The global strength of Brazilian companies is creating a wave of work for labour lawyers, as contracts designed to woo the best get ever more complex, say members of Brazil’s employment bar.
 
Contracts now contain incentives to make companies more attractive, partly due to increased interest in Brazil’s capital markets and an increased focus on global business relations, and labour lawyers are being brought in to work out the details, explains Sólon de Almeida Cunha, head of the labour practice at Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados.
 
“Contracts for high-level professionals are no longer limited to the negotiation of salary. Hiring now involves elaborate contracts containing diverse clauses and conditions,” he says.
 
“The increasing concern with corporate image and financial results, coupled with high competition in many sectors, has made companies not only develop incentives for these professionals, but also design clauses for retaining them.”
 
In this first stage of selection, salaries and the general conditions of the work are debated. "After this initial stage, lawyers are brought in to work out the contract and iron out other relevant details," says Sólon. “Usually the clauses will include some form of security from civil liability for the executive. Bonds and shareholder options are also discussed, on the basis of the global performance of the company or in the valuation of the shares. Other clauses that are frequently included in contracts are secrecy, periods of renewals and rules that prevent migration to competitors. "
 
The contract conditions are also a positive development for companies, because they safeguard against situations in which executives who obtain exceptional results in the short term leave suddenly, making the transition for the person following in his footsteps difficult. “The companies are looking for solid, long-term associations with these professionals,” says Cunha.
 
(Latin Lawyer 12.08.2008)