For the past 30 years Brazil’s main legal partner has been the USA. Although the English system of law was and is recognised, the lack of a relationship failed to give it a dominant position.
But things are changing. Brazilian law firms highly respect the English system finding it stable and regard London as the global legal centre.
Brazilian law firms are eager to work with UK firms not just for reputational reasons but also for the challenge of dealing with an internationally accepted legal framework. Even the Ordem dos Advogados do Brazil (OAB), the equivalent of the SRA, is keen for Brazilian law firms to work with English law firms. This was demonstrated by their visit in 2012 to the Law Society.
Highlighting London’s growing importance now, more than 30 of Redejur’s members (an alliance of law firms) are visiting London this year for their annual conference, which is being hosted by UK-based Nabas Legal in April.
Brazilian law firms and the OAB are aware of the number of Brazilian students attending law and other professional studies in the UK on the back of Brazil’s economic success. They want a collective engagement where both countries can benefit from each other’s legal framework.
Incorporated as a British business but founded and managed by a Brazilian and European qualified lawyer (Vitoria Nabas), Nabas Legal had to decide how to address the markets’ need for professional services relating to Brazil. We have a team made up of Brazilian qualified lawyers some of which had or are studying here in the UK. The office is managed by a host of dual qualified lawyers most of which are qualified in Latin America and also qualified in England & Wales.
We cannot do everything so where necessary we subcontract services to Brazilian law firms, where we maintain a long relationship as we work together. And this does lead to return of referral business for us from Brazilian clients helping to build the longer term relationship between London and Brazil.
Herman Santiago, Global Executive Client Relations, Nabas Legal
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