São Paulo-based Siqueira Castro Advogados has bolstered its corporate practice with a hire from Dantas Lee Brock & Camargo Advogados.

Guilherme Dantas, based in São Paulo, helped establish Dantas Lee Brock & Camargo Advogados in 2003 and served as senior partner. Citing confidentiality agreements, Dantas said that he is not at liberty to speak publicly about all the factors behind his move.

Dantas observed that in a period of unrest and retraction of the Brazilian economy, a legal market characterized by high concentration and large accounts and transactions, and only a relative handful of large law firms, is to be expected.

“We are still facing the challenge in the legal industry with the imposition of budget restrictions,” he said. “For the past 10 years, Brazil experienced a continuing growing rate that reflected a yearly growth on legal expenses. That, alone, allowed the growth of medium-sized firms in that period and also promoted the birth and creation of new ones.”

He added that the slowdown of the economy “suddenly wakened the medium and large corporations to immediately reduce expenses with everything.”

“It was a sudden-stroke to the industry,” Dantas continued. “All legal and procurement [services] started to claim reductions, impose fee limits with budget ceilings and demand high performances. And, in my view, this will last no less than five to ten years. Firms and lawyers will have to reinvent themselves.”

Dantas foresees a number of tough challenges for the country’s corporate sector.

“The corporate market is expecting short-term results, meaning that we do have to be fast and furious,” he said. “There is no room for legal babbling with no delivery. All ‘sacred cows’ are being put aside. We need to focus more on quality than on quantity. It is a challenge, especially in an industry vested with a veil of traditions.”

Dantas earned his law degree from Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas Law School and did postgraduate studies in economic law and telecommunications at Getulio Vargas Foundation.