Domingos Refinetti ingressa no WZ Advogados

11 de junho de 2019

Fonte: Latin Lawyer

Stocche Forbes Advogados founding partner Domingos Fernando Refinetti is retiring from his firm to join Wongtschowski & Zanotta Advogados (WZ) in São Paulo as associated counsel.

Refinetti, until recently a partner at Stocche Forbes, has more than 40 years’ experience working on restructuring and insolvency matters, arbitration and mediation, compliance, consumer law, dispute resolution, and fraud and asset recovery.

He tells Latin Lawyer’s sister publication Global Restructuring Review (GRR) he is stepping down from Stocche Forbes after hitting his firm’s mandatory retirement age of 65. The move to WZ, a firm set up by former colleagues of his at Machado Meyer Advogados, “came almost naturally”.

Refinetti says he will focus on special situations in his new role, as well as work as an arbitrator and mediator and on “strategic lawsuits” for close clients.

WZ Advogados founding partner Vânia Wongtschowski welcomed Refinetti in a statement on 10 June: “The experience he gained for having worked for many years in large firms and in various areas of law is an extremely precious asset and we value it deeply,” she said.

Wongtschowski says Refinetti will help develop the firm’s restructuring practice, “allowing WZ to serve our clients in all fronts and with impeccable quality”.

In 2016, Refinetti advised US distressed investor Zaff in the US$235 million workout of three subsidiaries of fertiliser company MBAC. The case was recognised in Canada, under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA).

He also advised bondholders in the two-year restructuring of Tonon Bioenergia, a sugar and ethanol maker. The case finished in July 2017 with the court-approved sale of two of Tonon’s sugar mills for 823 million Brazilian reais (US$260 million).

Refinetti started his legal training aged 17 at the University of São Paulo Law School, graduating in 1976. He joined Barros Machado e Meyer, the firm which later became Machado Meyer.

After four years, Refinetti left to join lock manufacturing company Papaiz Indústria e Comércio as in-house counsel. He spent nearly two decades there before returning to Machado Meyer as a partner in its litigation and labour practices.

He remained a partner there for 15 years, eventually joining the founders of Stocche Forbes Padis Filizzola Clápis Passaro Meyer e Refinetti, in what he called “a case story in terms of success in the legal business”.

Refinetti says he has worked “in basically all relevant, important and international cases that happened in Brazil in the last 20 years”. His clients have included creditors and investors, financial institutions, funds, bondholders and noteholders.

Stocche Forbes partner Guilherme Forbes tells Latin Lawyer’s sister publication Global Restructuring Review Refinetti “has been instrumental in helping us develop into a leading player in Brazil”.

“One of Mr Refinetti’s many contributions was in structuring a very capable and cohesive team, all of whom remain with the firm, and in grooming an outstanding successor in (partner) Guilherme Gaspari Coelho,” Forbes adds. “Our partners have all wished Mr Refinetti every success in his new endeavours, and expressed our deep gratitude and appreciation for his contribution and friendship over the past almost seven years.”

Forbes says that, looking ahead, Coelho and Stocche Forbes’ head of litigation Rafael Pássaro will handle insolvency proceedings for the firm, while he and partner Henrique Filizzola will lead the transactional side of its restructuring work, backed by the firm’s other partners and associates.

“We do not anticipate hiring any replacement for Mr Refinetti,” Forbes adds.

Refinetti was a speaker at the Latin Lawyer-GRR Restructuring Conference in New York last June, where he appeared on a panel on debtor-in-possession financing. He discussed the cultural issues that often prevent distressed companies in Brazil from finding new finance, including the stigma that still follows an insolvency filing locally.