São Paulo-based firm Barretto Ferreira & Brancher – Sociedade de Advogados is continuing to develop its newly-launched energy team with the addition of two specialists.

On November 6, the firm launched an energy practice under the leadership of energy specialist Leonardo Lerner, former general counsel at Comgas, Brazil's largest gas distributor.

Matthew Evans and Mauricio Jayme e Silva will round out the team as an independent senior consultant and a senior associate, respectively.

Currently practicing out of London, Evans will be based in São Paulo effective January 1. For nine months prior to joining BKBG, Evans served as interim general counsel for Element Power where his brief included all legal issues affecting a private equity-backed renewable energy company, particularly project development, financing, and M&A. Evans also spent nearly 16 years at BG as chief counsel, advising on all aspects of the company’s global business, from upstream and LNG matters to M&A, project development, and compliance. Following his relocation, Evans will provide consultancy services in collaboration with BKBG as an independent lawyer/consultant, working within a framework of local regulations pertaining to business consultancy and legal practice.

Evans told IFLR1000 that his experience at BG and Element Power have given him critical expertise from the international energy environment to assist clients in Brazil.

“Structures and solutions which I have worked on in other locations could be adapted for use in Brazil,” he said. “This could be for the development and financing of upstream and LNG projects from my time at BG Group as well as renewables projects from my time at Element Power.”

According to Evans, Brazil’s energy market is expanding and in turn is producing increasing volumes of work for lawyers.

“There is the need to develop projects from new energy sources for the country, such as renewables, to enable it to diversify away from hydropower,” he said. “Similarly the exploration and production of oil and gas from the Santos basin and other hydrocarbon basins is producing work in terms of project development and contracting as well as transportation and sales and mergers and acquisitions. BKBG expects to see an increased deal flow from the government’s increased use of public private partnerships at the federal and state level to fund infrastructure projects in the energy sector.”

Jayme e Silva is rejoining the firm after spending four years studying in the United States. He graduated in Banking, Corporate, and Finance Law (LL.M.) from Fordham Law School, and has been a visiting scholar at Columbia Law School. He also holds a Master’s Degree in administrative law from Universidade de São Paulo and a Bachelor’s Degree from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo. He has over a decade of experience in areas such as administrative and regulatory law, infrastructure financing, and public procurement.