In a challenging year for maintaining international relationships, Mattos Filho’s presence in other countries allowed it to remain readily available for our international clients, further strengthening their confidence and trust in us.
Mattos Filho’s international strategy is based on building long-term relationships with multinational companies and business partners around the world. With offices in both the United States and the United Kingdom, the firm has developed a deep understanding of how to effectively collaborate with its foreign clients, translating the particularities of Brazilian law in a unique way.
The firm was able to remain available for its main international stakeholders in 2020, despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Our partners and associates in New York and London worked to connect these companies with the experts in our Brazilian offices, across more than 35 practice areas. This coordination was crucial in helping our international clients to interpret and apply several legislative changes that impacted their business in Brazil.
“The pandemic has certainly tested our relationship strategy with foreign clients. Though it was a year in which we could not move around very much, the workflow and relationships established in previous years remained highly active,” said Rodrigo Ferreira Figueiredo, the resident partner of Mattos Filho’s London office. “Even with foreign investment falling worldwide in 2020, our firm was more sought after than ever by international clients.”
The increased demand for Mattos Filho’s specialized legal advice during this period results from the coordinated efforts of the firm’s partners, who work daily to consolidate Mattos Filho’s brand and reputation on the international stage. “As part of our international strategy, all of our practice areas maintain their focus on international clients, identifying opportunities for foreign investment and thus giving us greater exposure all around the world,” said Paula Vieira, a partner in the Corporate/M&A practice area. “Also, our well-formed governance model and full-service capability are standout factors in the eyes of large corporate clients, who require sophisticated legal services in different areas of law. This model has made it possible for us to institutionalize our relationships with such companies, leading to new opportunities for collaboration and business.”
Regarding the services requested by foreign clients, Mattos Filho has been particularly active in advising on labor law, life sciences, compliance, litigation, data protection and business restructuring, most of which are related to the Brazilian regulatory environment. As the pandemic accelerated the digitalization of a wide range of economic sectors, many of these issues were also inevitably linked to technology questions.
According to Rodrigo Ferreira Figueiredo, little by little, the lessons learned from 2020 should translate into a more stable outlook throughout 2021 and the coming years. “We should see investor confidence recover as the number of vaccinations around the world increases, and the mood of the markets should reflect this optimism. Mattos Filho also remains optimistic about the prospects of economic recovery. We stand beside our clients to assist them in understanding the legal challenges to their business and in creating intelligent and innovative solutions linked to the best practices in the market.”
“In 2021, certain activities are expected to take longer to return to normal,” said Amadeu Ribeiro, Mattos Filho’s resident partner at the New York office. “For example, international travel should decrease, including for professionals from the firm’s Brazilian offices. However, the fact that Mattos Filho is already established in foreign countries allows us to continue closely assisting our clients as vaccination campaigns progress. Having offices in New York and London is yet another way Mattos Filho sets itself apart from other firms.”
Reliable, lasting relationships
The pandemic has required the firm to come up with new strategies and models to continue developing its business. The London and New York offices held a series of virtual events to keep in touch with clients and discuss the impacts of coronavirus in Brazil. The firm also developed newsletters in seven different languages, addressing relevant issues for clients across different parts of the globe.
Furthermore, Mattos Filho participated in webinars hosted by various chambers of commerce in both the United States and Europe. “Compared to previous years, we revolutionized our participation in these virtual forums,” said Amadeu Ribeiro. “We didn’t only analyze issues related to investing in Brazil. Rather, our partners addressed a range of topics including mergers and acquisitions, infrastructure projects, financial transactions, antitrust issues, and others.”
While working closely with chambers of commerce in several countries has always been part of Mattos Filho’s dynamic, it was strengthened during the pandemic. As a result of investing in these international relationships, in 2020, the firm’s resident partners in New York and London took on noteworthy positions in the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce and the Brazilian Chamber of Commerce for Great Britain, helping these institutions to continue promoting trade between the countries.
Both in Brazil and abroad, Mattos Filho plays an active role in other strategic chambers of commerce, always appointing the most knowledgeable and qualified professionals for positions at each institution. This way, the firm can position itself as the ideal business partner for clients interested in investing in Brazil or abroad.
Globally recognized excellence
In recent years, Mattos Filho’s consolidated international presence has allowed it to build reliable and lasting relationships with important stakeholders worldwide. “We have heard from many clients and business partners that we offer the most consistent service in the legal sector. This is because of our institutionalized structure, which connects different practice areas and facilitates their collaboration when working on cases,” said Rodrigo Ferreira Figueiredo.
For Corporate/M&A partner Moacir Zilbovicius, the combination of the firm’s partners in New York and London working together with the practice areas in Brazil leads large business groups to seek out Mattos Filho for solving legal challenges or developing new business. “Mattos Filho’s ambitious international project is proving to be increasingly consistent. We have the drive and the vision to continue gaining space in overseas markets over the long term.”
The outstanding expertise of the firm’s professionals is yet another contributing factor to Mattos Filho being the firm of choice for large international corporate clients. It invests in its professional talent, creating training opportunities for new partners while seeking out market specialists that complement each area of the firm’s practice. “Our goal is to have the best professionals available in the market so that we can meet the demands of clients from all industries,” said Paula Vieira. “Whether this talent comes from inside or outside the office, our focus on investing in it significantly facilitates our ability to foster relationships and position ourselves as the premier law firm for solving complex demands.”
Well-established international experience
Mattos Filho offers foreign representation and serves clients with business in several parts of the world, which requires its lawyers to have sound knowledge of international law. Therefore, to improve their skills and expertise, the firm facilitates opportunities to study in renowned foreign education institutions and attain work experience overseas.
Lawyers who have worked at the firm for at least two years can apply for funding to attend Latin Legum Magister (LL.M) courses at top universities in both the United States and Europe.
These courses are not only valuable for improving knowledge of international law — they also provide opportunities to meet and network with legal professionals from across the globe. Sound academic performance in an LL.M course paves the way for professionals to take up an international internship at one of Mattos Filho’s renowned partner offices, working as an associate for a period of up to a year. In addition to gaining cultural insights and learning how firms in other countries operate, these professionals become an essential part of Mattos Filho’s international relationship strategy.
Since 2013, the firm has also taken in lawyers from other countries who work in its Brazilian offices to learn more about the local legal market.
Despite the pandemic, Mattos Filho maintained its commitment to expanding its international programs in 2020. Although none of the firm’s professionals were able to commence LL.M courses this time, those who were already studying abroad completed their international internships remotely with partner offices in the United States.
Reinforcing Mattos Filho’s reputation as a reference among law firms, we publish various articles and texts in leading international journals (see some examples below). The firm also releases important news updates relevant to clients’ business in English on its news portal, Único.