IBA Vice-President Profile

Horacio Bernardes-Neto


Horacio Bernardes Neto is the Vice-President of the International Bar Association (IBA). His tenure is for the calendar years of 2017 and 2018.

Mr Bernardes Neto has been a member of the IBA since 1982. In addition to being a member of the IBA Management Board, posts in the IBA held by Mr Bernardes Neto have included: IBA Secretary-General for the years of 2015 and 2016; Chair of the IBA BIC – Bar Issues Commission (2013–2014).

Mr Bernardes Neto holds office in many legal associations. He is currently a member of the International Relations Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association Federal Council. He is a former Council member of the Brazilian Bar Association, São Paulo Chapter – OAB/SP (2000–2015). He is the Former President (1994–1995) and is now the Honorary President of AIJA – Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats. Mr Bernardes Neto was the Former President (2003–2006) and is the Executive Officer of CESA – Centre of Studies of the Brazilian Law Firms. He is a member of several other organizations: CONJUR – FIESP – Federação das Indústrias de São Paulo (Legal Council member), ACSP – Associação Comercial do Estado de São Paulo (Council member), IASP – São Paulo Lawyers Institute, AASP – São Paulo Lawyers Association, DBJV – Brazil-Germany Jurists Association, SEJUBRA – Brazil-Germany Legal Studies Society. Mr Bernardes Neto is also a former Council member of ESA – Escola Superior de Advocacia. He is a Council member of the São Paulo State Pinacothèque.

He is a senior partner of Motta Fernandes Advogados (MFA), a top-tier Brazilian firm. MFA is continually acknowledged as a leading law firm in Brazil by specialized vehicles. Before joining MFA, Mr Bernardes Neto was a founding partner of Xavier, Bernardes, Bragança – Sociedade de Advogados (1995–2011) and was a partner at Bomchil, Castro, Goodrich, Claro, Arosemena and Associates, with Dr. Graf von der Goltz, Dr. Wessing & Partners, in Düsseldorf, Germany (1980 –
1983) and London (1983).

Some accolades attributed to Mr Bernardes Neto include:

  • Chambers and Partners’ Chamber Latin Guide described him as having “recognised strength in all areas of corporate law with an additional background in antitrust and private equity matters” and also being “well versed in arbitration proceedings”;
  • He is said to receive from sources “particular praise for his co-ordinating abilities”, per Chambers and Partners’ Global
  • Guide (2016); and
  • Recommended by Who’s Who Legal (2016) for the practice areas of Corporate, Corporate Governance and Mergers and Acquisitions and ranked in Chambers and Partners’ Global and Latin America guides.

He is also an enthusiast and has also taken leadership roles in global pro bono work. He is a founding member of the Pro Bono Institute and was a member of the Drafting Committee of the Pro Bono Declaration for the Americas facilitated by the Cyrus R Vance Center for International Justice of the New York City Bar.

Mr Bernardes Neto graduated from University of São Paulo Law School – USP (Bachelor of Laws, 1977). He also holds a Post-Graduate degree from the Institute of International Commercial Law, Universität zu Köln, Germany (1982). His main areas of expertise are Mergers and Acquisitions, General Corporate Law, Private Equity, Antitrust, Contracts and Arbitration. Mr Bernardes Neto also holds a degree in Pedagogy from the Oswaldo Cruz University de São Paulo (1977). Mr Bernardes Neto is admitted in Brazil and is also a member of the DAV – German Bar Association.

Mr Bernardes Neto is fluent in Portuguese, English, German, French, Spanish and Italian.


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