J. Mario Fontes, Jr.


J. Mario Fontes, Jr. is a partner in the Washington, D.C., Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Philadelphia offices of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Securities & Corporate Finance Practices. He advises companies in the United States, Latin America, and Europe on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and general corporate matters. Drawing on more than 20 years of legal experience and his fluency in Portuguese and Spanish, Mario assists parties who wish to acquire private and public companies and form joint ventures and investment funds through domestic, international, and cross border transactions. He also represents pre-qualified bidders who are seeking to acquire government-owned entities in the telecommunication, energy, and natural resources industries. In addition, Mario’s practice encompasses counseling on private and public offerings of debt and equity securities for U.S. and Latin American companies, and trade finance transactions. His general corporate work includes assisting with corporate formations and reorganizations, particularly those involving subsidiaries of U.S. companies in Latin America and Latin American companies creating a foothold in the United States. Mario also handles deals involving private equity and venture capital investments by non-U.S. funds and investors in the technology industry.

Mario also advises his clients on regulatory matters including conducting internal investigations to help companies assess their compliance with anti-bribery laws and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). He also helps U.S. corporations to implement compliance programs.

While in law school, Mario participated in internships at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the Inter-American Development Bank.


Mergers and Acquisitions

  • U.S. and international companies in connection with the acquisition of telecommunications, IP services, manufacturing, and health care entities located in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, U.S. and Venezuela
  • The winning bidder in connection with the purchase of 49 percent of the outstanding shares of voting stock of a government-owned telecommunications operator in Latin America in the amount of $652 million.
  • A U.S. energy company in connection with the purchase of a majority interest in government-owned energy generation and distribution companies valued at approximately $200 million each.
  • A U.S. manufacturer in connection with the supply of wireless pagers and handsets to carriers in the People’s Republic of China valued at $1.5 billion.

Corporate Finance

  • A telecommunications infrastructure services company in connection with its $250 million credit facility consisting of a $150 million loan provided by a syndicate led by Credit Suisse and a $100 million loan provided by a syndicate led by Tennenbaum Capital Partners. The facility involved a collateral package including complex technology and real estate parcels in several U.S. states and in Belgium, Spain, Brazil and the UK.
  • A North American telecom equipment manufacturer in connection with vendor financing transactions in Latin America.
  • A lender in connection with debt restructuring of a Latin American media group.
  • European and Latin American financial institutions in connection with trade finance transactions.

Debt and Equity Securities

  • A South American government-owned petroleum company in connection with the private placement of medium-term debt securities.
  • A South American mining company in connection with the registration of its securities under U.S. securities laws
  • U.S./Latin American companies in private placements of debt and equity securities, initial public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions.
  • An auto manufacturer in Brazil in the sales of shares of stock

General Corporate Work

  • A Brazilian manufacturer in the restructuring of operations of its health products business with U.S. affiliates.
  • A Brazilian manufacturer in the restructuring of operations of its animal feed business with U.S. affiliates.

Foreign Language Capabilities

  • Portuguese
  • Spanish


  • State Bar Admissions
    • District of Columbia
    • Florida
    • Pennsylvania


District of Columbia




  • Member, Board of Advisors of the School of International Service (SIS) at the American University, Washington, D.C.
  • American Bar Association
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association

Awards & Honors

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America® 2021-2024 — Corporate Law
  • Chambers USA, Band 5 - Corporate/M&A & Private Equity – Florida: South, 2022
  • Named to the “Top Lawyer” list by the South Florida Legal Guide, 2021
  • Ranked in Legal 500 Latin America, 2019


The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law

Juris Doctor, 1992

American University

Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, 1987

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