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60 years of Ruy de Mello Miller Law Firm

Ruy de Mello Miller Law Firm is a law office founded in the city of Santos, on the 6th July 1961, by attorneys Ruy de Mello Miller and Antonio Barja Filho..

It is an office that stands out for its seriousness, transparence and professionalism in conducting court and administrative actions and for the respect and loyalty in its relationship with clients. These characteristics, long recognized and respected, are part of its history and heritage.

Specializing of its professionals began to be formed even before the office was founded. Ruy de Mello Miller, a founding partner, started his professional career as a cargo canvasser with Agência de Vapores Grieg (an old and well known Santos shipping agency) where he remained for fifteen years, acquiring a large knowledge in the port and shipping activity. He left the agency to start his career as a lawyer, together with his partner Antonio Barja Filho.

In the beginning, they rendered services to some shipping agencies, and soon they were defending the right to work of “bagrinhos” (non-union port workers subcontracted by Union stevedores), which was the initial milestone in their trajectories and lent renown to their performance throughout Brazil.

They defended sea carriers and their agents in their disputes with the Union, against liability for import tax payment due to shortage or damage of goods. They had their legal thesis recognized through the issuance of Abridgement of Judgements n° 192 by the former Federal Court of Appeals: “the shipping agent, while in the exclusive exercise of his attributions, cannot be held liable taxwise, neither is he deemed to be equal to carrier for the purposes of Executive Act 37, 1966”.

With this thesis prevailing, they started to render services to different liner companies and to the P&I Clubs existing in Santos. They established a solid partnership with the Rio de Janeiro attorney Pedro Calmon Filho, thus consolidating their specialization in Maritime Law.

In the mid-80’s, with the implementation of Bonded Off-port Terminals (TRA), currently dry ports and CLIAS (Logistic and Industrial Customs Centers), they started providing legal support to the terminals, as well as to the main trucking companies serving the Port of Santos.

Upon the issuance of Port Modernization Act, the office led the implementation process regarding the act in the Port of Santos, effectively participating in privatization thereof, either as the attorneys for the State of São Paulo Port Operators Syndicate (SOPESP) and the Port Labor Management Agency (OGMO- Santos), or advising the companies in their bidding for the port areas. Because of their widely known specialization in the field, the office was hired to defend the Conselho de Autoridade Portuária (CAP-Santos) [Port Authority Council]. Likewise in the Port of São Sebastião, assisting the local OGMO.

At that very moment, the second generation of Ruy de Mello Miller Law Firm attorneys started their professional trajectory, nowadays in charge of the office administration and management.

At present, the office renders services to port terminals, both private and public, port operators, in addition to defending truckers, P&I CLubs, off-port terminals, shipping agents and cargo forwarders, trading companies, importers and exporters, offshore terminals and operators, and other parties involved in shipping, port and foreign trade activities.

As of late, it has been actively participating in investment projects in the port of Santos, assisting with and analysing merger and acquisition procedures regarding companies and port areas, joint ventures and bidding, relying on a vast network of contacts and consultants of different specialties.


On the verge of its 60th anniversary, in 2021 Ruy de Mello Miller Law Firm officially inaugurates the new headquarters and brand. To learn more, please click here

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