Brazil

World Tax Reviews

Tax
Abe Rocha Neto Taparelli Garcez & Giovanini Advogados

As of July 2019, the firm Abe Rocha Neto Taparelli e Garcez Advogados merged with Giovanini Filho Advogados, establishing Abe Rocha Neto Taparelli Garcez & Giovanini Advogados. The tax team specialises in transactional tax, specifically M&A, tax controversy and tax advisory. It is active in many sectors, for example fintech, IT, financial services and healthcare. Gustavo Barroso Taparelli is the lead partner for the tax team at the firm. 

In the past 12 months, the tax team advised A Systems regarding its sale to Evernex. It also advised Casa do Adubo through the sale of a minority stake to Axxon Group. Furthermore, the group began representing Fujitsu General do Brasil through two lawsuits regarding the cancellation of tax debts based on new taxation legislation issued by the Federal Revenue Service. A favourable decision was reached and the firm is now finalising formal procedures.  

Abreu Goulart Santos & Freitas Advogados

Founded in 2014, Abreu Goulart Santos & Freitas operates in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The tax team specialises in general corporate tax, indirect tax and transactional tax, specifically M&A and capital reconstruction. Its clients operate in sectors such as retail, imports and manufacturing. 

Over the research period, the group worked on numerous cases across many tax categories. All matters and clients remain confidential.  

Advocacia Fernanda Hernandez

Established in 1990, Advocacia Fernanda Hernandez’s strengths lie in tax controversy. Founding partner Fernanda Guimarães Hernandez leads the tax team. Its clients belong to a variety of sectors including consumer goods, financial services, hospitality and tourism, mining and chemicals. 

One important case that the tax team worked on through the research period concerned the validity of a governmental programme that allows companies to contract the financing of a large percentage of sales and occupation tax without following the terms of the Administrative Council of Fiscal Policy on behalf of Rexam. Additionally, it is defending Farani Participações Serviço regarding a recognition of the statute of limitations of a tax credit required by the Public Treasury of the Federal District. 

Araújo & Policastro Advogados

Araújo & Policastro Advogados was created in 1962. Partners José Paulo Bueno and Sylvio Fernando Paes de Barros Jr specialise in tax and work with five other professionals. The department is active in the practice areas of general corporate tax and tax controversy. Its clients come from sectors such as agribusiness, pharmaceutical, electronics and financial services. 

During the research period, the team worked on numerous cases. In one such matter, clients were advised on international tax planning matters, for example transmission of assets to heirs. All other matters and clients remain confidential. 

Client feedback 

“The work has been really well done.” 

Ayres Ribeiro Advogados

Founded in 2012 with offices in São Paulo and Belo Horizonte, Ayres Ribeiro Advogados specialises in tax advisory, tax controversy and indirect tax. It is active in the agribusiness, food and beverage, automobile, pulp and paper, trade, energy and telecommunications sectors. The tax department is headed by Gilberto Ayres Moreira. 

Over the research period, the group advised Heineken in tax matters related to Brazilian PIS, COFINS and ICMS taxes. It also represented CENIBRA in high profile cases relating to ICMS tax credits accumulated by exporters. Furthermore, the tax team represented Faurecia in cases related to automotive part component imports.  

Barbosa Müssnich Aragão

The tax team at BMA has 10 partners and 31 lawyers who are active in the practice areas of tax controversy, general corporate tax and transactional tax, especially in M&A and cross-border transactions. The firm has offices in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília, but the tax team only operates in the São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro offices. The department works with numerous sectors such as real estate, aerospace, oil and gas, healthcare, financial services, mining and energy. 

Over the past 12 months, the team advised Banco Opportunity in a matter regarding a corporate dispute against Bradespar and Litel. The dispute concerns equity interest in Valepar that had been ongoing for over 20 years. Furthermore, the group represented Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Exploração e Produção de Petróleo e Gás in a lawsuit filed by Petrobras. The lawsuit regards the use of ICMS tax credits for inputs used in crude oil production. When the case is closed, it will affect the crude oil supply chain in the state of Rio de Janeiro.  

Bichara Advogados

The tax team at Bichara Advogados specialises in tax consulting and tax controversy. It has strong relationships with clients in sectors such as paper and pulp, telecommunications, real estate, electricity, education, pharmaceutical, aerospace, food and beverage, cosmetics and construction. 

Over the research period, the tax team represented Unisys in a matter related to social security contributions set in instalment payments. As a result of the case, the 2nd Region Federal Court ruled in favour of the client, granting them the plea which allowed the client to receive a refund as well as the possibility to offset social security contributions. Additionally, the group began representing GE Aviation in a matter regarding a fine charged to the client by the state of Rio de Janeiro. This fine stems from the repair of parts of Brazilian Air Force aircrafts and the resulting alleged failure to fill out related tax forms. 

In terms of lateral moves, Carla Fávaro was brought on as a partner from PwC. This follows the departure of partner Francisco Lisboa Moreira, who left for Bocater Advogados. 

Bocater Camargo Costa e Silva Rodrigues Advogados

Founded in 1999, Bocater Camargo Costa e Silva Rodrigues Advogados has two offices in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The tax department is fairly new, having been formed in 2015. The team is headed by a three-partner team: Luciana Ibiapina Lira Aguiar, Alexandre Luiz Moraes do Rêgo Monteiro and Francisco Lisboa Moreira, who lead 10 professionals. The department specialises in tax controversy, general corporate tax and transactional tax. Its clients belong to many different sectors such as oil and gas, financial services, energy, construction, pharmaceutical and retail. 

Over the research period, the team worked on numerous cases. All matters and clients remain confidential. 

The team grew with the addition of partner Francisco Lisboa Moreira, who joined from Bichara Advogados. 

Brazuna Ruschmann & Soriano Sociedade de Advogados

Brazuna Ruschmann & Soriano Sociedade de Advogados (Bratax) is a boutique tax law firm established in 2013. The firm is led by partners José Luis Brazuna, Cristiano Ruschmann and Ciro Soriano de Oliveira. Its clients range from sectors such as IT, chemicals, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, human and animal nutrition, energy, infrastructure, cosmetics, media, automobile, glass and education. The firm specialises in the practice areas of indirect tax and tax controversy. 

During the research period, the team advised its client in the pulp and paper sector on a matter relating to the withholding of ISS tax on hired services. It also defended its client on a leading case regarding tax infractions of ICMS tax. All clients’ names remain confidential. 

Client feedback 

“The team is always very responsive, provide accurate analysis and guidance.” 

“Bratax has advised all risks exposed and ways to fix and avoid future assessments with legal authorities.” 

Brigagão Duque Estrada Advogados

Brigagão Duque Estrada Advogados is a new boutique firm established in 2018. It has two locations in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and is led by five partners, with Gustavo Brigagão and Roberto Duque Estrada being the name partners. It specialises in indirect tax and tax controversy. Its clients belong to sectors such as financial services, entertainment, oil and gas, IT, real estate and retail.  

Throughout the research period, the team worked with FIFA on matters regarding the organisation of a new competition in Brazil, as well as tax audition procedures. Additionally, it is representing CSN –Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional in a case regarding the appropriation of ICMS tax credits towards electric energy acquisitions. It has so far received favourable decisions from the second judicial state level. 

Candido Martins Advogados

Founding partner Alamy Candido heads the tax team at Candido Martins Advogados. It specialises in general corporate tax and transactional tax, especially M&A. It works with clients over numerous sectors such as energy, paper, alcohol, technology and healthcare.  

Over the research period, the tax team assisted the Galvani family on matters relating to the sale of Galvani Indústria to Yara. All other matters and clients remain confidential. 

Client feedback 

“Candido Martins provides full and personalised services, and we highlight, amongst its strengths, its high technical quality, argumentative capacity, staff and partner availability, and delivery of consistently positive results. We have not had any negative experiences worthy of note.” 

“It is very talented, objective and fast. All the client´s relations are held by the partners themselves.” 

Castro Barros Sobral Gomes Advogados

André Gomes de Oliveira heads the tax team at Castro Barros Sobral Gomes Advogados. The tax team operates out of two offices in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, along with 30 professionals. It specialises in indirect tax, tax controversy and transactional tax, especially cross-border transactions. It maintains strong relationships with clients in the retail and telecommunications sectors. 

During the research period, the team advised Legion Holdings regarding its acquisition of the Abril Group in one of the largest M&A transactions in Brazil for that year. It also worked with Energia Sustentavel do Brasil in a matter regarding the recognition of PIS and COFINS tax credits on environmental expenses incurred.  

Client feedback 

“They are brilliant. Even though they aren't as knowledgeable about the oil and gas sector, they can manage incredible work.” 

Coimbra & Chaves Sociedade de Advogados

Founded in 2011, Coimbra & Chaves Sociedade de Advogados specialises in business and labour law, with a strong reputation in tax law. Founding partner Paulo Roberto Coimbra Silva heads the tax team at the firm, which also operates in Brasília in addition to its main office in Belo Horizonte. In late 2018, the firm opened its newest office in São Paulo. It focuses on clients in the automobile, mining, steel, energy and natural gas sectors. The team specialises in tax controversy. 

During the research period, the tax team represented its client regarding tax collection. As a result, it received a favourable decision from the administrative court. Additionally, the team represented another client in a matter regarding a refund for overpaid ICMS tax. This also resulted in a favourable decision for the client.  

The team strengthened itself with the addition of chief tax litigation officer Jose Henrique Guaracy Rebelo, a former federal court judge. 

Client feedback 

“The office always brings innovative theses, meets the demands within the deadline requested by the client.” 

Corrêa Meyer & Nastromagario Advogados

Marcelo Nastromagario is a founding partner of full-service firm Corrêa Meyer & Nastromagario Advogados. He has served as the managing partner, CEO and CFO since 2010 and is also head of the tax department. It is active in the chemical, financial services and real estate sectors, just to name a few. The team specialises in tax controversy and tax planning. 

During the research period, the team represented Fundação Instituto de Física Teórica in a lawsuit against the municipality of São Paulo regarding property transfer tax immunity. The case resulted in a decision in favour of the client. The group also began representing a client in the chemical sector on a case against the state of São Paulo. The case concerns the validation of ICMS credits for the client.  

Deloitte

The tax department at Deloitte Brazil is led by João Mauricio Gumeiro. It offers a full range of tax law services but specialises in general corporate tax, transfer pricing and indirect tax. It maintains strong relationships with its clients from all around the globe. Many of the clients are multinational groups.  

During the past 12 months, the tax team advised its client, a large Brazilian multinational group, on a project related to the restructuring of the group. It also advised another large Brazilian multinational group regarding the client’s expansion into new activities. Both cases are high profile projects involving multiple countries.  

Demarest Advogados

Spanning four offices in Brazil and one in New York, Demarest Advogados focuses on the practice areas of tax controversy, indirect tax and transactional tax, specifically M&A and cross-border transactions. Its tax department consists of 10 partners who lead five counsel and 45 lawyers. Its clients are from a diverse set of sectors including automotive, pharmaceutical, industrial manufacturing, agribusiness, life sciences and F&B. 

Over the research period, the tax team represented Pfizer in a leading case at the Court of Appeals regarding the inclusion of an ICMS tax credit in another division of the client. Moreover, the team advised Grupo Aliança through capital stock sales of Aliança Benefícios and GA Corretora de Seguros to Qualicorp. 

Partner Priscila Faricelli was hired in the past year from Trench Rossi Watanabe. 

Dias Carneiro Advogados

Founded in 2002, the tax team at Dias Carneiro specialises in indirect tax and transactional tax, specifically customs. Its clients vary in sector, but include pulp, forestation and reforestation, pharmaceutical, technology, machinery, sugar and biofuels, insurance, telecommunications and real estate. The tax department is led by Antonio Amendola. 

During the research period, the team advised its client on possible tax benefits related to Incentive Units. It also represented another client in a case against tax authorities regarding higher corporate income taxes than should be paid. Its clients remain confidential. 

The team grew through the addition of tax consultants Nathalia de Bem e Canto Cantanhede, from Viera Resende and Marjory Alves Hirata from Fialho Salles Advogados. In the same period, tax consultant Joanna Rizzi Ribeiro left for Bichara Advogados. 

Client feedback 

“Dias Carneiro provides a great support on this subject. Bringing expertise, they focus on the main points and risk involved. Professionals are well prepared.” 

Ernesto Borges Advogados

Founded in 1951, Ernesto Borges Advogados’ tax team specialises in tax controversy and indirect tax. Its clients come from sectors such as pulp and paper, manufacturing, tobacco, textiles and energy. The firm operates across three offices. 

Over the research period, the group represented GEP Indústria e Comércio in a case regarding allegations of failure to pay ICMS tax related to merchandise sales. Moreover, it assisted Fibria Celulose on a matter regarding ICMS tax payments across states related to merchandise suppliers. 

Felsberg Advogados

The tax department at Felsberg Advogados is led by a three-person team of Anna Flávia Izelli, head of tax litigation, Ivan Campos, head of tax in the Rio de Janeiro office and Rafael Malheiro, head of tax consulting and corporate tax in the São Paulo office. The team specialises in tax controversy, general corporate tax, and transactional tax, with an emphasis on M&A and cross-border transactions. It works with clients in the automobile, financial services, energy, retail, and pharmaceutical sectors, just to name a few. 

During the research period, the team helped its clients, investors of Oppa Design, through the sale of Oppa Design to Meu Móvel de Madeira. Another M&A it worked through was the acquisition of Sibrape and CMB Aqua for the client Grupo Novem. Additionally, it advised Exeltis Group on matters involving cross-border transactions.  

The team strengthened itself with the addition of partner Rafael Malheiro, who joined from Cescon Barrieu. 

Client feedback 

“Specialised lawyers and personalised attention.” 

Fleury Coimbra & Rhomberg Advogados

Eduardo Fleury heads the tax department at FCR Law. The team is active in tax consulting, tax controversy and transactional tax, specifically in cross-border transactions. Its strengths lie in the industrial & manufacturing, IT, oil and gas, clean energy, and healthcare sectors. It works with multinational firms and maintain strong relationships with international clients.  

In the past 12 months, the tax team represented Bysoft through a writ of mandamus filed in order to stop the State of São Paulo from charging ICMS on software licensing, streaming and downloading. This writ resulted in a preliminary injunction decision, setting a precedent for Bysoft. The group also received a favourable decision on behalf of Sky regarding an appeal related to an ISS tax.  

Client feedback 

“Excellent work. FCR Law has an in-house lawyer familiar with our jurisdiction’s tax structures. This particular expertise facilitated the entire planning process.” 

Fraga Bekierman & Cristiano Advogados

Founded in 1993, Fraga Bekierman & Cristiano Advogados is active in tax controversy and general corporate tax. Its clients are in sectors such as oil and gas, pharmaceutical, energy, shipping, chemical, food and beverage, telecommunications, technology and financial services.  

Over the past 12 months, the group represented Aero Rio Táxi Aéreo in a proceeding regarding the COFINS-Import tax applied to the client’s imported airplanes. It also advised Unimed do Estado do Rio de Janeiro Federação Estadual das Cooperatives Médicas on the implementation of a new law, supplementary law n. 157/2016 in relation to its organisation. 

Gaia Silva Gaede Advogados

Gaia Silva Gaede Advogados has five offices throughout Brazil, in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte and Brasília. The firm is made up of 19 partners and about 200 lawyers. It has a strong reputation in many sectors such as technology and innovation, ecommerce, healthcare, oil and gas, consumer goods, pharmaceutical, insurance, agribusiness, automobile, construction, energy and financial services. It is active in the practice areas of general corporate tax and tax controversy. 

Over the past 12 months, the tax team received a favourable decision on behalf of Seculus da Amazonia in relation to tax reductions, resulting in an economic benefit for the client. It also defended VMI Sistemas de Segurança in a high-profile case regarding tax classifications of its merchandise in order to receive tax exemptions from similar imports. 

Senior attorney Felipe Gerken was hired in the past year, coming from Bispo Machado Mussy Advogados. This follows the departure of senior attorney Vinicius Torres, who left for Cunha Gallizzi Leão Advogados. 

Client feedback 

“Excellent and fast feedback. Highly competent and motivated team. Technically competent solutions.” 

“We can highlight the experience of lawyers and the easy access we have, generally the answers are quick and well-founded.” 

“This law firm is incredibly recommended by me. It does brilliant work.”  

“Gaia´s office has a good team of specialists. However, during the last years in a specific project, they had several replacements on the team that were assisting us and it caused some bad impact for us.” 

“Robust work in relation to fundamentals and clarity in our requests.” 

“Excellent office, with excellent service and professional qualifications.” 

Garrigues

Garrigues specialises in general corporate tax, transfer pricing and transactional tax, with an emphasis on M&A. Partners Cassius Vinícius de Carvalho, Daniel Dix and principal associate Amanda Pereira lead the team at the São Paulo office. Its clients belong to a variety of sectors including industrial manufacturing, construction, retail and consumer goods. 

In the past 12 months, the group advised clients on matters regarding the recent Supreme Court case establishing the legal exclusion of ICMS tax from the PIS/COFINS tax basis. Furthermore, the team advised several clients on corporate reorganisation. Its clients remain confidential. 

In terms of lateral moves, principal associate Fábio Perrelli Peçanha left for NBF|A. 

Client feedback 

“They (Amanda, Fabio and Cassius) are remarkable. Very, very, very well prepared, objective, providing innovative ideas with total responsibility and high added value.” 

Gasparini de Cresci e Nogueira de Lima Advogados

Gasparini de Cresci & Nogueira de Lima Advogados specialises in tax controversy, estate planning and transactional tax, with an emphasis on customs and free trade zones. Its clients include Siemens, C&A and Camargo Corrêa. The team includes partners Francisco Nogueira de Lima Neto and Fernando Grasseschi Machado Mourão.  

Within the past 12 months, the team began defending its client in a case against the municipality of Aracuz regarding payment of ISS tax that was already paid to the municipality of Rio de Janeiro. It also worked on a corporate reorganisation for a client. The names of its clients remain confidential.  

In terms of lateral moves, partner Fernando Grasseschi Machado Mourão was recruited from PMKA Advogados.  

Henriques Sociedade de Advogados

Guilherme de Almeida Henriques is the founding partner at Henriques Sociedade de Advogados. It operates in the practice areas of indirect tax, tax controversy and general corporate tax. Its clients are active in sectors such as the construction and financial services. 

During the research period, the tax group represented Andrade Gutierrez Engenharia through a lawsuit claiming a tax refund for incorrect payments. It was able to secure the full tax refund of a little over $2.5 million for the client. Additionally, the team defended SNEF Engenharia in a leading case regarding an overpayment of social contributions on revenue. The court ruled in favour of the client, who received a full refund of the overpaid amount.  

Huck Otranto Camargo Advogados

Spanning across two offices in São Paulo and Brasília, Huck Otranto Camargo Advogados was established in 1993 and specialises in transfer pricing, tax controversy, indirect tax, and transactional tax, specifically cross-border transactions. It currently has 10 partners who are experts in multiple practice areas spanning tax law. They work with clients from numerous sectors such as pharmaceuticals, insurance, education, plastics and food and beverage.  

Over the past 12 months, the tax team advised CPR Plasticos regarding ICMS tax benefit changes from the state of Rio de Janeiro. CPR Plastics is in the plastic recycling sector, a new sector in Brazil and so this matter required new thinking on behalf of the firm. Moreover, the group worked with Ninha Investimentos e Participações to advise them on matters related to the share sale of Strider Software to Syngenta Proteção de Cultivos. 

The team welcomed the addition of partner Ana Flora Vaz Lobato Diaz in 2018, who came from Machado Meyer Sendacz & Opice Advogados. Additionally, it lost partner Mariana Abrahão Franco, who left for PwC.  

Lefosse Advogados

The tax team at Lefosse Advogados is active in tax advisory, tax controversy and transactional tax. Its work with clients in numerous sectors, including agribusiness, tobacco, pharmaceutical, IT, education and food and beverage. The tax team is made up of more than 40 professionals. 

During the research period, the tax team advised Temasek through its stock acquisition of Bionexo Internacional Participações e Empreendimentos using warrants. It also helped advised J&F Investimentos through the equity sale of Eldorado Brasil Celulose. This was a high-profile case and one of the largest M&A transactions in Brazil during the research period. In another key matter, it advised Kroton on the creation of a new share-based compensation plan. This plan uses a model not often seen in Brazil. 

The team grew over the research period with the addition of partner Ana Carolina Utimati and senior associate Eduardo Suessmann, from Trench Rossi Watanabe. The firm also hired senior associate Izabela Vecchi, from Ulhôa Canto. 

Client feedback 

“Technical knowledge, business orientation, availability.” 

Machado Associados Advogados & Consultores

Founded in 1990, the tax team at Machado Associados is made up of 22 partners and 28 professionals. Júlio de Oliveira is the head partner and operates out of three offices in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília. The department specialises in transactional tax, including M&A, indirect tax, tax controversy and transfer pricing. Its clients are active in sectors such as construction, healthcare, energy, cosmetics and consumer goods. 

Over the past 12 months, the tax group represented Wobben Windpower Indústria e Comércio in a leading case at the Federal Administrative Court. The case concerned the REIDI tax incentive. It also defended Johnson & Johnson and DPaschoal against the state of São Paulo regarding tax assessments forcing the clients to pay more. 

In terms of lateral moves, partner Ana Lúcia Marra was brought over from EY. This follows the departures of Carlos Augusto da Cruz, who left to start his own practice, Fernando Teles da Silva, Renato Silveira, who moved to JBS, Erika Tukiama, who left for Chiarottino e Nicoletti and Luis Rogério Farinelli, who retired. 

Client feedback 

“Good understanding. Speed up in the interaction.” 

“Machado has been highly recognised as an excellent tax advisor and conducts litigation on a high grade of expertise and professionalism.”  

“Strength: Technical qualifications, close to its clients, good approach on international meetings in order to explain risks and developments. Weakness: Too conservative.” 

“The law firm has a sharp focus and strategic insights to conduct the tax discussions and further developments at a high level. They provide constant updates of the cases and precedents that could impact the discussion, demonstrating extreme care and dedication on the customer's matters.” 

“Machado is a strong, well-known firm. The partners and associates are always willing to provide guidance, to help and to provide answers, regardless the structure of the deal, the client and the timeline. Overall, the firm is excellent.” 

Machado Meyer Sendacz & Opice Advogados

The tax team at Machado Meyer Sendacz & Opice operates in three offices in Brasília, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It is active in tax controversy and transactional tax, including cross-border transactions, M&A and IPOs. Its clients include sectors such as construction, telecommunications, energy, financial services and oil and gas.  

Within the past 12 months, the tax team advised Brookfield Infrastructure Group throughout its agreement to form a joint venture with Digital Realty for the purchase of Ascenty Data Centers. Additionally, it worked with clients Gerdau Aços Longos, Tigre Participações and Votorantim Cimentos to establish a loyalty and reward programme. This programme will be implemented under a joint venture structure between all three clients. 

In terms of lateral moves, partner Leonardo Martins was brought over from Trench Rossi Watanabe.  

Mannrich e Vasconcelos Advogados

Founded in 2004, Mannrich & Vasconcelos Advogados specialises in working with the healthcare, chemical, agribusiness and mining sectors. Its tax team is active in tax controversy and general corporate tax. Partners Breno Ferreira Martins Vasconcelos and Thais Romero Veiga Shingai are key individuals at the firm. 

Over the past 12 months, the tax team worked on numerous cases. All matters and clients remain confidential.  

Client feedback 

“Very responsive. Very knowledgeable on current legislation and procedures.” 

“Very efficient with a great view of the company and of the subject.”  

“The law firm is extremely competent, and they have as a main point the interest in knowing exactly the business of the client; that makes all the difference.” 

Mattos Engelberg Advogados

The team at Mattos Engelberg consists of 26 partners and 70 lawyers spread over four offices in Brazil, with an additional representative office in Argentina. The tax group specialises in tax controversy, general corporate tax, indirect tax and transactional tax, specifically M&A. It is active in numerous sectors, but are most prominent in agribusiness, financial institutions, real estate, logistics and information systems. 

Over the research period, the group helped a client achieve tax immunity for books and materials used for its manufacturing. It also advised Tereos Açúcar, Energia Brasil and Usina Vertente in a matter regarding a full tax rate of 2% of the tax benefit for exporting companies. The result of this case will be important for exporting companies across Brazil.  

The team strengthened itself with the addition of partner Priscila Farisco, who joined from Madrona Advogados. 

Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr & Quiroga Advogados

Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Junior & Quiroga Advogados is active in the financial services, life sciences, chemical, oil and gas, energy, pharmaceutical, automobile and IT sectors. It specialises in indirect tax, tax controversy and transactional tax, with an emphasis on M&A and corporate reorganisations. The firm operates out of three offices in Brazil: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília, as well as international offices in New York and London.  

Over the research period, the tax team won a lawsuit on behalf of Petrobrás regarding tax penalties given to them related to the import of a petroleum drillship under a special customs tax regime. Following the favourable decision, the penalties were cancelled. Furthermore, the group worked with General Atlantic through the equity sale of XP Investimentos to Itaú Unibanco. 

Client feedback 

“The office is very technical and organised. The internal teams work very well in various areas and respond with agility. Sometimes they are a little wordy and move away from the point that effectively meets the business/project.” 

“Solid deliverables.” 

Meirelles Milaré Advogados

Founded in 2011, Meirelles Milaré Advogados works with clients from numerous sectors such as environment services, telecommunications, retail and consumer products. Morvan Meirelles Costa Junior leads the three-person tax team, which also includes Luis Eduardo Esteves Ferreira and Avany Eggerling de Oliveira. It specialises in general corporate tax, indirect tax and tax controversy.  

Over the past 12 months, the team represented Guatapará Energia in a case related to the exemption of PIS and COFINS tax for the import of capital goods. Additionally, it represented Cabletech Cabos in a matter concerning the Reintegra programme. Under the programme, industrial exporters can receive an indirect tax rebate on the production chain on exported goods, however the rebate amount was reduced following new legislation.  

Client feedback 

“The work was diligently conducted, and the intended results were achieved.” 

“We understand that they provide us a very quick and real-time assessment on various quick questions we have. Not only that, but they complement it with deep analysis of topics that require more attention.” 

“The company was fast and precise to i) diagnose the problem mapping out the issue nationally; ii) propose quick fix to urgent situations; and iii) recommend a searching tool to anticipate future issues. Important to mention, I have seen consistency of great customer focus in several areas (finance, operations) and fair pricing.” 

“Meirelles and Milaré are one of the best lawyers in the city of São Paulo. It has a team of lawyers that surpasses the expectations of the clients. They are attentive and helpful. They try to fully understand the customers' needs before giving a position. Tried to be sure that the client also always understood his views based on the rules and laws of the country.” 

MJ Alves & Burle Advogados & Consultores

Marcos Joaquim Gonçalves Alves is a founding partner at MJ Alves & Burle Advogados & Consultores. Founded in 2017, the tax team specialises in tax controversy and tax advocacy. Its clients come from a wide variety of sectors such as oil and gas, construction and energy. The team prides itself on its 360° strategy it applies to each of its cases. 

Over the past 12 months, the tax team worked on a high-profile matter in which it represented Emplavi Empreendimentos Imobiliários in a case related to incorrectly calculated IPTU tax. In the same period, it defended Refinaria de Petróleos de Manguinhos in two cases. The first regarded the suspension of legal charged related to ICMS-ST taxes, which were granted by the court. That case is now awaiting a final decision from the Superior Court of Justice. In the second case, the team defended the client against charges filed by the State Revenue Service regarding taxation of international acquisition of oil.  

Neiva Barros & Figueiró Sociedade de Advogados

Founded in 2011 as CFA Advogados, the firm specialises in tax controversy, indirect tax and transactional tax. Its clients come from sectors including energy, transportation, technology and tourism. NBF|A has a cooperation agreement with Garrigues, allowing it to increase its network to include international clients and professionals.  

Within the past 12 months, the team defended its client in a matter regarding the exemption of remittances from Brazilian legal bodies to other countries over the payment of imported technical services due to Article 7 of Double Taxation Treaties. It also represented its client in a matter regarding the exemption of some taxes from PIS and COFINS taxes. All clients remain confidential. 

In terms of lateral moves, principal Fabio Perrelli Peçanha joined the firm from Garrigues Consultores Tributários, Taxand Brazil. 

Neves & Battendieri Advogados

Operating in two offices in São Paulo and Brasília, Neves & Battendieri Advogados is active in the food and beverage, agriculture, automobile, education, engineering, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, energy, financial services, oil and gas, chemical, retail and technology sectors. The tax team specialises in transactional tax, general corporate tax and indirect tax.  

Over the past 12 months, the team has worked on numerous cases. All matters and clients remain confidential.  

In terms of lateral moves over the research period, senior associate Vanderlei de Souza Júnior was hired from Machado Nunes Advogados. 

Client feedback 

“Main strengths are the quality of the professionals. The law firm has very qualified lawyers in international tax, indirect taxes, direct taxes and tax litigation.” 

Numeris Consultoria

In 2019, Numeris Consultoria opened its newest office in Belo Horizonte. This new office joins the consulting firm’s existing office in São Paulo in providing consultations in financial, accounting and tax services. The firm specialises in general corporate tax and indirect tax. Its clients belong to numerous sectors such as telecommunications and IT. 

Over the past 12 months, the team has worked on numerous cases. In one case, the group performed a tax review on its client. This review resulted in savings of millions of dollars. All clients remain confidential.  

The team grew over the research period through the addition of partner Ana Carolina Moreira Garcia, who moved over from Rolim Viotti & Leite Campos Advogados. 

Client feedback 

“The work made by Numeris was very good. They were available whenever we needed them, like when we asked them to make several meetings with other areas and directors of our company. Also, the members of the company have much experience and made a great job from the beginning until the end when we got the final result of the work.” 

“Excellent professionals with in-depth knowledge of the subject, finishing the work on the time hired.” 

Peixoto & Cury Advogados

Founded in 1948, Peixoto & Cury Advogados specialises in general corporate tax and indirect tax. It is active in sectors such as glass, healthcare, cosmetics, construction, automobile, manufacturing and entertainment. Renato Vilela Faria heads the direct tax team. 

During the research period, the group defended Caterpillar in a case against the municipality of Santa Bárbara D’Oeste regarding tax exemptions on IPTU tax. Additionally, the team represented all entertainment and advertising firms in São Paulo under the Brazilian Association of Advertising Copmpanies (ABAP) in a matter related to new normative rulings from the municipality of São Paulo. These rulings affected the ISS tax, and so a dialogue was opened between the municipality and the client over new rulings. 

The team strengthened itself with the addition of partner Renato Vilela Faria, who joined from Caselli Navarro Advogados.  

Client feedback 

“Good knowledge and support for our needs.” 

Perlman Vidigal Godoy Advogados

The tax team at PVG – Perlman Vidigal Godoy Advogados maintains strong relationships with both domestic and international clients across a wide variety of sectors. Partner Mauricio Braga Chapinoti is the head of the team at the business law-centric firm. Its strongest practice area is general corporate tax, though it is also notably growing its tax controversy practice area. 

In a complex case, the tax team advised start up Buser Brasil Tecnologia on tax matters related to the development of the client’s app. Additionaly, the group led by Chapinoti advised UPL through its recent acquisition of Arysta LifeScience. 

In terms of lateral moves, partner Mauricio Braga Chapinoti was recruited from TozziniFreire Advogados. This follows the departures of partner Matheus Bueno de Oliveira and senior associate Fernanda Soares Lains Higashino, who both left for Bueno & Castro Tax Lawyers.  

PFM Associados

Paulo Fernando Melo is the managing partner at PFM Associados, a new firm that was established in 2017. It has two offices in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and is active with the oil and gas, energy, natural resources, manufacturing and private equity sectors. The team specialises in general corporate tax and transactional tax, especially M&A. 

In two important matters, the firm advised both Spectrum Geo and Karoon Gas on Brazilian withholding and import taxes in relation to overseas remittances in a successful effort to optimise its tax structure. Also during the research period, the team reviewed the tax structure of Diamond Offshore and consequently submitted a proposal including a diagnostic recommending a refund request. 

Client feedback 

“They have always met the deadlines, are hardworking and involved in all of our working together.” 

“Strengths - provides timely responses, readily available, provides multiple solutions when available, business minded which helps the company make decisions.” 

“PFM Associados is a highly qualified firm, with knowledge in tax consulting.” 

Pinheiro Neto Advogados

Founded in 1942, Pinheiro Neto Advogados is a full-service firm with offices in São Paulo, Brasília and Rio de Janeiro. In 2018, the firm opened its first international office in Palo Alto, California. The firm has 19 partners who oversee over 80 professionals. The tax team specialises in transfer pricing, general corporate tax, tax controversy and transactional tax, specifically M&A. Sérgio Farina Filho is the senior partner in the tax department. Its clients include members of sectors such as consumer goods, IT, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, entertainment, cosmetics and agribusiness. 

In one of the largest cases in the state of São Paulo in 2018, the tax team represented ISS Logistica in a case against the state over ICMS tax concerning storage of third-party goods. The team won the case and the tax assessment was cancelled for the client. In another case, the team represented Cervejarias Kaiser Brasil and successfully secured a refund for the client. The refund concerned taxes paid for coffee exports. This puts an end to the case, which was first filed in 1998.  

During the research period, the firm lost partner Marcelo Mazon Malaquias who retired. 

Client feedback 

“Highly rewarded law firm, probably the most respectful in Brazil, with very sophisticated attorneys. Sometimes they are too conservative with clients.” 

“They act in several areas of expertise and their professionals are very skilled and provide bold support to the company's demands. They are more focused on the legislation itself, and they are really good at this.” 

Rivitti & Dias

Karem Jureidini Dias and José Carlos da Matta Rivitti are the founding partners are Rivitti & Dias Advogados, a specialised law firm focused on tax law. The firm specialises in the practice areas of tax consulting and tax controversy. 

Over the research period, the firm worked on numerous cases. All matters and clients remain confidential.  

Rolim Viotti & Leite Campos Advogados

Since the firm’s establishment in 1993, the tax team at Rolim Viotti & Leite Campos Advogados has been active in transactional tax, indirect tax, tax controversy and general corporate tax. The team works with clients in sectors such as aerospace and defence, automobile, financial services, chemical, construction, education, energy, food and beverage, pulp and paper, healthcare, engineering, insurance, mining and metals. 

Over the research period, the team began representing Norte Energia in a case against the Federal Revenue Delegate over tax credit claims from financial expenses. The writ of mandamus filed covers the concept of inputs, a disputed concept in Brazil. In addition, the group also worked with Eletrobras Termonuclear on an appeal to the Federal Revenue of Brazil regarding its inclusion into Renuclear, or the Special Regime for Development of Nuclear Power Plant. The administrative court granted the appeal, allowing the client to join the taxation regime. 

Luis Felipe Campos was brought on as a partner in the past year. Campos came from Ernst & Young. 

Santos Neto Advogados

Founded in 1992, Santos Neto Advogados is a full-service law firm with one office in Brazil and one in New York. Its clients mostly operate in the financial services, agriculture, family business, and technology sectors. The tax team specialises in tax controversy, transfer pricing, indirect tax and general corporate tax.  

Over the research period, the tax team managed tax disputes relating to the liquidation of Banco Azteca. These tax disputes may impact total credit paid to third parties once liquidation is completed. Furthermore, the group began assisting Danish app developer NewC in establishing a subsidiary in Brazil. 

Client feedback 

“This is a very serious firm, with highly-qualified professionals. They provide a personalised service and they have a great capacity for immediate response.” 

Schneider Pugliese Sztokfisz Figueiredo & Carvalho Advogados

Schneider Pugliese Sztokfisz Figueiredo & Carvalho Advogados specialises in tax controversy, indirect tax and tax planning. The boutique firm spans two offices, in São Paulo and in Brasília, and is comprised of five partners. Its clients represent multiple sectors such as financial services, consumer goods, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, agribusiness and cosmetics. 

Over the research period, the team represented Hypera Pharma in a case brought to the Superior Court of Justice. The case regarded COFINS tax and resulted in a favourable decision on behalf of Hypera Pharma. Additionally, the firm successfully represented Anhambi Alimentos in a leading Superior Court of Justice case regarding inputs for PIS and COFINS taxes. As a result of the ruling, a clear concept of inputs was given by the court. 

Client feedback 

“Strengths: Client oriented attendance. Efficient and capable lawyers. Fair legal fees.” 

“Strengths: Very good professional quality, speed in delivering results, available for clients, open to negotiate lawyers' fees.” 

Silveiro Advogados

Silveiro Advogados has two offices in Porto Alegre and São Paulo and is led by a three-partner team: Alberto Brentano, Sérgio Lewin and Eduardo Halperin. The firm specialises in tax controversy, tax planning, and indirect tax. Its clients come from many sectors such as oil and gas, gaming, real estate, pharmaceutical, technology and metals. 

Over the research period, the tax team defended Rio Bravo Investimentos Imobiliários in a case relating to an administrative tax proceeding against the municipality of Porto Alegre. The case resulted in a win for the client. The group also represented Aquiris Game Studio in a lawsuit against the Revenue Authority of Porto Alegre regarding the payment of an ISSQN tax. The Supreme Court ruled in favour of Silveiro’s client, overruling a precedent set by the Superior Court of Justice.  

Siqueira Castro Advogados

SiqueiraCastro Advogados is a full-service law firm. It is active in most sectors including agribusiness, automobile, construction, education, energy, food and beverage, financial services, healthcare, entertainment, logistics, mining, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, retail, technology, telecommunications and sports. Over 100 professionals make up the tax team, who specialise in indirect tax and tax controversy. 

During the research period, the tax group began working with Duratex to cancel ICMS tax and a related fine received from the state of Rio de Janeiro. The group is also working on a similar case on behalf Peugeot-Citroën do Brasil Automóveis. In another case that the group is working on, it is representing COAGRO in an effort to prevent its client from losing its special tax treatment. 

Client feedback 

“The tax practice area led by partner Bianca Xavier in Rio de Janeiro has the best team I ever worked with. Excellent value for money option. Litigation could be improved since it is not led by the same team.” 

Souza Mello & Torres Advogados

Bruno Sartori de Carvalho Barbosa heads the tax department at Souza Mello & Torres Advogados. Other key members of the team include associates Ana França and Thais Martone. The department specialises in transactional tax, general corporate tax and indirect tax. It is active in the pharmaceutical, technology, oil and gas, telecommunications, retail, engineering, energy, mining and industrial sectors.  

Over the research period, the team advised Sirius Minerals through the acquisition of 30% of Cibrafertil shares. All other matters and clients remain confidential. 

Tauil & Chequer Advogados

The strengths of Tauil & Chequer Advogados, in association with Mayer Brown, lie in tax consulting, tax controversy, general corporate tax and transactional tax, specifically M&A. The firm operates in four offices throughout Brazil. The tax team is highly reputable among the real estate, financial and capital markets, oil and gas and telecommunications sectors. Celso Grisi heads the tax consulting team at the firm. 

Over the past 12 months, the team performed due diligence related to Total’s acquisition of Alesat. Additionally, it represented Petrobras Distribuidora against the State of Amapá regarding a tax foreclosure filed against Petrobras Distribuidora. The case is ongoing. 

Senior associate Mariana Kubota was hired in the past year from Souza Cescon. Senior associate Bruno Renaux departed the company in the same year.  

Client feedback 

“Excellent technical skills in tax and M&A especially and high proactivity.” 

Tognetti Advocacia

The focus at Tognetti Advocacia is business law. Its specialisations include tax controversy, tax consulting and transactional tax, specifically M&A. Tognetti’s clients come from sectors such as engineering, pharmaceutical, energy and oil and gas. 

Throughout the research period, the firm worked on numerous cases. All matters and clients remain confidential.  

TozziniFreire Advogados

Established in 1976, TozziniFreire Advogados is a reputable full-service law firm with seven offices in Brazil and an office in New York. Its tax team is made up of seven partners and more than 60 professionals. It is active in numerous sectors such as agribusiness, telecommunications, IT, energy, oil and gas, retail, pharmaceutical and logistics. Its main practice areas include tax controversy, general corporate tax and transactional tax, with an emphasis on M&A and cross-border transactions. 

During the research period, the tax group received a favourable decision on behalf of Banco de Lage Landen Brasil against the Federal Revenue Delegate in Porto Alegre regarding PIS and COFINS contributions related to the sale of leased property, plant and equipment. Additionally, it assisted Decora Marketplace and Decorado Marketplace in the sale of 100% of its shares and quotas, respectively, to Creative Drive. This sale was one of the largest deals in Brazil involving technology companies in 2018.  

Trouw & Fraga Advogados

Founded in 2007, Trouw & Fraga Advogados is a boutique law firm whose tax team works in the practice areas of tax controversy and general corporate tax. Its clients operate in sectors such as oil and gas, telecommunications and pharmaceutical.  

In the past 12 months, the tax group began representing Owens-Illinois do Brasil Industria e Comercio in a matter related to the non-inclusion of ICMS tax in the calculation basis of PIS and COFINS taxes. Additionally, the team advised Fugro Brasil - Serviços e Levantamentos and filed a writ of mandamus on its behalf.  

Ulhôa Canto Advogados

The tax team at Ulhôa Canto Advogados, a firm founded in 1959, maintains strong relationships with its clients, who come from numerous sectors. These sectors include financial services, real estate, media, food and beverage, energy, oil and gas, construction, pulp and paper, transportation, tobacco, mining, metals, healthcare, insurance, pharmaceuticals and education. The team specialises in general corporate tax and tax controversy. Sixteen partners make up the tax team.  

During the research period the team represented Souza Cruz and received two favourable decisions on behalf of its client. The case involved the validity of several tax offset requests. In another key matter for the team, it advised SP-Arte regarding tax benefits for the import and sale during the SP-Arte event. This event is internationally famous and a landmark cultural event. 

In terms of lateral moves, the firm lost partner Gustavo Brigagão, who left for Brigagão Duque Estrada Advogados. 

Client feedback 

“Very composed, competent, diligent, proactive, highly recommend.” 

Utumi Advogados

Founded in 2017, Utumi Advogados is a rising star in the tax market. A boutique firm focused solely on tax law, the firm’s strengths lie in tax controversy, indirect tax and transactional tax, with an emphasis on M&A. Ana Claudia Utumi is the founding partner at the firm, concentrating mostly on tax consulting and assists on tax controversy matters. Partner Camila Abrunhosa Tapias is responsible for tax controversy within the firm. Its clients come from a diverse range of sectors including telecommunications, IT, energy, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, automobiles, consumer products, retail and mining.  

During the research period, the firm assisted Heineken Brazil on matters relating to its recent acquisition of Brasil Kirin. It also represented Overseas Importação e Exportação regarding the non-applicability of IPI on the resale of imports. This case is currently before the Superior Court of Justice. 

The team was strengthened with the addition of partner Camila Abrunhosa Tapias, who joined from TozziniFreire Advogados.  

Veirano Advogados

Veirano Advogados is active in the energy, entertainment, telecommunications, mining, tobacco, oil and gas, electronics, construction, sugar, food and beverage and petrochemical industries. The tax team is made up of 44 lawyers, which includes 10 partners, split over four offices in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Porto Alegre and Brasília. The team specialises in general corporate tax, transactional tax and indirect tax. 

Over the research period, the team represented the National Association of Cemeteries in a lawsuit regarding the unconstitutionality of a newly imposed ISS tax on the business. The case is at the Supreme Court. Furthermore, the team represented the Sindicato Nacional das Empresas Aeroviárias in a case regarding the imposition of social contributions stemming from a recent law. 

Client feedback 

“Strengths: deep knowledge of matters, fast response to company's demands, reliable.” 

“Highly competent. Great knowledge and support in our decision taking.” 

Vella Pugliese Buosi & Guidoni Advogados

Vella Pugliese Buosi & Guidoni Advogados has two offices in Brazil, one in São Paulo and one in Brasília, splitting over 170 professionals between the offices. The firm has a strategic alliance with Dentons, a multinational law firm. The main partner in the tax department is Antonio Carlos Guidoni Filho. The group specialises in tax controversy and transactional tax, specifically M&A. Its clients belong to a variety of sectors include entertainment, healthcare, financial insurance, energy and oil and gas.  

During the research period, the team assisted NotreDame Intermédica with the 100% equity acquisition of Greenline Sistema de Saúde Group. This was one of the highest profile cases over the past 12 months as the value of the deal was $298 million. Additionally, the group represented ESPN Brasil in a case regarding full tax deductions related to income tax for copyright royalty remittances abroad. A favourable decision was granted towards ESPN.  

Vieira Rezende Advogados

Founded in 1995, Vieira Rezende Advogados is a full-service law firm. Its tax team is active in tax controversy and customs. It maintains strong relationships with clients across the mining, oil and gas, life sciences, chemical, food and beverage and construction sectors. The team is led by a five-person team of partners: Luiz André Nunes de Oliveira, Breno Ladeira Kingma, Rafael de Moraes Amorim, Tiago Severini and Octávio Carneiro Silva Corrêa. Rafael and Octávio oversee the team in the São Paulo office. 

Within the past 12 months, the tax group represented TechnipFMC in a lawsuit regarding the constitutionality of a recent decree issued by the state of Rio de Janiero. This decree meant that the client could no longer benefit from the Repetro tax benefit. This is a leading case on the matter. Additionally, the team represented TUPY against the Federal Revenue in a case concerning customs fines. These fines related to imports and the team was successfully able to have the fines removed by the Administrative Council. 

In terms of lateral moves, partner Octávio Carneiro Silva Corrêa was hired from Cascione Pulino Boulos & Santos Advogados. 

Viseu Advogados

Luis Augusto Gomes is the head of tax litigation at Viseu Advogados, a law firm founded in 1994. The team operates out of offices in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. It is active in the luxury, oil and gas, insurance, cosmetics, marketing, technology, financial services, wholesale and healthcare sectors. The tax department offers a full range of tax services, but specialises in tax controversy and transactional tax, specifically M&A. 

Over the research period, the group represented 45 official sales distributors of AmBev in a case against the Brazilian IRS regarding the exclusion of ICMS tax on PIS and COFINS tax in the calculation basis. This is one of the largest tax issues in Brazil for the last 20 years. The group also represented Ducati do Brasil and O Boticário in similar cases.  

The team strengthened itself with the addition of Luis Augusto Gomes, a former Demarest tax partner, and senior tax lawyer Paula Thairini Gomes, who came over from Trench Rossi Watanabe. 

Vitale Bicalho Dias Advogados

Rodrigo Dias is a founding partner at VBD Advogados. The team specialises in numerous practice areas, including tax planning and advice, general corporate tax, indirect tax, tax controversy and transactional tax, specifically M&A. It is mostly active in the real estate, infrastructure, funds, agribusiness, and professional services sectors.  

During the research period, the tax team begin representing the SEECOVI labour union in tax reform debates regarding the creation of the Project of the Fiscal Citizenship Center. The client is the main labour union in the real estate sector in Brazil. Moreover, the group worked with Cyrela Commercial Properties to defend the company regarding a property transfer tax as a result of corporate restructuring.  

Client feedback 

“Very professional and with partners very involved, you feel that they are truly working for the clients and not only to bill hours.”