Features

Patricia Bauer – FIS Global 

Showing the legal department has value 

Patricia Bauer, the assistant general counsel at FIS Global in Latin America, is an essential force in shaping the legal landscape for the company, specializing in card processing. Managing a team of lawyers, Bauer understands the strategic importance of the legal department. Rather than simply mitigating risks, she envisions the legal team actively contributing to the company’s growth, emphasizing calculated risk-taking. 

Patricia Bauer | Assistant General Counsel, LATAM | FIS Global 

Patricia Bauer | Assistant General Counsel, LATAM | FIS Global

“As legal architects, our role extends beyond the traditional risk management boundaries. We are not just gatekeepers but active contributors to the company’s growth, navigating complexities with wisdom and precision. In a world of urgent demands, I believe in crafting a legal legacy that prioritizes the company’s interests, fosters a proactive mindset, and proves that the legal department is an integral part of the team’s success,” Bauer says. 

A special team 

Bauer’s leadership of the legal team at FIS Global in Latin America extends beyond traditional legal roles, emphasizing collaboration and proactive contributions to the company’s strategic initiatives. The team, comprising six lawyers in São Paulo and two in Buenos Aires, is crucial in aligning legal considerations with the broader business objectives. 

Patricia Bauer | Assistant General Counsel, LATAM | FIS Global 

Two ongoing projects underscore the team’s impactful role. The first project, led by Bauer, delves into exploring tax opportunities for the company. This initiative involves reviewing past tax payments, identifying potential legal options to minimize tax expenses and recovering any overpaid amounts. Under Bauer’s coordination, the legal team engages in discussions with external advisors, analyzes financial implications, and plays a vital role in approving payment strategies based on expert opinions.  

“This collaborative effort is actively contributing to the company’s financial health,” Bauer explains.  

The second project involves renewing agreements. Bauer and her legal team work closely with the company’s commercial department, ensuring that the renewals accurately reflect the current business landscape and serve the best interests of FIS Global. This collaborative approach showcases the legal team’s ability to integrate legal considerations into broader business strategies, contributing to the efficient functioning of the company. 

Bauer’s commitment to reshaping the perception of in-house lawyers in Brazil is evident in these projects. The legal team’s proactive stance ensures legal compliance and positions them as strategic partners capable of enhancing the company’s services and fostering new partnerships. Through these initiatives, Bauer and her team exemplify the transformative role that a forward-thinking legal department can play in a company’s success. 

Facing challenges 

Bauer navigates challenges with resilience and a commitment to breaking gender barriers. One significant challenge she faces is the external pressure and urgency inherent in legal matters. Bauer emphasizes the need for the legal team to maintain a calm, precise and wise demeanor despite the anxiety from internal and external clients. In a profession where urgency is the norm, Bauer underscores the importance of building strong client relationships based on consistency and a commitment to delivering accurate legal advice. 

Patricia Bauer | Assistant General Counsel, LATAM | FIS Global 

“I find satisfaction in creating my legal identity within the company, and I actively participate in non-legal meetings with the board and executives, highlighting my role as a strategic partner focused on making things happen within the ethical and legal framework,” she says.  

Her joy lies in contributing to the business, emphasizing client experience and dispelling the notion that legal discussions should be confined to specific meetings. By integrating legal considerations into various aspects of the company’s operations, Bauer positions the legal department as an integral part of the team. 

The most significant challenge throughout Bauer’s career has been navigating corporate perceptions of women and mothers. Despite societal progress, she acknowledges that being a woman and a mother can still pose difficulties, especially in the corporate world. Bauer’s mentor and boss, recognizing her capabilities, supported her aspirations to be a dedicated professional and a mother. However, she remains aware of being the only woman among executives in Brazil after 13 years with the company. 

Bauer’s determination to challenge stereotypes and create a work-life balance is evident in her personal experience. Despite initial challenges during the pandemic, she learned to assert her voice, requesting schedule adjustments to accommodate her responsibilities as a mother. Bauer advocates for women to use their voices, emphasizing that they must seize it and be heard if given the opportunity. She is committed to breaking gender norms and inspiring other women to carve their paths in the professional world. 

Launching into law 

At 15, Bauer embarked on her journey into the professional world as an administrative assistant. This role kickstarted her career and laid the foundation for her future success. The early exposure allowed her to understand the intricacies of the corporate world and instilled in her a strong work ethic. 

While working during the day, Bauer pursued her dream of legal education at night. Determined to pay for her own studies, she dedicated half of her salary each month to supporting her family. Her commitment and perseverance resulted in the proud achievement of financing her education and navigating the challenging path of balancing work and study. 

Her legal career began to take shape as she spent almost four years as a senior lawyer for Ingram Micro, gaining valuable experience and honing her legal expertise. In 2011, Bauer made a significant career move, joining FIS Global, where she has flourished for almost 13 years.  

Beyond her professional endeavors, Bauer’s personal life is woven into the fabric of her success. With the unwavering support of her husband and inspired by her mother, Bauer has created a solid familial foundation. The joy of parenthood, with her two children, is a driving force in her life. Bauer’s passion for travel and cinema has been expressed through her Instagram accounts, where she shares tips on family travel and recommends good movies. 

“Face challenges, pursue dreams and celebrate every step forward. In life’s journey, commitment and hard work are your greatest allies. Thrive, don’t just navigate,” Bauer says. 

View this feature in the Vanguard Spring I 2024 Edition here.

Published on: March 14, 2024

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