals.
Sources say: "The firm has a great reputation in the market, is committed to the client and provides an excellent service."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Founding partner Amauri Mascaro Nascimento is an "exceptional lawyer," according to sources, who regard him as an authority on labour and employment matters.
THE FIRM The labour and employment department at this highly regarded firm is best known for its advisory work in compliance, prevention and trade union negotiations. The team is also well equipped to handle class actions and broader labour litigation, and constitutes a valuable source of support for the firm's corporate and projects departments.
Sources say: "We were very impressed by the team's responsiveness and sound advice. They offer pragmatic advice and we have full confidence in their judgement."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Vilma Toshie Kutomi provides strategic advice to clients and is well received in the market: "Vilma is a dynamic and business-minded lawyer who always considers our needs as clients," said one interviewee.
THE FIRM Labour and employment constitutes an important aspect of this firm's full-service capabilities. The department provides consultancy and litigation counsel, and is well positioned to lend international experience on multi-jurisdictional labour matters. The firm's client portfolio typically comprises high-profile multinationals seeking a mix of local know-how and cross-border expertise.
Sources say: "The team is completely at ease in international contexts and shows a profound knowledge of labour law matters."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Luís Antônio Ferraz Mendes specialises in litigious mandates and receives strong market praise for his knowledge and experience of labour issues. "He is doing a fantastic job," enthuse clients.
THE FIRM The ten-lawyer team at this Belo Horizonte firm provides day-to-day labour advice to a sizeable list of long-term clients. It also provides support in contentious matters, and regularly represents employers in lawsuits and class actions. Notable clients in this area include Claro, Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração, White Martins Gases Industriais and MAPFRE Seguros.
Sources say: "The team is objective, assertive and very prompt. They understand our concerns and show a business-minded approach."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients highlight the quality of Luanna Vieira de Lima Costa's work and describe her as an attentive lawyer.
Gustavo Magalhães Assis stands out for his analytical skills and ability to find solutions, according to clients.
Mariá Guitti left Lefosse to join Azevedo Sette Advogados's labour group in April 2014. Peers describe her as a "young but dynamic lawyer."
THE FIRM Baraldi Mélega opened its doors in 2013 as a spin-off from Demarest Advogados. The group of nine lawyers set out to establish a specialised boutique exclusively dedicated to labour and employment matters, and the resulting team is well equipped to handle litigation and consultancy work. The practice benefits from the lead partners' decades of experience in the area.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Geraldo Baraldi Jr is well regarded by clients and peers, who describe him as a "quick, dedicated and client-oriented lawyer."
Antonio Carlos Vianna de Barros is acting as a counsel at the new firm and has a noteworthy reputation in the market.
Mauricio Greca Consentino is a valuable team member with a great deal of experience in labour mandates.
THE FIRM This boutique firm has been a feature of the São Paulo legal market since 1937. The 15-partner team covers social security and workplace regulations alongside pure labour and employment issues, and stands out particularly for its contentious practice, according to sources.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Name partner Cássio Mesquita Barros is widely recognised by peers as one of the most experienced labour lawyers in Brazil. He combines his commercial practice with strong academic credentials.
THE FIRM This firm specialises in commercial labour and employment mandates, and splits its workload between providing routine advice to corporates and comprehensive support in contentious matters. The firm's national network spans São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba and Salvador, and houses over 100 lawyers, 82 of which are fully dedicated to litigation.
Sources say: "This is an excellent, business-oriented firm, whose fee structure for litigation is extremely cost-effective."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Arnaldo Pipek is one of the firm's founding partners and co-ordinates all litigation work at the practice. He is endorsed by market sources for his labour prowess.
THE FIRM This labour practice is the largest in the country and has earned a solid reputation in the local market. It provides a mix of strategic advice and support in collective labour disputes and mass litigation. High-profile clients benefit from access to the widest network of federalised offices in Brazil, and to date the team has served the likes of Grupo Camargo Corrêa, Vale and Vivo.
Sources say: "The firm stands out for its in-depth labour law knowledge, its large structure and the availability of its partners."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Otavio Pinto e Silva is endorsed by market sources for his wealth of experience and notable academic career in the labour field.
Carlos Eduardo Cardoso is highlighted by clients for his commitment and the quality of his work.
THE FIRM The 11-strong team at this full-service firm splits its practice between handling complex labour disputes and providing support to the firm's celebrated corporate and M&A department. Representative mandates include top executive terminations, labour claims and lawsuits, and outsource-related compliance. The group's client portfolio features names from the fashion, IT and financial sectors.
Sources say: "The firm stands out for its fast service, market awareness and the results delivered."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Interviewees single out head of department Dario Abrahão Rabay for his "experience, dedication and pragmatic approach."
THE FIRM This sizeable labour and employment department houses more than 55 lawyers. It provides litigation, prevention and compliance counsel, but focuses primarily on mass labour claims. Prominent clients in this area include Parmalat, CSN, Globo and The Bank of New York Mellon.
Sources say: "The firm's organisation is efficient and internal communication flows well. They are committed to defending our interests and reaching agreements with counterparties."
KEY INDIVIDUALS João Pedro Eyler Povoa earns accolades for his "experience and technical knowledge." Sources also note his responsiveness and organisational skills.
THE FIRM This firm has historically been a key port of call for mid-sized international companies establishing operations in Brazil. Labour and employment counsel constitutes an important aspect of the group's broader commercial practice, and it is well equipped to handle contentious proceedings and non-contentious work. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, Düsseldorf, New York and Shanghai in order to provide close support to its multinational clientele.
Sources say: "The team stands out for its in-depth knowledge of labour law technicalities."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The main contact for clients is Thomas Benes Felsberg.
THE FIRM This compact labour and employment team provides clients with day-to-day support for their needs in this area. The group has experience in collective bargaining, executive termination and immigration issues, and frequently participates in litigation proceedings before the Labour Department of Justice. The client roster includes Freudenberg, Koch, Coats Corrente and Agenciaclick.
Sources say: "The team is well trained and business-oriented, and represents great value for money."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alexandre Pessoa is described as a "focused and results-driven lawyer."
THE FIRM This labour and employment group provides full support to the São Paulo firm's prominent corporate and M&A practices. It handles contentious and non-contentious matters for a diverse and high-profile clientele, and is currently advising Gol Airlines on several employee lawsuits arising from the restructuring of one of its subsidiaries, VRG Airlines.
KEY INDIVIDUALS They key contact for clients is Gustavo Haddad.
Since publication, Mariá Guitti has left this practice.
THE FIRM Leite, Tosto e Barros Advogados has a dedicated labour and employment group that is well placed to handle trade union negotiations, due diligence, day-to-day advice and litigation. Recent highlights saw the firm represent Alusa Engenharia in labour lawsuits valued at USD2.8 million. Other significant clients in this area include Imerys, Areva Transmissão & Distribuição de Energia and Delta Construções.
Sources say: "Fast answers, flexibility and a broad network in Brazil are the firm's main strengths."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Marcus Vinícius Mingrone and Luciana Arduin Fonseca are the key points of contact.
THE FIRM This compact team has a strong focus on overseas clients, and provides solid support on the firm's M&A, corporate and finance transactions. It provides general labour advice and litigation services to an array of noteworthy clients, such as Liqui-Box, Atlas Industries, Johnson & Johnson and Saba Software. The firm's network includes offices in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília.
Sources say: "I would give them high marks for their knowledge, responsiveness and business acumen."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Edgar Bergstron Lenzi is the key point of contact.
THE FIRM This three-partner team deals with complex litigation cases and provides day-to-day advice on labour, employment and social security matters. Its clients hail from a range of industry sectors, including insurance, agribusiness and energy.
Sources say: "The team is responsive, versatile and technically knowledgeable."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of department Maria Fernanda de Medeiros Redi is described as a "proactive and committed lawyer."
THE FIRM This team advises on the full range of labour and employment matters, including litigation, negotiation with trade unions and due diligence. The firm has offices in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and acts on behalf of clients such as ThyssenKrupp, Nissan, Yahoo! and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients are full of praise for Andrea Giamondo Massei Rossi: "She has a great understanding of how multinational companies function, and gives very clear advice on how Brazilian labour law works in the local courts."
THE FIRM Tauil & Chequer Advogados is part of the extensive Mayer Brown global network. The labour team acts for local and international clients, and focuses primarily on companies in the oil and gas sector. The group has expertise in immigration law, social security, trade union negotiation and due diligence, and is equipped to handle both contentious and non-contentious matters.
Sources say: "The team provides quick feedback and is available at all times. I value their assertiveness and commercial knowledge of my sector."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Maurício Tanabe is the key point of contact.
THE FIRM The labour and employment team at this multi-platform firm makes its debut in the rankings this year having earned consistent praise from market sources. The practice has outgrown its initial role as a support group to the firm's M&A department, and is now well established as a standalone outfit. It recently assisted Exterran with the drafting and negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement with the local union in Natal, and is also representing Cyrela in a USD2 million class action regarding the health and safety conditions at the company's local sites.
Sources say: "This is a knowledgeable and skilled team that offers a versatile and bespoke service."
KEY INDIVIDUALS They key contact for clients is Paulo Vieira.
Since publication, Luiz Paulo Pieruccetti Marques has joined C. Martins Advogados
José Alberto Couto Maciel of Advocacia Maciel is a Brasília-based practitioner with a long track record in the labour field.
Maria Helena Villela Autuori is the founding partner of Autuori Burmann Chen Sociedade de Advogados and earns praise from market sources for her work in labour matters.
Luiz Paulo Pieruccetti Marques left Vieira Rezende to join C. Martins Advogados in February 2014. He entered the rankings following positive reviews from clients, who commend his "client-oriented service and experience in labour and employment issues."
André de Melo Ribeiro of Dias Carneiro, Flores, Sanches e Thomaz Bastos Advogados receives strong praise from interviewees for his work in this area.
Fábio Chong de Lima has had a busy year at L.O. Baptista, Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira & Agel, and is "knowledgeable and responsive, with a keen eye for detail," according to clients.
Nelson Mannrich of Mannrich, Senra e Vasconcelos Advogados is an esteemed professor and an accomplished name in the market, according to sources.
Eduardo Soto Pires left Veirano in April 2014 to join Mattos Muriel Kestener Advogados. He is qualified to practise in Brazil, Spain and Portugal, and is praised by international clients for his diligent and proactive working approach.
Henrique Maués of Maués Advogados Associados is a vastly experienced labour lawyer who receives strong commendation for his litigation skills.
Agenor Barreto Parente of Rio Branco Paranhos is widely respected for his excellent track record in representing employees in contentious proceedings. "He is extraordinary - a symbol of labour law in Brazil," enthuse sources.