Our Team

Paulo de Bessa Antunes

Paulo de Bessa Antunes


Legal Practice Areas


Rio de Janeiro

T +55 21 3262 3000

Paulo Bessa is a partner of Campos Mello Advogados in cooperation with DLA Piper of the Environmental, based in Rio de Janeiro.


Before joining the firm, Paulo was a partner at Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown and at Bessa, Homem de Carvalho & Gonçalves Advogados, was attorney general for the Republic of Brazil and a regional attorney general for 30 years, president of the Permanent Commission on Environmental Law of the Instituto dos Advogados Brasileiros and head of the Legal Counsel of the State Secretariat for the Environment of Rio de Janeiro.


Paulo Bessa works in highly complex environmental cases, advising clients from all sectors. He represents companies in legal and extrajudicial lawsuits in environmental matters, and is widely respected by his peers, judges and members of the Public Prosecutor for his experience and in-depth knowledge of environmental law. Paulo is a CNPq Academic Research Leader and Visiting Scholar at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon.


Paulo is the newest member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL), the main commission on environmental law in the world, is recognized by the main national and international publications in environmental law, and is named “Star Individual” by Chambers & Partners Latin America since 2009. He has extensive experience in environmental civil and administrative litigation and in the negotiation of extrajudicial and judicial settlements in environmental cases. Paulo advises clients on all environmental issues, being one of the most renowned authors in environmental law in Brazil.




Visiting Scholar, Lewis and Clark Law School, 

PhD, Law, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro

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

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




Recommended Lawyer in Environment

  • Chambers Brazil 2021
  • Chambers Latin America: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021

a reference in environmental law,” Chambers Latin America 2018

He is a genius and an excellent lawyer.” Chambers Latin America 2018

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

Practice head Paulo de Bessa Antunes is highly rated for disputes, and is experienced in native community matters.” The Legal 500

Highly sought after” WWL 2015


  • 2019 – Member of the Special Commission on Basic Sanitation and Water Resources.
  • Most Admired Lawyer of Environmental Law, Revista Analysis 2007, 2008
  • 2002 – Tiradentes Medal, House of Representatives of the State of Rio de Janeiro – ALERJ.
  • 2002 – Medal of Meritorious Citizen of the State of Rio de Janeiro, House of Representatives of the State of Rio de Janeiro – ALERJ.
  • 1999 – Tiradentes Medal, House of Representatives of the State of Rio de Janeiro – ALERJ.
  • 1998 – Roberto Lyra Filho Award, Brazilian Bar Association.
  • 1998 – Fight against the Pollution of the Paraíba do Sul River, Motion of the House of Representatives of the State of Rio de Janeiro – ALERJ.
  • 1995 – Motion of Praise for the launch of the book Jurisprudência Ambiental Brasileira, House of Representatives of the City of Rio de Janeiro.
  • 1991 – Tamandaré Medal of Merit.



Excellence and Relationship

Campos Mello Advogados was the first full-service Brazilian law firm to consistently use the NPS (Net Promoter Score) method. In the first year using the method, the firm achieved grade 83.




  • Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo Chapters




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