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Maria Luisa Soter


Maria Luisa (Isa) Soter is a partner in the Firm’s Rio de Janeiro office. Ms. Soter focuses her practice in the areas of corporate immigration and labor and employment law. She advises international and Brazilian corporations on the complexities surrounding successfully navigating the Brazilian labor laws. Ms. Soter also advises companies on immigration matters and manages multiple inbound cases annually for corporate clients across a range of industries, including banking, oil & gas and telecommunications.

After establishing the Corporate Immigration Practice at the Firm, Ms. Soter has continued to develop the expertise of this practice, making the Firm a recognized leader in the corporate immigration field. Often a foreign company’s first contact with Brazil is through the corporate immigration process – a fact that keeps clients coming back to Ms. Soter for her effective and efficient processing of this critical documentation.

Ms. Soter also has a dynamic and varied labor practice, counseling Brazilian and international employers on issues related to outsourcing, overtime, collective bargaining agreements, terminations and drug testing.  Clients from Great Britain, the United States and Australia rely upon Ms. Soter’s expertise and knowledge of Brazilian labor codes.

Ms. Soter brings a unique perspective to clients based upon her early career experience as a labor judge and her knowledge of, and ability to interpret, the key Brazilian labor laws. Serving on the bench from 1992 through 2000, Ms. Soter began her judicial career as a Substitute Judge in the trial courts and was elevated to Presiding Judge in 1994. Within two years, she moved to the Appellate Labor Court, where she presided in four different groups of judges, as well as in the Specialized Section on Individual Labor Disputes and in the Specialized Section on Collective Labor Disputes.

Ms. Soter is an active member of Ius Laboris, an international alliance of leading Human Resources law practitioners, with more than 2,500 lawyers providing local labor law knowledge and coverage in more than 100 countries. She is also an invited professor in the post-graduate program at Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV-RJ) and previously taught labor law at Universidade Santa Ursula for three years.