Firm Profile

Trench Rossi Watanabe


Full-service powerhouse in global platform

LL 250 Highly Recommended

Established: 1959

Partners: 49

Lawyers: 173

Work areas

This firm is highly recommended for services in the following work areas.

Trench Rossi Watanabe is unique in the Brazilian marketplace: it is well established yet modern in its management, and both local and international – a mix that creates a strong firm with real quality across the board. Drawing on more than half a century in the market the firm leverages its vast experience and global connections to great effect, often winning some of the juiciest mandates ahead of its rivals.

Partner departures around the firm have been frequent. Indeed, some departures are discreetely welcomed at a time when the firm might be streamlining its services. Some others are not, but Trench Rossi is quick to react and it is a true magnet for talent. Its antitrust department regained force at the beginning of 2020 with the arrival of a rising star practitioner. The firm also hired a tax partner, further boosting its already powerful team. Trench Rossi’s corporate, tax, litigation and labour departments also gained new strength with the promotion of four associates to partner in 2020, showing that its home-grown talent continues to find space to progress. In 2021, it boosted the labour and data protection groups with two new partners.

Trench Rossi refreshed its executive committee in 2020 - with Cláudio Moretti replacing Anna Tavares de Mello - and hired the former finance controller at Demarest Advogados as chief operating officer (COO). José Roberto Martins and Simone Dias Musa will continue to serve on the committee. In another recent development, the firm appointed its first chief compliance officer (CCO) in 2021. The move is set to strengthen Trench Rossi’s compliance procedures which came under fire a few years ago.

The firm says it took advantage of its internal rearrangements to implement new strategies and respond to the changing legal services landscape, where non-complex tasks are becoming increasingly automated and less valued. Trench Rossi is planning a significant reduction in what it identifies as isolated services. It says multidisciplinary work, which combines its strong transactional and non-transactional practices, generates more revenue and will be in greater demand. For this reason, the firm created multidisciplinary groups led by senior partners that concentrate on particular industries, enabling lawyers to develop important business know-how to complement their practice area expertise. Also importantly, Trench Rossi has begun to implement significant changes to its compensation system, which have been developed with the help of consultants and increase the emphasis on collaboration. Senior partners are already working under the new system.

An important factor singling out this firm in the market is its long-term non-exclusive partnership with global peer Baker McKenzie, which allows Trench Rossi to benefit from the exchange of information on best practices and also the latest developments on IT in the field. Trench Rossi also values the culture of friendship maintained between the lawyers of both firms, who frequently work together in deals and attend conferences together throughout the world. The firm also works hard at its diversity policies and strategies, and it shows – any firm, anywhere, would be right to be proud of the gender balance here. Trench Rossi is still leading the way in this aspect. More than half of its partners are women, and the firm has taken great care to make sure women and men are remunerated equally.

A high number of clients come forward to share their appreciation for Trench Rossi. A client emphasises the firm’s “high-quality services with fair fees and flexible fee arrangements not linked with billable hours. Partners work hard and do not vanish during the duration of the project. All staff is responsive and committed to client needs.” He adds the firm has “high ethical standards and outside the box solutions.”

According to a study, ‘Who Represents Latin America's Biggest Companies’, published by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer, Trench Rossi represents 11 of 100 of the biggest companies in the region. Representative clients include Petrobras, Natura, Boeing, GE and American Airlines.

Get unlimited access to all Latin Lawyer content