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The first office in Brazil focused on natural resources and infrastructure, Schmidt Valois celebrates 15 years with expansion of operations and territory

11/26/2021 | 17h34
The first office in Brazil focused on natural resources and infrastructure, Schmidt Valois celebrates 15 years with expansion of operations and territory
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Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira & Agel Advogados, the first Brazilian law firm dedicated exclusively to natural resources and infrastructure, reaches its 15-year history in 2021. In celebration of the anniversary, the bank prepared two events, to be held on the 30th of November and December 7, at 5 pm, in the auditorium of the newly opened headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, located in the Humaitá district. They will have as background the debates “A historical vision and perspectives of upstream in Brazil” and “Renewables and Natural Gas: Opportunities and Challenges”, held one each day. The members of Schmidt Valois will moderate the meetings, which will include guests Adriano Pires, director of the Brazilian Center for Infrastructure (CBIE), Thiago Vasconcellos Barral, president of the Energy Research Company (EPE), David Zylbersztajn, professor at PUC -Rio and partner at DZ Negócios com Energia, among others. The office's 15 years are also marked by the expansion of the business to Brasília, with the opening of a base in the country's capital, and the entry of new partner Gustavo Mascarenhas, a specialist in Criminal Law, Elections and Compliance.


Founded in 2007, Schmidt Valois Advogados emerged when the oil industry was growing in Brazil. Founding partner Sonia Agel explains that the flexibilization of this sector — led by Petrobras, the consequent creation of regulatory agencies in 1997 and the enactment of the Petroleum Law — allowed the country to live a promising moment, attracting a significant number of companies and investments for the oil and natural gas exploration and production sectors. In this context, it was necessary to structure the service provided to companies in accordance with the new legal framework determined for this area. The processes of participation in the auctions held annually, the operations, contracts, M&A, regularization of Brazilian companies to participate in the processes and other activities inherent to the concession contracts made the operators of the law move to meet the numerous appeals of concessionaires and providers of service.


It was from this perspective that five lawyers with extensive experience in the oil sector, acquired in multinationals and in the federal public administration, decided to found Schmidt Valois. Considered a boutique office, the bank has a highly specialized team to work in the business, industrial, corporate, financial, regulatory, tax, energy, mining, sustainability, environment, water resources, sanitation, construction and operation of ports, terminals, platforms, vessels, real estate developments and roads.


In its 15 years of experience, Schmidt Valois Advogados has achieved national and international projection, providing legal services to national and foreign companies in projects in Brazil and throughout the Southern Cone. The recognized expertise of its professionals in the O&G and energy areas is constantly highlighted by the most prestigious international research institutes such as Chambers and Partners, Expert Guides, Finance Monthly, Who's Who Legal, LatinLawyer and Euromoney. Currently, with the political and economic changes imposed during this decade and a half, the firm has expanded its areas of activity to the most diverse operations related to M&A, renewable energies, civil and regulatory and labor litigation, becoming a full office. service.


In retrospect, founding partner Paulo Valois (photo) answered questions regarding the firm's last 15 years and the future of the business, which has a new headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, based in São Paulo, and expands its horizons to the capital federal.


How did you come up with the idea of creating the first Brazilian office focused especially on resources such as oil, natural gas and energy? 

We realized during the discussions that preceded the enactment of the Petroleum Law in Congress that the opening of the sector would bring substantial investments to Brazil, more specifically to the upstream sector. We also realized that there was no office in Latin America specifically dedicated to Energy issues, as in other more mature markets, such as Texas, where highly specialized local offices were already providing this service.


What has changed in these sectors since the founding of the SVMFA, in 2007, until now, in 2021? 

A lot has changed. Several bidding rounds were promoted by the ANP. The pre-salt has blossomed. Petrobras reduced its participation in the natural gas sector and promoted the divestment of assets that are not part of its core business. In this context, Brazilian law firms gained experience. The sectors started to demand very high legal sophistication in view of the challenges and opportunities arising from the process of global energy transition.


What are the main contributions of the office to the O&G and Energy sectors? 

Due to the experience and practical experience of more than 20 years in the O&G and energy sectors, with relevant participation during all this time in large M&A transactions and highly relevant legal issues, Schmidt Valois has become an opinion makers and reference market. Our positions on subjects serve as a beacon and contribute to the formation of relevant understandings for the development of the O&G and energy industry, in addition to functioning as a “safe haven” for the representation of private investments.


The office is in clear expansion, with a new headquarters in Rio, an office announcement in Brasília and a change of office in São Paulo. What is the formula for SVMFA to remain relevant and growing in these 15 years of history? 

Innovate and anticipate market movements. In the specific case of Brasília, we felt the need to have an office in the capital that would closely monitor the political scenarios, identifying risks for our clients and developing legal strategies to protect their interests.


With the arrival of the partner Gustavo Mascarenhas, and the new office in Brasília, do you intend to create new areas of the office? If yes, explain why.


The entry of Gustavo Mascarenhas opens up a world of opportunities and allows the firm to expand into new areas of Criminal Law, Compliance and Administrative.


What are the prospects for future plans for the office?

 Yes, we believe in the internationalization process and intend to pursue this objective.

Font: T&B Petroleum/Press Office
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