DLA Piper's Brazil affiliate hires five-lawyer team from Mayer Brown's local ally

Four partners and one senior associate set to advance Campos Mello's environmental and sustainability work
Aerial view of Botafogo Bay from high angle, Rio De Janeiro

By marchello74; Shutterstock

DLA Piper’s Brazil affiliate, Campos Mello Advogados (CMA), has hired a five-lawyer team from Mayer Brown’s associate Brazil firm, Tauil & Chequer Advogados, to boost its oil and gas, maritime, environmental, litigation and arbitration offerings in response to growing client demand for expertise in the energy sector.

The move sees four partners — Alexandre Calmon, Marcelo Frazão, Paulo de Bessa Antunes and Vilmar Gonçalves — join CMA’s office in Rio de Janeiro, while senior associate João Marçal Martins moves across to shore up the firm’s litigation and arbitration bench in São Paulo. The new team will hone in on the firm's environmental and sustainability initiatives, the firm said on Tuesday. 

“We have been working with our Latin America and Brazil leaders and clients to identify key areas where we need to respond to marketplace demands,” said Frank Ryan, DLA Piper’s Americas chair, adding that the hires reflect the firm’s wider commitment to “meet the most critical needs” of clients acting in the global marketplace, particularly within the energy industry. 

Calmon and Frazão are moving to CMA after three and four-year stints at Tauil & Chequer, respectively. A recognised leader in the Brazilian oil and gas sector, Calmon focuses his practice on acquisitions of oil and gas production assets and the development of domestic energy projects. Frazão brings with him a wealth of experience in M&A, finance and energy projects involving maritime and offshore works. 

Bessa Antunes and Gonçalves, meanwhile, specialise in environmental law and will focus on advancing CMA’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) work. Prior to joining Tauil & Chequer, Bessa Antunes spent three decades as a regional prosecutor at the Brazilian Federal Prosecution Office and headed up the Secretariat of Environmental Protection of Rio de Janeiro State’s legal team. 

Gonçalves handles dispute resolution, environmental crisis management and environmental consultancy matters for clients across a wide range of industries. He will serve as an active member of DLA Piper’s Latin America regional practice group alongside his work with CMA’s international arbitration team upon joining the firm.

Welcoming the new arrivals, Fabio Campos Mello, CMA’s managing partner, said: “We wanted a team with focus on the high-demand parts of the practice – in particular energy, infrastructure and environmental – and we know our clients are attentive to ESG. These additions will expand our capabilities even further.” 

CMA joined DLA Piper’s international network back in 2010 and currently counts more than 30 partners and 230 professionals working across 22 practice areas in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, New York, London and Miami. 

Other recent key lateral hires for CMA include criminal law partner Antonio Tovo and associate Mellina Bulgarini Gerhardt, who joined from Souto Correa Advogados in August, while partner Maria Eduarda Bérgamo joined the firm's real estate practice from Barbosa Müssnich Aragão in June. 


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