Claudette Christian has been at the forefront of innovative investment and financing transactions in Latin America and Africa for decades, and her imprint is large in many milestone cross-border transactions in energy, telecommunications, aviation, and infrastructure.

Now resident in Rio de Janeiro, where she leads the firm's Brazil practice and is the office managing partner of the firm's Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo offices, Claudette is known in Latin American legal and business circles for her client focus and ability to run large and complex transactions.

Since the late 1990s, Claudette has played a key role in the development of Brazil's energy industry through her representation of Petrobras, the Brazilian national oil company. Most recently, she has assisted clients in complex international finance transactions; in structuring, negotiating, and closing major transactions in the construction and financing of oil extraction, drilling, and transportation vessels; and in equity and debt investments in several industries, including offshore oil and gas production, wireless telecommunications projects, and renewable energy projects.

She is currently assisting international clients with issues related to their entry and expansion of operations in Brazil and Brazilian clients with existing or planned activities outside of Brazil. She also represents several major energy clients in connection with resolving contractual disputes, including those that have gone to international arbitration.

Claudette is active in many professional organizations and is frequently sought out as a speaker at oil and gas industry and cross-border investment events in Brazil and the United States. She has been recognized by a number of leading industry and legal publications in the United States and Brazil, including Forbes Magazine and Latin Lawyer. Notably, she has been recognized as an Acritas Star; Latin Lawyer recognized her in 2014 as International Lawyer of the Year, the first time an American was selected for this honor; Petroleum Economist named her a Top Lawyer in Brazil for oil and gas matters, and she was one of only several Americans chosen for Latin Lawyer's Women in Law. She is also the editor of the first and second editions of The Guide to Infrastructure and Energy Investment.

Claudette has been a role model, mentor, and champion for female and minority attorneys and was the firm's Chief Diversity Officer for several years and served on the boards of Women in Law Empowerment Forum and International Senior Lawyers' Project. Prior to opening the firm's Brazil offices, she served as Co-Chair of Hogan Lovells' Global Board from 2010 to 2012. She also served as a member of the firm's Executive Committee and co-head of the Latin America Practice Group.

Awards and recognitions

2014

International Lawyer of the Year
Latin Lawyer

2012

The International Who’s Who of Oil & Gas Lawyers

On Being a Black Lawyer’s Power 100 list in the “Law Firm Lions” category

2012

Champions and Visionaries
The National Law Journal

2012

Stars of the Bar
The Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia

2012-2013

Women in Business Law (Banking and Finance)
Expert Guides

Education and admissions

Education

J.D., Harvard Law School, 1979

B.A., University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude, 1976

Memberships

Corporate Law Section, American Bar Association

International Bar Association

Executive Board, American Chamber of Commerce, in Rio de Janeiro

Bar admissions and qualifications

District of Columbia

Rio de Janeiro (Foreign Legal Consultant)

São Paulo (foreign legal consultant)

Representative experience

Assisting Brazil's major oil and gas producer in transactions with drilling ship construction and floating production and storage offloading units.

Representations of a U.S.-based financing agency in telecommunications, oil and gas, and hotel transactions in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Afghanistan.

Representing an international company in acquisition of equity interests of a São Paulo-based company and a merger with existing Brazilian operations.

Representing an international company with worldwide operations in the sale of its subsidiary in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Representing a global company in connection with its joint venture with a major Brazilian company and its expanding operations in Brazil.

Assisting an Asian automobile manufacturer in connection with the Brazilian elements of its worldwide reorganization initiative.

Ongoing representation of several U.S.-based companies in their M&A activities in Brazil.

Lead counsel for investors in the Bolivia-Brazil pipeline project, at the time the continent's largest project financing.

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