The deal for social and environmental reparations after a 2019 accident appears to be the largest mediation agreement ever reached in Latin America.

By Amy Guthrie*

Three Brazilian law firms guided mining giant Vale to a $7 billion settlement with authorities in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, marking what appears to be the largest mediation agreement to date in Latin America. Azevedo Sette Advogados, one of the firms that assisted Vale, said local authorities had originally sought more than $10 billion in reparations for environmental and other damages caused by a 2019 dam rupture at the Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine. Azevedo Sette Advogados assisted Vale in a very high-profile case which involves the negotiation and drafting of a comprehensive environmental settlement agreement.

The Azevedo Sette team was led by partner Leonardo Lamego, head of the firm’s environment and mining practice, with assistance from Leonardo Farinha Goulart, an arbitration and litigation partner. Both partners are based in Belo Horizonte, which is the sixth-largest city in Brazil and capital of Minas Gerais state.

The mining firm also sought advice from Brazilian law firms Sérgio Bermudes and Santana de Vasconcellos, a Vale representative said.

*Amy Guthrie is Internationals Latin America correspondent, based in Mexico City.

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