The Brazilian Bar, or Law Society, is called the Order of Lawyers of Brazil (OAB), and is the main regulatory body for the legal profession in Brazil. The OAB traces its roots to the beginnings of formal legal education in Brazil, which began in 1827 when the first law schools were established. Inspired by the Portuguese Institute of Lawyers, a Brazilian Institute of Lawyers, which served as a kind of guild or association, was established shortly thereafter, but the actual OAB as a quasi-governmental and regulatory body did not come into fruition until 1930, on the heels of a political revolution.
One of the main responsibilities of the OAB is the admission of new lawyers to the bar. Undergraduate law degrees in Brazil take five years, and recent graduates and final-year students can apply for admission, which requires passing a two-stage examination. The OAB exam is similar to exams required for attorney licensure in other countries, but has been standardized throughout the country for the last few years. Admission of attorneys to the bar in Brazil is by the state OAB section, although lawyers are permitted to represent clients in other jurisdictions on a limited basis.
Ricardo Tosto is a preeminent member of the OAB. Tosto is a partner in the law firm of Leite, Tosto, and Barros, and practices in a number of areas, such as credit repair, banking contracts, bankruptcy, appellate practice, business restructuring, administrative law, electoral law, as well as general civil and commercial practice. Tosto is a graduate of McKenzie University in Sao Paulo. Prior to entering private practice, he served as in-house counsel to Grupo Rede and as a director of the company’s private pension foundation.
Tosto is also active in his OAB section. He was chair of the OAB’s modernization and reform of the judiciary commission and is also a member of the International Bar Association. He is also the author of a book entitled “The Trial of Tiradentes,” about a pivotal event in Brazil history. He is one of the few Brazilian attorneys recognized by Who’s Who in commercial law, and has been ranked by publications such as Legal 500 and Analise 500.