International Profiles Kobre & Kim’s “Thriving” Brazil Office

November 2, 2022

Publication: International

Kobre & Kim’s launch and expansion of its São Paulo office during the height of the pandemic in 2020 has paid dividends, according to Kobre & Kim’s Gabriela Ruiz and Leonardo Palhares when they sat down with International, highlighting the firm’s thriving regional business, ability to represent large Brazilian companies and individuals globally when litigation arises and on-the-ground Lusophone team.

Ms. Ruiz’s August 2020 move to São Paulo was a risk that paid off, said Ms. Ruiz, explaining, “I formed very strong relationships with the folks who were getting out and meeting people in person.” Mr. Palhares, the regional managing director for Latin America who joined in November 2020, said business in Brazil is now thriving. “We are doubling converted matters regionally each year —opportunities that turn into engagements,” he said. Demand for litigation is growing as Brazil engages more with global business and trade, and about half of the Brazil team’s caseload stems from Latin American clients with needs in jurisdictions like the U.S.

Ms. Ruiz explained that Kobre & Kim put boots on the ground in Brazil “to fill a need that was already there,” given most international firms in the country focus on corporate work rather than litigation. These firms also often face conflicts when litigation arises, Mr. Palhares pointed out, and Kobre & Kim – with its on-the-ground team who can speak Portuguese – can jump in. The firm’s international reach also helps clients overcome the challenge of slow litigation in Latin America – Ms. Ruiz recounted a recent instance where the firm helped a Brazilian client recover money in the U.S., wrapping up the matter in a year instead of the typical decade in the Brazilian system.

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