Energy & Natural Resources: Mining: Brazil
This traditional firm is widely regarded for its high-quality advice on a wide range of complex mining matters. The team has been involved in mining-related work for over 50 years. Sources offer their admiration for the group’s top expertise and profound understanding of the mining sector. According to clients, its lawyers “have in-depth knowledge of the area, which allows the firm to provide very effective services.” The firm’s strong reputation extends beyond the country’s borders and accounts for its solid following of local and international clients. Senior partner and practice head Virgilio Cezar de Moraes Borba is acclaimed for his outstanding track record in this area. Sources emphasise that “he is sought after by high-profile companies.” He draws praise from all corners and sources describe him as “the best professional in the mining field.”
This well-rounded firm has a fully dedicated mining practice group that is frequently retained for sophisticated transactions and highly significant dispute resolution matters. It is a firm favourite with clients and is a perennial presence at the top of the market. The team is well regarded for providing top-notch regulatory advice. The leading partner is based in Brasília and this has enabled the firm to develop excellent working relations with the local regulatory authorities. Sources praise the firm's “pioneering practice, which has been established for a long period of time.” Notable work over the past year includes advising Korean trading services company SK Networks on its acquisition of USD750 million worth of shares in MMX. Leading partner Carlos Vilhena acts from Brasília and is held in high esteem for his broad knowledge of mining regulations. He continues to assist the Brazilian Mining Association (IBRAM) in its collaboration with the government on the development of the country’s mining legislation. Adriano Drummond Trindade works closely with Vilhena and is commended for his excellent advice in this sector.
The depth of Veirano's mining practice has undoubtedly consolidated its overall reputation in the market. It houses a strong group of lawyers across several practice areas and handles complex transactions. The group attracts an enviable list of clients, which primarily comprises high-profile local and international mining companies. Clients commend the team’s vast experience and value the lawyers' availability. According to sources: “The firm’s advice represents straightforward positions that are always offered in a very timely manner.” Work highlights include advising Norsk Hydro on the acquisition of Vale’s aluminium business for USD4.9 billion. Senior partner Carlos Americo Ferraz e Castro is applauded for his in-depth knowledge of the industry’s regulatory framework. Pedro Aguiar de Freitas leads the infrastructure and natural resources practice group and is celebrated for his technical expertise and broad understanding of the mining industry. He previously worked at Brazil’s biggest mining company and clients value his commercial approach to transactions. "His business acumen is what really distinguishes him,” enthuse sources. Young partner Pedro Andrés Garcia has developed a strong mining-focused practice and is seen as a key member of the team.
This firm has a wealth of experience in handling a wide variety of mining work, including finance, M&A, infrastructure and regulatory matters. It has six offices across the country and its headquarters are located in the mining-rich state of Minas Gerais. The team acts as ongoing counsel to numerous high-profile clients, such as Votorantim Metais and Samarco Mineração, in connection with all aspects related to its mining activities. In a highlight, it advised Mineração Minas Bahia - MIBA on the sale of its shares to Eurasian Natural Resources (ENR). Fernando Azevedo Sette leads the team and focuses his practice on transactional work, while Renata Campos Laborne Tavares is the primary point of contact for regulatory issues.
This stalwart firm may be primarily recognised for its oil and gas expertise but it has a growing profile in mining circles. Market sources draw attention to the firm and hail it as “one of the strongest boutiques for energy regulatory matters in the country.” The group consists of well-rounded lawyers with former experience in mining companies and regulatory bodies. The team routinely provides legal assistance on mining rights, exploratory permits and environmental issues. It has recently seen an increase in transactional mandates and has latterly been particularly active in representing clients on the acquisition of mining titles and on mining-related M&A deals. Work highlights include advising a domestic mining company on the development of a project for the exploration of offshore salt domes. Rogério Sobral de Miranda leads the practice group and is the primary contact for clients. In November 2011, Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira e Agel joined forces with L.O. Baptista, producing a firm of increased strength and versatility.
Formerly known as Carneiro & Souza Advogados Associados, this boutique law firm is based in Minas Gerais and provides highly specialised legal services, with a strong focus on practice areas related to natural resources. The firm is particularly well regarded for the depth of its regulatory advice and its proficiency in environmental matters. According to clients, this “is an excellent firm with a great deal of expertise in mining. Its team is very well versed in the specific legislation.” Marcelo Mendo Gomes de Souza is noted for his great command of both regulatory and disputes resolution matters. He dedicates a portion of his time to academic activities in the mining field.
An ability to cultivate strong relationships with clients has become a hallmark of this firm. The team acts for major local and international players in the mining industry and is particularly visible on acquisitions and finance matters. In a recent highlight, it assisted a Korean company with its acquisition of a manganese project in the north of Brazil. It represented a US company on the financing of a tungsten project in the north-east of Brazil. Partners Shin Jae Kim e Luiz Fernando Visconti are the main point of contact for clients.
Since publication, Affonso Aurino Barros da Cunha has left this practice.
Sole practitioner Sérgio Jacques de Moraes
is an extremely respected senior mining specialist, who earns the admiration of leading experts for his excellent technical skills and vast knowledge of mining regulations. William Freire
of William Freire - Advogados Associados leads a traditional mining boutique based in Belo Horizonte. He commands an outstanding reputation for his expertise in regulatory mining law and is much sought after for his high-quality legal opinions. He dedicates a good portion of his time to academic activities and plays a strong role in the legislative developments of the sector.
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