Marcelo Buzaglo Dantas enjoys a stellar reputation in the market for his experience litigating civil environmental disputes.
Marcelo performs strongly in environmental law litigation and consulting, working in several sectors of the economy, such as infrastructure, oil and gas, food, real estate, ports, shipbuilding, urbanisation, energy, mining, cellulose, biodiversity and genetic resources, and others. In the academic field, he is a well-known environmental law professor in LLM and SJD at UNIVALI/SC and a visiting professor at the University of Alicante, in Spain, and at Widener University Delaware Law School, in the US. Marcelo is a member of the environmental law committee of the Brazilian Bar Association and of the commission on environmental law of the Brazilian Lawyers Institute.
What attracted you to specialise in environmental law?
The interest in the field, which was, almost 30 years ago when I graduated, very new and unexploited in Brazil. The perspective of working in order to try to conciliate economic and social development with ecological defence has always been my main motivation.
What have been the key areas of focus for your practice recently?
Environmental law litigation and consulting, working in several sectors of the economy, such as infrastructure, oil and gas, food, real estate, ports, shipbuilding, urbanisation, energy, mining, cellulose, biodiversity and genetic resources, and others.
To what extent are current laws effective in preventing environmental damage? How might they be adapted or changed to achieve better outcomes?
Brazilian environmental public policies are robust and considered to be a model for the other countries of the world. Unfortunately, its application is deficient in Brazil due to the lack of inspection. Control bodies are scrapped and sometimes do not have the necessary technical capacity and knowledge. A good change would be to enforce environmental agencies powers and/or create an administrative litigation system, which does not exist in the country.
What are the main environmental risks clients are currently encountering, and how might they navigate them?
In recent years, Brazil has evolved a lot in terms of environmental public policies, which invariably increased the number of legal requirements for clients. I have seen a considerable increase in risks associated to criminal and administrative liability, including, but not limited to, stoppages and high fines. The lack of adequacy to environmental legal requirements has become the big bottleneck of companies.
How has your membership of the environmental law committee of the Brazilian Bar Association enhanced your practice?
It is an honour to participate in the environmental law commission of the Brazilian Bar Association for the high level of technical debate on the environmental theme. My participation helps a lot in my day-to-day. Based on the knowledge acquired in the debates and in the experiences shared by colleagues, I feel better able to deal with daily challenges, especially in the solution of complex cases that demand a multidisciplinary analysis and complex interfaces with the control authorities.
How does Buzaglo Dantas Advogados distinguish itself from its competitors?
The firm has distinguished itself from others by giving a personalised treatment to its clients, finding legal solutions according to the objectives and necessities of their enterprises. Buzaglo Dantas seek to answer its clients’ issues by providing complete analysis of the risks associated with its environmental liabilities, as well as strategic advice with choosing the solutions. In short, the firm increases the range of opportunity for its clients by looking for alternatives beyond the classic legal answers, whether by entering into agreements or other non-litigious strategies.
What is the most memorable case you have been a part of and why?
Legal advice in all the steps of the environmental licensing process of one of the most relevant ports in the country. In 2015, the competence for the environmental licensing process of ports and port facilities in Brazil was changed. For this reason, we have contributed with legal support, especially related the environmental licensing of the new projects, and the delegation of the competence between the Environmental Institute of Santa Catarina and Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources. Since then, we have been advising the company in environmental issues.
What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
I would like to work more in consulting than in litigation.