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DLA Piper Joining Forces with Campos Mello Advogados in Brazil
Brazilian Firm Will Work in Cooperation with DLA Piper; DLA Piper Promises “More to Come” in Brazil and Latin America
(New York) March 1, 2010 — DLA Piper announced today that it will be working in cooperation with Brazilian firm Campos Mello Advogados to serve clients in Brazil. The arrangement is a major step in DLA Piper’s strategic plan for Latin America.
The cooperation agreement will see Campos Mello Advogados and DLA Piper partners collaborating closely to serve clients around the globe. Campos Mello Advogados will remain an independent firm, but will work closely with DLA Piper to advise international companies doing business in Brazil, as well as domestic companies looking to expand or do business abroad. The agreement gives DLA Piper a key ally in one of the world’s most dynamic markets.
“Joining forces with Campos Mello Advogados is an important step in the advancement of our global strategy, which is to have a significant presence in the world’s leading and rapidly emerging economies,” said Francis B. Burch, Jr., Global Chairman of DLA Piper. “This collaboration gives us a go-to resource on the ground in Brazil, which will provide great value for our clients and a stream of referral business to our worldwide network. This arrangement is a great beginning for us in Latin America, but there is more to come in the near future.”
Campos Mello Advogados has lawyers specializing in corporate, finance, real estate, tax and litigation matters. The firm currently has 60 professionals, among partners, associates and trainees in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, and the Sao Paulo office will grow substantially in the next few months.
DLA Piper has been eyeing the Brazil market for several years. Stuart Berkson, a Chicago-based Corporate Finance partner and Chair of DLA Piper’s Latin America practice, has been traveling to Brazil for almost three decades and has worked with many of the Campos Mello Advogados partners. Bob Gruendel, a New York-based Project Finance partner and Global Chair of DLA Piper’s Energy practice, also has been actively involved in fostering the cooperation with Campos Mello Advogados. Both Berkson and Gruendel will have permanent resident status in Brazil shortly and intend to apply for and obtain authorizations from the Brazilian Bar to practice in Brazil as consultants on foreign law and be able to advise clients in connection with foreign laws in Brazil, as required under local Bar regulations.
Brazil: World’s 8th Largest Economy, and Growing
Brazil has emerged as the world’s 8th largest economy and is projected to be the 4th largest by 2050, behind China, the U.S. and India. Brazil’s economy has outperformed virtually all economies in the world in the current downturn. While M&A activity slowed in 2009, volume is ahead of the U.S. in recent months. Project finance in energy and telecom sectors is still thriving and foreign direct investment in 2008 was a record setting US$45.1 billion. In addition, Brazil’s fiscal and monetary reforms prior to the crisis put the country in a strong position to weather the global economic downturn. As a result, the Brazilian economy is expected to outpace most of the world throughout the global economic recovery.
“Simply put, Brazil has a dynamic and growing economy, and it presents a tremendous opportunity for the firm,” said Stuart Berkson. “From day one, our strategy has been to take a very methodical approach to developing the right structure and finding the right lawyers to collaborate with who are at the top of their practices and who embrace our global vision and strategy. While it has taken a good amount of time to put this together, I’m confident that the end product gives us a unique and highly attractive platform from which to build a world-class practice.”
Luis Antonio Campos Mello added, “We are very excited to be joining forces with DLA Piper. Whether it be assisting foreign companies looking to invest and do business in Brazil or domestic multinationals seeking capable business and legal resources to implement their strategies abroad, DLA Piper offers an exceptional platform.”
Brazilian Bar regulations require that foreign lawyers obtain an authorization from the Bar to advise clients in Brazil in connection with foreign laws. Foreign firms may then sponsor duly authorized foreign lawyers to organize a foreign law consultancy firm to operate in Brazil under the name of such foreign firms in respect of foreign laws. Because foreign firms are not permitted to advise on Brazilian law, local advice can only be provided by a local independent firm that is comprised of local lawyers. DLA Piper, through its partners, is applying to the Brazilian Bar for permission to establish a foreign law consultancy firm and deepen ties in the Brazil market. The goal is to provide international-focused services to Brazilian companies with operations outside of Brazil, as well as, through its cooperation with Campos Mello Advogados, offer to DLA Piper clients the opportunity to obtain advice from a local firm when Brazilian law related issues arise.
About DLA Piper (www.dlapiper.com)
DLA Piper has 3,500 lawyers in 29 countries and 67 offices throughout the US, UK, Continental Europe, Middle East, Latin America and Asia.
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Jason Costa, Media Relations, DLA Piper, +212.776.3739
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