On the first page of its website, IWRCF Advogados presents itself as an office with “sophisticated and innovative advocacy services”. But how to achieve innovation in such a traditional service? In the words of partner Ricardo Inglez de Souza, one of the largest references in competition and international trade in Brazil – according to the publication Chambers and Partners -, the office avoids what he calls “commodities of the Law.”
“Instead of common and mass cases, such as membership contracts or repetitive actions, we prefer to focus on more strategic litigation”, he says. And this has worked. In the IWRCF curriculum there are cases of relevance in all its areas of expertise. In particular, the areas of competitive law, civil litigation, legal marketing, tax and labor have been present in cases that are striking for the recent history of the country.
The office takes care, for example, of litigation related to Zelotes and Lava Jato operations and to investigations into the formation of a cartel in bidding for São Paulo subway works. Another highlight is the investigation opened in March this year by the Administrative Council of Economic Defense (Cade – Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica) against five of the largest Brazilian banks, accused of practices restricting free competition in the financial market. The IWRCF represents fintech Nubank, who filed the charges that initiated the case.
“We are business oriented and our way of working allows us to be closer to those who hire us,” says Ricardo. Lawyers at the firm have been in countries such as the US, Japan and Mexico to learn more about customers’ business.
Controversy on Valentine’s Day
One of the most famous cases taken by IWRCF lawyers was the campaign of O Boticario for Valentine’s Day in 2015. At the time, the brand exhibited a video with couples exchanging gifts, among them homosexuals. The content of the piece generated more than 20 complaints in the National Council for Self-Regulatory Advertising (Conar – Conselho Nacional de Autorregulamentação Publicitária). The office acted in defense of the advertising created by the agency AlmapBBDO and managed to keep the commercial in the air. Conar itself has also contracted the IWRCF when the entity had one of its institutional campaigns questioned by the public.
At CCBC, the direction of the office is to conduct networking, increase the visibility of its work and gain direct access to news of the sector. IWRCF has Brazilian clients with business in Canada as well as Canadian clients, besides having most arbitration cases sent to CAM-CCBC. Among the upcoming projects with the Chamber, there is the signing of an article in conjunction with the McCarthy Tétrault LLP office for the Comparative Law project and the participation of tax lawyer Fábio Ramos in the Podcast programming.