Azevedo Sette adds disputes partner in Brazil

Azevedo Sette adds disputes partner in Brazil

Benjamin Wein13 July 2020

Azevedo Sette Advogados has boosted its arbitration and disputes resolution practice by hiring a partner from newly rebranded Mattos Engelberg Echenique Advogados.

Felipe Moraes, 34, joined the firm on 1 July, taking the firm’s partner count to 39.

Moraes has disputes experience in matters related to construction, infrastructure, energy, public-private partnerships and concession contracts.

He is vice-president of Brazil’s chamber of mediation and business arbitration (CAMARB), having held several positions there for more than 10 years, and is also a professor at private university Ibmec, teaching postgraduate studies at its campus in Belo Horizonte.

Moraes only spent six months at his former firm. He joined Mattos Engelberg as a partner alongside fellow disputes practitioner João Carlos Areosa in January.

Azevedo Sette’s managing partner, Fernando Azevedo Sette, says growing client demand for the firm’s disputes services impelled the firm to make the hire. “The firm has experienced an exponential increase in arbitration and dispute resolution related work, so it was only natural for us to expand the practice,” he says.

Moraes says that the growth in arbitration and dispute resolution work has been a notable national trend, with complex disputes related to M&A transactions, infrastructure projects or contracts in the energy sector often being resolved by arbitration.

He points to the current economic strife as one contributory factor. “In times of economic crisis, it is possible to notice an increase in the number of corporate disputes, as occurred in 2008,” he says.

Azevedo Sette has six offices in Brazil, the oldest of which is in Belo Horizonte. Originally focused on the mining sector in Minas Gerais, the firm has grown to become one of the country’s largest by headcount.

Besides its expertise in mining law, it is also known for its services in corporate and private equity law, while the project finance, administrative and labour practice are also strong.

The firm added Henrique Antonelli as partner in its real estate practice in March.

Latin Lawyer contacted Mattos Engelberg for comment on the departure, but it did not reply prior to publication.

Mattos Engelberg rebranded earlier this month as Mattos Engelberg Echenique Advogados, with labour partner Leonardo Santini Echenique incorporated into the firm’s name. The other two name partners are antitrust lawyer Ubiratan Mattos and corporate law practitioner Fernando Engelberg.

The rebranding has also come with a move to new headquarters in São Paulo.

The firm has five offices in Brazil, and has good services in banking and finance, corporate, litigation, tax, labour, and antitrust law.