Legal market overview in Brazil
Situated in the extreme south of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul appears to occupy a peripheral position in comparison to other consuming centres in the country. Nevertheless, the state, which shares borders with neighbouring nations Argentina and Uruguay, draws on its geographical seat to strengthen existing trade ties with the two countries. The state’s capital city and financial centre Porto Alegre takes on a central role in negotiation efforts between Brazil and the other Mercosur members, which represents an important flow of investment to the region. The state’s economy was particularly hit by the past recession, which is reflected in a predominantly sell-side M&A market. Numerous restructuring mandates have also kept corporate lawyers busy in recent years. The relatively late industrialisation of the south of Brazil, combined with a vast and rich agricultural and pastoral land, contribute to the significant weight which the agribusiness sector holds in the state’s economy. Rio Grande do Sul remains a leading producer and exporter of soybeans, wine and beef in Brazil. In addition, its strong service sector plays an active role in fostering economic growth. The Porto Alegre legal market hosts a number of strong, full-service law firms, which tend to handle most cross-border and complex matters. Souto Correa Advogados, which was formed after a spin-off from a large Porto Alegre firm, has a network of other offices in the country. TozziniFreire Advogados, a national heavyweight, has established itself as a force in the local market; it offers services to southern Brazilian clients and investors, advising on major state-wide transactions. One of the oldest and most established firms in the South, Silveiro Advogados is another key player in the Porto Alegre market. CMT – Carvalho, Machado e Timm Advogados handles mid-size transactions and contentious matters in connection to the region, while Rossi, Maffini, Milman & Grando Advogados stands out for its leading position in labour and employment law.