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Mattos Filho mourns José Eduardo Carneiro Queiroz's death

Mattos Filho mourns José Eduardo Carneiro Queiroz's death

Brazil’s Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados has announced the tragic passing of managing partner José Eduardo Carneiro Queiroz, a pioneering figure in Brazil’s legal market.

A statement from the firm released last night announced his death. Queiroz – known to friends and colleagues as Zé – died yesterday morning in Itu, São Paulo, aged 49.

“Our managing partner leaves a profound legacy, not only for the firm but for all, for his inclusive, innovative style and superb mentorship. In honour of our beloved Zé, we at Mattos Filho remain committed to following his vision,” reads the statement. “Certainly, his greatest contribution – the constant search for the general wellbeing and plans for the future – will continue to guide us. In shared grief, we express our sincere condolences to his wife, Helena, and to his three children, Zé Henrique, Zé Artur and Maria Eduarda, knowing that the life of our dear Zé was, and will continue to be, an inspiration and a reason for great pride.”

A finance and capital markets lawyer, Queiroz had helmed Mattos Filho since 2015, during which he had a transformative effect on the trajectory of the firm. His management style prioritised people and his emphasis on Mattos Filho’s collaborative working environment can be credited with attracting multiple lateral hires to the firm, allowing it to build a depth and breadth of practice few peers can rival. Queiroz also championed organic growth, most recently speaking to Latin Lawyer following the elevation of six lawyers to the partnership, five of them women.

His leadership also had a profound social impact. During Queiroz’s tenure as managing partner, Mattos Filho created a standalone pro bono department staffed by lawyers focused exclusively on the practice – thought to be the first time a Brazilian firm had done so. Queiroz sat on the board of directors of Mattos Filho Institute, a non-profit civil association spearheaded by partners Roberto Quiroga, Flavia Regina de Souza Oliveira and Paula Vieira de Oliveira that focuses on promoting pro bono advocacy and expanding access to justice and legal education in Brazil.

He was in the third year of his second term as managing partner when he died.

Queiroz had been a lawyer at the Latin Lawyer Elite firm since 1995, when he joined the firm as an intern (as its first non-tax trainee). He was a key player in the firm’s sweeping growth and transition from an “eat what you kill” compensation system to a tailored lockstep, a move instigated by Roberto Quiroga when he was managing partner. Under Quiroga’s leadership, Queiroz worked on the framework for the transition as a member of the firm’s executive committee.

In acknowledgement of his novel and highly successful leadership style, Queiroz was the recipient of Latin Lawyer’s Law Firm Leader of the Year Award in 2019. In an interview with Latin Lawyer last year, he talked about his experiences in law firm management and the lessons he sought to apply from successful examples of corporate leadership: “You can transform an entire company by implementing very comprehensive changes in management, culture and the way you recognise talent. But you need a leader who is able to build understanding and put forward a common vision to make it happen.”

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