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Brazil Law Firm of the Year, Chambers & Partners 2020

  • ​Mattos Filho is the only full-service law firm in the country with highly specialized professionals working in the education sector. We provide comprehensive legal solutions for educational institutions, associations, foundations and investors who wish to understand the peculiarities of this highly regulated market, whether in relation to online or in-person education, basic, higher or other levels of education. By combining expertise in traditional areas of law with profound knowledge of regulations concerning the education sector – including how they impact institutions and the quality of academic courses – Mattos Filho is able to stand out in the market.

    As the rules concerning the market for education often differ to those concerning public utilities and purely private activities, we understand the importance of balancing academic freedom and free enterprise within the limits of regulations and consumer laws related to educational services.

    Private institutions (whether for-profit or not-for-profit) make up a significant share of education services in Brazil, making this sector a regular target for M&A and capital market transactions. Our Education team works together with our professionals from our M&A and Capital Markets practice areas, gaining experience in a range of important and complex transactions both in Brazil and abroad.

    Possessing deep knowledge of the market and how education institutions operate, we are able to work side by side with our clients' internal teams, offering unique advice in corporate decision-making processes regarding laws and regulations. Furthermore, we act in administrative proceedings triggered by regulatory bodies, in particular the Ministry of Education (MEC). We also offer assistance in inquiries and lawsuits concerning the civil, tax, labor, criminal and administrative spheres.

    Our Education team is structured along a collaborative and innovative work model that allows us to remain available to clients, meeting their needs promptly and expertly. Clients find our comprehensive, specialized legal assistance especially helpful in relation to the following services:

    • Accreditation and re-accreditation of basic or higher education institutions and in authorization and recognition of online or in-person courses, in the context of basic, higher or other levels of education;
    • Assessment of regulatory risks in corporate and operational decisions, including corporate reorganizations, changing academic models, incorporating distance-learning courses into in-person ones, discontinuing courses or closing down campuses;
    • Regularizing medical and multidisciplinary residency programs in health areas, together with the MEC;

    • Negotiating agreements, terms of cooperation and administrative agreements for internships and the use of public property;

    • Assistance with public notices regarding medical school openings within Brazil's 'Mais Médicos'program;
    • Assistance with audits carried out by the Brazilian Fund for Educational Development (FNDE) and the MEC, as well as in administrative and judicial proceedings involving public programs for financing students enrolled in private institutions, including Universidade para Todos (Prouni) and the Brazilian Student Financing Fund (FIES);
    • Administrative litigation in administrative proceedings before regulatory bodies, especially the MEC;
    • Advising on litigation lawsuits related to possible regulatory breaches or implementing innovative business models, as well as discussing impacts of corporate decisions for students, especially in class actions;
    • Forming for-profit and non-profit institutions and assistance in M&A transactions;
    • Specialized tax consulting for the for-profit and nonprofit sector, as well as strategic litigation;
    • Reviewing and drafting contracts regarding educational services, academic manuals, and educational content, supplies, etc.;
    • Participation in public procurements that envolve the acquisition of learning materials, provision of educational services, teaching systems and other related subjects, as well as their outcomes in the State and Federal Courts of Accounts;
    • Assistance in analyzing requirements and following up proceedings for revalidating academic diplomas and obtaining recognition for postgraduate diplomas issued by foreign educational institutions;
    • Drafting legal bills and public consultations related to the issuing of regulations by competent authorities.
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