Brazilian Attorney Rounds Out Tax Expertise with Online LLM in International Tax


José Rubens Scharlack graduated with a J.D./LL.M. in Taxation of Cross-Border Investment - a degree program for non-U.S. attorneys who have a solid foundation in international tax law in their own domestic tax system and for those who expect international tax law to play an important role in their practice. A founding partner of Scharlack Advogados, he heads the tax team in his firm and is also an international speaker on tax issues. Scharlack has both taught banking law and served as an attorney/advisor to the Business Law School of São Paulo legal advice clinic. He has co-authored books on tax planning and economic development and was on the organizing committee for the International Association of Young Lawyers annual event in Vienna that examined the tax consequences of cross-border transfers of value.

José Rubens Scharlack with client

Why did you decide to pursue an LLM in Taxation of Cross-Border Investment versus a traditional Tax LLM?

My interest for international tax came with legal practice and in this sense the LLM. In cross-border tax, helped me better understand what might be really at stake in terms of tax effects of cross-border transactions.

You practice law in Brazil, what are your main areas of expertise within your tax team?

I am a tax attorney in Brazil. I graduated from Law School in 2000 but had started working within the legal field in 1997. After working in other areas of law, I decided to focus my practice on tax (tax litigation at first; tax consultancy after a while). By 2003, I was partner in the law firm I worked for and in 2005, I started my own law firm.

Can you tell us about the benefits of doing this LLM program online?

Doing the program online was an extra advantage, for it gave me the necessary flexibility a working attorney needs to have in order to keep his practice while improving his skills.

What have been some of your favorite subjects or professors so far?

My favorite class was “Outbound Investments” by Professor William Sherman, which, besides having been greatly ministered, provided me valuable tools for understanding the tax standpoint of many of my clients' U.S. controlling companies. The treaties and transfer pricing classes by Professor Patricia Brown (“Income Tax Treaties” and “Comparative Transfer Pricing: U.S., OECD, Latin America “) were also excellently taught and granted me important insights as to international tax planning and the development of the behavior of tax authorities in this regard.

About the Taxation of Cross-Border Investment LL.M.

This LL.M. program was created to offer students a comprehensive understanding of the principles that underlie cross-border tax planning. By bringing practitioners from other countries into the classroom with U.S. experts, students learn how U.S. tax law interacts with non-U.S. legal considerations in real-world situations. Located in Miami, a city with significant tax work stemming from other countries, it is a natural fit for Latin American tax lawyers and other non-U.S. tax lawyers who need to understand Latin American tax planning. As a city with a high number of lawyers representing clients with cross-border investments, the program is able to bring in this top talent as adjuncts and have non-U.S. tax experts teach alongside U.S. tax lawyers to show the real-world dynamics of developing a structure that satisfies the business and legal demands of multiple jurisdictions.

More on the LL.M. in Taxation of Cross-Border Investment
More on transferring from the LL.M. to the J.D program