Paula Galhardo is principal in the firm's Corporate Practice Group, chair of the firm's Brazil Country Desk and member of the Latin America Executive Committee. Paula represents a diverse range of businesses – from owner-managed groups to multinationals operating in the chemicals, energy, industrial and manufacturing sectors – in inbound and outbound international transactional matters involving Latin America, including mergers and acquisitions, international contracts, anticorruption compliance and investigations.

Paula spent the first years of her career as a business and transactional lawyer in Brazil before moving to the US in 2006. Dual qualified in New York and Brazil, Paula focuses her practice on advising US, Latin America, Europe and Asia clients on corporate transactions in numerous jurisdictions. Paula regularly serves as managing counsel through Latin America, including Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia.

Paula also advises clients in anticorruption compliance and investigations matters in Latin America. She assists in the review and revision of anticorruption policies and procedures, and advises Brazilian entities on FCPA compliance, including company practices, internal compliance programs, training, human resources concerns and remedial measures for improving compliance.

Paula serves as board member and legal advisor of Brazil-Texas Chamber of Commerce (BRATECC); board member of the International Law Section of the Houston Bar Association and the Past-Chair of the Corporate Counsel Section. She is also an active member of a number of bar and trade associations, including the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN), Institute for Energy Law (IEL), New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and Brazilian Bar Association (OAB).

Paula is admitted to practice in Brazil and New York. Portuguese is her first language, and she is fluent in both English and Spanish.

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  • Serving as regional legal counsel in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico for a US publicly traded chemical company.
  • Assisting a US publicly traded chemical company in an acquisition in Brazil.
  • Representing a Spanish publicly traded company in its divestiture of a line of business in Brazil.
  • Acting as outside general counsel for a medium-sized, US-based drilling company.
  • Advising a procurement subsidiary of a major national oil company on US corporate and transaction matters.
  • Drafting and negotiating supply agreements and master service agreements with vendors on behalf of oil and gas exploration, and production companies.
  • Assisting in the registration of a publicly traded US-based company for oil concession with Colombian National Hydrocarbons Agency, including review of major contracts such as a host government agreement, joint operating agreement and a farm out agreement with an Asia-based company involved in the same concession.
  • Representing a US-based manufacturing company in the negotiation and documentation of a licensing agreement in Brazil.
  • Providing corporate representation of US-based clients, including corporate formations and contract drafting and review.
  • Advising on a joint venture between a major chemical company and a major oil company concerning review of major contracts, international corporate governance and commercial legal issues primarily related to Latin America operations and the development and implementation of a restructuring plan for operations in the US and Latin America.
  • Providing counsel to a rig services and construction company in the negotiation of a joint venture with a Brazil-based oilfield services company and a separate joint venture for the development of a deep water port facility adjacent to Brazil’s pre-salt field.
  • Assisting an Australia-based company with the acquisition and development of a mining operation in Colombia, including analysis of Colombia’s mining code.
  • Counseling one of the largest Brazil-based ethanol and sugar producers on corporate matters.
  • Designing compliance programs and training employees for multinational corporations in all areas of Brazil law including, contract, labor, antitrust, bidding and public-private partnership, and corporate matters.
  • Assisting in the acquisition of a Brazil-based sugar production company.
  • Drafting and negotiating global third-party sales, distributions and agency templates for use in global operations.


  • University of Houston, LL.M., 2007
  • Fundaçao Getúlio Vargas, Masters, Business and Corporate Law, 2004
  • Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, LL.B., 2003


  • New York, 2010
  • Brazil, 2003

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Past-Chair of the Corporate Counsel Section of the Houston Bar Association
  • Past-Chair and current elected Council Member of the International Law Section of the Houston Bar Association
  • Board Member and Legal Adviser of Brazil-Texas Chamber of Commerce (BRATECC)
  • Brazil-Florida Business Council
  • New York State Bar Association (NYSBA)
  • Brazilian Bar Association (OAB)


  • Portuguese
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Selected as one of the 2021 Top Women Lawyers Award Winners by Texas Diversity Council
  • Selected among 2019 Top 50 Women Lawyers by National Diversity Council
  • Named as a Top Latino Lawyer in 2018 by Latino Leaders magazine

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