GIR unveils the 40 under 40 2020
GIR is proud to present the third edition of the 40 under 40, highlighting the next generation of accomplished young investigations specialists.
In the 40 Under 40, GIR shines the spotlight on individuals from around the world who don’t always get the kind of recognition that their more established peers do. You may not have heard their names before but you’ve almost certainly read about cases and investigations they’ve taken leading roles on.
Selecting the final 40 was by no means easy. In January, we were inundated with strong applications from specialists under the age of 40 from all over the world, including Brazil, India, China, Russia and Australia. Those seeking to enter the 40 had to detail their investigations experience and provide references from colleagues and clients who could attest to the quality of their work and provide further reasons why these individuals are worthy of the recognition.
To select the 40, we considered a range of factors, including the applicant’s experience, the quality of their references and the jurisdiction they work in.
There were, however, several highly impressive investigations specialists who did not make the cut. Many have CVs most practitioners could only dream of at their age, and leaving them out was tough.
Here, we showcase our final 40. We present a diverse group: the individuals practise across 13 jurisdictions and work for 40 different employers, including law firms, consultancies and major companies. There are 21 men and 19 women in our final 40.
In the survey, the final 40 discuss their biggest cases and the individuals who have inspired them. Their current colleagues relay funny anecdotes, including about one nominee who ate a live octopus during a witness interview and another who is nicknamed “the chairman” by enforcement authorities. Finally, others who have worked with them, including former colleagues and clients, give an insight into the nominees’ qualities.
Firm: Sampaio Ferraz
Job role: Partner
Location: São Paulo
A SIGNIFICANT CASE I’VE WORKED ON
Braskem was the most important and the favourite case I have worked on. After negotiating a global settlement with the DOJ, the SEC, the Swiss Attorney General’s Once and the Brazilian Federal Prosecution Service (MPF) for $1 billion in December 2016, we settled with the Once of the Federal Controller General (CGU) and the O!ce of the General Counsel of the Federal Government (AGU) in May 2019 – still the largest settlement ever entered with those agencies. As a result, my team and I executed a series of investigations requested by the MPF, the CGU, the AGU, state prosecutors, the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission, the DOJ and Braskem’s compliance team.
After the 2016 global settlement, during negotiations with the CGU and the AGU, the challenge was to keep all competent agencies with the same level of information while, at the same time, performing complex investigations requested by those agencies. The results of such investigations had to be presented almost simultaneously to the competent authorities so as to comply with the MPF settlement and not hold back negotiations with the other agencies, including the CGU and the AGU.
“Brazilian authorities get along very well with my partner Rodrigo Maia. Despite the seriousness of the negotiation table of a leniency agreement, he is able to create a constructive and mild atmosphere, which is very much appreciated by all.
He has a great advantage in that task: he bears the same name as Brazil’s current chairman of the Brazilian Federal Congress. Some say he even looks like him. Now he is known by some local authorities simply as the “chairman”.”
Luís Wielewicki Anti-corruption practice head at Sampaio Ferraz
An important person in my career
Luís Wielewicki, my partner and the head of the anti-corruption practice in Sampaio Ferraz, had the biggest influence in my career. Not only in the investigation and anti- corruption practices, but during my entire professional qualification. We have been working together for almost 15 years and his strong sense of ethics and leadership were a constant reminder of the complexity and the seriousness of our work. He has always exercised his leadership by example, with fairness and generosity.
We have worked in some of the most complex Brazilian and global white-collar settlements and investigations and Luís always acted with temperance and long-term strategic thinking. This always pushed and inspired me to be a better lawyer, a better professional colleague for my partners and, most of all, a better person.
“I worked with Rodrigo Maia for two years in my period at JBS as part of the team that supported the investigations of JBS and Seara Ltda. Rodrigo has always been a very straightforward and available person with strong communication skills and a problem-solving attitude. He and his team were able to execute highly complex tasks with creativity and focus.”
Daniel Araújo Former JBS lawyer during an internal investigation
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