Leonardo de Campos Melo



Lawyer with broad experience in court, arbitration, and administrative disputes, Leonardo was a partner of two of the largest Brazilian litigation firms for over 15 years (both ranked as Band 1 in Chambers, Leaders’ League, WWL, etc.). He has a Law degree from PUC-Rio, Master’s Degree in Civil Law from UERJ, and LLM in Arbitration from the Center for International Commercial Arbitration of the American University (Washington, DC). Leonardo is the author of books and articles on Arbitration and Civil Law in Brazil and abroad. Leonardo was a Post-graduation Professor at PUC-Rio for 10 years and acts as an arbitrator in Brazil and abroad in complex commercial disputes.

Leonardo is a full partner of LDCM Advogados; Before founding it, he was a partner of Sergio Bermudes Advogados and FCDG – Ferro, Castro Neves, Daltro & Gomide Advogados for over 15 years.

Leonardo has solid experience assisting Brazilian and foreign clients in preventing and resolving domestic and transnational disputes in Brazil and other jurisdictions, including court, administrative litigation, arbitration, and mediation. His practice encompasses diverse economic sectors such as corporate, civil, construction and infrastructure, real estate, distressed assets, agribusiness, insurance, M&A, transportation, capital markets, banking, oil & gas, and public law.

He is ranked as Global Leader in Arbitration and Future Leader (under 45) in Commercial Litigation by Who’s Who Legal Global Practice Report. Leaders’ League also recognizes Leonardo in Commercial Litigation and Arbitration.The Who’s Who Legal National Report 2023 recognized him for his work in Arbitration.

He has a Master’s Degree in Civil Law from the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Arbitration from the Center for Commercial International Arbitration of the American University (Washington, DC), and an LL. B from PUC-Rio. He holds a post-graduate degree in Advanced Corporate Law and Capital Markets from FGV and was a Post-graduation Professor at PUC-Rio for 10 years, lecturing in Arbitration and Construction Contracts for Large Works. Leonardo also taught the subject of cross-examination in a course organized by OAB-RJ and lectured in several events in Brazil, Latin America, the US, and Europe on topics concerning arbitration, civil law, and civil procedure.

Leonardo is the author of books and articles on Arbitration, Civil Law, and Civil Procedure in Brazil and abroad, particularly as the author of “Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign arbitration Awards in Brazil” (Kluwer) and “Extensão da Cláusula Compromissória e Grupos de Sociedades” (Forense) and, with Professor Cristiano Zanetti (USP), updated the Comments to the 2002 Civil Procedure Code, Volumes I and II by Professor Caio Mário da Silva Pereira. He is also the organized and co-author of multiple collective works.

Leonardo acts as an arbitrator in complex commercial disputes in Brazil and abroad.

Selected relevant cases:


▪ Represented a client acting in drilling and maintenance activities of oil wells in court proceedings involving alleged violations of lease agreements of drills and services contracts.

▪ Represented an American private equity fund in a court case pending at the bankruptcy court in São Paulo as a defendant in the suit filed by the estate requesting the defendant to pay the value of the bankruptcy liability because of alleged abuse of economic power and/or disregard of the legal entity of the estate.

▪ Represented different class entities at the domestic level in constitutional claims before the Federal Supreme Court.

▪ Represented numerous class associations in collective actions aiming to control the legality of municipal government acts in view of the State Constitution.

▪ Represented the former President of the Central Bank in a complaint before the Federal Supreme Court to discuss the laying of venue competent to prosecute and judge proceedings against misconduct in public office.

▪ Represented financial institutions in dozens of credit recovery actions, especially credit lines to rural producers guaranteed by agricultural and commercial pledges.

▪ Represented a company in the hospital and industrial gas sector in judicial action in federal first-level and Appeals Courts to annul a decision of CADE imposing alleged participation in a cartel.


▪ Represented a Brazilian contractor and large hydroelectric operating company in an insurance arbitration against a pool of Brazilian insurers and international reinsurers before the London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”) in London.

▪ Joint representation with a European firm of a large Spanish economic group, active in the sectors of agriculture and energy, in corporate arbitrations against a Brazilian seller (agribusiness), before the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (“CCI”) in New York. He subsequently represented the same Spanish group in a leading case of confirmation of the respective foreign arbitration awards before the Superior Court of Justice.

▪ Represented a company in the field of education, listed on NASDAQ, in a successful court challenge in arbitration in Brazil.

▪ Represented a company holding a thermoelectric plant in an arbitration involving an indemnity request against a mixed economy company due to the cut of gas supply by the sovereign state supplier of the input through a dedicated pipeline.

▪ Represented individual sellers of a Brazilian business group against an American company in an earn-out arbitration dispute due to an alleged breach of representations and warranties provided in the respective purchase and sale agreement.

▪ Represented a rail cargo transportation company in a corporate arbitration against a company in judicial recovery, including a request (granted) to secure credit in bankruptcy court.


▪ Represented different clients before the State and Federal Courts of Auditors in Audit Procedures.

▪ Represented a multinational in administrative proceedings before CADE, discussing alleged cartel formation.

▪ Represented a multinational in the document management and storage field in a series of administrative proceedings before the State Court of Justice of a Brazilian state concerning services of filing of cases already closed.

▪ Represented foreign funds in renegotiations with a Brazilian state and its Social Security Fund to secure a debt by assigning future royalties from the exploitation of oil & gas.

▪ Represented the client in an administrative filed by a Brazilian state to expropriate a high-value urban property in order to make it the seat of one of the State powers.

▪ Represented the client in administrative proceedings before the Secretariat of the Federal Government Heritage to discuss the adverse possession of private assets given under free lease to the federal authority to create and develop a hospital specialized in severe illnesses.

Languages: Portuguese, English and Spanish.

Leonardo de Campos Melo

Master’s Degree in Civil Law, University of the State of Rio de Janeiro – UERJ.

Master of Laws (LL.M.), International Commercial Arbitration Center of the American University (Washington, D.C.).

Post-graduate in Corporate Law and Capital Markets, FGV-Rio.

Bachelor of Law, Catholic Pontifical University of Rio de Janeiro – PUC-Rio.

Post-graduation professor of Arbitration at PUC-Rio.

Post-graduation professor of construction contracts/construction contracts for large projects at PUC-Rio.

Cross-Examination professor at the Practical Course of Arbitration Advocacy at Escola Superior de Advocacia, OAB-RJ.

Graduation professor of “Roman Law” at the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ – teaching internship in the master’s program).

Partner of LDCM Advogados

Former partner of Sergio Bermudes Advogados.

Former partner of Ferro, Castro Neves, Daltro & Gomide Advogados.