GRR 100 2020

Lollato Lopes Rangel Ribeiro Advogados

Lollato Lopes Rangel Ribeiro Advogados

Professional notice

A Brazilian boutique exclusively devoted to restructuring and insolvency

Global heads of restructuring and insolvency:Felipe Lollato and Tiago Lopes
Partners in restructuring team:5
Active cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters:3

History of the practice

Lollato Lopes Rangel Ribeiro Advogados was established by founding partner Ney Douglas Bello in 1960. The firm rebranded as Bello & Lollato when Ney's son Leandro took over the reins at the end of the 20th century and invited Felipe Lollato into the fold. In 2018, the firm rebranded once again, following the hire of Tiago Lopes from Cescon Barrieu Flesch & Barreto.

The firm has focused exclusively on restructuring and insolvency work for more than 30 years. The 2018 rebrand saw it open up into Brazil's financial and legal centre of São Paulo for the first time, marking a shift in focus to more international work after previously practising 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, Curitiba and Caçador.

Who uses it?

Lollato Lopes' 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.

Historic track record

Lollato Lopes played a role in the US$18 billion restructuring of telecoms company Oi from the beginning, after Lopes carried over from Cescon Barrieu his instruction on behalf of 27.5% shareholder Bratel, a subsidiary of Portuguese telecoms company Pharol (Cescon Barrieu was also instructed). 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.

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 that 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 helped to organise cross-border cooperation between the Paraguayan and Brazilian courts through the countries' respective justice ministries.

Recent events

Lollato Lopes 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's clients in the restructuring include a pension fund and an ad hoc group of 200 victims of the alleged fraud; and it has already successfully subordinated a US$600 million claim by a credit guarantee fund after a challenge to Brazil's Court of Appeals.

The firm is also counsel to construction group Thá, which is under judicial reorganisation with debts of US$70 million.

Another construction client is Casaalta Construções, which builds government-subsidised homes. Despite Casaalta entering into judicial reorganisation proceedings, it has benefited from its loan facility from a public bank being kept in place - a rarity in Brazil - which has allowed it to continue building homes during the proceedings.

In terms of personnel, Lollato Lopes added Maurício Souza from Concórdia Administradora, Isabela Almeida from Yarshell e Camargo and Beatriz Felitte from Laspro Consultores to its São Paulo office. The firm also hired Amauri Junior from Poletto & Possamai Sociedade de Advogados in Curitiba; and Rafael Campigotto from Baccin Advogados Associados in Florianópolis.

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 offices in different regions of Brazil and has gathered experience on cross-border matters and litigation insolvency-related matters, in both middle-market and high-profile cases.

Our firm has a strong story representing companies in the bankruptcy process, with more than 200 restructuring cases on behalf of debtors. We are proud that the majority of our clients negotiated their debts and began to be profitable institutions again. Recent ongoing cases involve “Grupo Thá”, established in 1895 and one of the oldest and most important construction groups in Brazil, as well as the Brazilian branch of a multinational pharmaceutical group.
We have worked with clients of several economic sectors, such as banking institutions, telecom, real estate, agribusiness, among others. Our firm also advises local and international investors, shareholders and creditors in bankruptcy proceedings and distressed transactions.

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. It is our view that all cases should be personally handled by the partners so that their experience is applied to all aspects of the cases. This allows us to treat our clients with a strategic approach that goes beyond just the normal legal handing of a typical restructuring case. By that, we mean being involved in transactions that run parallel, not just to the legal work but to the business itself, such as securing new money, assets sales, and corporate restructuring.

Main areas

In court and out-of-court restructurings, 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 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.

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