Latest updates

Appellate court rules that subrogated insurers assume same rights and limitations as assureds
Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Brazil
  • 17 July 2019

A recent Sao Paulo State Appellate Court case concerned a carriage of goods by sea from Port Everglades (United States) to the port of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). The court's decision sets an important precedent in recognising that subrogation cannot be used to reinstate a right that no longer applies where a rights holder fails to observe a legal requirement. Therefore, subrogated insurers assume the same rights and limitations as assureds.

Appellate court rules that subrogated insurers assume same rights and limitations as assureds
Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados
  • Insurance
  • Brazil
  • 16 July 2019

A recent Sao Paulo State Appellate Court case concerned a carriage of goods by sea from Port Everglades (United States) to the port of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). The court's decision sets an important precedent in recognising that subrogation cannot be used to reinstate a right that no longer applies where a rights holder fails to observe a legal requirement. Therefore, subrogated insurers assume the same rights and limitations as assureds.

Aircraft repossession: judiciary fails to uphold local law or Cape Town Convention
Basch & Rameh
  • Aviation
  • Brazil
  • 12 June 2019

Following developments earlier in 2019, aircraft repossession has continued to be in the spotlight – yet again with regard to the Oceanair Linhas Aéreas SA (commonly known as 'Avianca Brazil') bankruptcy and, in particular, the experience of lessors that sought repossession of leased aircraft therefrom. In this case, and contrary to Avianca Brazil's pre-bankruptcy experience, a bankruptcy court failed to uphold the express provisions of the Bankruptcy Law 2005 and the Cape Town Convention

Importance of contractual control in merger review
BMA Barbosa Mussnich Aragao
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Brazil
  • 06 June 2019

The Administrative Council for Economic Defence recently issued a decision on the definition of 'de facto control' under Brazilian competition law. While the decision establishes certain criteria that companies should consider when determining whether their contractual relationships with close partners may confer de facto control, these criteria are somewhat unclear and do not allow companies to assess, with sufficient certainty, whether an agreement should be subject to mandatory review.

Bill of lading limitation of liability clause accepted by Brazilian courts
Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Brazil
  • 29 May 2019

Bills of lading generally contain a provision that limits carriers' liability to a certain extent if goods are lost or damaged or other claims arise. Such limitation provisions can be used when a merchant fails to declare the cargo's value (which is often the case). A court recently confirmed that if a contracting party can declare its cargo's value in its bill of lading but chooses not to, the limitation of liability clause provided therein can be applied.

Declaration of Economic Freedom – impact on new and existing litigation
  • Litigation
  • Brazil
  • 21 May 2019

The Declaration of Economic Freedom was recently instituted by Presidential Provisional Measure 881/2019. Designed to curtail the state's undue interference in economic activities performed by individuals and companies, the law (which is subject to confirmation by Congress) is also expected to affect new and existing litigation, including the Civil Code. On its face, the Civil Code modification seems positive. However, it is unclear how the courts will react to these novelties.

Courts confirm claim for unpaid bunker constitutes lien and permits vessel arrest
Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Brazil
  • 08 May 2019

The Brazilian courts recently confirmed that unpaid debts for bunkers supplied to vessels are considered claims with a privileged nature under Brazilian law and thereby permit creditors to obtain security for any debts by arresting vessels in Brazilian ports. This case is one of the first precedents dealing with the application of the Liens Convention 1926 and grants legal safety for bunker suppliers and all other parties that hold credits of a privileged nature under Brazilian law.

Brazil adheres to Hague Service Convention
  • Litigation
  • Brazil
  • 30 April 2019

Serving companies and individuals in Brazil in connection with suits abroad has just become easier, as Brazil has formally adhered to the 1965 Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters. The convention should expedite both the summons of Brazilian parties involved in foreign proceedings and the service of parties abroad in connection with Brazilian litigation.

Price of litigating in Brazil: court-awarded attorneys' fees
  • Litigation
  • Brazil
  • 23 April 2019

In addition to contractual fees, winning attorneys are entitled to court-awarded attorneys' fees, which are determined using objective criteria. However, despite being relatively straightforward to calculate, some courts struggle to award attorneys' fees, particularly in disputes involving significant amounts. A recent Superior Court of Justice decision provides clarity in this regard and is likely to set the tone for future disputes regarding court-awarded attorneys' fees.

Technology's role in commercial contracts
  • Company & Commercial
  • Brazil
  • 22 April 2019

Simple legal transactions and contracts can often be completed at the click of a button. However, there are a growing number of investment rounds in start-ups based on Brazilian versions of Silicon Valley contracts that unfortunately have not benefited from the critical eye and practical expertise of experienced lawyers who can examine the contracts under Brazilian law.

Can you choose a foreign forum to decide your dispute? Yes, but…
  • Litigation
  • Brazil
  • 16 April 2019

The relatively new Civil Procedure Code specifically authorises parties to a contract to select a foreign jurisdiction to decide their disputes. Although the language of the code is straightforward, the lower courts are still debating whether the choice of a foreign jurisdiction would set aside the jurisdiction of the Brazilian courts. Until the Superior Court of Justice sheds some light in this regard, it will remain unclear whether Brazilian courts' jurisdiction can be set aside in favour of foreign courts.

Anti-corruption: legislative changes and enforcement
Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados
  • White Collar Crime
  • Brazil
  • 15 April 2019

Brazil has seen extensive legal changes and enforcement efforts against corruption over the past few years. As a result, local and multinational companies active in the region have increased their anti-corruption compliance efforts, particularly by introducing more frequent and comprehensive anti-corruption risk assessments and touchpoints with government entities and officials, as well as strengthening their anti-corruption compliance programmes.

CAM-CCBC settles 20-year dispute over largest container port in South America
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Brazil
  • 11 April 2019

A recent decision rendered by an arbitral tribunal constituted under the Centre for Arbitration and Mediation of the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada has ended a 20-year dispute over the largest container port in South America. The outcome of this arbitration is positive, as it demonstrates that Brazil's arbitral framework is well established and well functioning – even in disputes involving public administration.

Brazil takes first steps to comply with IMO's 2020 sulphur emissions cap
Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Brazil
  • 20 March 2019

In 2016 the International Maritime Organisation approved a reduction of the maximum amount of sulphur that can be contained in ships' fuel oil by January 2020. The National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels recently initiated a public hearing to obtain feedback on its proposal to amend Resolution 52/2010 in order to comply with the new requirements. Some parties expressed concerns about the changes, mainly due to the increase in costs in an already difficult economic environment.

New government measures to tackle corruption: does the buck stop here?
Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados
  • White Collar Crime
  • Brazil
  • 18 March 2019

Despite the steps taken by Brazil to fight corruption in recent years, it remains one of the main challenges for the country. Mindful of this, the new government – which came into power in 2018 on the back of its vow to fight corruption – has promised a series of measures to tackle the issue. The measures include toughening prison sentences for corruption-related crimes, separating investigations involving high-level officials and making illegal campaign donations a criminal offence.

Just desserts: CADE fines company for exclusivity practices in ice cream market
BMA Barbosa Mussnich Aragao
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Brazil
  • 07 March 2019

The Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE) tribunal recently fined Unilever R29.4 million for abusing its dominant position in the impulse ice cream (ie, ice cream for immediate consumption) market. According to CADE, Unilever had violated competition law by adopting different types of agreement with its points of sale, which had resulted in their de facto exclusivity to sell Unilever ice creams under the brand Kibon.

Stock options: local law and international accounting rules
BMA Barbosa Mussnich Aragao
  • Company & Commercial
  • Brazil
  • 25 February 2019

It is hardly surprising that Brazil's adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards did not mesh perfectly with the Corporations Law. This article discusses the reasons for this incongruity, including that the international accounting model draws more inspiration from common law systems than from Brazil's civil law tradition and the temporal distance between the Corporations Law (although it remains modern in spirit) and the accounting rules, which are constantly evolving.

CAM-CCBC award set aside due to alleged irregularities in arbitrators' appointments
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Brazil
  • 31 January 2019

The Superior Court of Justice recently upheld a Sao Paulo State Appellate Court decision which had set aside an arbitral award due to alleged irregularities during the formation of the arbitral tribunal in the context of a multi-party dispute. The Superior Court of Justice's decision confirms the appellate court's opinion that the proceeding which had been adopted to form the arbitral tribunal contravened public policy.

Brazilian enforcement in 2019: what to expect
Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados
  • White Collar Crime
  • Brazil
  • 21 January 2019

The new year started with a new government taking office. Naturally, this has led many to speculate what the government's priorities and policies will be. In particular, enforcement policies are receiving more attention than during previous inaugurations, largely due to the widespread corruption scandal following Operation Car Wash and the appointment of Sergio Moro (former lead judge overseeing Operation Car Wash) as the minister of justice.

Recent developments in aircraft repossession
Basch & Rameh
  • Aviation
  • Brazil
  • 16 January 2019

In respect of four aircraft that were recently repossessed before Avianca Brazil obtained bankruptcy protection, the Brazilian judiciary and civil aviation agency procedures worked reasonably well and Brazil's overall performance complied with its obligations under the Cape Town Convention. While all four aircraft were exported and de-registered within approximately two weeks, Brazilian customs authorities must still reassess the current export authorisation procedure.