Lobo & de Rizzo é destaque na Latin Lawyer 250
Lobo & de Rizzo Advogados foi destaque no anuário Latin Lawyer 250, que analisa e classifica os 250 escritórios mais respeitados da América Latina. Veja o perfil na íntegra:
Sophisticated and trusted corporate adviser
Total lawyers: 92
Lobo & de Rizzo will have much to celebrate when it turns 10 years old in 2017. Since it was established, strength and stability have guided the firm’s expansion of both its service offering and internal development. For example, Lobo & de Rizzo’s long-standing objective to develop non-transactional areas (and add greater value to their client service) has achieved tangible results. Its fast-growing tax practice now features four partners compared with none when the firm was founded, while a string of shrewd lateral hires and promotions has strengthened both transactional and non-transactional areas.
During a busy 2016, the firm hired new partners in its tax, corporate and infrastructure departments, and promoted an associate in the litigation area. However, the additions of a partner and consultant in the banking and labour practices respectively filled vacancies left by the departure of practice heads in both areas that year. Nevertheless, the firm has placed particular focus on retaining lawyers already on the firm’s payroll and ensuring high levels of associate satisfaction, which has helped Lobo & de Rizzo establish a reputation as having one of the best work-life balances around. Under the tenure of the firm’s first non-name managing partner (who finishes his term in 2017), the firm made several major changes to the internal structure of the firm. Among these was the implementation of a pure lock-step remuneration model and broader evaluation system for partners aimed at encouraging a more collaborative working style.
Furthermore, the introduction of greater flexibility in its billing has also helped boost profitability, while in the longer-term the firm is currently drafting a five-year plan that will include major investments in its IT systems. If client feedback is any indication, the firm’s efforts to institutionalise class-beating levels of service have not been in vain, with clients commending the quality of Lobo & de Rizzo’s corporate and M&A practices, and the holistic service and business-focused approach provided by its lawyers.
The firm is based in São Paulo and has an office in Rio de Janeiro.
Well-known Brazilian clients on Lobo & de Rizzo’s client list include private education provider Kroton and industrial conglomerate Odebrecht. Foreign names include private equity fund Advent and fertiliser producer Mosaic from the US and Swiss food company Nestlé.
Corporate and M&A
Key partners: Name partners José Orlando Lobo and Valdo de Rizzo, who both win plaudits from clients for the quality of their legal service, and Rodrigo Guerra, who is the current managing partner.
Other important names are Rodrigo Delboni Teixeira, Otávio Valério, Marco La Rosa de Almeida and In Hee Cho. Daniella Tavares joined from Machado Meyer Advogados in 2016. Lobo, Guerra and Tavares all come recommended in LACCA APPROVED.
Analysis: Lobo & de Rizzo’s flagship corporate and M&A practice scored a major coup with the addition of Tavares in 2016. The move increases the number of partners in the department to 10 and adds considerable strength to firm’s Rio office which already possesses notable clout; an indication of which is the large amount of repeat and big-ticket work from blue chip clients, which testified to the quality and expertise within the department. US phosphates company Mosaic, The Coca-Cola Company and German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp all hired the firm to buy or sell assets in 2016. Brazilian private equity fund Vinci Partners also drew on the team that year to sell its stake in Burger King’s master franchisee in Brazil to US investor Capital Group.
Key partners: José Orlando Lobo is a key figure with an excellent track-record, while Rodrigo Guerra and Rodrigo Teixeira are also a big draw for clients.
Analysis: Several experienced partners temper their corporate focus with a particular specialism in advising private equity clients, helping earn the department a sterling reputation for providing quality, client-focused work in the process. In 2016, one high-profile transaction saw the team advising majority shareholder Vinci Partners in the sale of its stake in fast food chain Burger King’s master franchisee in Brazil to US investor Capital Group. Private equity-backed online fashion retailer Dudalina, US private equity investor Advent, Vinci Group subsidiary Prima Cena, Paul Capital and GP Investments are other clients to use the department.
Antitrust & competition
Key partners: Practice head Sérgio Bruna, who specialises in assisting clients in regulated sectors and is recommended in LACCA APPROVED. Patricia Agra Araujo left to join a rival firm in 2015.
Analysis: Lobo & de Rizzo’s antitrust and regulatory practice complements the firm’s M&A practice, particularly on deals involving parties operating in regulated sectors of the economy. Behavioural work has been keeping the team busy; a long-running case saw them advising Alstom in a cartel and bid-rigging case related to the São Paulo subway. The team is also seeing growing compliance work for the firm’s existing clients, for example, working with Coca-Cola. Brazil’s largest publisher, Globo, is another a regular client. Data protection, information technology, e-business and technology transfer matters are other areas of law handled by the department.
Banking & finance
Key partners: Practice head Fabrizio Sasdelli and corporate and M&A partner Valdo de Rizzo; both come recommended in LACCA APPROVED. Former practice co-head Felipe Eluf Creazzo left to join K&L Gates LLP in 2016.
Analysis: Lobo & de Rizzo’s banking and finance practice also includes its capital markets offering; providing a convenient one-stop-shop for clients seeking to raise financing. Among those taking advantage of such a service is water company Sabesp. In 2016, the São Paulo water utility hired the firm to help obtain a US$150 million loan from a group of banks and also regularly draws on their expertise to issue debentures on the local market. Neumayer Tekfor Automotive, which manufacturers nuts and bolts, and Sugar-cane processor Tonon Bioenergia are among the firm’s other clients.
Project finance & infrastructure
Key partners: Founding partner Valdo de Rizzo, who wins praise from clients for his knowledgeability and technical skills, and Luciano Porto, former general counsel at shipyard company OSX, who brings a great deal of experience to its projects, oil and gas and shipping practices. Felipe Creazzo left to join K&L Gates LLP in 2016.
Analysis: Experience and reliability are the features of Lobo & de Rizzo’s infrastructure and projects team most often singled out for praise by clients. This regular user of the department, for example, says it is the department’s confident handling of large EPC and large greenfield projects that particularly impresses. Companies from the electricity, oil and gas, mining, transportation and sanitation sectors, are among those to take advantage of the department’s skills. ThyssenKrupp Steel and US agribusiness Cargill regularly hire the firm for project finance work.
Key partners: Eduardo Martinelli Carvalho is a key name on the tax litigation side and comes recommended in LACCA APPROVED, while Alexandre Borges is the go-to name for tax planning, international taxation and transfer pricing work. Marcelo Bez Debatin da Silveira adds further depth and Mariana Miranda Lima joined the firm from a well-respected counterpart in 2016.
Analysis: Tax has been a real area of focus for the firm over recent years, and it seems the effort is paying off. Big-name Brazilian and foreign clients feature on the firm’s broad client list, including companies from the automotive, pharmaceutical, chemical and electronics industries. For this high-profile client, it is the “highly-qualified staff” and “outstanding level of commitment and responsiveness” shown by the department that helped win his business. A recent source of business has derived from the government’s reinstatement of a tax upon financial revenues.
Work highlights: Lobo & de Rizzo is assisting Brazilian conglomerate Ultrapar on matters related to a recently reinstated tax on financial revenues, which includes advising the company on the impact of the legislation and preparing and filing several lawsuits seeking tax relief. The team also assisted a major tyre manufacturer and a steel producer on transfer pricing matters.
Key partners: Practice head Luis Fernando Guerrero, who was promoted to partner in 2016 after leading the department as an associate following the departure of the former practice head a year earlier.
Analysis: Lobo & de Rizzo’s litigation and arbitration team has a particular focus on complex disputes. Clients include a US industrial investor and an investment fund, which hired the team to assist in disputes with a joint venture partner concerning the use of software and to prevent the sale of one of its assets respectively. Companies in the extractive industries and food and drink sector also appear on the department’s client list.
Work highlights: Recent work includes assisting Brazil’s largest cement company Votorantim Cimentos in a dispute with one of its partners seeking the partial termination of a real estate purchase agreement and repossession of equipment retained by Votorantim. The team is also helping a major food and beverage company in five strategic lawsuits arising from a defamatory advertising campaign by a Brazilian competitor and advising a major bank in a case against a real estate investment fund that did not have a registered legal capital reserve.
Key partners: Consultant Boriska Ferreira Rocha, who was a partner at a São Paulo-based CFA Advogados, was hired to lead the practice following the departure of former department head Andrea Massei Rossi to join another firm in mid-2016.
Analysis: Lobo & de Rizzo’s labour practice is now overseen by a consultant following the departure of its practice head to Machado Meyer in 2016. Foreign companies to rely on the department include a Scandinavian paper manufacturer, a major German conglomerate and the local subsidiary of a US software developer. The team advises on collective bargaining, immigration and social security advisory work, and labour issues during corporate restructuring, among other matters.
Work highlights: The firm advised a major pharmaceutical company in the investigation, assessment and final recommendation of allegations of sexual harassment brought by three junior employees of the company against a managing director.
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