"Strong dedication to cases, significant legal knowledge and hands-on approach;" "experience, knowledge of the market and ability to explain Brazilian law and the most complicated cases to multinational banks;" "very eloquent, clear and patient."
Chambers Latin America

Overview

Leonardo Morato is the head of the firm´s Restructuring practice in Brazil. Being both a transactional lawyer and a strong litigator, he frequently handles sophisticated restructuring proceedings and highly complex litigation disputes, in court, out-of-court, and in arbitrations, and has strong experience in debt restructuring, distressed M&A, special situations cases (including DIP finance, loan-to-own transactions, acquisition and sale of distressed assets, and trade of claims), and guarantees/collaterals structures. He has a broad practice representing clients as creditors, investors, debtors, buyers, shareholders, bond trustees, bond holders, and bankruptcy trustees, in high-stakes restructuring cases such as Odebrecht, Oi, OAS, Schahin, OGX, OSX, Bertin, Infinity, Inepar, Independência, Celpa, Rede Energia, Agrenco, Arantes, among others. Leonardo has also been constantly advising clients in special situation cases, such as the DIP Finance and respective enforcement of the collaterals in the Independencia case, and distressed M&A deals involving different companies such as Arantes and JBS/J&F, Energias Brasil – ERB, and Imcopa. Clients in different industries trust Leonardo’s knowledge and ability to measure risks and identify the best solutions in any given transactional situation, as well as his experience and skills to conduct complex litigation matters.

Spoken Languages

  • Portuguese
  • English

Experience

  • Represented Bunge in the acquisition of two industrial plants within the scope of the in-court restructuring proceeding of Imcopa.
  • Represented AB Concessões and Atlantia Group in connection with the Grupo Heber insolvency proceedings.
  • Represented Concessionaria Rio Mais (re. Olympic games park) in restructuring its debts, contracts and liabilities before its debtors and shareholders.
  • Represented a client in a domestic arbitration (ICC) that discussed the validity of a port terminal sale after a creditor have enforced a share pledge agreement against a foreign affiliate of the Agrenco Group while the Brazilian bankruptcy proceedings were pending.
  • Represented The Bank of New York Mellon (trustee for 20 Billion bond issuances), and several bond holders, in Oi Telecom judicial reorganization.
  • Represented HSBC, the largest bank creditor to the bankruptcy of the OAS Group.
  • Represented Mizuho Bank, the largest bank creditor to the bankruptcy of the Schahin Group; and, later, in the same bankruptcy, representation of the three assignees, Deutsche Bank, and the funds VR and QVT.
  • Represented Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Consultores Ltda. (as Bankruptcy Trustee) in the bankruptcy case (Chapter 11) of various groups, such as the OGX and OSX Groups; the Inepar Group; the Delbrás Group; the Novoespaço Group; and the Alumini Group.
  • Represented HSBC in the debt restructuring of Eneva.
  • Represented HSBC as the main creditor of and DIP lender to the Imcopa Group, and in a civil lawsuit seeking to pierce the corporate veil of Imcopa and hold Cervejaria Petrópolis Group liable for Imcopa’s indebtedness.
  • Represented a syndicate formed by four Banks (Credit Suisse, Santander, Banco Bradesco and Natixis) and two investment funds in an in-court sale of assets (collateral enforcement) in connection with the bankruptcy case (Chapter 11) of the Arantes Group.
  • Represented Portigon AG in the bankruptcy proceedings (Chapter 11 and subsequent Chapter 7) of the Agrenco Group.
  • Represented Banco Banestes (a Brazilian public bank) in the Bankruptcy case (Chapter 11) of the Infinity Group. Banco Banestes adopted a number of measures within the scope of the court-assisted reorganization, including appealing against the decision that confirmed the Reorganization Plan.
  • Represented LCC do Brasil Ltda. and Log-Star Navegação S.A. in their voluntary liquidation proceedings.
  • Represented Nestlé (DPA) as lessee of a major plant owned by LBR in the bankruptcy proceedings (Chapter 11) of the LBR Group.

Education

Pontifícia Universidade Católica, PhD, Corporate Law (in course)

Pontifícia Universidade Católica, LLM, with honors, Civil Procedure

Pontifícia Universidade Católica, Bachelor of Law (JD equivalent)

Harvard Business School, Leadership Program

Saint Paul Institute of Finance, Finance Program

Admissions

  • Brazil

Activities

  • Chairman of the Turnaround Management Association – TMA Brasil – from 2013 to 2015
  • Member of the board of Turnaround Management Association – TMA Brasil – since 2015
  • Director of the Board of Trustees of Turnaround Management Association – TMA Brasil
  • Director of the global board of INSOL International – from 2015 to 2017
  • Member of IBR – Instituto Brasileiro de Estudos de Recuperações de Empresas
  • Member of the Study Commission of Bankruptcy and Reorganization (Comissão de Direito Falimentar a Recuperacional) of IASP – Instituto dos Advogados de São Paulo.
  • Recognized at International Financial Law Review (IFLR)’s Americas Awards 2019, Global M&A Network’s 11th Annual Turnaround Atlas Awards and Latin Lawyer’s Deal of the Year Awards for advising on the Oi restructuring deal.
  • Recognized at Leaders League Brazil Best Counsel 2018 as Recommended and Highly Recommended in Bankruptcy and Litigation areas, in 2018 and 2019.
  • "He represents creditors and fights for their interests in a very forceful manner." - Chambers Latin America, ed. 2019
  • "Leonardo Morato, who is best known for insolvency expertise, but also does broader civil litigation too." Chambers Latin America 2018 - Litigation
  • "strong dedication to cases, significant legal knowledge and hands-on approach." Chambers Latin America 2018
  • "competes ferociously in proposals" Chambers Latin America 2017 - Bankruptcy
  • "very eloquent, clear and patient" Chambers Latin America 2017 - Bankruptcy
  • "experience, knowledge of the market and ability to explain Brazilian law and the most complicated cases to multinational banks" Chambers Latin America 2017 - Bankruptcy
  • "Tauil & Chequer now has a strong and busy restructuring practice after a large-scale lateral hire in early 2014" Latin Lawyer 250 2016 - Restructuring & Bankruptcy
  • "Litigation specialist with a notable track record" The Legal 500 2016 - Bankruptcy
  • "Morato is best known for insolvency expertise but also does broader civil litigation too." Latin Lawyer 250 2016 - Litigation
  • "tactical litigator" The Legal 500 2015 - Tax
  • Chambers & Partners Latin America - Bankruptcy/Restructuring - 2012, 2013, 2014
  • PLC Which Lawyer? Bankruptcy/Restructuring - 2012, 2013
  • INSOL International - 2013
  • Legal 500, Latin America - Bankruptcy and Restructuring - 2013