Paula Galhardo is of counsel in the firm's Corporate Practice Group and chair of the firm's Brazil Country Desk. Paula represents of a diverse range of businesses – from owner-managed groups to multinationals operating in the chemicals, energy, industrial and manufacturing sectors – in inbound and outbound international transactional matters involving Latin America, including mergers and acquisitions, international contracts, anticorruption compliance and investigations.

    Paula spent the first years of her career as a business and transactional lawyer in Brazil before moving to the US in 2006. Dual qualified in New York and Brazil, Paula focuses her practice on advising US, Latin America, Europe and Asia clients on corporate transactions in numerous jurisdictions. Currently, Paula serves as regional counsel for a public chemical company in Latin America, which includes operations in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia.

    Paula also advises clients in anticorruption compliance in Latin America. She assists in the review and revision of anticorruption policies and procedures and advises Brazilian entities on FCPA compliance, including company practices, internal compliance programs, human resources concerns and remedial measures for improving compliance.

    Paula serves as the Chair of the Corporate Counsel Section and Past-Chair of the International Law Section of the Houston Bar Association. She is also an active member of a number of bar and trade associations, including the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN), Institute for Energy Law (IEL), New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) and Brazil-Texas Chamber of Commerce (BRATECC).

    Paula is admitted to practice in Brazil and New York. Portuguese is her first language, and she is fluent in both English and Spanish.

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    • Serving as regional legal counsel in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico for a US publicly traded chemical company.
    • Representing a Spanish publicly traded company in its divestiture of a line of business in Brazil.
    • Acting as outside general counsel for a medium-sized, US-based drilling company.
    • Advising a procurement subsidiary of a major national oil company on US corporate and transaction matters.
    • Drafting and negotiating supply agreements and master service agreements with vendors on behalf of oil and gas exploration, and production companies.
    • Assisting in the registration of a publicly traded US-based company for oil concession with Colombian National Hydrocarbons Agency, including review of major contracts such as a host government agreement, joint operating agreement and a farm out agreement with an Asia-based company involved in the same concession.
    • Representing a US-based manufacturing company in the negotiation and documentation of a licensing agreement in Brazil.
    • Providing corporate representation of US-based clients, including corporate formations and contract drafting and review.
    • Advising on a joint venture between a major chemical company and a major oil company concerning review of major contracts, international corporate governance and commercial legal issues primarily related to Latin America operations and the development and implementation of a restructuring plan for operations in the US and Latin America.
    • Providing counsel to a rig services and construction company in the negotiation of a joint venture with a Brazil-based oilfield services company and a separate joint venture for the development of a deep water port facility adjacent to Brazil’s pre-salt field.
    • Assisting an Australia-based company with the acquisition and development of a mining operation in Colombia, including analysis of Colombia’s mining code.
    • Counseling one of the largest Brazil-based ethanol and sugar producers on corporate matters.
    • Designing compliance programs and training employees for multinational corporations in all areas of Brazil law including, contract, labor, antitrust, bidding and public-private partnership, and corporate matters.
    • Assisting in the acquisition of a Brazil-based sugar production company.


    • University of Houston, LL.M., 2007
    • Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Masters, Business and Corporate Law, 2004
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    • New York, 2010
    • Brazil, 2003

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • Chair of the Corporate Counsel section of the Houston Bar Association
    • Past- Chair of the International Law Section of the Houston Bar Association
    • Association of International Petroleum Negotiators – AIPN
    • Board Member of Institute for Energy Law – IEL
    • Brazil – Texas Chamber of Commerce - BRATECC
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    • New York State Bar Association – NYSBA
    • Brazilian Bar Association – OAB


    • Portuguese
    • English
    • Spanish
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    17 July 2018 Petrobras America, Inc.
    10350 Richmond Ave

    Brazil Business Forum 2018

    18 January 2018 Hyatt Regency Galleria
    2626 Sage Road
    Houston, TX 77056
    November 28
    Key Aspects of Sales Representation, Agency and Distribution Agreements in Brazil LATIN AMERICAN LEGAL
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