Our Head of Europe & Latin America at Kidd Aitken Legal Marketing, Giseli Farias, seems to have perfected the art of the balanced lifestyle.
“At 7am, I go to CrossFit three times a week, and ashtanga yoga three times a week. By 9pm, I’m in bed. I love the beach, nature, dancing, hiking, yoga retreats — one weekend can be a calm, chilled retreat in the mountains or on the beach in Valencia with my son, and the next I’ll spend seven hours at a techno gig.”
To complement this full life, Giseli has built extensive expertise in legal marketing, directory submissions, award submissions, and the workings of law firms more broadly, and has become one of our most senior members of staff.
Having worked at Chambers & Partners for several years as a Senior Researcher on the Chambers Europe directory, then as the Head of Brazil Research later on for the Latin America Guide, Giseli went on to work as a consultant for law firms, as well as with events production, translation, transcription, and interpretation (she is a native Portuguese speaker, and fluent in Spanish and English). To top it all off, she worked for Jet Set Sports during the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Olympic Broadcasting Services during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Giseli has a degree in Education from the University of Rio de Janeiro and a professional diploma in Project Management from the Brighton School of Business and Management.
Speaking of her development since joining Kidd Aitken Legal Marketing, Giseli recalls:
“When I joined the team in 2017, I was originally Head of Iberian Markets — but I was also working with most of our Spanish speaking clients, including those in Latin America and other European jurisdictions. As the business developed and gained more clients, it simply became a natural progression for me to become Head of Europe and Latin America.”
Being multilingual also provides a great service to Giseli’s clients:
“Whenever it’s possible, I think it's crucial to communicate with clients in their native language. Though most of our clients can speak English, it may not be their first language. Hosting kick-off calls in Spanish or Portuguese helps to unite us and build a solid working relationship. It’s also a great benefit to clients when discussing more complicated topics, like strategy. We may be a British company, but the sheer volume and diversity of languages we speak at Kidd Aitken Legal Marketing adds great value to our offer.”
While language may have been one area through which her role was fashioned, one of the key differences between the European and emerging Latin American legal markets, Giseli notes, is their area of specialism focus.
“Aside from a few niche exceptions, Latin America tends to be far more regionally specialised than Europe — there are niche exceptions, of course, but most of Latin America is more regional.
Brazil could, for example, be compared with the USA market in terms of the structure of their law firms, lawyers, and breadth of specialisms — but the rest of Latin America: less so. There are smaller jurisdictions, of course. In Peru, I have four or five clients that focus on dispute resolution, so I can see a tendency for dispute resolution boutiques — but I don't know if this is the case across the entirety of Peru, let alone Latin America. These are the patterns we generally look for and expect.”
Giseli, then, observes that Latin America can be considered a centre of excellence in general, but far more so regionally — and it seems to be facing an uncertain future.
“The new Brazilian President is currently trying to unite Latin America into something similar to the European Union, to build a trade bloc of sorts, and recently there was a meeting of all Latin American presidents. I can see a lot of possible development across all sorts of markets over the next few years throughout the region.
I cannot say whether they're still talking about that as a plan now but, after far-right governments of the past, there seems to be some hope of unison. There’s visible movement of neighbouring countries trying to work together. I think it will be a benefit to us all.”
With regional development across the Latin American market, there has been a significant growth of legal directories, too. “We’ve started working with the Leaders League,” Giseli explains, “which is continuously growing and very respected in Brazil.”
“Latin American directories, compared to, say, the British directories, ask much more about the contextual market they’re operating in — it’s a large part of the submission — so we feel as though they are not only acting as a legal directory, but are also collecting information about the market from the lawyers themselves, to build other marketing proposals and business development plans.”
One key goal of Giseli’s plans is to develop Kidd Aitken’s presence in the emerging Latin America market.
“We already work with more than 30 law firms there and over 100 lawyers. For example, one of Kidd Aitken’s Founders and Directors, Jacob Aitken, is working with a law firm that currently writes roughly 200 submissions a year. There are endless opportunities there and it’s always been my goal to develop Kidd Aitken’s presence in the Brazilian market, and subsequently, the broader Latin American sector.
I’m getting a team to work with Brazil in particular, which will give capacity to acquire more clients. I’d also like to further expand our client base in Mexico: an overlooked area, presenting another huge and sophisticated market.”
Kidd Aitken Legal Marketing was founded in 2015 by two previous Chambers and Partners editors, Daniel Kidd and Jacob Aitken. Our team of more than 50 global experts work with international law firms on their legal directory submissions and legal award submissions. Having crafted more than 10,000 submissions across our collective careers, and with our founders being ranked in the top 3 legal directory consultants in the world, we are now the world’s largest legal directory and awards consultancy.