"a reference in environmental law,"

"He is a genius and an excellent lawyer"
Chambers Latin America


Paulo de Bessa Antunes is a partner in the Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo offices of Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown and a member of the Environmental practice. Paulo has extensive experience in environmental law and was attorney general for the Republic of Brazil and a regional attorney general for 30 years. At the Public Prosecution Service, Paulo dealt with environmental, indigenous and diffuse rights issues in general. As a lawyer, Paulo worked on environmental licensing for large infrastructure projects, implementation of thermoelectric centrals, ports, transmission lines, contaminated areas, large real estate developments and biological diversity (patents and benefit sharing). Even though Paulo has extensive litigation experience in the context of both administrative and legal proceedings, his practice focuses on preventing disputes and seeking solutions for complex cases.

Spoken Languages

  • Portuguese
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • German


  • Led the area of diffuse rights of the Attorney General’s Office in the State of Rio de Janeiro, and in this capacity filed 100 class actions
  • Acted as head of the Legal Department of the Secretariat of the Environment of the State of Rio de Janeiro
  • Former Member of the State Commission for Environmental Control (CECA) of the State of Rio de Janeiro
  • Participated in the legal team that was in charge of implementing the largest industrial and port complex of the State of Rio de Janeiro
  • Acted in soil decontamination projects
  • Acted in the implementation of mining projects


Lewis and Clark Law School, Visiting Scholar

Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, PhD, Law

Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), MA, Law

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Bachelor of Law (JD equivalent)



  • Brazil


  • Coordinator of the Graduate Courses of Centro de Ciências Jurídicas e Políticas da Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (CCJP/UNIRIO)
  • Assistant Professor of Environmental Law at Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO)
  • Member of Instituto dos Advogados do Brasil (IAB)
  • England (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators – CiArb, Associate)
  • Former chairman of IAB’s Permanent Environmental Law Commission
  • Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CiArb) - London
  • "Tauil & Chequer’s environmental practice draws notable strength from the valuable, first-hand government experience of its practice head." Chambers Latin America 2018 - Environment
  • "a reference in environmental law," Chambers Latin America 2018
  • "He is a genius and an excellent lawyer." Chambers Latin America 2018
  • "Practice head Paulo de Bessa Antunes is highly rated for disputes, and is experienced in native community matters." The Legal 500
  • "is a very well-known and highly respected professional and academic and is highlighted in the market for his provision of legal opinions" Chambers Latin America 2017
  • "notable understanding in the area of environment" Chambers Latin America 2017
  • "Excellent" Chambers Latin America 2017
  • "he is certainly a key environmental specialist. He has a lot of experience in environmental issues, especially involving national parks, and because he is very respected his legal opinions are always highly considered" Chambers Latin America 2017
  • "He has expertise in environmental litigation and ADR, and experience advising on issues relating to indigenous communities" Chambers Latin America 2017
  • "Highly sought after." WWL 2015