Bloomberg Law
Aug. 4, 2015, 1:42 PM

Brazil Commission to Oversee Hogan Lovells

Carla Main

Eletrobras, Brazil’s state-controlled power utility, will create a commission to oversee the work of Hogan Lovells, which is investigating whether the company’s contracts contain any violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act occurred.

It is expected to hire Ellen Gracie Northfleet and Durval Jose Soledade dos Santos as independent commissioners, according to a regulatory filing Friday.

Northfleet is a former chief of Brazil’s federal court of appeals and a supreme court justice. She’s currently an attorney in private practice and an arbitrator in Rio de Janeiro, according to a statement on the website of the nonprofit World Justice Project, where she is a board member. Soledade dos Santos is a former director of Brazil’s securities regulator.

Last month, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, known as Eletrobras, said Hogan Lovells was hired to look into possible breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The company will take all necessary steps to defend its interests, the Brazilian utility said.

Hogan Lovells didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail requesting comment about the creation of the commission.

Separately, Eletrobras’s shareholders sued the company in the U.S. over bribery allegations, claiming the utility failed to disclose that the chief executive of its nuclear unit was caught up in a bribery scheme.

Brazil has been engulfed in a corruption scandal with a probe at state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA ensnaring more of the nation’s companies and politicians in recent months.

The proposed Eletrobras class action accused the company and two executives of issuing misleading financial statements to investors over a 15-month period starting in February 2014.

Separately, on July 28, federal police arrested the former head of Eletrobras’s nuclear unit on kickback allegations.

Eletronuclear didn’t reply to messages seeking comment.