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Latin Lawyer announces Lifetime Achievement Awards

Latin Lawyer is delighted to present its two Lifetime Achievement Awards to Ary Oswaldo Mattos Filho, a founding partner at Brazil’s Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados, and Carlos Urrutia Valenzuela, Colombia's ambassador to the United States and the former managing partner at Colombia’s Brigard & Urrutia Abogados.

Ary Oswaldo Mattos Filho and Carlos Urrutia Valenzuela 

Ary Oswaldo Mattos Filho and Carlos Urrutia Valenzuela

One of the Brazil’s most revered and respected lawyers, Ary Oswaldo Mattos Filho has become a household name in Latin American legal circles thanks to the eponymous law firm he helped found in 1992. Under his careful stewardship, Mattos Filho developed into one of the region’s legal powerhouses, managing the rare feat of excelling in the breadth of its service offering and quality of its transactional lawyers. Ever a believer in modernisation, Ary Oswaldo realised early on the importance of having effective mechanisms to ensure a successful transition and was instrumental in implementing by-laws requiring partners to sell their shares in the firm once they reach 60.

Alongside building one of Brazil’s top-tier law firms, Ary Oswaldo is also renowned for helping to modernise the country’s legal education system, which is traditionally based on a model of rote learning. The Direito GV was founded by Ary Oswaldo fifteen years ago and is now one of the country’s leading law schools with its graduates receiving an average of four job offers each. The school’s innovative approach, including employing full-time proffessors and giving students more practice-oriented coursework, have helped it stand out from the crowd and has influenced the development of legal education in other universities in Brazil.

Carlos Urrutia Valenzuela’s appointment as ambassador to the US in 2012, as well as his membership of the panel at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, indicates the high-standing of the former Brigard & Urrutia partner, not just in his home country of Colombia, but across the region as a whole. Urrutia demonstrated his commitment to public service early on in his career with roles as secretary general and secretary of finance of the Cundinamarca governorship. He followed this up by going into private practice at Brigard & Urrutia, his father’s law firm, in 1977.

Now almost 40 years since he began working at the firm, 13 of which he spent as its managing partner, Urrutia has crafted a reputation as an expert strategist with a head for business. Peers and clients alike also praise his encyclopaedic knowledge of Colombia’s business environment - much of it gained as a board member of several of Colombia’s leading companies.

Latin Lawyer will present Ary Oswaldo and Urrutia with their awards at the charity awards ceremony at the Hotel Unique in São Paulo on Thursday 19 March, which is being held in aid of three of the region’s pro-bono clearing houses: Chile’s Fundación Pro Bono, Brazil’s Instituto Pro Bono and Fundación Barra Mexicana. Information on tickets can be found by clicking here.

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