Lawyers specialized in the field of International Law are regularly hired by foreigners in need of legal assistance in Brazil.

For the perfect provision of the necessary assistance, it is essential to clarify the legal treatment given to the foreigner by the Brazilian State.

As provided for in the Brazilian Constitution, foreigners residing in Brazil and foreigners not living in Brazil are entitled to treatment identical to those accorded to Brazilian citizens and may also sue the Judiciary Power in Brazil.

The right of action admitted to foreigners (both individuals and companies without headquarters or branches in Brazil) is regulated by article 5 XXXV of the Brazilian Constitution, which establishes that everyone is equal before the Law, with guarantees of rights for Brazilians and foreigners to obtain judicial protection for the exercise of the defense of their interests in an identical way.

However, the provisions of Article 835 of the Code of Civil Procedure must be observed, which states that in the event of a lawsuit, whose Plaintiff is a foreign person (resident outside Brazil) and who does not have assets in the country to ensure the payment of procedural costs and attorney’s fees for the opposing party, the latter must provide a “bond” (cash guarantee) in the court’s account in an amount sufficient to support such potential expenses.

Once the legal basis regarding foreigners’ rights in Brazil has been overcome, we will proceed to the practical aspects for their representation before the Brazilian Judiciary.

To sue the Brazilian Judiciary, the foreigner must appoint a Brazilian lawyer to represent him, who will submit a Power of Attorney, which may be written in Portuguese or Portuguese and English, or even exclusively in another language, without restrictions.

This power of attorney, internationally known as Power of Attorney, Carta Poder, PoA, or Proxy, is the legal document necessary for its representation, which must be signed by a capable attorney, having the signature recognized by a local Notary or Notary.

Afterward, this Power of Attorney must be forwarded to the nearest Brazilian Consulate, where it will be “consularized,” or Apostilled (Hague Apostille Stamp), an act consisting of legalization, through the recognition of the signature of the competent Notary or Foreign Authority that recognizes the original document, under the terms of the regulation consular.

Said document may also be an Apostille, receiving international recognition under the Hague Apostille Agreement.

Once this procedure has been completed, the document must be sent to the Brazilian lawyer, who will submit it for translation into Portuguese by a sworn translator and be registered at the Registry of Deeds and Documents.

The signatory’s identity document must also accompany the foreign power of attorney, either a copy of their valid identity, passport, Bylaws, or Articles of Incorporation in the case of foreign legal entities.

With the Power of Attorney regularly received, the lawyer will be able to file lawsuits, present a defense, and perform other acts in or out of court to protect the foreign person’s rights, such as acquiring real estate, vehicles, shares, and bonds, carrying out public records, buying, sell, among others, performing all acts legally permitted to foreigners within the Federative Republic of Brazil.

It should be noted that according to OAB Provision 91/2000, foreign lawyers who intend to work in Brazil will need authorization from the OAB. These professionals are limited to providing consultancy on foreign Law.

The practice of Law in Brazil and consultancy in Brazilian Law are prohibited to foreign lawyers and cannot be carried out even in partnership with national lawyers.

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Mauricio Ejchel