Christiano Rehder is a partner at Lefosse. He specialises in corporate law and capital markets, having acted across different areas of the practice – most notably in mergers and acquisitions, equity public offerings, tender offers and debt issuances. He advises local and foreign clients from various sectors including AES, Eletropaulo, Dufry, Uniper, Alupar, Itaú, Temasek, Santos Brasil, Log-In and PSA. He has also advised clients in corporate restructurings, private equity investments, project finance, foreign investments, setting up of local businesses and joint venture formation. Previously, Christiano was an in-house counsel at Dufry Group in Zurich and Basel, Switzerland. He also served as an associate at Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados in São Paulo. Christiano obtained his law degree from the University of São Paulo.
Questions & Answers
Thought Leaders 2020 - Interview with Christiano Rehder
Describe your career to date.
My first contact with the legal practice was at the Departamento Jurídico XI de Agosto, a centenary institution of the Law School of the São Paulo University (Largo de São Francisco) meant to provide free legal assistance for those in need. After two years of this enriching experience with family, labour and civil matters of low complexity, my passion for corporate and commercial law classes got me inclined to seek exposure to private practice and corporate environment. I was then accepted for an internship at Pinheiro Neto in the corporate department. A little over a year later, I received a proposal from Mattos Filho to work in their capital markets department. I worked with a talented group of people (led by Carlos Mello, Rodrigo Junqueira and Luiz Octavio Lopes) for two years until, right after graduating from law school, I accepted a proposal to work for Dufry Group at their headquarters in Switzerland – Dufry was a client at the time. I worked in-house for Dufry for almost three incredible years, until I moved back to Brazil. It did not take long to get back in touch with my former capital markets colleagues, who had at the time made a move to Lefosse to foster the corporate team of the firm and develop the capital markets practice. It has been nine amazing years since I joined Lefosse, having developed my skills in a rather good range of corporate transactions – from M&A to capital markets, from private equity to restructurings.
What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer in your practice area?
What I enjoy the most is the sense of contributing to the development and improvement of the Brazilian business environment, which still has so much room to grow and the potential to stand out.
What is the most challenging case or transaction you have ever worked on and why?
It is hard to name one transaction only. But, if I may, I would combine the many deals we closed for our German client E.ON (its fossil fuel unit, later renamed Uniper) involving their investment in Eneva – from their first US$350 million investment in 2012 when Eneva was still MPX, then the formation of a controlling block in 2013, a major debt restructuring in 2015 and the judicial recovery of Eneva in 2016, right up until the follow-on offerings leading to Uniper’s exit in 2018 and 2019. That was a fantastic all-round exposure to the Brazilian corporate legal system.
What are the greatest challenges for lawyers in your practice area in your country this year?
Not surprisingly, covid-19. No need to say the obvious, but the pandemic has been demanding enormous efforts from lawyers to be up to speed to daily changes, and to anticipate risks of a much wider range of legal issues than we were used to.
How do you expect your practice to evolve over the next five years?
I expect the corporate law practice in Brazil to evolve further to a global standard, and develop a much more efficient, reliable and attractive business environment.
What do clients look for when selecting you as a lawyer?
Objectiveness, efficiency and availability.
How would you like to see your law firm develop in the coming years?
I would like to see Lefosse further consolidating its brand, both at national and international levels, as a tier-one full-service firm, consistently ranked at the top in all our practices and continuously ahead of competitors in the largest transactions, disputes and discussions taking place in Brazil involving our larger-than-ever client base. Our recent investments in our infrastructure, energy, project finance, public law and white-collar crime practice areas were major steps to achieve that goal and just part of what is about to come.
You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
I would like to develop managerial and marketing skills, and be positioned to contribute more to the firm’s growth from a non-legal perspective.