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5th of UKs top law firms launched Brazil office in run up to World Cup

Since 2007, the number of top 20 UK law firms with an office in Brazil has more than doubled - increasing from three to seven - which now includes six of the ten largest UK firms.

Per capita, Brazil has the second largest ratio of lawyers in the world, after the US, with 848,000 members of the Order of Attorneys of Brazil. This compares to 158,000 solicitors on the Law Society roll in the UK.  It equates to one lawyer for every 233 people in Brazil, compared to just one in every 400 in the UK.

Legal Pay: UK v Brazil

Senior lawyers in Brazil get paid an average base salary equivalent to &pound62,499, with half receiving a bonus last year to take average total remuneration to &pound91,328. By comparison, UK lawyers get paid almost twice as much at &pound108,690, with bonuses taking total remuneration to &pound140,185.*

However, lawyers in Brazil enjoy a higher ratio of total remuneration to local wealth than those in the UK. The average lawyer in Brazil earns almost thirteen times GDP capita, compared to six in the UK.

2014

Total Remuneration (&pound)

GDP per capita (&pound)**

Lawyers earning v GDP

UK

&pound140,185

&pound22,238

6.3x

Brazil

&pound91,328*

&pound7,285

12.5x

 

 

 

*1.00 BRL 0.269243 GBP at current exchange rate May 2014

**GDP (PPP) per capital figures based upon IMF estimates May 2014

Economic Outlook

By the time the final whistle is blown, the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil is expected to have produced an additional $3.03 billion to Brazil’s economy according to research findings by Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism. On average lawyers expect the World Cup will provide an additional 1.5% boost to Brazil’s GDP.**

However, Brazilian lawyers are more pessimistic about the domestic economy compared to those practising in the UK. Only a third (32%) of lawyers in Brazil are optimistic, by comparison 61% of UK lawyers said the same about their own domestic economy over the next year.

This aligns with the two countries’ differing economic growth rates. In Q1 2014, Brazil’s economy – the largest in Latin America – grew by 0.6% compared with the previous quarter. By comparison the UK has recently experienced its fastest rate of growth since the last quarter of 2007 with GDP growing by 0.8% in Q1 2014.

Naveen Tuli Global managing director of Laurence Simons International, said, “The legal profession has undeniably felt the impact of Brazil’s emergence on the world stage, to become the seventh largest economy, coupled with its successful bid to host the World Cup. Seven of the largest 20 UK firms have now established offices, typically in Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, catering for the burgeoning domestic legal market and also broadening the scope for recruiting talent.

“Aside from attractive legal pay relative to living costs, Brazil offers great prospects for career progression.. All of this makes Latin America’s largest economy an alluring proposition.

“We fully expect that the subsequent tournaments secured by Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022 will only add to the legal migration around the globe”.

Ricardo Chazin, head of Private Practice for LATAM at Laurence Simons Sao Paulo, said, “Although clearly still developing, Brazil has a dynamic and thriving legal market with a host of opportunities for candidates – both in private practice and in-house. The World Cup bid brought with it a proliferation of projects requiring legal expertise, ranging from infrastructure and construction to contract negotiations.

“With a growing number of multinational companies expanding their operations here, there continues to be a thriving demand for talented legal professionals to support anticipated economic development over the coming years."

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