Entrevista Elisa Junqueira Figueiredo – Euro Latam Lex 07 | 2019
Tell us about your trajectory. In addition to your studies in Law in Brazil, you have studied in Spain in several spanish universities. How has your experience been?
I graduated in Law in Brazil in 1996. After some years of practice as a lawyer both in corporate law and civil litigation, and after finishing a post-grade in Civil Litigation, I decided it was time to have an international experience. I was then admitted at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, for the 1st International Law and International Relations LLM. An amazing experience, with people from 15 different countries, both from Europe and America. The possibility to be in contact with different cultures and to study at such an important University, with excellent professors, was no doubt a great experience.
Tell us about your professional practice in Brazil and Spain. How was your work experience in Spain? What is it like to be a managing partner in charge of the private law area of one of the most important law firms in Brazil? What challenges do you face in your daily work?
Since the 2nd year of law school (1993) I’ve been practicing law. Started as an intern in a small law firm, on the civil litigation area. Then I was admitted at a big Brazilian law firm and worked with corporate law, civil litigation again (together with arbitration, real estate, succession and family law). After finishing LLM (2002) I had a professional experience at a medium size law firm in Madrid, analysing commercial and international contracts, both in English and Spanish. It was really challenging and in the same time very gratifying. Back to Brazil, in 2003 I founded FF advogados, being responsible for the areas of private law with focus on contracts, civil litigation, arbitration, real estate, family business and succession planning. Also, I am responsible for the management of FF Advogados. Well, my day-by-day practice here does not have exactly a routine. It is very busy, interacting with the litigation team, real estate team and the back-office team. Besides that, meeting with clients, focused on finding better business solutions, strategic institutional meetings with my partners. That’s it. I am used to it and like it.
Is it easy to reconcile your working life as managing partner at a prestigious law firm such as Fernandes, Figueiredo, Françoso and Petros Advogados, with your personal life? What difficulties do you face? How do you face them?
It has always been a challenge to reconcile working with personal life. Since I became a mother the challenge increased. In the beginning it seemed to be mission impossible, but in a couple of months I got used to it. I try to be at home to spend at least a couple of hours with my son, pray and put him to sleep, and whenever it is necessary I get back to work after that. My colleagues and clients know that I am always available and that they can reach me at anytime by phone or whatsapp. I think that technology helps a lot in this reconciliation. To tell the truth, I am really fortunate to love both my job and mother role.
Tell us about the current situation in Brazil? Is Brazil an attractive country for business and investment opportunities? Has there been any news with the actual president Bolsonaro?
The economy is recovering little by little. The Brazilian institutions are safe and secure for investments in general, including foreign investments. The 2017 Labor Reform was a first step to recover the economy. President Bolsonaro is liberal on economy issues and his major promise is to make Brazil more attractive to investments. Bolsonaro passed a law to make investments easier. The so called “Lei da Liberdade Econômica” (Economic Freedom Act) has several provisions to reduce bureaucracy and simplify the incorporation of new entities. It also establishes that the state intervention in private issues should be exceptional. The Social Security Reform is a very important issue, it has already had its first approval and is expected to have all the necessary approvals and take effect soon. Bolsonaro’s agenda also includes the implementation of the Tax Reform, which is necessary to mak the tax system less complex and more attractive to investors, privatization and investments on infrastructure. We also see attractive business opportunities for M&A and real estate. Last but not least, the Anti-Corrupction Act and the Brazilian GDPR, combined with the new business environment arisen from the Car Wash Operation and the ongoing concerns with compliance and corporate governance, created a safer environment for investors in Brazil.
Fernandes, Figueiredo, Françoso e Petros Advogados is a founding member of EURO LATAM LEX, what are the benefits of belonging to Euro Latam Lex? What has been the experience of FF Advogados?
Belonging to Euro Latam Lex enables us to be in contact with law firms from Europe and the Americas, exchange knowledge and information. Also helps us to render a complete service to our clients in different markets. Euro Latam Lex Meetings and conferences are also great opportunity for networking and enjoying Madrid, a city that I love. The World Law Congress, that took place at Real Theatre in Madrid, in February 2019, in which I had the opportunity to speak as a panelist as member of Euro Latam Lex, was a great opportunity to talk to even more people about the
opportunities to invest in Brazil. Some members of Euro Latam Lex appointed us as Brazilian lawyers they trust and we also referred Cremades & Calvo Sotelo to act together with FF Advogados
on an important corporate issue.