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HFW Cooperation Firm Merges To Create Brazil’s Largest Insurance Law Boutique

2 May 2023

HFW cooperation firm Costa & Albino Sociedade de Advogados (CAL) has merged with DR&A Advogados to create Brazil’s top insurance and reinsurance law firm.

The new firm, known as Costa, Albino & Rocha Sociedade de Advogados (CAR), brings together CAL’s preeminent aviation insurance practice and DR&A’s market-leading insurance offering, including financial lines, P&C and surety bonds disputes, as well as regulatory and transactional work.

With 11 partners and more than 30 lawyers in total, it is Brazil’s largest insurance law boutique.

CAR will maintain CAL’s existing cooperation agreement with HFW – a leading global law firm in the aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance, and shipping sectors, which is ranked by Chambers in the top tier for insurance in Latin America – enabling it to offer seamless local and international advice.

Together, CAR and HFW are uniquely placed to advise clients in Brazil and throughout Latin America on complex international insurance and reinsurance coverage disputes; high-value aviation claims; insurance adjustment, coverage, and defence; and transactional and regulatory insurance.

Christopher Foster, Global Head of Insurance, HFW:

“The merger between CAL and DR&A creates what is unquestionably the leading insurance and reinsurance practice in Brazil, and we are looking forward to working together with the newly expanded team at CAR to continue to provide first-class legal services to the sector throughout Latin America.”

Jeremy Shebson, Managing Partner, HFW:

“HFW has a long history of supporting clients in Brazil and throughout Latin America, with our global core sectors closely aligned to the economic drivers of the region. As the market’s preeminent aviation practice, we have advised on every major loss in Brazil over the past 20 years, and also have decades of experience in the region across commodities, energy, oil and gas, insurance, and shipping.”

CAL and DR&A are both recognised as market leaders by legal directories Chambers and The Legal 500.

CAL is ranked as a leading practice in both aviation and insurance, with client testimonials in Chambers describing the firm as “the first choice for complex liability cases – the firm’s expertise in this area is unparalleled”, and Senior Partner Julio Costa as “the best insurance litigation lawyer in Brazil”.

DR&A is ranked by The Legal 500 in the top tier for insurance and has more partners recognised by the directory for insurance advice in Brazil than any other law firm, with Dinir Rocha in the ‘Hall of Fame’, Julia Santoro named as a leading individual, Carolina Oger and Ricardo Loew listed as ‘next generation’ partners, and Marcelo Belluci also highlighted. The Legal 500 says that DR&A is “stacked with highly qualified professionals specialised in the issues inherent to the insurance and reinsurance market”, and describes Dinir as a “major figure in the market”. DR&A was named insurance law firm of the year at The Legal 500 Brazil Awards 2021.

The merger is subject to the usual regulatory approval.

About CAL

CAL was founded in 2018 by the insurance team from Brazilian law firm Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown. It is Brazil’s leading aviation practice, with extensive experience advising clients throughout Latin America on crisis management, multi-jurisdictional litigation, claims handling, and regulatory matters. Partners Julio Costa and Fernando Albino are widely regarded as Brazil’s top aviation lawyers.

The firm acts for clients across the insurance and reinsurance sectors in Brazil, and also has industry expertise in areas including commodities, shipping, and energy.

CAL has five partners and 13 lawyers in total, based in offices in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

About DR&A

São Paulo insurance boutique DR&A was established in 2013 by specialist teams from Brazilian law firms Mattos Filho and Azevedo Sette. It comprises six partners and 20 lawyers in total, led by Senior Partner Dinir Rocha, one of Brazil’s top insurance lawyers.

DR&A is Brazil’s leading practice in financial lines disputes, including D&O, E&O and surety. The firm has dealt with more than 5,000 claims over the past decade, representing Brazilian and international insurers and brokers in liability claims, coverage disputes, recovery actions, and arbitrations.

The firm also has a strong non-contentious practice working for insurers, reinsurance brokers, insurtechs, and insureds in relation to corporate, regulatory bancassurance and transactional matters in Brazil.