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LACCA Approved: Fábio de Souza Aranha Cascione

Banking & Finance Firm: Cascione Pulino Boulos & Santos Advogados (São Paulo) Brazil

Fábio de Souza Aranha Cascione

Partner

fcascione@cpbs.com.br
Tel: +55 11 3165.3000

Fábio Cascione is a founding member of Cascione, Pulino, Boulos & Santos Advogados, and is recognised as one of the best lawyers in Brazil for banking and finance operations. He has extensive experience in local and cross-border transactions, including the financing of infrastructure projects, structured transactions, securitisation, debt securities issues and consultancy on matters related to banking and capital markets regulations. Cascione is also recognised for his background in real estate law, with an emphasis on structuring real estate, due diligence issues and real estate financing. In addition, he is recognised for his experience in business contracts.

Thought Leaders 2018 - Interview with Fábio de Souza Aranha Cascione

What inspired you to pursue a career in the legal profession and why did you decide to specialise in banking and finance?

From an early age I was influenced by family members working in the legal industry. The passion they had for their work inspired me greatly. But my specialisation in banking and finance really came into realisation in the early stages of my law studies in the 1990s, after the opening of the economy in Brazil to foreign trade and foreign investments in financial markets and technology.

You have achieved so much in your career, what would you say have been your proudest moments?

It is very difficult to specify a single moment I am most proud of in my career to date, because every single piece of work is important to me, from the smallest to the most complex. I am proud of everything I have accomplished.  Despite this, the feeling I got when I founded the law firm with my most admired peers, was one of a kind. Even though it was a huge challenge, I was certain I was making the right move.

What are the biggest challenges currently facing banking and finance lawyers in Brazil?

Regulation is always the biggest challenge for lawyers in my practice area. In particular, the new Law 13,506 of 13 November 2017, which changed important rules in the banking industry. The law has certain provisions that still need to be explained and interpreted. If these new rules are not clarified, fines can be imposed on financial institutions.

How has the development of the fintech industry impacted work in your practice area?

New technologies are changing the way we think about the financial industry. New regulations on payment arrangements, fintechs and peer-to-peer lending, for instance, are being enacted by the Central Bank of Brazil. We are always questioning whether such regulations are indeed appropriate in a world of new disruptive technologies.

In what way do you think Brazil’s regulatory framework for banking could be improved?

Considering the perspective of new technologies, it seems that the Central Bank of Brazil is well prepared for the new, up-and-coming methods of payment and credit, but a new regulatory framework should be drawn up more quickly, with greater openness to the inputs coming from civil society. Regulations should be preceded by a public hearing. This procedure could become a rule in the near future.

How has Brazil’s recent economic downturn impacted work for the firm? Do you foresee any changes on the horizon?

Although we are a medium-sized law firm, our firm does offer a full service; therefore, we did not suffer as much as it could have been expected. The busiest practice areas as a result of the economic downturn were litigation, debt restructuring, investments in distressed assets and opportunistic M&As. We hope Brazilian economy and institutions improve in the coming years, thus creating a better environment for new business.

In your opinion, what sets your firm apart from competitors in the market?

I think our firm is viewed as dynamic, with a lot of energy and force. Education is highly encouraged for all of our team members in order to continue developing skills and expertise within the firm. We always stimulate our lawyers to treat every single piece of work as if it was handmade and we like to work in an environment of cooperation. At the same time as offering in-depth analysis, we strive to deliver very practical advice to the client.

What advice would you share with younger lawyers looking to specialise in banking and finance?

I think it is important to advise young lawyers not to forget the fundamentals of civil law and business law. New financial products that are well recognised outside Brazil must be adapted and conform to the Brazilian legal system. In many cases only the basis of civil law and business law can give us an answer on how such new products could be structured in Brazil.

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