Macau SAR

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body:  Associação dos Advogados de Macau 

Financial regulator: 澳門金融管理局 - Autoridade Monetaria e Cambial de Macau

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:

Financial and corporate (published October) – Financial and corporate 

Jurisdiction overview

Macau’s legal system is based on Portuguese law and belongs to the civil law tradition that originated in continental Europe. Since the special administrative region’s economy is heavily reliant on gaming and tourism, the legal market unsurprisingly caters heavily to these industries.

The market is small and made up of firms who have traditionally benefitted from a gentleman’s agreement of sorts in the dispersal of mandates. The connection with Portugal helps in tapping and channeling China’s outbound appetite to the lusophone world; however, there is no doubt that traditional stability has been shaken as the market grapples with the changing macro conditions. 

The supply of lawyers in Macau is a contemporary concern. The first law graduates only emerged from the University of Macau in the mid-1990s. Up until then the Macanese legal profession was the preserve of those trained in Portugal, very few of whom were Chinese. The Portuguese still dominate the profession as only about a quarter of the 200 or so practitioners are local and tend to be in junior roles.

Despite the above, there are other factors in the market's move closer to Mainland China. Graduates who focused on Mainland law to the detriment of Macau law feel let down by the Macau Bar in contrast to graduates in Macau law and ones brought in directly from Lisbon. At the same time, ever increasing restrictions on the introduction of lawyers directly from Portugal has caused younger Portuguese lawyers already in Macau to spin out and form their own outfits. This facilitates competition, and in a market that is already small, we may be seeing some early symptoms of cabin fever.  

Adam Majeed - Journalist - EMEA

Financial and corporate
C&C Lawyers

C&C Lawyers is often active in M&A and corporate reorganisation mandates. 

During the research period, the firm has been involved in insurance mandates, the reorganistation of the Macanese concern of a global company, the merger of a transport company, and in an equity capital markets matter involving a performance sports company.   

The firm brought in Maria Noras from DSL Lawyers but lost Joana Coimbra Almeida to Banco BPI in Portugal. 

Client feedback

"Precise and prompt responses are provided by the firm with detailed elaboration on rationales behind opinions." - Banking

 

DSL Lawyers

DSL Lawyers is traditionally known for its strength in banking and finance and is a popular choice for international firms seeking Macanese counsel. 

In the past 12 months the firm has been engaged in a range of mandates including fintech matters and regulatory matters for a global bank, acquisitions in the telecommunications and luxury retail space, derivatives advice, and property developer financing.  

Over the research period the firm brought in lawyer Maggie Ng from Lou Sio Fong Lawyers & Associates and lost Maria Noras to C&C Lawyers.   

 

Manuela António - Lawyers and Notaries

Manuela António - Lawyers and Notaries is traditionally strong in finance and active in the gaming and financial services sectors. 

In the research period the firm has been engaged in a range of finance and refinancing mandates for furniture makers, technology, energy and manufacturing companies, and in aviation. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Studio City refinancing 

Client feedback

"It is an expert in the field. The team performs and finishes the work satisfactorily within the given timeframe. It provides excellent advice on matters that are important to the business and operations as a whole." – Financial services regulatory

Hugo Bandeira

"He always keeps communication open and provides great and excellent work to meet our company's needs. Hugo responds to our queries immediately and provides timely advice as needed."

 

MdME

MdME is a fast growing, relatively young firm in Macau. It is among the few firms in the market that functions as a genuine legal partnership with specialised practices. The firm is an associated office of Morais Leitão Legal Circle, which gives it Lusophone reach, and a member of Lex Mundi. 

In the research period the firm has been involved in a range of mandates across diverse practices and sectors. This includes debt and equity capital markets work, acquisitions in luxury goods and pest control, real estate work, and restructuring mandates in gaming and media.   

In the research period the firm’s founding partner Gonçalo Mendes da Maia retired from practice to focus on other interests in business.   

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•REM Group Holdings HKSE IPO 

•Industrial and Commercial Bank of China HK$1.7 billion tier 1 bond issue  

Client feedback

"Excellent customer service. Very responsive and always accessible. Strong international network. Always able to provide professional and practical advice." – Project finance

Tirso Olazabal

"The lawyer is very responsive and always provides relevant and practical legal advice. He's always able to deliver promptly and efficiently."

 

Rato Ling Lei & Cortés

Rato Ling Lei & Cortés has a strong reputation in the equity capital markets, particularly with regard to Hong Kong listings. The firm works in association with Portuguese firm AM Associados and has partnerships with Zhong Yin Law Firm in China and Fongs in Hong Kong.  

In the research period the firm was not only busy with HKSE and growth enterprise market (GEM) listings, it also acted in Koufu Group’s listing on the Singapore exchange's (SGX) mainboard. The firm was also active in other capital markets, regulatory and gaming matters. 

In April 2019 the firm hired former public prosecutor and deputy commissioner of the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC), Tou Wai Fong, as of counsel.  

In 2017 the firm opened an office in Lisbon to focus on foreign Chinese investment in Portugal, and it is considering opening an office in Brazil in anticipation of the country’s legalisation of gaming. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Koufu Group Singapore Exchange IPO 

•KOS International Holdings Growth Enterprise Market IPO 

•WAC Holdings Growth Enterprise Market IPO  

Client feedback

"It is efficient and responsive. No weaknesses." – Capital markets: Equity

"We generally deal with PRC and Hong Kong lawyers in that region and were impressed by the quality and efficiency of the advice given by Lektou, particularly as Macau law is quite a niche area that is unfamiliar to us. Lektou's assistance with this matter really helped our understanding and completion of the transaction." – Capital markets: Equity

"The firm has international standards and is very responsive. Lawyers are always available and have a commercial approach to the matters. Very practical in the advice it provides. Partner Pedro Cortes is, in my view, one of the best lawyers in Macau and leads the team to another level." – M&A

"Great knowledge, network, and speed." – Project development

"Excellent. The firm met the timelines given for the project and the interaction of the assigned lawyer with the person was great. Communication was clear and assertive." – Project development

Pedro Cortes

"Pedro offers quick responses, very helpful advice and good communication skills."

"Both were efficient and quick to respond, familiar with the issues that were raised and able to provide us with the documents and information required on a timely basis, particularly since the IPO timeline is often demanding."

"Professional."

"Very assertive. Clear communication and deep knowlege of the local market."

"Pedro is an excellent lawyer with extensive experience on corporate and gaming matters. He is the dynamo of the firm with a very practical approach and always finds the best solution to the matters."

Helena Valente

"Both were efficient and quick to respond, familiar with the issues that were raised and able to provide us with the documents and information required on a timely basis, particularly since the IPO timeline is often demanding." 

 

Riquito Advogados

A fixture in the Macanese legal market, Riquito Advogados has developed nous in corporate and contract law, M&A, real estate, foreign investment and aviation. It has a good relationship with Herbert Smith Freehills and has an association with Portuguese law firm AAA Advogados. 

The firm has been active of late in financing mandates and has developed its gaming practice, assisting gaming companies with global restructuring plans.  

Client feedback

"It has deep legal knowledge and experience; creativity; and availability." – Project development

"In our opinion, in Macau and Portugal, it is a top tier office for corporate matters. Our lead counsel Bruno Almeida, from Riquito Advogados has been instrumental in our growth over the years. Its strengths are international corporate law and contracts." – Project development 

Bruno Almeida

"Bruno Almeida is a major asset for our company; we would not wish to work with anyone else. I have personally contracted his services for private issues as well, given the high regard both I and the company have for his work and support. The only weakness I would point out is the lack of support. I think he would certainly benefit in having a right hand man to take some of the workload so that he can better handle important issues leaving more mundane matters to someone else."

"He has deep legal knowledge, is an innovator, problem solver and a good client manager."

Joao Nuno Riquito

"Brilliant senior partner Joao Nuno Riquito is meticulous and legally very knowledgeable. He's a tactician and an insanely hard worker with great judgement."

 

Jorge Neto Valente Advogados

Strong in M&A, banking and finance and gaming, Jorge Neto Valente Advogados is one of the largest firms in Macau. The firm is a member of the Miranda alliance, an international association of law firms across 18 jurisdictions and four continents. 

The firm’s recent mandates were predominantly lender-side particularly for its key client, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. These included acquisition finance and refinancing mandates in the real estate and pharma industries.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Holdings / CDH Investments $1.4 billion acquisition of Sirtex Medical

•                      Macau Legend Development HK$2.1 billion integrated resort refinancing

•                      ISA TanTec $37.7 million financing

Client feedback

"This is a very knowledgeable law firm in Macau. All the lawyers are with high professional knowledge and can provide us valuable legal opinions." – Banking

"The service provided was excellent; the firm had perfect knowledge of the regulatory framework." – Financial services regulatory

"We feel very confident having JNV handle our legal matters. It is technically very competent, responsive, and always provides practical and business-minded advice when faced with our questions, whether in relation to our day-to-day operations, regular corporate matters or to the occasional deal or transaction." – M&A

"The firm is responsive with good commercial sense." – Project development

Pedro Branco

“Pedro Branco as a superb and extremely competent lawyer who has assisted us consistently for more than 20 years in general corporate and contract matters. He is impeccable and we would highlight his composure, communication skills and deep legal knowledge as his most important strengths." 

André Santos Raquel

"André is very professional and can provide valuable comments to us."

"André assisted our company in the sale of four plots of land, completed in 2018. Our counterparty to this last transaction was a public company listed abroad and the negotiations were very demanding if compared to a customary Macau transaction. André was very responsive, identifying and focusing on the key aspects of the transaction and always providing strategic, logical and practical advice. He was brilliant and this transaction was very smooth for us. His ability to understand what we want and effectively defend our interests is an important strength."

Jorge Neto Valente

"Jorge Neto Valente is a formidable, incredibly competent lawyer from every perspective, with several decades of experience in Macau. Despite his status as the/one of the most influential Macau lawyers, he is very responsive and his advice is always logical, practical-minded, and a testimony of his tremendous knowledge of the Macau legal system and how local institutions/entities operate. I cannot speak highly enough of Jorge.”

Nuno Simões & Associados

Established in 2005, Nuno Simões & Associados is a Macanese law firm that is experienced in regulatory matters, M&A, Hong Kong listings, financing and investment funds. Through developing its international network, the firm has established itself a strategic presence in Lusophone countries.

The firm has kept busy over the research period advising banks, corporates and private equity houses in corporate restructuring, entertainment and hotel financing, and M&A mandates in the retail and technology industries. The firm has also been assisting clients in preparation for listing in Hong Kong.

Client feedback

“Nuno Simoes & Associados are very responsive and proactive in dealing with requests for advice. The advice was practical and easy to understand and the lawyer in charge asked pertinent questions to clarify what advice we required.” – Financial services regulatory

“The firm provided us with practical advice in a very timely manner. It is very responsive.” – Financial services regulatory