The 2021 edition of the Latin Lawyer 250 guide was released and Leite, Tosto e Barros was recognized as a highly recommended law firm in Brazil.
Check the editorial below with information about our featured areas and partners:
Leite, Tosto e Barros Advogados celebrates it 30th anniversary in 2021 and it boasts highly acclaimed non-transactional firepower. A stellar disputes offering has put it markedly on the map in Brazil’s legal market and led the firm to advise on some of the country’s most high profile anti-corruption mandates. Notably, the firm was retained to work on the Car Wash investigation and its role sent an influx of arbitration and litigation cases its way.
Leite Tosto can attribute much of its success to its expert team of practitioners. One satisfied client describes litigators and arbitrators at the firm as “trusted advisers, highly skilled and technical and true subject matter experts.” Its competent legal team pay close attention to detail, which clients value highly in sophisticated litigation matters. In 2020, its headcount grew further when former partner Paula Padilha Cabral returned to the firm from an in-house stint at Brazilian transmission group CTEEP to head up Leite Tosto’s energy group. The move boosted the firm’s energy group after it lost its former department leader a year prior.
Despite the notable market slowdown in 2020 due to the devastating knock-on effects of the covid-19 pandemic, Leite Tosto continued on its successful run of capturing important disputes and restructuring work. As companies began to feel the pinch amid the pandemic, many were forced to realign their business structure to preserve cash as the markets drew to a halt. Leite Tosto’s robust insolvency and bankruptcy group remained busy during this time. The group counts engineering conglomerate UTC as a client and has helped it throughout its billion-dollar restructuring, which was ongoing before the start of the pandemic and continued to develop further throughout the last year. Demand for the group’s corporate services remained high last year too, with the firm helping in the shareholder agreement of the Arenaplex stadium project in Brasília. The group helped on a cross-border infrastructure matter too, advising Brazilian holding company Alupar on a US$164 million financing for a portfolio of transmission line projects in Colombia.
Meanwhile, Leite Tosto’s team of shrewd litigators can handle the most complex of cases with dexterous ease. That skill is an important asset within the firm’s weaponry among a slew of litigious work building up amid the pandemic, with several disputes arising from employment, restructuring and corporate legal matters that were exacerbated by the pandemic.
Some law firms may have had to adjust their fees along with the financial demands of the pandemic, but Leite Tosto has historically taken client renegotiations on fees in its stride and used client feedback as ammunition to streamline services. The firm’s leadership has diligently adjusted office systems to match the evolving landscape too, with the latest IT and innovation installed. While it has a collaborative and open space, the firm’s investment in technology likely stood it in excellent standing when working from home restrictions enforced a more virtual working space.
Corporate social responsibility is increasingly a prominent feature of the firm. Leite Tosto supports some pro bono and non-profit projects, such as Lar Betânia which supports children and teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Key partners: Practice co-heads Paulo Guilherme de Mendonça Lopes, former president of the special arbitration and mediation committee for the São Paulo Section of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), Ricardo Tosto, a former president of the judicial modernisation and judicial reform committees for the OAB’s São Paulo section, and Rodrigo Quadrante, who has led some of the firm’s most prominent cases with his crisis management and bankruptcy expertise. Patricia Rios, who has extensive experience on cases in Brazil’s upper courts, especially in Brasília, wins glowing reviews for her accurate legal advice and strategic view. Lopes and Rios come recommended in LACCA Approved, a survey of in-house counsel, published by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer.
Key partners: Luciana Arduin Fonseca, Luis Fernando Riskalla, Priscila Mara Peresi and Renata Christina Silveira Araújo jointly lead the practice.
Key partner: Administrative and judicial tax litigator Carlos Crosara.
Key partner: Practice head Paulo Guilherme de Mendonça Lopes.
Source: Latin Lawyer 250
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