Márcio Opromolla has over 20 years’ experience in litigation and dispute resolution, with extensive experience advising companies on civil, contract, commercial and corporate litigation cases related to public and private companies and limited liability companies. He is also an expert in crisis management. Márcio obtained his law degree from the University of São Paulo, and his LLM from the University of Coimbra in Portugal.
Questions & Answers
Thought Leaders 2020 - Interview with Márcio Araújo Opromolla
Describe your career to date.
I have been working in litigation since the first year of law school. I worked in large firms and with great lawyers and mentors. I have also worked in the public sector. I worked with large and small, judicial and arbitration cases, at all levels of jurisdiction. I monitored cases directly in the courthouse, and provided oral arguments in the Superior Courts. I travelled all over the country and met all kinds of people. I faced difficult disputes that I made easy for the client, as well as apparently easy disputes that proved to be much more challenging than anticipated. I learnt that a good lawyer is one who understands the client and works to serve the client. Winning and losing are part of the game.
What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer in your practice area?
The practice of law allows interaction with different sectors, companies, clients and people. That gives us the opportunity to have deep access to big discussions in this day and age, in addition to allowing the understanding of details involved in each negotiation. This is extremely riveting; it is a kind of knowledge that goes beyond the technical aspects.
What is the most challenging case or transaction you have ever worked on and why?
I remember a dispute where the client’s case was good, but not as good as the creditor’s case. Both were disputing the enforcement of the same guaranties in a big agricultural deal. Our adversary was a bank known for their aggressiveness in handling its litigation cases. With deep pockets, they could move an army of professionals and high-tech resources to identify, locate and seek payment in a much more effective way than my client could afford. My client was also a big company, but with severe budget limitations to face the kind of blitzkrieg deployed by the bank. We were at a huge disadvantage: our case was weaker and so were our resources. We had to be more creative and efficient. We studied the details of the process of producing and selling the assets given as security and we found a way to block it in advance, still at the paper-work level, and managed to reach the assets. The bank only reached the assets one week later when we had already worked on the inventory, catalogue, registration and acquisition of almost all the assets. At the end, we ended up with 98% of the assets. For the bank, there was nothing but defeat and changing their entire procedures to adopt the strategy we created.
What are the greatest challenges for lawyers in your practice area in your country this year?
Undoubtedly, the changes brought by the covid-19 pandemic are one of the greatest challenges this year. The pandemic has profoundly changed proceedings, as well as interaction with clients, judges and other lawyers.
How do you expect your practice to evolve over the next five years?
This evolution will be linked to what we have adopted during the covid-19 pandemic. The interactions, which were mostly in person before, will become virtual, which reduces displacements and, at the same time, increases the scope of services: if, before, there were geographical and temporal limitations, with the use of technology those limitations will disappear. The time and resource savings will be huge.
What do clients look for when selecting you as a lawyer?
More than just someone technically prepared; someone legitimately interested in solving the problem posed, without fear of being creative.
How would you like to see your law firm develop in the coming years?
With all the efforts we have made and are making towards race and gender equality, the technical quality of the team and the services we provide becomes indisputable. This is our challenge. If we get the same quality in our client relationships, we will be unbeatable.
You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
The next victory for a client.