Andrea 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. Andrea has a law degree from Mackenzie Presbyterian University Law School (2000), and obtained a specialisation in civil procedural law from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (2003).
Questions & Answers
Thought Leaders 2021 - Interview with Andrea Caliento
Describe your career to date.
I graduated from law school in 2000 and I started working at a law firm. Initially, I worked in the family law and succession planning practice, and later moved to work on real estate matters. I was the only lawyer to work at both practices simultaneously. I worked hard, but it was always rewarding. I worked there for almost 13 years and I decided to change. Carlos Mello, the current managing partner of Lefosse, called me to join his law 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 work on.
What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer in your practice area?
As a real estate lawyer, I really 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 really enjoy the fact that most of the time, I end up developing very close relationships with my clients. To me, that is priceless.
What is the most challenging case you have ever worked on and why?
All cases have their own 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 of the law firm’s practice groups working together. Having to execute all these deals at once was 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 really satisfying.
What are the greatest challenges for lawyers in your practice area in Brazil this year?
This year is atypical, as the world is in the middle of a pandemic. We are yet to understand how deeply the economy will be impacted. In my view, the greatest challenge is that the pandemic has forced us to rethink the way the work is performed.
How do you expect your practice to evolve over the next five years?
I believe that the real estate practice will inevitably become more sophisticated. There are lots of interesting changes being brought by technology, facilitating new platforms for acquisition, rental, and even for registration and notarial issues. For the next year or two, working in his practice area will also be dedicated to addressing issues related to the covid-19 pandemic, but after that I hope we can once more watch the housing boom and see the growth in real estate investments, as an alternative for the low-interest economy.
What do clients look for when selecting you as a lawyer?
I understand that expertise and maturity come with time spent working in prominent law firms for excellent clients, in challenging deals. I would expect all my peers and colleagues to have that. So I will also 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 try to do. There are several experienced lawyers who will enter into a dispute just to make a point and who 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 needs, and to deliver it in the best way that I can. To achieve that is indeed satisfying.
How would you like to see your law firm develop in the coming years?
I do believe that Lefosse is very unique. Not only for the partners that I have (also good friends), but also because I believe that we have a clever strategy for the firm. I would like to see the firm have stable growth, and continue to be 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 the career I have, and I cannot complain. If I ever find the time, I would like to get a second degree.