Monday, 21st May 2012 by Stefano Berra

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has appointed Vinicius Marques de Carvalho as president of the Council for Economic Defence (CADE) and Carlos Emmanuel Joppert Ragazzo as the agency’s general superintendent.

Carvalho is the head of the Secretariat of Economic Law (SDE), Brazil’s second competition agency, and previously served as commissioner of CADE between 2008 and 2011.

He will be the first president of Brazil’s new competition authority, which combines CADE and SDE in a single antitrust enforcer as provided for by the country’s new antitrust law approved at the end of 2011. His term as president expires in 2016.

Ragazzo is currently a commissioner of CADE, which he joined in 2008. Previously, he worked as case handler for SDE. He will be the first general superintendent of the authority, a role created in the recent reform.

Their appointment is subject to approval by the Brazilian Senate, which could ratify Rousseff’s selections as soon as next week. Carvalho and Ragazzo could begin in their new roles before 29 May, when the reform setting up the new agency comes into force.

Carvalho will take over the role of head of the agency from Olavo Chinaglia, who became interim president earlier this year, after the previous president Fernando Furlan left the authority.

Chinaglia will return to serve as commissioner until his mandate expires on 13 August. He says he will cooperate with Carvalho and Ragazzo “in any manner that they consider necessary” to help set up the new authority.

“I consider both Vinicius and Carlos absolutely prepared to exercise CADE′s presidency and general superintendence, respectively,” says Chinaglia. “It was a wise decision by the government. They have been doing an outstanding job and the deep knowledge of the current system can be a valuable asset in the transition to the new system.”

Tito Amaral de Andrade, at Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados and president of IBRAC, Brazil’s largest association of competition lawyers, welcomes the choice of Carvalho and Ragazzo.

“They have different profiles but I think they both have the necessary skills and talent to accomplish a tremendous challenge ahead,” he says. “They have been public servants and involved with the antitrust world for quite some time and this was an important reason for the government′s decision. There is also a huge learning curve for the authorities, lawyers and the business community. I hope Vinicius Carvalho and Carlos Ragazzo will keep a very open and transparent dialogue with us, which I am confident will be important for a successful implementation of the new statute.”

José Inácio Gonzaga Franceschini, at Franceschini e Miranda Advogados, says the president and general superintendent will face many difficulties in organising the newly created authority.

“Vinicius and Ragazzo are experienced and qualified professionals,” he says. “Their major problem will likely be enforcing a new law in a probably chaotic initial phase, thinly staffed and having to justify a poorly written law, the favourable aspects of which are somewhat hard to see. The market and the legal environment seem, with good reasons, to be sceptical about what is to come.”

The experience and independence of Carvalho and Ragazzo will help them in their roles, says Sérgio Varella Bruna, at Lobo & de Rizzo Advogados.

“Vinicius Carvalho and Carlos Ragazzo are certainly good choices for the jobs,” he says. “They are experienced, technical and with sound credentials as public servants. It is good to know that we will have people that we know in the key positions of the new CADE. As CADE′s merger control powers will increase substantially, one of my fears was that politicians would ‘discover’ CADE and start claiming positions at the agency. This is a positive sign that this government is not intending to move that way.”

Barbara Rosenberg, at Barbosa Müssnich & Aragão, says the fact that they took part in the drafting of the new law will be beneficial in implementing it effectively.

“Carvalho and Ragazzo are experienced, technical and very well prepared,” she says. “They have been involved in the long process of the approval of the new law and, as such, they will be key in implementing the new challenges that come ahead. Due to their deep knowledge of the Brazilian competition system, we are confident they will be able to make this complex process as smooth as possible.”

Ana Paula Martinez, at Levy & Salomão Advogados, says Carvalho will have the difficult task to set the benchmark for the authority’s activity after the merger.

“Vinicius, as the first president of the new CADE, will oversee the whole agency in this critical transition period,” she says. “The main challenges are related to staff, the implementation of the new pre-merger review system, and the issuance of the new regulations. Furthermore, the coming years will set the stage regarding the case law under the new regime. Vinicius is professionally and personally suited to the new role, especially considering his previous roles at the SDE and as a commissioner at CADE.”

She adds Ragazzo’s previous experience will help him navigate the first critical period.

“Ragazzo has a solid academic background and also an extensive professional experience with competition,” she says. “His deep knowledge of the Brazilian competition system and his international outlook will be beneficial to the role. He was a sound commissioner and will make a great head of CADE’s investigative arm.”

(Latin Lawyer 21.05.2012)

(Notícia na Íntegra)