Global Restructuring Review - Cross-border restructuring and insolvency legal news, features and events

GRR 100 2017

Felsberg Advogados

22 June 2017

The firm is advising telecoms giant Oi on its alternative restructuring plan

Global heads of restructuring and insolvency Thomas Benes Felsberg
Partners in restructuring team 4
Restructuring lawyers in Who’s Who Legal 1

History of the practice

Felsberg was established by its name founder Thomas Benes Felsberg in 1970. He continues to practice at the firm in addition to his consultancy work for the World Bank and his collaborative work with the International Monetary Fund.

Back in 2001, the firm merged with the law offices of Carlos Miguel Aidar to become Felsberg, Pedretti, Mannrich e Aidar Advogados, and in February 2014 it also entered into an association with Rio-based corporate boutique Vitor Costa Advogados

Its multidisciplinary restructuring and insolvency team – a market leader in Brazil – also offers financial auditing, corporate consultation, tax advice and litigation services.

Network

The firm’s base is in the city of São Paulo, with two other Brazilian offices placed in Rio de Janeiro and Brasília. In 2015 it opened a new office in Miami after combining its New York and Washington, DC teams.

Felsberg has developed partnerships with large law firms in other continents and has a representative office in Frankfurt. It recently closed its representative office in Shanghai after eight years of operation.

It is also the only Brazilian member of the Meritas network of international law firms.

Who uses it?

Felsberg made its name as a leading practice in the Brazilian market with its debtor-side work, but as restructurings in Brazil proliferate its creditor-side appointments have started to increase.

Big-name domestic and foreign clients feature prominently on the firm’s books including South America’s largest telecommunications company Oi, and Canadian fertiliser company MBAC.

Local Brazilian clients include clothes retailer Camisaria Colombo, sugarcane and bioethanol producer Tonon and oil and gas company Lupatech.

Historic track record

Nearly all major restructuring and insolvency cases occurring in Brazil feature Felsberg on their counsel lists.

Notably, it advised Brazilian infrastructure and energy giant Inepar Group with its massive US$1.3 billion restructuring, which was successfully concluded in the first half of 2015.

Recent events

In what has been a very busy year, a team led by Thomas Felsberg has been helping to draft an alternative restructuring plan for Brazilian telecoms company Oi, in the biggest bankruptcy case in Brazil’s history.

It has also counseled clothes retailer Colombo restructure its US$480 million debt pile, which is said to be Brazil’s largest ever extrajudicial reorganisaiton.

Elsewhere, Felsberg advised Brazilian oil logistics company Lupatech Group on its global restructuring, with cases before courts in Brazil and a Chapter 15 filing in New York – its second such filing in two years – and assisted Canadian fertiliser company MBAC with it successful US$235 million prepackaged restructuring.

The firm further counselled sugar and ethanol producer Tonon Bioenergia in Brazilian and US court-supervised restructuring proceedings, and Brazilian tyre manufacturer Borrachas Vipal as it restructured the US$312 million debt it holds with seven major banks including HSBC and Banco Santander.

To deal with the significant demand the firm moved to larger premises in Rio in November, and added partner Fabiana Bruno Solano Pereira in São Paulo and Miami, as well as promoting Pedro Bianchi to the partnership after two years with the firm.