Interview with: Rosely Cruz, founder and managing partner

Cruz, Gregolin and Amaral "by neolaw" | View firm profile

What do you see as the main points that differentiate neolaw. from your competitors?

Communication is the secret of the corporate world and, in person, I regard that for the legal field it is even more. Therefore, we adapt our language to each client, according to the needs of each one of them, along defining the best form of reports / results measurement. Therewith we have transparency in the client / office relationship, with personalized service. In addition to this, we seek to set tangible goals for our work with each of our clients and with the achievement of them we celebrate with the two teams involved (both from the office and from our clients). We believe that our customers’ success is ours. This is our drive; that is what moves us.

Another differential of ours is the use of technology. As the founder of the law office, I have always believed that with automation, the use of proceedings and more recently with the use of artificial intelligence, we could offer legal services with more quality, at the time desired by the client and we would be closer to the businesses and group of our customers, which would provide lasting relationships to the satisfaction of the parties involved. In fact, if we are satisfied with what we set out to do, there is an improvement in people’s quality of life. Actually, in addition to having investments in lawtechs, I led the development of my own office system. We created a system – GOLAW – that is amicable, precise and innovative, beyond the Responsible Technology Team, we involved the Legal Team that provided the “unease” experienced by lawyers so that we could have a system that really served all professionals in the office. We managed with this system, moreover to optimizing the time of neolaw lawyers, significantly reducing tasks related to bureaucratic demands (so that we can, effectively, experience closeness to clients); gain more access to specialized content that provides the best quality of our work.

I would also like to add that we are deal markers with the following characteristics:

(i) Shared vision with our clients of the respective legal aspects, always looking for the solution / result that will serve them in the time interval desired by them;

(ii) Proper organizational set up to meet customers ‘demands: we have customer service clusters (notes) that know customers’ products / services, their market and the best format for interacting with them, aiming at practicality, accessible communication and results;

(iii) Key individuals: they are the leaders for both cluster and customers. They assume the role of facilitators and interlocutors of the work with the client’s Team (s). They have the responsibility to understand, in fact, the issues experienced by the client that must be supported by the legal service of the office, besides to bringing enthusiasm to all involved and measuring the results of the project.

(iv) Training and ongoing development: the permanent development of knowledge and skills of the team is essential to allow the team to be prepared to act when the demand arises.

(v) Creative environment: weekly moments of discussion of new jurisprudential understandings, talks about approaches of solving cases with different clusters and other areas of the office (multidisciplinary vision for learning), in addition to constant contribution to the improvement of the technological system GOLAW.

(vi) External focus or network: goes beyond understanding the needs and desires of customers, and also acts in building relationships with suppliers, employees, competitors, regulators and many other people.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Two segments: (i) M&A for the market’s appetite in crises (while some cry and others sell tissues); (ii) real estate, especially with judicial auctions due to debts linked to real estate; (iii) poor credit purchase market (tense) because there are capitalized funds and low purchase opportunities. We have guided clients in fulfilling these demands, notably with legal work involving due diligence for the round of investment in startups and in the scarce/tense credit market.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Technological innovations and digital evolution are priorities at neolaw., and especially for me as a founder, besides having investments in lawtechs, I led the development, in the office, of a suitable system for our use. This digital transformation – which was further emphasized by the pandemic – my point of view is indispensable for the practice of the legal profession.

In accordance with such a system created by us, that had during its development the interaction of technology specialists and our legal team, we managed to optimize the time of neolaw lawyers. meanwhile they are, in fact, available to attend customers with SLA for up to 48 hours.

In addition to this significant achievement, we have practically 100% digital signature for documents in the Business and Administrative area, facilitating the dynamics of the office, as well as the “life” of clients, reducing the expenditure of time and money. It handily ceases to exist for neolaw. signing of physical documents. The digital signature is also implemented in 100% of our litigation cases, applying the electronic process available in Brazil, which makes the digital signature indispensable for the lawyer to act in lawsuits. Due to the pandemic and aiming for our DNA (focus on solving contentious demands with results for our clients) we have been able to dispatch through virtual hearings with judges from different places in Brazil. This has brought financial results to our clients since we commonly act as lawyers for creditors.
We also have cloud computing that helps us to manage individual or collective tasks in the office. Its application seeks to improve the monitoring of legal processes and / or reports jointly, whereby more than one person edits the document at the same time. For due diligence, we have greatly improved productivity with this technology.

Communication is the secret of the corporate world and, in person, I regard that for the legal field it is even more. Therefore, we adapt our language to each client, according to the needs of each one of them, along defining the best form of reports / results measurement. Therewith we have transparency in the client / office relationship, with personalized service. In addition to this, we seek to set tangible goals for our work with each of our clients and with the achievement of them we celebrate with the two teams involved (both from the office and from our clients). We believe that our customers’ success is ours. This is our drive; that is what moves us.

Another differential of ours is the use of technology. As the founder of the law office, I have always believed that with automation, the use of proceedings and more recently with the use of artificial intelligence, we could offer legal services with more quality, at the time desired by the client and we would be closer to the businesses and group of our customers, which would provide lasting relationships to the satisfaction of the parties involved. In fact, if we are satisfied with what we set out to do, there is an improvement in people’s quality of life. Actually, in addition to having investments in lawtechs, I led the development of my own office system. We created a system – GOLAW – that is amicable, precise and innovative, beyond the Responsible Technology Team, we involved the Legal Team that provided the “unease” experienced by lawyers so that we could have a system that really served all professionals in the office. We managed with this system, moreover to optimizing the time of neolaw lawyers, significantly reducing tasks related to bureaucratic demands (so that we can, effectively, experience closeness to clients); gain more access to specialized content that provides the best quality of our work.

I would also like to add that we are deal markers with the following characteristics:

(i) Shared vision with our clients of the respective legal aspects, always looking for the solution / result that will serve them in the time interval desired by them;

(ii) Proper organizational set up to meet customers ‘demands: we have customer service clusters (notes) that know customers’ products / services, their market and the best format for interacting with them, aiming at practicality, accessible communication and results;

(iii) Key individuals: they are the leaders for both cluster and customers. They assume the role of facilitators and interlocutors of the work with the client’s Team (s). They have the responsibility to understand, in fact, the issues experienced by the client that must be supported by the legal service of the office, besides to bringing enthusiasm to all involved and measuring the results of the project.

(iv) Training and ongoing development: the permanent development of knowledge and skills of the team is essential to allow the team to be prepared to act when the demand arises.

(v) Creative environment: weekly moments of discussion of new jurisprudential understandings, talks about approaches of solving cases with different clusters and other areas of the office (multidisciplinary vision for learning), in addition to constant contribution to the improvement of the technological system GOLAW.

(vi) External focus or network: goes beyond understanding the needs and desires of customers, and also acts in building relationships with suppliers, employees, competitors, regulators and many other people.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

Our office has great expertise in the collection of stressed credits, obtained by acting over the past 10 years, representing players in the financial market and other renowned companies, in the field of product production and services. In order to fully serve our clients, we have two autonomous teams, working harmoniously and concurrently, in the extrajudicial (negotiators) and judicial (lawyers) environment. With this multidisciplinary team, we have entered into agreements with our clients’ debtors, exceeding the financial targets for receiving cash (money) established by our clients for their respective portfolios.

Some examples of our performances:

In our GOLAW system, further what was already mentioned in the questions above that certainly helped to add value to our customers, we created two mini-systems / APIs that brought more values to clients :

(i) Automation of reporting to the M&A (business) area of due diligence that substantiates our opinion on the feasibility of investments by funds and / or angel investors. Automatic searches are made to courts, companies involved and individuals about possible liabilities that hang over them, as well as the location and sorting of relevant documents for signaling whether or not the business will be completed by our customers. The completion of due diligence is done in a very short period and, therefore, the necessary agility, especially for companies related to technology, greatly liked the result, being motivated to do even more business.

(ii) Partnership with Deep Legal, a predictive intelligence lawtech in which I am a partner. This company uses statistical techniques and tools such as Big Data, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to collect data and transform the way our professionals work by monitoring, comparing and predicting lawsuits. We utilize 3 modalities, namely: PREDICT – offers the best estimates of the results of our portfolio and other key information. There is accurate quantitative information on the potential for loss or gain in our stock portfolio and when the award comes. The compliance areas of our clients were very glad, as well as the financial area, we can estimate contingency very precisely.

COMPARE: in this product we compare the results of the office for our clients with the market with standardized measures. We identify the biggest risk factors in our clients’ portfolio, such as judge, lawyers, subjects, litigants etc. Hence, customers were able to have real approaches in real time from two portfolios of lawsuits.

MONITOR: measuring our performance with customer portfolios. There is a performance dashboard with breakdown of absolute and historical data per day, month or year. I may say here that with jurimetrics we were able to improve rates of gains and understandings, with the improvement of our theses and even with the information of prediction we make better agreements at specific moments of the judicial processes. Herewith, we got in the credit recovery area to exceed our goals with customers and reduce liabilities in specific tax and consumer law cases.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Increasingly, clients are demanding that law firms add value. From my point of view, I reiterate that, for this to happen, it is necessary notably: (i) use of technology / digital transformation, especially with AI (Artificial Intelligence), and (ii) training and development of lawyers focused on business / economy with the use of applied jurimetrics.

Despite the question citing the future, I ask permission to return to the past, quoting the well-known Supreme Court Judge Holmes: “The rational study of law is still to a large extent the study of history. History must be a part of the study, because without it we cannot know the precise scope of rules which it is our business to know. It is a part of the rational study, because it is the first step toward an enlightened skepticism, that is, towards a deliberate reconsideration of the worth of those rules. When you get the dragon out of his cave on to the plain and in the daylight, you can count his teeth and claws, and see just what is his strength. But to get him out is only the first step. The next is either to kill him, or to tame him and make him a useful animal. For the rational study of the law the blackletter man may be the man of the present, but the man of the future is the man of statistics and the master of economics. It is revolting to have no better reason for a rule of law than that so it was laid down in the time of Henry IV. It is still more revolting if the grounds upon which it was laid down have vanished long since, and the rule simply persists from blind imitation of the past “.

I came back to the part that I have bolded. Holmes wanted to say, even before the twentieth century, that the man from the old law books (“blackletter man”) could even be the jurist of the present, but the jurist of the future would be the man of statistics and the master of economics.

A new profile of lawyers has emerged where what matters is the interdisciplinary view about law, statistics (extracted in real time with technology) and economics, that is, between law and the business world and more recently as the use of technology.

Therefore, I see our office with professionals even more trained in jurimetrics, outcome discipline from the application of statistical and probabilistic types in understanding legal processes and facts. With such familiarity, our intention is to extract even more and more from the comprehension of jurimetrics by associating with the interaction with the clients’ business styles, and thereby leveraging the potential to increase knowledge about the disputes and indicate better ways to solve them. The idea is to measure the facts related to the conflicts, to anticipate scenarios and to plan conducts in the practice of law and the possibility of recommendations for laws drafting. As already mentioned in another question: jurimetrics measures, for example, the percentage of decisions of a court in a certain sense, with theses accepted greater or lower frequency, moments when a rule is applied in trials, the decision profile of a judge or the probability of non-compliance with a contractual clause. And certainly, we have further improved the writing of our contracts in the business area.

Thus, the lawyer of the future will have to master statistics and economics. We are moving towards this improvement in neolaw. since the technological tools we already have, and our professionals are used to their application. Now we need to keep deepening and even more increasing our knowledge of economics, always focusing on the outcomes of our work for clients.