, by Chris Shattuck. Article about BACC-SE Member - Morris, Manning & Martin LLP.
As the world’s sixth largest economy, surpassing the United Kingdom in March, Brazil has become a buzzword for international investors in recent years, particularly as it prepares for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.
Atlanta-based law firm Morris, Manning & Martin LLP has been involved in the country since 2009, servicing clients in its timber industry, but now hopes to expand its practice into other areas of law through a strategic alliance with a local firm in São Paulo.
In addition to its alliance with Fleury Malheiros, Gasparini, De Cresci e Nogueira de Lima Advogados, Morris Manning has hired several attorneys in recent years to strengthen its timberland practice, generating more than $1 billion in business deals and transactions in the U.S., Brazil and abroad.
“What you have in Brazil is the ability to leverage off timberland exports to branch into other things,” said Glenn Dunaway, a Morris Manning attorney specializing in forestry in Brazil. “That translates into all sorts of sectors like real estate, the ports and the environment.” The firm wants to expand its influence as Brazil continues on its growth path, which will require the country to invest steadily in roads, railroads and ports even as it builds gleaming new athletic stadiums, Gerald Pouncey, a Morris Manning senior partner, told GlobalAtlanta.
Indeed, the country faces the challenge of ensuring that long-term infrastructure plans don’t get lost in the scramble to finish more immediate projects in time for the major sporting events, said Mr. Pouncey, who assisted with the redevelopment of Atlantic Station in Midtown and helped write some of Brazil's environmental laws.
“Brazil has to and will continue to improve rail connection from the ports into both the metropolitan areas and the major industrial areas where it’s needed,” said Mr. Pouncey. “Brazil must also improve the roads, and they recognize that by their own investments.”
Since Brazil won the right in 2007 to host the World Cup in 2014, the government and private sector have jointly set aside more than $800 billion toward the Accelerated Growth Program, an initiative aimed at building public works and infrastructure projects.
And when Rio de Janeiro becomes the first South American city to host the Olympics in 2016, the World Cup investments will have given it a head start. Still, some are already projecting cost overruns like those that have plagued recent Olympics even in the developed world.
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