Andréa Caliento has solid experience in real estate, actively participating in transactions involving direct and indirect acquisitions of real estate, and providing support for analyses and contractual negotiations related to leases, development of subdivisions, incorporations, leases and rural partnerships, among others. Andrea is recognised by LACCA Approved as a lawyer recommended in real estate and tourism, and private wealth by members of the renowned Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, linked to the Latin Lawyer group.
Questions & Answers
Thought Leaders 2021 - Interview with Andrea Caliento
Can you briefly describe your career to date?
I graduated in the year 2000. I started working as an intern, initially in the family law and succession planning areas and later pivoted to cover real estate as well. I was the only lawyer to work at both practices simultaneously at the firm. I worked hard, but it was always rewarding. I worked at this law firm for almost 13 years. By the time I decided to change firms, Carlos Mello, the former managing partner of Lefosse, called me to join the firm. I made partner that same year. I must say that I am grateful to have started with family law and succession planning – something that I love to do, and still practice.
What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer in your practice area?
As a real estate lawyer, I appreciate that it is an area of expertise that gives you tools to work on broad and vast matters and with so many different industries. It never gets boring; there is always something new, a different way to structure a deal or to rethink the way an investment is done. Now, as a private wealth lawyer, I enjoy the fact that most of the time I end up developing very close relationships with my clients. To me, that is priceless.
What was the most challenging case or transaction you have ever worked on and why?
All cases have their challenges. I came to understand that over the years. But to name one that recently made a difference in my personal life, I will say that last year I worked on several simultaneous acquisitions for one specific client. All of them closed at the same time, and that made my year-end quite exciting. The deals were highly complex, with several practices of the law firm working together. Having to execute all these deals at once was like a turning point for me, something that demanded much more than just expertise and an excellent team. It demanded the maturity that only years of experience can deliver. It was satisfying.
What are the greatest challenges for lawyers in your practice area in your country this year?
We continue to live through atypical times, as Brazil is still battling the covid-19 pandemic. During last year, the pandemic forced us to rethink the way work is performed, and we were able to attain positive results. However, even though we had a good year, the economy has suffered a great blow and the consequences for the market remain uncertain.
How do you expect your practice to evolve over the next five years?
I believe that real estate practice will inevitably become more sophisticated, as it already has done over the past years. There are lots of interesting changes being brought by technology, facilitating new platforms for acquisition, rental, and even for registration and notaries’ issues. Within the next year or two, it will also and exceptionally be dedicated to addressing covid-19-related issues, but after that, I hope we can once more watch the housing boom and see the growth in real estate investments, as an alternative to the low-interest economy.
What do clients look for when selecting you as a lawyer?
That is a difficult question to answer. I understand that expertise and maturity come with a lifetime of working in prominent law firms, for excellent clients in challenging deals. I would expect that all my peers and colleagues have that. I will, then, quote one of my clients, who said that I am persistent, and I put myself in the client’s shoes, and that made my day. Because that is what I do. Several experienced lawyers will enter into a dispute just to make a point and will not clearly guide the client. I try to be the opposite of that. My goal is to make complex things easier, to understand the client’s need, and to deliver it in the best way that I can, and to achieve that it is indeed satisfying.
How would you like to see your law firm develop in the coming years?
I believe that Lefosse is very unique. Not only for the partners that I have (a lot of them are also good friends) but also because I believe that we have a clever strategy as a firm. I would like to see Lefosse having stable growth and continue to be positioned among the top Brazilian law firms.
You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
I am very grateful for my career, and I cannot complain. If I ever have the time, I would like to get a second degree.