Pedro Freitas has extensive expertise advising clients on corporate governance and integrity, corporate law, mergers and acquisitions and infrastructure issues with exceptional industry knowledge in mining, construction, project finance, energy and natural resources gained from his years as in-house counsel.
Mr. Freitas began his legal career at Veirano Advogados in the Corporate Law practice group. He enhanced his experience working on debt moratoriums and corporate reorganizations in several Latin American countries while working for two years in Chicago at one of the largest global law firms. Shortly thereafter, he was recruited to work in 1985 at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Washington, D.C. where he advised on project finance, corporate restructuring, and negotiating equity investments around the globe for countries as diverse as Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, South Korea and Hungary. During his tenure at the IFC, Mr. Freitas developed a unique insight into international project finance from the financier’s perspective – a perspective that is highly valued by his clients today.
Enticed to return to Brazil, Mr. Freitas brought his significant global experience in project finance and restructuring to the Brazilian market. He served as general counsel at some of Latin America’s most recognized companies – Vale, Brazil Telecom and Odebrecht.
Mr. Freitas joined Odebrecht in 1991, first at the Holding Company to assist it in the Privatization Program of the petrochemical sector, and in 1992 moved to a General Counsel of their construction business where he was involved with regulatory law, public contracts, tenders, corporate finance, litigation strategic litigation and criminal law. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Portuguese and German subsidiaries of the company’s construction businesses. After six years, Mr. Freitas moved to the public concessions division of Odebrecht in charge of public private partnerships where he worked as legal counsel for the project developer and served as Director for project companies, deepening his knowledge of deal financing.
Brazil Telecomm recruited Mr. Freitas to serve as their General Counsel just as the Brazilian telecomm industry was undergoing privatization and consolidating nine state entities into one national company. He was responsible for innovations to the legal department for the new organization, establishing legal policies, developing a consumer practice and overseeing regulatory issues. For a brief period (6 months) Mr. Freitas also served as the company’s Human Resources Director. Mr. Freitas served as Secretary to the Board and worked in a number of acquisitions, gaining significant experience with challenges that in-house counsel face daily – a perspective that he employs when advising current clients.
Joining Vale as Global General Counsel in 2002, Mr. Freitas also served as Secretary to the Board. He managed a legal department of more than 120 international lawyers and quickly became an expert in mining law, including the transportation of raw materials. He also served as Director for related companies. While at Vale, Mr. Freitas oversaw several acquisitions in Brazil, Australia and Canada, and the establishment of a subsidiary in the Middle East. He was also closely involved with the company’s investments in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mozambique.
Returning to Veirano Advogados in 2009, Mr. Freitas continues to provide counsel to many of Brazil’s top companies and major global corporations. He is a highly sought-after international expert, bringing a global view of doing business in Brazil and a solution-based focus that is highly valued by in-house counsel, senior corporate executives and their boards due to his knowledge of the reality of life in corporate legal departments and the challenges faced by corporations with stakeholders.
Mr. Freitas was Managing Partner for 4 years (2012-2015) and he is currently a Member of its Board of Directors.
Mr. Freitas is a founding member, Vice- President of Instituto Innovare, a non-political organization dedicated to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the Brazilian judicial system.