GOUVÊA VIEIRA Advogados (GVA) was founded in the early 1930's, when João Pedro Gouvêa Vieira established his law firm based on a commitment to professionalism and excellence, dedicated to practices integral to law, with emphasis on tax and commercial law.
GVA has evolved over time, modernizing its management, relentlessly dedicated to its mission with the same entrepreneurship as the one undertaken by its founder.
The firm has all the resources required for dealing with legal issues, regardless of their complexity. These resources are geared towards the needs of the business community, to whom our firms are ready to provide an extensive and legitimate service. Our customer base includes Brazilian and foreign companies, to which we offer a wide range of domestic and international services for transactions in the areas of planning, consulting and litigation.
Our legal team consists of lawyers and consultants skilled in diverse areas of law, working seamlessly with the support of trainees and interns so as to ensure that expertise developed in every field is competently accessed and applied, as may be required in each case.
The firm is equipped with modern technology and infrastructure designed specifically for the legal profession. Our comprehensive library caters with maximum efficiency as may be required for all subject matters.
In order to ensure that our clientele receives complete legal coverage in geographical terms, we have developed a network of correspondents and associates both in Brazil and abroad, with whom we maintain a smooth and steady interaction.
The history of Gouvêa Vieira Advogados merges with that of its founder, João Pedro Gouvêa Vieira. Having initially worked with José Thomaz Nabuco, Gouvêa Vieira soon formed his own firm bringing together the top talent of the time, young lawyers united towards the common goal of furnishing new companies arising in the burgeoning capitalist movement in Brazil with legal support. From the beginning, GV collaborated in the establishment of new businesses in public and private sectors, enhancing the business life of the country and engaging in its economic development. During this period, GV took part in the nationalization of the first oil refinery in Brazil, long before the national debate on oil production began.
The end of the Second World War entailed the legacy of a strong alliance between Brazil and the United States. The world was reorganized and, in Brazil, economic liberalism gained strength, finally ending the “Estado Novo”, a centralized and authoritarian policy maintained by former president Getulio Dornelles Vargas. Trade between the previously allied countries intensified, and in the golden age of navigation when communication began to impose a revolution that would create a new world order, Gouvêa Vieira played an active role consulting with foreign telegraph companies and attending to the legal affairs of the three largest navigation companies existing at the time: The British Royal Mail, The French Chargeurs Reunis and The Societa Italiana di Navigazione. Gouvêa Vieira also handled the legal affairs of the port of Rio de Janeiro. However, Gouvêa Vieira’s outstanding achievement in this decade was the guidance he provided in 1945 for the incorporation of Credit Lyonnais, the first foreign-owned bank based in Brazil. This model was followed not only by all foreign banks seeking to enter the country, but also banks currently existing in Brazil. Thereafter, Gouvêa Vieira established a strong customer base of French companies operating in Brazil.
The National Bank for Economic Development (BNDE) was founded in 1952, in order to finance products related to infrastructure. Besides assisting in drafting its statute, Gouvêa Viera became member of its first Board of Directors. In order to expedite the industrialization of Brazil, President Juscelino Kubitschek launched the "Plano de Metas" (“Target Plan”) with the motto "50 years in 5". This period saw the outset of the car industry, the development of industry, and numerous construction projects. GVA was then active in all these sectors, besides providing assistance in the purchase of a subsidiary distribution network from Gulf Oil Corporation. The subsidiary was purchased by Companhia Brasileira de Petroleo Ipiranga, a company that was to become Brazil’s foremost petroleum distributor.
During this decade, when Brazilian economy was no longer predominantly rural, the country witnessed rapid urbanization, and GVA was active from the beginning of the cycle of import substitution and technology transfer. In 1962, the Profit Remittance act was passed, requiring registration of foreign capital entry with retroactive effect. GVA recovered documents for its clients that had been brought into the country during the last century, thereby enabling foreign entities to exist in Brazil. During this period, modern glass industry started, along with the development of cement and pharmaceutical industries, and the first tourist resorts began to operate. Tuned in with this prosperous expansion, not only did GVA provide services to the aforementioned sectors, but also assisted in the incorporation of Pólo Petroquímico de Camaçari, a petrochemical plant.
The result of the economic miracle during this decade was exceptional, and the GDP leaped by almost 10% a year. Brazil became the world center of investment, and foreign investment flowed heavily into the country. GVA followed alongside the changes mandated by the government, creating the legal engineering for foreign loans, furthering the subway system and the growth of insurance companies by adjusting their activities to the new laws and pointing to new business paths. GVA also took part in the financing of major state projects such as Companhia Vale do Rio Doce and Petrobrás. In the mining industry, the firm worked on legislation dealing with mining concessions.
More than ever, the corporate sector required and relied on a legal partner, in this period of restructuring, with soaring inflation and new economic plans and the resulting breach of contracts. Ahead of this tough environment, Gouvêa Vieira Advogados became partner in capital markets, investment banks and brokerages. The New Corporations Act counted on the firm’s contribution. GVA partner Jorge Hilário Gouvêa Vieira took part in founding the Securities and Exchange Commission as its first director (1977-1979) and then became its second president (1979-1981). The firm offered the market expertise in this segment. Banking law and the issue of securities for Brazilian companies was the big deal of the time and the most sought-after expertise of the firm. The business trend then pointed towards globalization, and GVA opened its branch in Paris under the direction of Maria Isabel Neves Garcia dos Santos Nivault. In 1994, partner Antonio Alberto Gouvêa Vieira was elected president of the French Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, remaining in this post until 1997. Partner Carlos Mafra de Laet was appointed deputy-member of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. Lawyers comprising GVA then bestow their expertise upon the academic sector, form the administration bodies of private companies and play a significant role in the government.
Gouvêa Vieira Advogados continues its expansion project in Brazil and abroad, building solid partnerships with other law firms to offer its clients a countrywide network for full legal service, according to the characteristics specific to each region. Abroad, having established its firm in Paris, GVA initiated contacts with Spain, one of the largest foreign investors in Brazil. Seven decades of experience have led the firm to steadily engage in seeking new directions for building an economically potent country with solid legal foundations.
Inspired by over seventy years history of which to be proud, GVA continues to lay a pathway of effective legal counseling, based on strict ethical principles and expertise developed by its team. The spirit driving GVA is to perpetuate through its lawyers the same values as those nurtured by its founder.