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 2021 - Interview with Márcio Araújo Opromolla
Can you briefly describe your career to date?
I have been working with litigation since my first year of law school. I have worked in large firms and with great lawyers and mentors. I also worked in the public sector, and with large and small judicial and arbitration cases, in all levels of jurisdiction. I monitored cases directly in the courthouse and provide oral arguments in the superior courts. I have travelled all over the country and met all kinds of people. I faced difficult disputes that I made easy to the client and easy disputes that proved to be much more challenging than I had anticipated. I learnt that a good lawyer understands the client and works to serve the client. Winning and losing is 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 allows us to have deep access to big discussions in this day and age, in addition to allowing the understanding of details involved in each negotiation, and this is extremely riveting; this is the kind of knowledge that goes beyond the technical aspects.
What was 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 guarantees in a big agricultural deal. Our adversary was a bank known for its aggressiveness and belligerence in the conduct of its cases. With deep pockets, they could move an army of professionals and high technology to identify, locate and seek payment in a much more effective way than what my client could afford, which was also a big company but with severe budget limitations to face the kind of blitzkrieg pulled by the bank. We were at a huge disadvantage: our case was weaker; so was our resource. 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 paperwork 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 the totality of the assets. In the end, we ended up with 98% of the assets.
What are the greatest challenges for lawyers in your practice area in your country this year?
Undoubtedly, they are the changes brought by the covid-19 pandemic, which is still going very strong in Brazil. The pandemic has profoundly changed interactions with clients, judges, other lawyers and the proceedings.
How do you expect your practice to evolve over the next five years?
This evolution stems precisely from the covid-19 pandemic. Interactions, which were mostly in person before the pandemic, have become virtual, which reduced displacements and, at the same time, increased the scope of services: if before there were geographical and temporal limitations, with the forced popularisation of technology in judicial relations, these limitations might 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 and 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 consolidated racial 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 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?
Winning and helping our clients must always be our goal. But I would love to make the work environment more egalitarian and fairer. The pandemic has taught us that we are humans above all.