Lifetime Achievement Award: José Luis de Salles Freire

The winner of Latin Lawyer’s Lifetime Achievement Award, José Luis de Salles Freire, built TozziniFreire Advogados into an elite institution. He reflects on how he embarked on a new approach to rendering legal services.

Lifetime Achievement Award: José Luis de Salles Freire Freire accepting his award at Latin Lawyer's 12th Annual Charity Awards

In the early days, when José Luis de Salles Freire and Syllas Tozzini hosted foreign clients visiting TozziniFreire Advogados for the first time, the pair longed for a little grey hair. At just 28 and 27 years-old, they feared some clients would associate youth with inexperience, and shun them in favour of more established players in the Brazilian legal market. “We had a joke at the time, that I should grow a moustache, and Tozzini a beard,” reminisces Freire. “Sometimes, when we met a foreign client who had not met us before, we’d come into the office and make an excuse like ‘Freire Senior and Tozzini Senior are travelling and that’s why they could not attend the meeting.’”

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