Connect with Fernando via LinkedIn.
Fernando Barros is a recent graduate of the Executive LLM program. He also recently accepted a transfer to the U.S. as an expansion in his role as the head of the Latin American Legal Department at Hitachi Data Systems, an American company. In his new position, in addition to overseeing all of Hitachi’s legal matters in Latin America, Fernando now also works closely with the company’s U.S.-based negotiation team.
In a nod to the ELLM, Fernando explained that, “the ELLM was definitely a factor in the expansion of my role. It demonstrated to my boss that I was motivated to further myself professionally and that I could handle additional responsibilities.”
A six-year employee of Hitachi, Fernando’s transfer prompted him to uproot his life six months ago, moving from the mega-city of Sao Paulo to the suburbs of mountainous Denver, Colorado. In his new role, Fernando is getting involved in the intricacies of contract negotiation in the U.S, understanding how it is approached in common law, in contrast with approaches typical in civil law.
Fernando credits Professor Pettit’s course on Contract Law with giving him a firm basis for understanding and negotiating the Hitachi contracts that he now deals with as well as allowing him to better translate what certain terms in common law contracts mean for civil law jurisdictions. Other courses that Fernando found particularly useful were IP Law and Compliance Law. Because Hitachi is an IT company, Fernando runs into IP issues all the time, and having a foundation in the U.S. jurisprudence on things like trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets has reduced the learning curve in his new position. Fernando is also confronted with developing compliance measures within his company, so having a firm understanding of the existing compliance benchmarks is critical in both upholding the company’s policies and in advocating in favor of ethical behavior.
In addition to his expanded professional responsibilities, Fernando is also adjusting to American culture both in and outside of the workplace. Fernando noted that for a Brazilian used to a city that is constantly alive and bustling, the quiet of American suburban life takes some adjusting to. Also, he finds it interesting how his American colleagues eat by themselves at their desks for lunch, while in Brazil and all around Latin America he and his co-workers would always go out to lunch together. It certainly sounds like Denver could use a couple more Brazilians! He is also learning to live in a place where it snows. Surprisingly, he doesn’t mind shoveling on occasion. And in addition to his favorite beer, Sam Adams, he is now also a fan of Colorado Native.
We wish Fernando all the best in his new position and city.