José Luis de Salles Freire, founding partner of TozziniFreire Advogados, has been elected president of Centro de Estudos das Sociedades de Advogados (CESA), Brazil’s association of law firms.
His three-year term of office began on 30 March, with Freire stepping up from his previous role as vice president.
Freire’s immediate predecessor as president, Antonio de Souza Corrêa Meyer, of Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados welcomes his replacement.
“Mr Freire was the vice president during my term, and he is an outstanding lawyer, and a founder of CESA, and I believe he will be a very good president,” he says.
Meyer says the new president’s immediate challenges for his term of office will be, “to expand the activities of CESA throughout the country and even outside by building relationships with similar bodies.”
“He will also have to handle the financial crisis and its legal consequences, and determine how CESA helps lawyers dealing with those consequences,” he adds.
CESA was founded in 1982 to give law firms better representation in a country whose bar association has compulsory membership, and therefore comprises over half a million lawyers.
It is independent of the bar association, but works with it closely, holding a brief to further the professional and corporate development of its 800 member firms.
Meyer’s term as president was characterised by his staunch support for the bar association’s rules against foreign law firms practicing local law.
Arguing against critics of the system who think it protectionist, Meyer held that foreign lawyers can become Brazilian-qualified by passing the local bar exam, and that opening the market to foreign firms would do little to increase competition in the market.
Another important issue of Meyer’s term of office was his championing a loosening of the restrictions on the types of pro bono work lawyers may take on.
On this matter, Mayer believes he and Freire are of one mind, saying, “Mr Freire thinks as I think that pro bono should not be regulated. Lawyers should be free to do pro bono work provided they don’t do it to infringe ethical rulings.”
Meyer will now move up to become president of CESA’s general board for a three-year term.
(LATINLAWYER 01.04.2009)
(Notícia na Íntegra)