How Chambers Identifies International Capabilities in Brazilian Law Firms
In this article, Chambers Global editor and assistant editor explain the ins and outs of their high-profile legal market assessment and how it builds on the Chambers Brazil research.
Analysis of the global legal market
Legal coverage and insights from Chambers Global are the most comprehensive in the market and are key for clients when identifying the most suitable counsel in foreign jurisdictions. Just imagine, the same rigour and diligence that we put into our research for Brazil applies to all jurisdictions researched by Chambers. It all comes together in our Global Guide. It is equipped like no other to assess the performance of lawyers and law firms operating internationally.
The Chambers Global Guide includes rankings for over 200 jurisdictions across the world, showcasing leading firms on the national, regional and global levels. For the jurisdictions that play an important part in the international market, the International & Cross-Border Capabilities rankings further highlight those firms who can also offer clients additional expertise handling complex mandates involving multiple jurisdictions.
This research considers the way in which a firm approaches an international matter and the team pays close attention to the different strategies employed by law firms in a given market. For example, whether a firm typically handles an international project through collaboration within its own network of offices, or through co-operation with independent firms in different jurisdictions. It is important to bear in mind that Chambers does not necessarily view one strategy as inherently more effective than another but the aim is for our research to convey as much useful information a possible so clients are better informed when it comes to choosing counsel for cross-border work in these jurisdictions.
How Chambers identifies jurisdictions with International & Cross-Border Capabilities
Our approach is underlined by an understanding that the practice areas and sectors that generate high levels of cross-border activity may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. So, when it comes to each of the 37 jurisdictions that have International & Cross-Border Capabilities, we first of all want to establish what the main drivers of cross-border work are in that market. We will also review whether international work is predominantly inbound or outbound and what roles firms there tend to play, for example as co-ordinating counsel or acting on the local elements of a larger international file. Therefore, the factors we take into account for our rankings will reflect this and ensure we capture the practicalities of each market accurately.
The Brazilian legal markets handling of complex global cases
Brazil is an important focus for the International & Cross-Border Capabilities team due to the country's involvement in major complex global matters. It has the most active international market in the Latin American region which is due to world-wide interest in key sectors and industries which the Brazilian economy has to offer. Inbound commercial, and therefore legal, activity forms a crucial part of the international nature of the Brazilian market. Foreign clients focused on energy, natural resources and infrastructure projects regularly seek advice from leading independent Brazilian law firms as part of their wider global strategy, or to pursue investment opportunities which also enables further expansion into the Latin American region through Brazil.
Equally, Brazil is the most active of Latin American jurisdictions when considering outbound commercial activity. Major Brazil based companies are seen conducting business across an international platform, particularly from the oil & gas industry.
Why law firms should highlight cross-border work in submissions
As the International & Cross-Border Capabilities categories are not open to additional submissions or references, the team instead analyses all the information provided in support of the relevant local guide research – in this case, Brazil. They pay close attention to any matter listed as cross border or that involve cross border elements and likewise can review client or market commentator feedback that offers insights into the way an international matter has been handled. The team also conducts its own in-depth interviews with a cross section of leading practitioners in the market to discuss our coverage and the nature of the legal market in that jurisdiction.
We encourage firms to include examples of cross-border work in its submissions to Chambers Brazil, also clearly flagging them up as such. The same can be said for references that are put forward. The feedback provided by clients is at the core of our research and if some of these clients are able to speak of the firm’s international strengths and have relevant recent experience interacting with the firm in this way, then that can be very useful to our research.
The International & Cross-Border rankings are able to draw on all the relevant submission information, reference feedback and market commentary that is gathered on a local jurisdictional level on top of our own in-depth research. We are also able to review multiple practice areas together to establish a firm’s overall capabilities when it comes to taking on internationally-oriented matters. This is reflected in the International Capability Quadrants visualizations, that are unique to this category of rankings. These are a visual display of the different strategies and various advantages each firm can offer for international and cross-border work, depending on what the client needs.
The state of the legal market in Brazil, in 2021
An impressive aspect of the Brazil market from a legal perspective, is the strength and continuing dominance of the independent Brazilian law firms. These firms are regularly called upon both by multinational clients and major international law firms to advise on compliance, competition, corporate and financing elements (amongst others) to allow an understanding of the interplay between international and Brazilian regulations, which is especially important where Tax law is concerned.
Firms in Brazil have developed a range of qualities identified through research as integral for handling international work. These include the building of international networks of law firms to provide co-counsel support for clients, development of secondment opportunities across law firms in different jurisdictions, satellite offices in key locations internationally (frequently in the USA) as well as significant numbers of dual-qualified and multi-lingual attorneys.
The most outstanding Brazilian firms when it comes to international capabilities feature in our International and Cross-Border Capabilities in Brazil Legal Rankings. Some of the top Law Firms such as Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice, Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados and Pinheiro Neto Advogados are fine examples of Brazil’s most internationally prepared legal providers.