GRR 100 2019

Lollato Lopes Rangel Ribeiro

Professional notice

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.

A boutique firm with a sole focus on restructuring and insolvency areas, we provide a high level of attention in delivering strategical and innovative solutions for our clients.

Well-established for 30 years, our firm has four offices in different regions of Brazil and has gathered experience on cross-border matters and litigation insolvency-related matters, in both mid-market and high-profile cases.

Our firm has sought to capitalise on its expertise and begin to take advantage of the increasing international business opportunities. In August 2018, we took on a new partner, Tiago Lopes. Previously a partner at Cescon Barrieu, he brought to the firm an extensive and successful track record working on cross-border cases and complex litigation matters. This new partnership allowed the firm to rebrand to Lollato Lopes Rangel Ribeiro, with a new office in São Paulo. As soon as this was completed two significant cross-border cases were assigned to the firm: first, the Oi restructuring, representing Portuguese telecom company Pharol SPGS (through its subsidiary Bratel), Oi’s biggest shareholder and one of the key players of the restructuring; and second, the liquidation of Brazilian bank Banco Cruzeiro do Sul, representing the biggest Brazilian creditor.

The team is highly specialised in insolvency, judicial/extrajudicial reorganisation, as well as strategic litigation and arbitration. We have a solid reputation in being always ready to seek the best strategy for the client based on efficiency and personalised service.

Main areas

In court and out-of-court restructurings and liquidations, including diagnosis and definition of the best strategy to be adopted, considering the indebtedness profile of each client, representation of the company in negotiations with creditors or in cases of judicial or extrajudicial reorganisation, as well as preparation and negotiation of restructuring plans.

Special credit situations and distressed transactions, where we advise our clients towards investment opportunities in the credit market, especially sale and acquisition of distressed assets such as precatórios, non-performing loans, litigation credit rights and real estate assets.

Corporate litigation and arbitration, especially judicial disputes and arbitrations related to commercial contracts, corporate matters and capital market, as well as banking and insolvency-related litigation. We are also active in conducting pre-litigation negotiations and definition of strategy.

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