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Corporations, law firms, scholars and mediators converge to discuss the availability and suitability of mediation as a viable method for resolving business disputes in Brazil

São Paulo, Brazil (May 2015) – The International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR), in association with CAMARB, held its 3rd annual Brazil Mediation Congress: Forging the Future: Redefining Winning and Adapting to Change from April 24-27 at AMCHAM Brazil Arbitration and Mediation Center in São Paulo, Brazil. 

The event convened speakers from the corporate, law firm, academic and mediator communities to continue to raise awareness in Brazil regarding the availability and suitability of mediation as a method for resolving business disputes. The topics included an overview of how mediation is being used by organizations in Brazil as well as dynamic panels regarding the growth and emergence of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) and mediation development in significant business sectors, including banking and financial services, construction and insurance and the judiciary in Brazil.

Celso Cintra Mori, Partner at Pinheiro Neto, delivered the keynote address on, “Societal Challenges: Mediation as an Innovative Dispute Resolution Tool.” “The justice system has an unsurmountable limit,” he told the sold-out crowd. “The inevitable conclusion is that there will be a winner and a loser. Both sides cannot leave satisfied. Often the process takes over the conflict and the parties lose sight of their underlying dispute.” 

“In the state of São Paulo for 45 million people there are 21-22 million cases,” Mr. Mori added. “Since each case has at least two parties, every inhabitant can be said to be in front of the courts. This litigious culture is irrational. There are also currently only 360 judges in the State Appellate Court, making it impossible that the number of judges can grow with the number of people. This is an inherent limit of capacity that leads to the growth of mediation. With mediation there is the extraordinary result that both sides can leave satisfied.”

Other featured speakers included scholars and legal experts from some of the world’s most successful organizations such as Amgen, Baker & McKenzie, GE, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Unilever. Their comments, during the Congress’ successful 21st Century Corporate ADR Pledge panel, conveyed the growing momentum for ADR in Brazil:

  • Paulo Rosito – Legal Manager, Amgen: “Justice is not synonymous with litigation. To promote the mediation culture, in-house counsels must work with law firms to incentivize them, possibly thinking about success fees rather than hourly rates for successful outcomes in mediation cases. Brazilian judges on average are some of the best academics in the world, but many of them have no practical experience with the operations of the markets that they are judging. ADR seems to be a better solution when you can pick specialists or knowledgeable persons to act as arbitrators or mediators.” 
  • Carlos Eduardo Palinkas – Brazil & Latin America Litigation Manager, Hewlett-Packard: “A change in culture from a litigation orientation to an ADR orientation has led HP in three years to reduce its litigation footprint by more than fifty percent.” Thinking about customer satisfaction and considering the ADR orientation, HP has been improved its procedures with their customers, decreasing the quantity of new lawsuits and implementing a huge project to settle many cases in its database. Mr. Palinkas added. “We always have the focus of getting a quick solution for our cases and not to postpone them. Our objective is to develop and maintain a win-win business relationship with our clients and ADR is important too, for that.”
  • Luciano Costa – General Counsel for General Electric Aviation in Latin America: “GE has been in Brazil for 90 years and has an ADR culture, characterized by early case assessment and alternative fee arrangements with their outside counsel.” 
  • Joaquim Muniz, Partner, Trench, Rossi and Watanabe (a firm in cooperation agreement with Baker & Mackenzie): “Inertia prevents mediation from taking hold. We need to take action to move mediation forward and this roomful of mediation proponents are the ones to do so.” 

“The 3rd Annual Business Mediation Congress in Brazil serves as an important forum to raise awareness of corporate mediation and its benefits amongst business leaders in Brazil,” said Helena Tavares Erickson, Senior Vice President & Secretary at CPR. “CPR is very pleased to be working with CAMARB to help advance this critical agenda, with assistance from local chambers such as FIESP, CBMA and AMCHAM.”

CPR’s President and CEO Noah Hanft, concluded, “CPR could not be more delighted by the level of intellect, passion and expertise that permeated the entire Congress. Bringing  together in one room leading corporate counsel, academics and law firm practitioners, all committed to finding better ways to resolve disputes and avoid costly and often unproductive litigation, is what CPR is all about. This Congress demonstrates that Brazil is poised to change and CPR is proud to be a part of it.”

About CPR
CPR is an independent nonprofit organization that, for more than 35 years, has helped global businesses prevent and resolve commercial disputes effectively and efficiently. Our membership consists of top corporations and law firms, academic and government institutions, and leading mediators and arbitrators around the world. CPR is unique as: (1) a thought leader, driving a global dispute resolution culture; (2) a developer of cutting-edge tools and resources, powered by the collective innovation of its membership; and (3) an ADR provider offering innovative, practical arbitration rules, mediation and other dispute resolution procedures, and neutrals worldwide. For more information, please visit

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Media Contact:
Tania Zamorsky