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

GRR 100 2019

Lollato Lopes Rangel Ribeiro

15 May 2019

New EntryA Brazilian boutique exclusively devoted to restructuring and insolvency

Global heads of restructuring and insolvency: Felipe Lollato and Tiago Lopes
Partners in restructuring team: 4
Active cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters: 5

History of the practice

The firm now called Lollato Lopes Rangel Ribeiro traces its roots back over half a century, to its establishment by founding partner Ney Douglas Bello in 1960. The firm rebranded as Bello & Lollato when Ney’s son Leandro took over the firm at the end of the 20th century, inviting Felipe Lollato into the fold. In 2018 the firm rebranded once again, taking its current form with the hire of Tiago Lopes from Cescon Barrieu Flesch & Barreto.

It has now been solely focused on restructuring and insolvency work for over 30 years. The 2018 rebrand saw it open up  into Brazil’s financial and legal centre São Paulo for the first time, marking a shift in focus to more international work after having previously practised out of Florianópolis, capital of the state of Santa Catarina.

Apart from Lollato and Lopes, the firm’s other names to know are Francisco Rangel Effting in Florianópolis and Aguinaldo Ribeiro in Curitiba.

Network

The firm has offices in São Paulo, Florianópolis and Curitiba.

Who uses it?

Its  clients include established financial institutions such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Brasil Plural Investment Bank and Asset Management, as well as investment funds such as Invista FIDC and XP Asset.

Recent events

As well as hiring Lopes from Cescon Barrieu, the firm also hired senior associate Guilherme França and associate Cibelis Rosa with him.

Lollato Lopes played a role  in the US$18 billion restructuring of telecoms company Oi from birth, after Lopes carried over from Cescon Barrieu his instruction on behalf of 27.5% shareholder Bratel, a subsidiary of Portuguese telecom company Pharol – though Cescon Barrieu remain instructed as well. Lopes persuaded Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice to grant jurisdiction to an independent arbitrator to resolve disputes against Oi, and the arbitrator went on to grant Bratel’s wish to enjoin Oi from implementing a US$1.2 billion capital raising effort. The firm eventually achieved a settlement to end its disputes with Oi in January 2019.

It is acting on the restructuring of Brazil’s Banco Cruzeiro do Sul, which went bankrupt in 2015 and whose former owners have been accused of fraud. The firm is acting on behalf of different groups of unsecured creditors including a pension fund and an ad hoc group of 200 victims of the alleged fraud, successfully subordinating a US$600 million claim by a credit guarantee fund after a challenge to the Court of Appeals.

The firm also represented food company Mateus Alimentos in its judicial reorganisation, in which it successfully obtained an injunction permitting it to seize 403 tons of rice a creditor was holding in Paraguay to serve as payment of its claim. It later won  compliance from the Paraguayan courts to enforce the decision and helping to organise cross-border cooperation between the Paraguayan and Brazilian courts through the countries’ respective justice ministries.