One of Latin America's biggest firms, Pinheiro Neto Advogados is increasing its partner count to 103 following the promotion of four associates – becoming effective on 1 January.
The firm has also promoted an associate to counsel, while one of its partners is retiring.
Pinheiro Neto was the first firm in Latin America to reach the 100-partner mark last year. Adverse to lateral hires, the firm has internally developed and promoted each of its partners. In the latest promotion round, announced in an event held on 29 November, Pinheiro Neto is boosting the seniority of several departments, including its compliance, competition, corporate, tax and project finance areas.
Alexandre Bertoldi, the firm's managing partner, told Latin Lawyer Pinheiro Neto's promotions occur after a three-to-four-month period of in-depth assessment on each candidate. "The capacity to be profitable and bring growth to the firm is but one of the aspects we evaluate, and, in truth, it is not a determinant factor. We look for candidates who best embrace our culture and values, those who are committed to making the firm a better partnership," Bertoldi says.
Another factor is external to the candidates and is connected to the firm's assessment of the prospects for growth of the lawyer's practice areas.
Bertoldi says Ricardo Binnie, 36, is developing a key practice in fintech and payment services, which goes in tandem with the firm's leading banking regulatory practice. "He is very good and we needed another partner in this area," Bertoldi says. Binnie joined the firm in 2003 as an intern. He spent a year as a foreign associate at London firm Macfarlanes between 2012 and 2013. Pinheiro Neto's banking team is formed by 13 partners in addition to Binnie.
Compliance and antitrust lawyer Daniel Costa Rebello, 35, enters the partnership after an aggregate of 15 years at Pinheiro Neto – he left in 2015 to work as general coordinator at Brazil's antitrust watchdog, CADE, but returned one year later. He also worked as a secondee at Dutch firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek in 2012. In addition to antitrust, Rebello also has experience in compliance mandates. "Those are areas that are sharpened for growth next year," Bertoldi says. Rabello is based in Brasília. Pinheiro Neto's compliance practice has three other partners and its competition department has five other partners.
New partner Tiago Moreira Vieira Rocha, 34, is experienced in tax advisory matters and has a key role assisting companies with tax matters in M&A transactions. He joined Pinheiro Neto in 2005. Before that he spent two years as a trainee at Latin Lawyer 250 firm Levy & Salomão Advogados. Pinheiro Neto's tax team is formed by 19 other partners.
Pinheiro Neto's relationship with Japanese clients is gaining a boost with the promotion of Yuka Ono, 44, to partner. An experienced finance professional who has worked for Mizuho Corporate Bank, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, she joined Pinheiro Neto in 2013 after concluding an LLM from Columbia University of Law and working as a visiting attorney at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP. She has also worked as a visiting attorney at Japanese firm Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu. "Yuka's practice helps navigate the cultural differences between Brazil and Japan, which make a significant difference in the relationship with a client," says Bertoldi. Ono is a member of Pinheiro Neto's structured operations team, which has five other partners. She also advises on project finance, which has six other partners dedicated to the area.
Pinheiro Neto is also promoting M&A lawyer Renato Holsback, 34, to counsel. This is a different career path at the firm, which indicates seniority without involvement in strategic management. Holsback joined Pinheiro Neto in 2005 and worked as a foreign associate at Kirkland & Ellis between 2016 and 2017.
In other news, Rio de Janeiro-based partner João Medeiros has opted for Pinheiro Neto's early retirement programme. He is leaving the firm to dedicate his time to philosophy. Medeiros was a partner at the firm since 1994. He was part of the litigation team and also focused on maritime law.