Mattos Engelberg joins forces with Chinese firm
Luis Bulcao Pinheiro
22 August 2017
Brazilian firm Mattos Engelberg Advogados has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Chinese counterpart Jingsh Law Firm, dramatically expanding its geographical reach.
The agreement was signed in July. Both firms are looking to capitalise on growing business relationships between Chinese and Latin American companies at a time when Chinese investments in the region are going beyond natural resources and expanding to reach the power, construction, banking and technology sectors.
“We are very optimistic, because Chinese investments in Brazil have been increasing significantly, as well as Brazilian investments in China; this cooperation agreement will benefit the clients of both firms,” says Mattos Engelberg founding partner Fernando Engelberg de Moraes.
Allying with Jingsh dramatically expands Mattos Engelberg’s geographical reach outside of Brazil. Jingsh has more than 4,000 lawyers across 53 offices in China and 73 offices in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the US and the Middle East.
The first alliance between a Brazilian and a Chinese firm occurred in 2014, when Siqueira Castro Advogados signed a partnership deal with DeHeng Law Offices.
The cooperation agreement is the latest step in Mattos Engelberg’s ambitious expansion, which it has maintained since it opened in 2016. The firm currently has 21 partners and a total of 91 lawyers in offices in São Paulo, Brasília, Rivbeirão Preto and Rio Brilhante, a presence it has built up in the last 18 months through a series of lateral hires. It already has a presence in China, having opened a representative office in Shanghai in 2016. The office is run by associate Germano Forneck, who is a PhD candidate at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
For Jingsh, the alliance is a response to the business movements of the firm’s clients, who increasingly see Brazil as an investment opportunity. “We have seen a rising trend of Chinese investors shifting their focus to Brazil and many of them are clients of Jingsh,” says Cui Yi, a partner at the Chinese firm. “Through the collaboration of the two law firms, we will be in a better position to serve our clients.” The full-service firm was founded in 1994.