Brazil Law Firm WFaria Gearing Up for Huge Internal Investigations Case

Energy Giant Eletrobras Probing Possible Violations of U.S. and Brazilian Anti-Corruption Laws

Nov 03, 2015, 10:43 ET from WFaria Advogados

SAO PAULO, Nov. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In the aftermath of implementation of Brazil's new, strict Anti-Corruption Law (Clean Companies Act), Eletrobras, the state-owned energy company recently initiated an internal investigation into alleged corrupt practices within three Amazonian dam projects and a nuclear power plant.

The aggregate project value exceeds $5 billion. In question are violations of Brazilian and U.S. anti-corruption laws, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). To investigate, Eletrobras hired the law firms Hogan Lovells and WFaria Advogados.

A commission headed by former Brazilian Supreme Federal Court Justice Ellen Gracie will report the findings to Brazilian authorities, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

WFaria, a corporate firm headquartered in Sao Paulo, was brought in by Hogan Lovells for their expertise in internal investigations under Brazilian law. The firm has the largest practice in Brazil dedicated to Risk, Governance, Compliance and Internal Investigations. "Our attorneys have deep knowledge of not only the Brazilian anti-corruption laws, but also of FCPA and FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act)," explains Wilson De Faria, senior partner of the Firm and co-coordinator of the investigations project. "We frequently help our national and international clients implement procedures for compliance with the wide number of bribery and tax laws Brazil has enacted."  

In Brazil, only locally admitted attorneys are allowed to counsel on Brazilian law. Therefore it is necessary for foreign firms to work with Brazilian firms such as WFaria on cases involving possible violations of Brazilian laws. Also, only certain local firms have resources necessary to conduct such an intensive investigation and document review that may involve sifting through thousands of documents and emails. WFaria has dedicated 35 attorneys to the risk, governance and compliance practice.

Alessandra Gonsales, partner of the firm and co-coordinator of the investigation, leads the Compliance & Investigations Practice practice with partner Thiago Hohl. He organizes the largest compliance event in South America, the "International Congress of Compliance & Regulatory International Summit", co-sponsored by Thomson Reuters.

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Eletrobras, a NYSE traded company (EBR), controls most energy generation and transmission projects in Brazil. The investigation will include subsidiaries including Eletronuclear, Eletronorte, Jirau and Montes Belos.


Andrew Blum

AJB Communications, 917-783-1680


SOURCE WFaria Advogados