Last month we wrote about the importance of Brazil to many international law firms and why the country has much to offer these firms and their corporate clients. We also discussed challenges in the Brazilian market, in particular, the limitations on foreign firms preventing them from practicing locally, which is why many firms have entered the market through an association with a Brazilian law firm. These types of associations might now be in jeopardy according to a recent vote by the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB).
Latin Lawyer (subscription required), is reporting that at the OAB national conference last week, “Brazilian lawyers have voted in favour of maintaining the strict regulation against any type of formal alliance with international firms.” Three motions passed unanimously in favor of the strict interpretation of the OAB rule which regulates international associations.
[The] three motions were: that according to Brazilian rules, it is not permitted to have any type of association between individual lawyers or law firms, and consultants or groups of consultants in foreign law; that looser partnerships between local and international lawyers, to share experience and to serve clients within a global context, are permitted; and that also allowed are associations which are scientific or cultural in nature.
According to the rules of the conference, the OAB’s Federal Council must now form a commission to consider the motions passed. The OAB will meet in December, according to Cezar Britto, the president of the OAB’s Commission on International Relations, “to regulate and discipline existing cross-border associations, and to give more clarity to the rules.”
Posted by Marianne Purzycki