A source reports: "Michel is knowledgeable of domestic and foreign compliance legislation," adding that "he is very skilled assisting with due diligence for M&A."

Chambers Latin America 2021


Michel Sancovski is a co-head of Mayer Brown’s Global Investigations & White Collar Defense practice. He focuses on corporate compliance and anti-corruption matters, and his experience includes advising in anti-corruption compliance cases, taking into account local and foreign laws; coordinating highly complex major investigations; developing, reviewing and implementing compliance programs; and assisting with anti-corruption due diligences in third parties and in the context of M&A transactions and IPOs. He has particular experience handling cases in Latin America, mainly in Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina.

Michel has also great experience in government enforcement, particularly in the defense of administrative and judicial cases originating from the application of several anti-corruption laws, as well as in the negotiation of settlements and in cooperation with regulators and authorities in Brazil and in the US.

Michel is an officer at IBRADEMP, co-chair of the Anti-Corruption and Compliance committee of this renowned institute and guest professor at several institutions.

Michel co-led and coordinated Petrobras’s internal investigation under the Operation “Lava Jato”, which is deemed one of the world’s largest investigations. In 2023, he has been shortlisted for The Legal 500 Brazil Awards and is running for the Lawyer of The Year in the Compliance area.

Lenguajes Hablados

  • Portuguese
  • English
  • Spanish


Key matters/cases:

  • Co-led the Petrobras independent internal investigation into bribery allegations involving the state-controlled oil company, which has been deemed one of the world’s largest investigations. He occupied a prominent position involving the interaction with the Special Committee of the investigation, the company’s Board of Directors, Brazilian authorities (Public Prosecutor’s Office in São Paulo, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro, the CVM – Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Ministry of Transparency and Comptroller General of Brazil – CGU), and US authorities (U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission).
  • Represented the majority shareholder of two Brazilian infrastructure companies on the negotiations of a leniency agreement with the Lava Jato Task Force in Curitiba (Federal Prosecutors' Office) which ended up with the companies paying over BRL 1 billion.
  • Led a large internal investigation of potential irregularities regarding investments made by a subsidiary of one of the largest Brazilian energy companies, as well as assisting in the elaboration and implementation of the remediation plan. The investigation included over 50 employees and its result could have impacted on the disclosure of the company's financial statements in Brazil and in the U.S.  The work also included interactions with several Brazilian authorities, including CVM, TCE-PR, MP-PR and the Police. Shadow investigation has been conducted by two Big 4s that ended up comfortable with the results of the internal investigation and the company was able to publish its financial statements on time. The company is listed on BM&FBovespa (now B3) and on the NYSE.
  • Led over 20 internal investigations related to facts, allegations, and possible irregularities reported internally for an international chemical company, including recommendations in connection with these investigations for improvements to the Company on a compliance perspective, as well as addressing several issues brought directly by the Compliance Department and external stakeholders.
  • Led a large internal investigation for a Brazilian infrastructure company in the central-west region of Brazil regarding certain allegations of corruption and embezzlement resulting from an operation conducted by the Brazilian Federal Police, including advisory aiming to remediate and improve the Company's Anticorruption and Compliance program. The services also included legal assistance to the Investigation Committee to deal with the findings of the investigation, as well as interacting with authorities and the auditing firm responsible for certifying the company's financial statements.
  • Provided strategic legal assistance and advice on anti-corruption & compliance issues to an Asian trading and investment company regarding potential implications to the business of a Brazilian company in view of the allegations faced of potential compliance violations discovered under an operation from the Brazilian Federal Police to investigate a former Brazilian president.
  • Led a cross-border independent internal investigation of an international company leader in the fields of medical and safety technology, as well as cooperation and negotiation of leniency agreements with the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rio de Janeiro (MPF/RJ).
  • Led two independent internal investigations in the Brazilian subsidiary of a US technology multinational related to potential improper payment to public agents in Brazil and possible self-dealing / embezzlement on the part of one or more sales employees.
  • Led an independent internal investigation into the Brazilian subsidiary of a multinational company in the food and beverage industry regarding certain allegations related to improper payments connected to “Operation Weak Flesh”.
  • Led an independent internal investigation into the Brazilian subsidiary of a multinational company in the beverage industry related to sponsorships made to a company owned by an individual involved in “Operation Zealots”.
  • Led the risk assessment and implementation of the Compliance Program in a multinational automotive manufacturer.


University of California, Berkeley School of Law, LLM, Master of Laws Degree with the Business Law Certificate

Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV/SP), Post-graduate law-specialization diploma

Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Bachelor of Law (JD equivalent)



  • Brazil


  • Guest professor at IBGC (Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance), Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Curitiba, and São Paulo.
  • Director at IBRADEMP (Brazilian Institute of Corporate Law), São Paulo
  • Ambassador of ComplianceLab-Mack, Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie Law School, São Paulo.
  • Member, Permanent Commission on Studies about Compliance, Instituto dos Advogados de São Paulo – IASP (Sao Paulo Lawyers Institute), São Paulo.
  • Berkeley Law Ambassador in Brazil, São Paulo.
  • Member of the Brazilian Bar Association, São Paulo.
  • Recognized at Chambers Brazil 2022 as Up and Coming in Compliance practice area.
  • “Excellent” up-and-coming partner Michel Sancovski is admired by clients, who say: “He is extremely dedicated, technical and competent in his delivery.” Another interviewee remarks: “Michel is a recognised specialist and possesses in-depth knowledge of the technical and market matters involving compliance and investigations.” He often assists clients with internal investigations and compliance programmes. – Chambers Brazil, ed. 2022
  • Recognized at Legal 500 Latin America 2023 as Next Generation Partner in Compliance.
  • 'The Tauil & Chequer team associated with Mayer Brown demonstrates extensive technical expertise in the issues involved. I also highlight the ability to manage expectations demonstrated by the lead partner of the work, Michel Sancovski, who always communicates and aligns expectations in a very clear way, both within the work team and with the client. Out of all the firms I’ve worked with, TCMB is definitely my favourite, working with them is always very easy, the rules of the game are very clear and the communication very efficient.’ – The Legal 500, ed. 2023
  • Michel Sancovski, Maria Eugenia Kanazawa and Marcelo Ramos Leite stand out.’ – The Legal 500, ed. 2023
  • ‘In my opinion, it is one of the best compliance teams in Brazil, in particular because of the leadership of Michel Sankovski. The team is extremely experienced and capable. It managed to achieve unique results, signing complex agreements with authorities that would hardly have happened if it were not for the mastery of the team led by Michel Sankovski.’ – The Legal 500, ed. 2023
  • ‘Michel Sancovski is one of the best compliance lawyers in the country. Extensive experience in the most complex transnational anti-corruption cases. He is an elite anti-corruption law professional with unique knowledge and experience.’ – The Legal 500, ed. 2023
  • ‘This is a well-known international law firm with strong activity in Brazil. Their main asset is Michel Sancovsky who has unique experience in complex cases in Brazil both regarding local and international contingencies and enforcement authorities.’ – The Legal 500, ed. 2023
  • ‘Michel Sancovski has the knowledge and calmness of a seasoned attorney while still being comparatively young. This allows him to understand and manage the most sophisticated cases.’ – The Legal 500, ed. 2023
  • A source reports: "Michel is knowledgeable of domestic and foreign compliance legislation," adding that "he is very skilled assisting with due diligence for M&A." - Chambers Global, ed. 2021
  • ‘Michel Sancovski: Very solid professional, good in dealing with clients and good persuasion and negotiation skills.‘ – The Legal 500, ed. 2021
  • A source reports: "Michel is knowledgeable of domestic and foreign compliance legislation," adding that "he is very skilled assisting with due diligence for M&A." - Chambers Latin America, ed. 2021
  • “Michel Sancovski, from the São Paulo office, is recognized for his 'great conviction and negotiating skills'.” - The Legal 500, ed. 2020
  • Recommended in Compliance. – Leaders League, ed. 2020, 2021 and 2022
  • Recognized with solid endorsement from market observers, who describe him as "a very well-prepared and responsive lawyer." A client adds: "He is very technical and a leader." – Chambers Global, ed. 2020
  • "(…) represents the firm's multinational and domestic clients in internal investigations, leniency agreements and administrative enforcement." - The Legal 500, ed. 2019
  • Recognized with solid endorsement from market observers, who describe him as "a very well-prepared and responsive lawyer." Client says: "He is very technical and a leader." - Chambers Latin America, ed. 2020
  • Listed in the WWL: Investigations – Future Leaders 2019, 2020 and 2021, a research conducted by Who’s Who Legal (WWL) and Global Investigations Review (GIR). - Who's Who Legal, ed. 2019, 2020 and 2021.