Madrona Advogados’ light speed expansion in Brazil over the past half a decade is a marvel worth beholding. The firm has proven itself to be a transactional powerhouse, capturing some of the most relevant corporate, capital markets and finance work on offer even when Brazil’s economy and global markets come to a standstill. The firm is agile in aligning itself in synchronisation with the latest market trends driving evolving demand for varying areas of practice. That is to say that in 2020, the firm continued to adjust its structure with organic growth and strengthen its offering, making it a highly robust team with remarkable resolve.
The firm acknowledges that exponential growth must be balanced with sustainability. It is as committed to retaining its talent as it is to ensuring firepower is added where there is a need. Madrona Advogados demonstrated shrewd foresight in its appointment of Rodolfo Tamanaha by absorbing his tax boutique into the firm in 2020. Tamanaha has worked advising Brazil’s Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Justice on tax and public law matters as well as preventing data piracy. Intellectual property expertise contributes substantial value to the firm’s impressive list of clients in the digital and technology sector such as UOL. Meanwhile, the firm added to its restructuring group in another apt move as increased insolvency work from corporate organisations looking to readjust their businesses amid the pandemic caused the field to overtake many other practice areas as one of the most highly demanded.
After nearly doubling its partnership within the five years it has been operating, Madrona boosted its corporate and M&A, competition, litigation and tax practice groups in 2021 hiring five partners in one sweep. The firm has put that capacity to good use by filling up its appointment book with high-ticket clients and landmark deals. Madrona’s deal-making in 2020 acts as an impressive sample study into how the firm has evolved from advising on middle-market transactions to top-tier matters. One such example is its advice to US packaging company in a US$900 million deal to expand its Latin American portfolio through the purchase of a dispensing company. The firm also advised Siemens as a selling shareholder when a Norwegian investor bought a stake in a local renewables company. In a milestone transaction, it advised the development bank of Minas Gerais (BDMG) on its first-ever sustainable bond issuance.
Its transactional reach is accompanied by administrative and tax expertise – the outcome of its appointment of the consultancy firm Deloitte. The global group gave Madrona the advice to become a more full-service outfit, and it has executed that action plan expertly, gaining a solid name for itself since its humble beginnings as a corporate and M&A boutique. The firm’s managing partner Ricardo Madrona says that while multidisciplinary services remain the long-term goal of the firm, it has adapted amid the crisis to cultivate expertise in its core practice groups. That was clearly a successful strategy.
Lawyers at the firm are extremely hard working and take on client matters with serious attention to detail. Madrona’s team are prepared to attend personally to urgent and last-minute queries as soon as they arise, which clients value highly. The firm’s loyal client base also benefits from flexibility on fees. Madrona approaches each client case with an understanding that not everything is clear-cut, especially in a year as volatile as 2020. If a deal does not reach closing or encounters specific difficulties, the firm is open to negotiating on certain pricing options. That being said, the firm also offers a mixed variety of a capped billing system and prices based on the hours spent on a case by clients, depending on the matter at hand.
The partnership benefits from a competitive compensation system that rewards its lawyers generously, while the practitioners can map out their careers at the firm with a solid talent programme. Madrona also has the latest technology and software, with most of its lawyers being given their own digital device courtesy of the firm so that its legal team can provide on-the-go and round-the-clock advice. The group takes diversity seriously too and has introduced a committee to promote equality within the firm. Meanwhile, the appointment of a dedicated HR specialist is tasked with focusing on sustainable development at the firm as well as embedding a culture of transparency, open communication and collaboration between staff members.