Paul Hastings has snagged global energy and project finance partner Roberta Bassegio from Brazilian law firm Veirano Advogados where she has worked since 1998. The firm hired Bassegio to work as chair of the firm’s projected office in São Paulo, which it announced March 2015, though regulatory approval is still needed. Pending such approval, Bassegio is working as a partner in her new employer’s New York office. In Brazil, Bassegio, who is licensed to practice in both New York and Brazil, will act as a foreign legal consultant, advising clients on foreign and New York law. Regulations in Brazil prevent foreign firms from hiring local lawyers to practice Brazilian law.

“It’s not that common to have partners shifting their practice as I just did,” Bassegio said, though she noted that many of the transactions she has worked on were cross-border with a New York law component. Bassegio described the shift as a “change, but not completely different or unfamiliar.” 

When working on a project finance transaction about ten years ago, Bassegio met Robert Kartheiser, chair of the Global Project Finance practice at Paul Hastings and a partner in the firm’s Latin American practice. Paul Hastings hired Kartheiser from Allen & Overy in March 2015. Bassegio worked as an international associate at Allen & Overy for a year from 2009 to 2010 at Kartheiser’s request. It was Kartheiser who reached out to Bassegio about the opportunity to join Paul Hastings.

“I believe from Brazil we can do a lot of work with our neighboring countries,” Bassegio said. “The fact is that Argentina will probably pick up within the next year and receive more foreign investment."

Bassegio earned her LLM from Columbia Law School in 2009 and her Bachelors of Law from Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio in 2002.