Dias Carneiro has more than proven it is a multi-disciplinary force to be reckoned with. The exceptional quality of its partners’ legal skills distinguishes the firm among a dense pool of competitors and wins it a place on some of Brazil’s most relevant transactional work. A lengthy list of affluent investors from across the world enlist the firm’s expertise on cross-border financing and infrastructure work, while its restructuring and insolvency group is a particular attraction too. Dias Carneiro’s partners are internationally educated, and this provides a certain sophistication to their legal ability that clients hold in high regard.
Following the financial blow brought to the world’s economy following the eruption of the covid-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, several companies turned to the firm to realign their business structure as the pandemic unfolded. Dias Carneiro fields a busy restructuring and insolvency practice group which became even more active.
The firm also was present advising in lending deals for companies in the medical sector which leant on global development banks for emergency funding to meet sky-high demand. IDB Invest turned to the firm in several deals, including providing a multimillion loan to a healthcare provider in São Paulo and also a landmark project finance transaction: the first US dollar-denominated solar project financing. This was a power purchase agreement contract for solar projects in north-eastern Brazil.
As expert legal talent is the centrepiece of Dias Carneiro’s full-service offering, the firm is active in recruiting top-tier lawyers each year. At the beginning of 2021, it elevated a lawyer to partner in its real estate group. Meanwhile, midway through 2020, the firm hired a corporate lawyer from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP just months after it promoted one of its own to counsel in its insolvency group. It is no mystery that Dias Carneiro’s secret to success is tackling the slew of sophisticated legal work that comes its way head-on with a robust team of partners.
Dias Carneiro leads the way with its transactional finesse in finance, capital markets and corporate work, but those assets have scored the firm busy tax, venture capital and labour areas too. Notably, a proportion of clients comment that the group offers niche knowledge on venture capital work, with a dedicated practice in this area – a valuable one to have as start-ups and fintech work continue to light up Brazil’s finance industry. Dias Carneiro’s times are efficiently fast, and its understanding of both client needs and legal complexities is deeply rooted.
Dias Carneiro’s data protection and technology practice is growing too and advises major companies in the sports, entertainment and gaming industries. Its lawyers here are well versed in the legal complexities of Brazil’s new data protection law, LGPD. Within that group, there is intellectual property expertise too. The firm has diligently built up a solid offering in arbitration and litigation in recent years too, with cases often arising from its stream of restructuring and insolvency work.
Managing partner Antonio Amendola is in charge of the firm until the end of his tenure in 2022. He comments that the firm aims to capture a lot of insolvency work in the year ahead. Meanwhile, the booming fintech and financial services sectors are likely to supply a great deal of work to the firm too.
Dias Carneiro sees diversity as a priority and launched a committee in 2020, made of three partners and three senior associates. The diversity committee holds round-table discussions to raise any doubts or propose new initiatives for making the office a more diverse space. The firm also participates in pro bono initiatives and United Nations programmes that combat gender, race, and sexuality discrimination among others.
The firm has a blended model of lock-step and performance-based compensation, while a committee is held for associates to discuss options for career advancement and bonus opportunities. Dias Carneiro regularly supports its lawyers in their legal education and funds LLM degrees.