Brazilian full-service firm Lefosse has hired a new head partner, along with a team of lawyers and staff, for its compliance, investigations and white-collar practice to help field a growing number of regulatory and compliance matters.
Adriana Dantas has brought lawyers Marina Nicolosi, Alba Duarte and Eduardo Bassani, plus administrative staff, with her to Lefosse and dissolved her boutique, Adriana Dantas Advogados.
“The operations carried out by publicly traded companies increasingly require compliance with legal regulations and integrity-related requirements,” Lefosse managing partner Rodrigo Junqueira said in a statement.
“With her international expertise, Adriana shall hold a strategic position in our firm to offer tailored services to our clients, considering the business environment is undergoing deep and positive cultural transformations around the world,” he added.
Lefosse has ambitious growth plans, with firm leaders seeking to secure a spot in what they see as a “magic circle” forming in Brazil. The firm also aims to promote more female partners to leadership positions within Lefosse, where men head most practice areas and the executive committee is dominated by male partners.
Lefosse’s compliance, investigations and white-collar practice employs two other female partners: Juliana Daniel and Ludmila Groch.
“I believe Lefosse is a growing player formed by people and professionals that I admire and with whom I relate,” Dantas said of the decision to bring her compliance expertise to the firm.
Compliance work has been a hot practice area in the South American country since the 2014 rollout of Operation Car Wash, which probed illicit payments to government officials by construction giant Odebrecht.
That investigation, which had a ripple effect across Latin America, signaled Brazil’s willingness and ability to tackle major corruption cases.
Dantas has more than 20 years of experience in compliance, and internal investigations, with a focus on multi-jurisdictional investigations. She and her team also bring expertise in white-collar defense, government enforcement and international trade matters.
She is chairperson of the Inter-American Development Bank’s sanctions committee, an international administrative court of appeals for cases involving corruption, fraud or formation of cartels in projects financed by the bank in Latin America. Dantas is the first woman to hold that office.
Dantas is also chairwoman of the compliance subcommittee of the International Bar Association, and recently left a position on the integrity committee of the board of directors at Petrobras, the Brazilian state-run oil company.
She advises national and multinational clients on matters including administrative defenses, negotiation of leniency agreements, internal investigations, crisis management, design, implementation and monitoring of integrity and compliance programs, as well as on matters related to sanctions and commercial defense.
In particular, Dantas said she aims to help grow Lefosse’s multi-jurisdictional work, building on contacts forged as an international lawyer in Washington, D.C., Geneva and London.
She previously worked at large Brazilian firms such as BMA and Trench Rossi Watanabe, which has a cooperation agreement with Baker McKenzie.
Dantas holds a Ph.D. in International Economic Law from the Universidade de São Paulo Law School, a master’s degree from the University of London, King’s College and a bachelor’s degree in Law from the Universidade de Brasília.