Bruno Carramaschi is a tax partner with significant experience in tax consultancy and planning focused on cross-border and M&A transactions, as well as corporate reorganisations. He is recognised by LACCA Approved as a lawyer recommended in tax. Bruno obtained his law degree from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, his specialisation degree in tax law from Pontífica Universidade Católica de São Paulo and his LLM in international Tax Law from Leiden University, Netherlands.
Questions & Answers
Thought Leaders 2022 - Interview with Bruno Carramaschi
Can you briefly describe your career to date?
I started my career in the tax field as a trainee at one of the Big Four audit firms. I was quickly promoted to tax manager and at the same time was invited by Lefosse to strengthen its tax department.
I joined Lefosse in 2003 as a senior lawyer and reached partner status in 2012. Between 2006 and 2007 I lived in the Netherlands, where I obtained my LLM in international tax law and was subsequently invited to stay on a few more months as a teaching assistant to forthcoming LLM students.
I have always assisted clients on complex tax issues stemming from M&A transactions, internal corporate reorganisations and cross-border transactions. Within the past five years, my efforts and attention have been particularly focused on tax litigation.
What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer in your practice area?
I enjoy assisting clients in navigating the complexities of the Brazilian tax system, helping them identifying strategies not to overpay taxes and successfully defending those choices in court when they are challenged by the Brazilian tax authorities.
What was the most challenging case or transaction you have ever worked on and why?
It is difficult to choose a single case as the most challenging when looking back at more than 20 years of tax practice. There have been many challenging cases, but one that comes to mind now is an M&A transaction involving the acquisition of several hotels of Mexican hotel group Posadas by Accor, the French counterpart. It involved the acquisition of assets located in several jurisdictions and a range of different tax, economic and cultural situations that I had to overcome for the deal to be closed.
What are the greatest challenges for lawyers in your practice area in your country this year?
Tax lawyers in Brazil suffer from the constant publication of new laws and regulations and the fact that the country has several taxes whose enforcement authority is distributed among the federal, state and municipal governments and sometimes they collide. In addition, decisions on tax matters are granted by a judicial system, which is, for the most part, not specialised in tax, leading to rulings that have to be appealed and end up delaying the resolution of the client’s matter.
How do you expect your practice to evolve over the next five years?
Brazil urgently needs tax reform. The unfriendly tax environment we have today does not help the country to attract and keep long-term investments. I hope that this administration can pass a tax reform that can reduce the complexity of the Brazilian tax system, providing more confidence in stability and predictability to taxpayers so that they can focus on their business and not spend so much time with tax compliance and litigation.
What do clients look for when selecting you as a lawyer?
All businesses look for results and return on investment and selecting a tax lawyer is no different. I think they look for: a solid history of successfully handling a wide variety of tax matters, technical competence and objectivity.
How would you like to see your law firm develop in the coming years?
Our goal is to continue expanding our capabilities within the tax area, increase the number of lawyers and high profile cases so that we are seen by the market as one of the top three tax firms of Brazil.
You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
I believe that accomplishments are achieved through dedication and constant hard work. Therefore, what I want is to be healthy enough to continue waking up every morning and working closely with my teammates to make the Brazilian tax system more understandable to our clients.