Most recent posts in ‘Business Law’

May 3, 2018

Any major new law is going to be combed over from every angle to make sure it is fully understood. That is currently happening with the new anti-corruption legislation that was passed in Brazil and became effective last year.

The law establishes a comprehensive system of liability for individual and corporate acts of corruption against Brazilian and foreign public officials or governmental bodies. It will affect any organization that conducts business directly or indirectly in Brazil—whether through an employee, independent contractor, subsidiary or as part of a supply chain.

A recent article from Mondaq broke down the law and pulled out some important information that any international employer needs to know.

"The anti-corruption law applies to companies, regardless of their corporate or legal form, whether foreign or domiciled in Brazil, and whether the unlawful act is committed within or outside Brazilian territory," the article reads. "Civil liability extends to the entity's directors, officers, employees and agents who commit, participate, or aid in the commission of the unlawful act, whether the act is performed in Brazil or abroad."

The piece added that any company that has or is looking to expand and have a global reach, whether it is direct sales or as part of a supply chain, would be wise to seek out Brazilian lawyers or international legal counsel. Once acquired, companies need to consider implementing a corporate compliance program that will take into account all major anti-corruption laws to ensure the business is compl

February 3, 2018

Privacy and government interaction with social media have been major topics of concern, especially since the NSA leaks. Now, these policies are gaining more attention in Brazil.

The Brazilian government has already enacted the first set of regulations around data and internet governance. Known as the "Internet Constitution," or Marco Civil da Internet, the document aims to establish the rights and duties of Brazilian citizens, the government and businesses regarding internet use. It has been in the works since 2009 but has been fast tracked since the U.S. spying news broke in July.

Now, according to a ZDNet article, Facebook and Google are expressing concerns because of recent proposed amendments. The main issue revolves around a requirement that all data be stored locally. A Facebook spokesman said this addition is an "enormous technical challenge" and could cause problems for the Brazil's internet service.

William Beer, a security expert at consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal, warned that this move would complicate an already difficult landscape.

"[The Brazilian government] needs to be very careful as there are a lot of datacenter-related issues already, such as the high cost of electricity, access to skills and even the temperature, which makes it expensive to run those facilities in Brazil," Beer said. "Then if you add regulation that will present further obstacles, companies might end up moving their IT operations to other South American countries where the rules are not so strict."

Beers went on to say that this law could be voted on as a knee-jerk reaction to the privacy issues in the U.S. before it is actually ready to be implemented in Brazi

August 29, 2013

Getting health care to every citizen is complicated, especially for those in the poor and remote areas of a country. However, some areas are answering this challenge by thinking outside the box. Brazil, for example, has partnered with Cuba to bring 4,000 Cuban doctors and other medical personnel to these areas when it became clear that Brazilian doctors only wanted to work in cities and not in the remote areas of the country.

According to a recent article from the Miami Herald, the first 400 professionals under the Mais Medicos (More Doctors) program will begin arriving on Friday and cost the Brazilian government more than $200 million.

However, the move is not official yet as the agreement needs to be reviewed for possible violations of the Brazilian labor laws and regulations.

"After we analyze the documentation, we will take the required steps … because already there are some visible irregularities," José de Lima Ramos Pereira, chief prosecutor in the labor fraud section of the Office of the District Attorney was quoted as saying in Brazilian news media reports.

One issue is that it raises "legal uncertainty" because of the use of the Pan American Health Organization, a Washington-based branch of the World Health Organization, as the go between for financial transactions between the two organizations. Officials will also be checking to ensure Cuban doctors are not paid below the minimum allowed by Brazilian law.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next several days and weeks as prosecutors comb through the contract.

August 27, 2013

Brazil has made international headlines in recent weeks because of the role of reporter David Miranda played in the Edward Snowden NSA leak. However, a new event may be taking it off the front page.

According to a recent article from the Wall Street Journal, Brazil's foreign minister Antonio Patriota was fired this week after rising diplomatic tension with neighboring Bolivia. This stems from an incident where a Brazilian diplomat helped a Bolivian opposition senator facing criminal charges flee the country.

The senator, Roger Pinto, had been hiding out in Brazil's embassy after leaking Bolivian documents that allegedly show a connection between drug traffickers and the government. He claims to have received death threats since doing so. Pinto received asylum in June but Bolivian officials did not grant him permission to leave the country.

Word out of Patriota's camp is that the foreign minister had no knowledge of the plan to extract Pinto and issued a statement that said his department would be investigating the incident. Bolivian officials have called Pinto a fugitive and have said they will seek extradition.

"The controversy illustrates Brazil's tricky diplomatic role as the economic might of South America's largest country has grown," the article reads. "[Bolivian President Evo]. Morales is an ally of Brazil's leftist government, and Brazil has sought to stay out of Bolivian politics."

This move should help soothe the feelings between the two countries but it will be important to see how these two countries are able to interact while a solution is worked out.

August 21, 2013

The citizen protests in Brazil features outrage over a lack of funding for the health care and education systems. Making matters worse is that the government is shelling over piles of cash to fund the upcoming World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. Over the last few months, residents have taken to the streets to show their outrage and legislators are finally listening.

It was announced this week that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is expected to sign a bill into law that is considered a "historic victory." It is a plan to exploit the country's oil discoveries through domestic and foreign partnerships which will bring in royalties of between $150-300 billion over the next 35 years. The new bill will take 75 percent of that money and put it toward funding public education, while the remaining 25 percent will be used for the national health care system. Next year that royalties will equal $800 million.

There are some who question whether the money will actually be used in the ways that it has been declared. This is because of the history of corruption within the government. Despite this, President Dilma sees this as a positive step.

"For me and my government education is the principal pillar to transform Brazil into a great nation, assuring that our people are freed from poverty," Dilma said in a radio address.

This issue has been a focal point of the protests that started back in June and the bill is a direct result of that. It was proposed on July and passed by the Senate. It just passed through the lower house last week.