Daniela Lima began her career in 1999 and became a lawyer in 2004. She has significant experience in all aspects of immigration, having established and managed multiple offices – with her work including establishing, hiring and training immigration teams. She has also had the opportunity to work on immigration matters in Brazil and Latin America. She is a very sharp executive, and has served as the Brazilian head for two global immigration companies.
What do you enjoy most about practising immigration law?
What I enjoy most is being with people. I always have in my mind that, in the end, what I do is going to have an impact on many lives and families. Taking a broader view, it is also going to have an impact on the world – as what I do is help people do their best in many different places.
What impact has the global political environment had on the nature of immigration cases?
The political environment has created two opposing scenarios: it is hard to migrate to some countries, and easy to migrate to others. I see companies being sensitive to this, and I build tailored solutions for my clients based on their own needs. As the Brazilian proverb goes, “While some people cry, others are selling tissues.” There is always a way to be compliant, and to do global business.
What are the main challenges currently facing immigration lawyers in Brazil?
Brazil is a continent-sized country with many cultures. For example, São Paulo is very different from Amazonas in all aspects. For this reason, one’s dealings with the official agencies in Brazil can be very varied. Also, the previous immigration laws were in place since 1980. In 2017, a new immigration law was implemented and there are rumours this may recur in the new government agenda. Instability is, for sure, the main challenge.
Have there been any particularly active industries for migration work in Brazil over the last 12 months?
Technology and software, and oil and gas.
What has been your approach to establishing and training immigration teams across multiple Newland Chase offices?
Keeping things simple; having short deadlines; and respecting diversity has shown to be very effective while establishing and training immigration teams.
How would you like to see Newland Chase develop in the next few years?
I believe we are on the right path. We need to keep investing in our team and technology in order to continue providing the best possible experience for our clients.
What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
When I started my career as a junior attorney, I was working onsite at a multinational company. On super-busy day in the office, a vice president told me: “Dani I have seen you working until 10 or 11pm, repeatedly. You should work hard, but you should also enjoy your life.” And I said, “I’ll do that in the future – for now, I need to work to be a successful professional like you.” He smiled back at me and said: “You should rethink your strategy. Look at me – I’ll retire soon, but right now I don’t have the age or the energy to even carry my bags and explore the world, so I can’t travel and enjoy my retirement. I have spent all my life working hard, so please don’t be like me — enjoy your life now.” Since that day, it has been very clear to me that I need to work hard but I also need to enjoy my life, spending time with friends and family and travelling as much as I can, in order to see the world now.