Thursday, 22nd March 2012 by Clare Bolton and Rosie Cresswell

Latin Lawyer is very happy to announce three Lifetime Achievement Awards, which will be presented at its annual charity awards ceremony in São Paulo next Thursday.

The winners are:

Hector Mairal, Marval, O′Farrell & Mairal – Lifetime Achievement Award

Jose Roberto Opice, Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados – Lifetime Achievement Award

Alexis Rovzar, White & Case LLP – Lifetime Achievement Award – Pro Bono

Hector Mairal is likely the most recognised name in the Argentine legal market. One of the leading M&A and administrative lawyers of his generation, Mairal has given cutting edge advice on many of the country’s most sophisticated deals and provides invaluable support to companies operating in Argentina’s highly regulated economy. His talents were recently sought for the negotiations between steelmaker Siderar and the Argentine government over an emergency decree giving the government the power to appoint board members to companies. He is also a prominent arbitration lawyer, acting for companies such as the UK’s BG Group in cases against Argentina. Mairal joined Marval, O′Farrell & Mairal, by far the country’s largest firm, in 1991, having previously been a partner at Klein & Mairal. Counterparts and clients across Latin America and further afield hold him in high regard, finding praise for his experience, academic excellence, business acumen and energy.

Jose Roberto Opice has been at the forefront of financial and corporate legal work in Brazil for decades. He co-founded Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados in 1972, a firm which is still today one of the top-ranked law firms in Brazil and indeed Latin America, known throughout the region for the very high quality of its legal advice and of its lawyers. Opice has since then been consistently at the cutting edge of practice, for example in the 1990s playing a leading role in the wave of privatisations which not only helped shape modern Brazil, but which in fact were being done in a rapidly developing legal environment, deeply testing the legal skills of those involved: a test in which Opice very much proved his mettle. He has continued advising clients on some of Brazil’s most complex financial transactions in the succeeding years, and equally has acted as a mentor and trainer to the best and the brightest of the country’s corporate lawyers, some of whom have become leading lawyers in their own right.

Until his untimely death this year, Alexis Rovzar was a leading light in the regional development of pro bono and of the internationalisation of legal practice. He was a truly eminent lawyer, responsible for building two of Mexico’s best law firms today, Ritch Mueller SC and White & Case SC, and the archetypal right hand to some of Mexico’s top companies – as demonstrated by the fact that he was on the board of so many of them for decades. He also founded an investment bank, using his knowledge built advising lenders to build a successful lending institution. He spent the last seven years of his career leading White & Case’s Latin American practice from New York, helping to oversee for example White & Case’s launch in São Paulo. Even more than all of this, Rovzar demonstrated a truly outstanding commitment to the development of pro bono both in Mexico and around the region, using his high regard within the legal and business community, and his excellent legal acumen, to help those in society much less fortunate than himself. His dedicated philanthropy is one of his most enduring and proudest legacies, and has marked the lives of many both in and outside the legal community.

Latin Lawyer’s awards ceremony is being held at the Hotel Unique in São Paulo on Thursday 29 March in aid of three of the region’s pro bono clearinghouses; ProVene in Venezuela, CIDSEP in Paraguay and Brazil’s Instituto Pro Bono. Tickets are selling out fast, but places are still available and can be purchased by clicking here.

(Latin Lawyer 22.03.2012)

(Notícia na Íntegra)