Otavio Carneiro is a transactional lawyer, licensed in both Brazil and in Florida, who regularly assists foreign individuals and companies in the international expansion of their businesses and investments in the United States and Brazil, providing counsel on a variety of legal matters, including corporate, joint ventures, M&As, shareholders’ agreements, and commercial contracts. Additionally, he has helped clients with transactional and regulatory work in numerous industries, including oil and gas, banking, IT, infrastructure, shipping, construction, mining, agriculture, and real estate. Otavio is often referred to by his clients as a trusted advisor and excellent negotiator.

Otavio holds law degrees in Brazil and the United States and has practiced law extensively in Brazil and Florida. Having spent over 20 years of his career in a top-tier law firm in Brazil handling complex and multijurisdictional deals, Otavio has acquired first-hand knowledge and experience to navigate various legal issues in a broad array of industries and business sectors. Such knowledge and experience has assisted his clients and their counterparties to better understand the differences and nuances of the American legal system compared to a civil law jurisdiction. Additionally, Otavio understands the critical cultural and conceptual differences when dealing with clients from other jurisdictions. A significant portion of Otavio’s work is in assisting his clients in understanding those differences, closing any knowledge and cultural gaps, and building bridges to facilitate their decision-making process.

Although the core of Otavio’s expertise is in transactional work, Otavio often functions for his clients as an “in-house outside counsel,” which Otavio views as serving as the liaison between his clients and practitioners with different areas of specialization within the firm, such as tax planning, trust, and estates, litigation, real estate, immigration, and intellectual property among others.

Otavio does not believe in the “single solution fits all” concept. Instead, he likes to understand his clients’ short, medium, and long-term goals, as well as their objectives and backgrounds, to provide a solution that will be appropriate for their needs. Having worked in both civil and common law legal systems, Otavio often perceives that his clients may not be asking the right questions simply because they are unaware of other options that may work for them. This can have a significant impact on his clients’ decision-making process. As part of Otavio’s work, he interacts with his clients to ensure that they are aware of the nuances between the different legal systems and ask the questions that his clients should be asking so that they can better understand their options, risks, and opportunities, and try to offer his clients a custom solution specifically tailored to suit their needs.

Prior to joining Harper Meyer LLP, Otavio worked at an Am Law 100 law firm in the United States and also worked for many years at a top Brazilian law firm, where he assisted clients in navigating the complex Brazilian legal system.

  • Transactional and Regulatory Matters
  • Outbound Investments to Brazil and Latin America
  • Inbound Investments to the United States
  • Cross Border Corporate and Financing Transactions
  • J.D., University of Miami School of Law, 2019, cum laude
  • LL.M., University of Miami School of Law, International Law, 2019
  • Bachelor of Laws, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, 1996
  • The Florida Bar
  • Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil, Seção do Rio de Janeiro (Brazilian Bar Association, Chapter of Rio de Janeiro)
  • Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc., Director
  • University of Miami School of Law’s International Alumni Ambassador Network, Inaugural Advisory Board Member, 2020-2023
  • International Law Section of the Florida Bar
  • American Bar Association, Section of International Law, Member
  • International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA), Past Member
    • Past Representative of Brazil
    • Executive Committee, Past President
    • Banking, Finance and Capital Markets Law Commission, Past President
Honors and Distinctions
  • The Legal 500 2022, Mentioned for International Firms: City Focus – Miami
  • The Legal 500 2017 Latin America, Recommended for Shipping
  • The Legal 500 2016, Recommended for Latin America – Corporate and M&A
  • Chambers Global 2014, Ranked in Corporate/M&A
  • Chambers Global 2012-2018, Ranked in Shipping
  • Who’s Who Legal, Brazil, Listed for Transport, 2016
  • Best Lawyers in Brazil, 2010-2017, Listed in Banking & Finance
  • Best Lawyers in Brazil, 2013-2017, Listed in Corporate and M&A Law
  • English (fluent)
  • Portuguese (native)
  • Spanish (conversational)
Published Work and Lectures
  • International Graduate Law Programs (IGLP), Speaker, “Cross-Border M&A Transactions: Practical Insights,” September 14, 2022
  • Florida Bar International Law Section, iLaw2022 ILS Global Forum, Moderator, “Ethical Considerations in Cross-Border Negotiations and Dispute Resolution,” April 1, 2022
  • Lex Mundi, Speaker, “Practical Insights and Best Practices for Doing Cross-Border Deals in Latin America,” November 18, 2021
  • Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida (BACCF) and the Business and Innovation Committee Webinar, Moderator, “The Hidden Virtual Enemy: Cybersecurity Update,” October 26, 2021
  • Brazil-Florida Business Counsel Webinar, Presenter, “Doing Business in Florida: Legal Framework and Tax Considerations for Foreign Corporations,” February 25, 2021
  • 2019 Lex Mundi Healthcare and Life Sciences Industry Group Global Meeting, Speaker, “Managing the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries and LATAM Regional Issues,” November 15, 2019
  • International Association of Young Lawyers Half-Year Conference, Speaker, “M&A Transactions in the Americas and Europe – Similarities and Differences,” November 1, 2019
  • American Bar Association (ABA) 2017 Fall Meeting, Speaker, “Applying for a Loan? Due Diligence Documents, Requirements and Guaranties (Finance) Private Financing Characteristics Differ Among Countries in Latin America,” October 2017
  • American Bar Association (ABA) Conference, Speaker, “Lawyer’s Obligations and Liability in Post-Panama Papers World,” April 2017
  • Brazil-Florida Business Council, Speaker, “Brazil-Business Forum,” January 2017
  • American Bar Association (ABA) Section of International Law, Speaker, M&A Roundtable, October 2013
  • Annual Congress of International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA), General Reporter and Speaker, “Latin America in Global M&A Transactions, ‘A Mouse that Roars!’” September 2013
  • GCE Breakfast Seminar, “How to Penetrate and Stay Profitable in the Brazilian Oil & Gas Market,” January 2013
  • OSV North America Conference, Speaker, “An Overview of the Brazilian OSV Industry,” March 2013
  • OSV Conference, Speaker, “Offshore Brazil – A Legal and Regulatory Survival Guide,” October 2012
  • Semi-Annual International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) Conference, Coordinator of Scientific Program, São Paulo, November 2011
  • Semi-Annual International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) Conference, Speaker, “Loan Agreements after the Crisis,” October, 2009
  • Semi-Annual International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) Conference, Coordinator, Scientific Program and Speaker, November, 2008