Newly formed Brazilian firm Costa & Lasalvia Advogados (CAL) has hired Felipe Bonsenso, formally of Pinheiro Neto Advogados, as a partner in its Sao Paulo office.

Bonsenso, who took up his new post on 1 November, focuses his practice on finance and regulatory matters in the aviation sector well as project finance, capital markets and corporate law.

Felipe Bonsenso

While at Pinheiro Neto he worked alongside partner Adolpho Julio de Carvalho on LATAM Airlines’ US$1.3 billion enhanced equipment trust certificate issuance in 2015. The deal was the first of its kind in Latin America to be backed by aircraft assets and made LATAM one of only six carriers outside the US to use such a structure.

Bonsenso interned at Brazilian firms Levy & Salomão and Lobo & de Rizzo before joining Pinheiro Neto in 2010.

He told ALN that he was attracted to CAL’s “unique offering for aviation and insurance clients in Brazil”, adding that no other law firm in the country has “such significant expertise and experience in this area”.

The firm was formed in June 2018 by a breakaway group of insurance lawyers from Tauil & Chequer Advogados in cooperation with Mayer Brown, led by partner Julio Costa. Last month, CAL formally began its cooperation agreement with UK law firm HFW, which Bonsenso says “gives its clients access to the world’s leading aviation practice”, he noted, with lawyers spread around the globe.

At CAL, he will work alongside HFW’s London-based global aviation group leader Giles Kavanagh as well as partner Adam Shire on broader finance-related matters.

As aviation becomes more global, “firms need to have that international capability to provide the best service to clients”, Bonsenso said. “I was also very attracted to CAL and HFW’s sector-focused approach – aviation is at the very core of their business, so they have a deep understanding of the industry and really know what will work best for clients”.

Pinheiro Neto could not be contacted for comment.