Portugal

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Ordem dos Advogados

Competition authority: Autoridade da Concorrência

Financial regulator: Comissão Do Mercado De Valores Mobiliários

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction

Banking, Capital markets, M&A, Project developmentProject finance, Restructuring and insolvency

Jurisdiction overview

The Portuguese legal market operates on a civil law system, bearing similarities to French, German, Italian and Spanish law. Historically the code of law was most influenced by that of France, but German law now takes precedence.

The civil law system of Portugal is used widely in its ex-colonies, Angola and Mozambique for example have based their entire constitution on the basis of pre-existing Portuguese law. As a result of this, many of the firms based in Portugal are very active across the lusophone world, and have dedicated teams allocated to practicing in these areas.  

Foreign nationals of both EEA states and Brazil, with whom there is a system of reciprocity, are allowed to practice in Portugal. Similarly foreign firms are permitted to practice cross-border and local law in the jurisdiction, as long as they adhere to Portuguese bar procedure. 

However, across all areas of financial and corporate law the legal market is largely dominated by a group of its local firms. Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados, Vieira de Almeida & Associados, Uría Menéndez – Proença de Carvalho and PLMJ are market leaders across financial and corporate.

A number of leading Spanish firms also have offices in the country, but despite an open border, and a fairly lucrative business environment, English firms are notable by their absence, in comparison to other Western European nations. The exception to this is Linklaters, who have risen to a position of prominence since launching in Lisbon in 2002. 

Financial and corporate
Azeredo Perdigão & Associados

Azeredo Perdigão & Associados is known for its work in the M&A, and restructuring and insolvency areas.  The firm is a member of legal network MSI Global Alliance.

The M&A team worked for F Lima Healthcare on the acquisition of shares and share capital increase of Simple Rule – Business Consulting.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm advised TRIUMPH - International II – Distribuição Têxtil, Unipessoal on its insolvency proceedings.

Partner Cristina Reis Ferreira left the restructuring and insolvency team in May 2017. 

Key clients include CLONIX, STARWASH, GLAXOSMITHKLINE and PRIMEBRANDS. 

Cardigos

Cardigos is recognised for its work in the banking, capital markets, M&A, and restructuring and insolvency practice areas.

In banking and finance clear highlights were work for the ISDA on the consequences of the BES liquidation proceedings on the bondholders’ rights, and advice to the DC to identify potential deliverable obligations for auctions in respect to transactions referencing Novo Banco. 

In capital markets the firm worked for Amorim and Navigator in the negotiation of derivative transactions in connection with ISDA master agreements.

The M&A team worked for Amy’s Kitchen in a land acquisition and in the financing provided by AICEP under the European Program for Operational Competition and Internationalisation. 

Key clients include ISDA, Barclays, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan Chase, Clidom Energy, and Sakura.

Client feedback

“Very good experience to date. Very good relationship management.” – Capital markets

“We are very satisfied with Cardigos, the firm which helped us to open our business in Portugal.” – Banking and finance, project development

Pedro Cardigos

"Great, thorough, attentive to clients."

Porfirio Moreira

"Excellent work, always ready to help, no matter the topic. Solution oriented lawyer."

 

Cuatrecasas

In Portugal, Cuatrecasas covers all areas of financial and corporate law and has a focus on distressed debt transactions and restructuring processes. 

In banking, a clear highlight is its work for CaixaBank Payments on the acquisition and transfer of the payment instruments business of Portuguese listed bank Banco BPI. In addition, the firm is advising The Export-Import Bank of China in the drafting and execution of mortgage deeds with respect to the creation of mortgages over vessels registered in the Commercial Registry of the Madeira Free Zone to secure a loan for the acquisition of the vessels. 

The capital markets team advised on bonds issuances, convertible bonds, securitisations and notes issuances. 

In M&A, the main sectors the firm was involved in deals in recently were real estate, energy and insurance. Recent work highlights include advice to China Tianying on the acquisition of Groupama Seguros, advice to BPI Xv on the sale of shopping centre Dolce Vita Tejo to AXA Investment Managers in France, and advice to Saeta Yield on the acquisition of Lestenergia – Exploração da Parques Eólicos from ProCME.

In projects, the firm is active in the infrastructure and energy sectors. Work highlights include a number of toll road projects across the country. 

The restructuring and insolvency team has many ongoing deals with clients like Banco Privado Português, Banco Comercial Português, and Sociedade Comercial Santos.

Key clients include Morgan Stanley, Senvion, DBRS Ratings, and The Portuguese Debt Agency.

Client feedback

“Cuatrecasas has been our trusted law firm partner for many years. They have been of valuable assistance in regulatory issues regarding financial advisory in Portugal, fiscal issues and corporate governance.” – Banking and finance

"Good level." – Investment funds

"Great expertise and effectiveness."- Project finance

“Great technical knowledge and client care.” – Banking and finance, and M&A

“High overall satisfaction with their services. [They have] wide competence in different areas that we need and lawyers with expertise to support those different areas.” – Competition, and restructuring and insolvency

“Experienced lawyers. Good results on mortgage loans.” – Banking and finance, and restructuring and insolvency

“The collaboration between us and Cuatrecasas has existed for a long time. But most recently, we have been counting on Cuatrecasas as our legal and regulatory advisor in Portugal because we’re opening a branch in Portugal for the very first time. This relationship has been helpful in every sense because of their expert advisors, who have always been first-rate. The contributions of Cuatrecasas in general, and specifically the partner we have been working most closely with (Paulo Costa), have been crucial for us to open our branch in Portugal. They are always giving us the right advice that we need to achieve our targets in the right way.” – Banking and project finance

“Valuable and efficient global advice. Prompt and clear responses to our queries and needs.” – Investment funds

“Very professional and quick turnaround times. Very knowledgeable.” – M&A

“Very strong knowledge of the Portuguese market. They are able to informally reach out to regulators in order to obtain views on any kind of topic. They are our go-to firm for this country. They know the Portuguese market more than anyone does. More than the bigger international law firms who have limited insight and resources in Portugal.” – Banking and project finance

Paulo Costa Martins

"We consider him to be a trusted adviser and partner to our business. He is always available and very focused on finding the most practical solution in the most efficient way."

"Efficient, clear and accessible."

"I really enjoyed working with him, he knows the Portuguese market inside out and provides comprehensive yet pragmatic advice."

"The work that has been developed by him during the project has been brilliant. His expert contribution to the project's targets has been essential to their achievement. The professionalism and implication with all the issues emerged along the project has been the perfect complement to the coordination of work, transmitting all the security and good practices needed."

Diogo Ortigão Ramos 

"He is extremely knowledgeable in his field and applies a common sense approach to all issues, leading to very pragmatic suggestions. He will very precisely involve his team to come to a quick and robust answer to most issues."

Manuel Requicha Ferreira and Paulo Costa Martins

"Great technical knowledge, client care and hard workers."

Pedro Marques Mantas

"Very good lawyer with good results and good knowledge about the subjects."

João Mattamouros Resende 

"Very professional and knowledgeable."

Tânia de Almeida Ferreira

"Her collaboration was very helpful, always paying attention to what we were needing, perfectly fulfilling its advisory work in the terms that we had agreed."

Mafalda Ferreira Santos 

"Excellent. Strong in court, extremely good preparation is recognised."

Margarida Leal Oliveira

"Very good interaction and support."

 

DLA Piper ABBC

DLA Piper ABBC is known for its work in the banking, M&A, restructuring and insolvency, and project finance practice areas.

In banking, most of the firm’s recent work is confidential, but it is publishable that it continues advising HSBC Bank as lender in the first syndicated loan granted to Brintons Carpets and its subsidiaries overseas. 

The M&A team advised Novo Banco in a private equity secondary market transaction, regarding the sale of share capital of a major venture capital company and of limited partnership interest in Novo Banco and one of its subsidiaries in three private equity funds. It also worked for Capital Criativo in the acquisition of the share capital and assets of a relevant group of companies on the healthcare sector, including British Hospital. 

In projects the firm worked for Island Renewable Energy in the preparation and structuring of the sale of a 50MW wind farm, and advised on all stages of the financing and development of the greenfield project.

The restructuring and insolvency team has been active during the research period, but all their work is confidential.

Other key clients of the firm include LBA Tank Terminals, Savannah Resources, EDP Renováveis, Promovalor, and the European Energy Efficiency Fund.

Partner Bruno Azevedo Rodrigues left the firm to join Telles de Abreu Advogados in October 2017.

Client feedback

“A highly motivated team, committed and with very strong skills in urbanistic, administrative and project development matters.” – Banking and finance, project development

Hugo Correia

"Highly motivated, committed and with very strong skills in urbanism, administrative and project development matters."

Garrigues

In Portugal, Garrigues is best known for its capital markets and M&A practices.

The banking team worked on acquisition financings, refinancing and regulatory matters. Key clients include Burger King Group, Credit Suisse and Banco Santander.

In capital markets, the firm advised on tender offers and bond issues in the finance, construction and IT industries. Some clients are Novabase, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Mediobanca – Banca di Credito Finanziario, and Mota-Engil.

The M&A team acted for clients in the real estate, insurance and infrastructure sectors. Deal highlights include advice to Iberubbo Imobiliária, controlled by AXA, in the acquisition of Dolce Vita Tejo, advice to Surteco on the acquisition of the Probos Group, and work for Groupama on the sale of Groupama Seguros de Vida and Groupama Seguros to China Tianying.

The firm also worked on a number of restructurings and insolvencies in the real estate, construction and banking sectors.

Staffing changes include the departure of Gonçalo Castro Ribeiro to DLA Piper ABBC in November 2017.

Client feedback

“Experienced and focused team. Adds value when advising, defending, and protecting client's interest. Helps on the negotiations. Establishes excellent relationships and empathy with the client and counterpart.” – M&A

“Members of the team are always available. Excellent understanding of the needs of their clients. Remarkable technical ability. Legal boutique service at reasonable cost.” – Competition, M&A, and restructuring and insolvency

“Our company has been working extensively with Garrigues’ M&A Team in Portugal. Garrigues' advisory has been adding significant value to our company, bringing not only legal expertise, but most importantly sharing their experience in similar projects and thus providing a real consulting approach.” – Banking and finance, and M&A

“Strengths: very commercial law firm with a very high work rate. Weaknesses: none to highlight.” – Restructuring and insolvency

“The team composed of Diogo Leónidas Rocha and Marta Rodrigues is the best. They are hardworking and they provide innovative/creative solutions. Deep knowledge of capital markets regulation. Extensive experience in complex transactions. I’ve worked with Marta and Diogo on all types of transactions, including secondary offers, bond issues and M&A.” – Banking and finance, capital markets and M&A

“They know their job. They work very well. They advise you properly.” – Banking and finance

“We believe they are always available and make a real effort to stay on top of all matters on a negotiation.” – M&A

Mário Lino Dias

"He is at ease with building relationships with clients. He is always available to provide insight on any aspect of a transaction, often going beyond his scope of work and thus adding significant value to its clients."

Vasco Rodrigues

"Very commercial and hard working."

Jorge Salvador Gonçalves

"He is one of the best real estate lawyers in Portugal."

Vasco Rodrigues and Jorge Salvador Gonçalves

"They know the market and meet deadlines."

Marta Graça Rodrigues

"Highly professional. Hard worker. Creative. Deep knowledge of legislation. Excellent in client relationship. Delivery on time."

Susana Pimenta de Sousa

"She understands her clients needs well with a pragmatic approach to their concerns."

Pedro Lemos Carvalho

"He is a proactive hard working lawyer, clear and straightforward."

 

 

Gómez-Acebo & Pombo

Gómez-Acebo & Pombo offers a broad range of services, including banking, capital markets, M&A, projects, and restructuring and insolvency advice. 

In banking, a clear recent highlight is the firm’s work on the senior debt of Novo Banco advising several foreign hedge funds and investment funds. 

The capital markets team has been active during the research period, working on notes and bond issuances, but most of the details are confidential. 

In M&A the firm worked for Prisa in the sale of its stake in Grupo Media Capital to the French group Altice. Another highlight deal was work for Talanx Infrastructure in the acquisition of a 49% shareholding in two Portuguese companies, concessionaires of the infrastructure of two of the largest and state of the art Portuguese hospitals. 

The projects team advised Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construção, Acciona Infrastructuras, and Edivisa – Empresa de Construções as the consortium and joint venture company in relation to two contracts for the construction of an intake tunnel and balancing chimney at hydroelectric power plant in Gouvães, in the North of Portugal. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm has been active during research period, but most of its work is confidential.

Notable clients include Prisa, Neurónio Prodigioso, Taucapital, Looping Group, MSF Engenharia, Ferrovial Agroman, China Development Bank, and Infratunel. 

Client feedback

“Strengths: knowhow. Weaknesses: none.” – Banking and finance

“Top notch and very qualified advice. Always on top of the situation. Deep understanding of the situation and transaction at hand. Staff always available for follow up.” – M&A 

“Very professional and reliable.” – Restructuring and insolvency

Linklaters

Linklaters is best known for advising banks and other major financial institutions on finance and M&A, but the firm secures top tier rankings across all the key areas of financial and corporate.

The banking team advised on refinancing, acquisition financings, credit facilities and project finance during the research period. A clear highlight was the work for TAP on its refinancing.

In capital markets, the firm acted on tender offers, IPOs, capital increases, securitisations and bond issuances. Key highlights were advice to Novo Banco in the tender offer and consent solicitation in relation to a series of senior bonds, and advice to the banks on a voluntary tender over the existing share capital of EDP Renováveis.

In M&A, the firm acted for clients in the energy, infrastructure and real estate sectors. Highlights include work for ROADIS Transportation Holding on the acquisition of Auto-Estradas do Oeste - Concessões Rodoviárias de Portugal, and of a majority stake on Auto-Estradas do Atlântico and Auto-Estradas do Litoral Oeste. The firm also worked on the auction sale of Unilever’s global spreads business.

In the project development area, the firm continues to advise Hanwha SolarEnergy Corporation in connection to its solar photovoltaic portfolio in Portugal. The firm has been very active in the renewable energy project development area. 

The firm continues to assist a number of banks in relation to restructuring matters. Clear highlights include work for Oitante on the resolution of Banif, and work for Novo Banco on the restructuring of BES.

Client feedback

“Very good services in terms of accomplishing deadlines. All in all, the firm does fine work in terms of the quality of its legal knowledge together with its adaptability to the case.” – Banking and finance, restructuring and insolvency

“Very professional and highly qualified team with innovative solutions.” – Capital markets

“Very professional, very good expertise and good communication.” – Banking, project finance and development, and restructuring and insolvency

Macedo Vitorino & Associados

Macedo Vitorino & Associados is an independent Portuguese firm with relationships with international firms in Brazil, Europe and the US, enabling the firm to work on cross-border transactions. The firm is active in the banking, capital markets, M&A, project finance, and restructuring and insolvency practice areas.

In banking, the firm advised the arrangers in the repricing and the increase of a financing to Apollo’s subsidiaries in connection with the borrower’s acquisition of Verallia. Another highlight was work for Anchorage Capital in connection with the refinancing of the acquisition of a real estate portfolio. 

The capital markets team worked for Dexia Crédit Local in the issuance of fixed rate bonds by the Autonomous Region of Azores, and advised Goldman Sachs International in the update of of its series M base prospectus and series K base prospectus for the issuance of warrants, notes and certificates. 

In M&A the firm advised Cohort on the sale of a 23% stake of its subsidiary EID, a high tech company, to the Portuguese State.  

During the research period, the restructuring and insolvency team has been active in the infrastructure, finance, telecoms, and automotive sectors.

Other firm’s clients are Ascendum and Barclays Bank.

Client feedback

“Excellency in the services provided. Unique solutions to fit the client’s needs.” - Banking and finance, M&A, restructuring and insolvency

“Very knowledgeable of corporate M&A transactions, particularly when the transactions include a mix of both Portuguese and US parties. The quality of the work was very good, and it was delivered in a record time. All in all, they will be our first pick for any future transaction in Portugal.” - M&A, private equity

“Very professional, attentive to details and proactive in finding solutions.” - M&A

António de Macedo Vitorino

"Out-of-the box solutions. Extremely rigorous approach."

André Vasques Dias

"Very strong knowledge of all subjects."

João de Macedo Vitorino

"Aside from an excellent fluency in English, he is very knowledgeable about this type of international M&A transactions, in addition he has knowledge of the specific financial sector of the company being acquired. He was always available at short notice, and always delivered as promised."

Susana Vieira

"Very professional, attention to details, proactive in finding solutions, and high emotional intelligence."

Miranda & Associados

Miranda & Associados Portugal is recognised for its work in banking and M&A. The firm has a wider network called Miranda Alliance which is present in 18 jurisdictions. 

During the research period, the firm worked on banking and finance transactions as well as acquisitions and financings, though all the work is confidential. 

Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados

Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados (MLGTS) is one of the leading Portuguese firms and secures top tier rankings across the main financial and corporate areas.

In banking, the firm worked on refinancing, acquisition financings, and NPL portfolio matters. The project finance team assisted clients in connection with transactions in the energy and finance sector.

The capital markets team work highlights were advice to EDP with a public tender offer for EDP Renováveis and a securitisation for EDP Comercial, and work for BCP and Galp Energia on notes issuances.

In M&A, the firm advised in the finance, energy and retail sectors. A clear highlight saw the firm advice Indorama in the acquisition of some facilities owned by Artlant. The firm has also been active in the private equity area.

In the projects space, the firm advised on the renewable energy and infrastructure projects.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm has acted on a number of matters including advising former director and key shareholder of Banco Espírito Santo in a matter related to the bank’s insolvency. 

Staffing changes include the departures of partners Liliana Malheiro Tomás in December 2017 and of Helena Soares de Moura in April 2017.

Client feedback

“Excellent team which combines professionals of a high technical capacity with a permanent concern for the quality of the service provided to customers.” – Banking and finance, capital markets, M&A and private equity, project finance, restructuring and insolvency

“Experienced and focused team. Adds value when advising, defending, and protecting client's interest. Helps on the negotiations. Establishes excellent relationships and empathy with the client and counterpart.” – Project finance

“Great law firm with very good lawyers that are very capable from a technical point of view, as well as very understandable and extremely serious and committed to the client.” – Banking and finance, M&A, restructuring and insolvency

“I have a positive impression although the firm is advising the lenders and not our company.” – Project finance

“MLGTS has acted as legal adviser to us in several project finance deals and my assessment of MLGTS's work is overall very good. They have extensive knowledge, they understand the bank's concerns regarding potential risks affecting the projects and they also have extensive experience in drafting and helping to negotiate the finance documents. I don't have any particular weakness to highlight.” – Banking and project finance

“Straight to the point solutions. Deep market knowledge.” – Investment funds, M&A, project finance

“Our overall feedback is extremely positive. The team is very experienced and by far the best one in Portugal. They also have a great international network/circle of international law firms that can help/advise on international deals. They have a really customer-centric approach, also visible on their response time and care to [work within] tight schedules from customers.” – Banking and finance, investment funds

“Their work was of paramount importance in two consecutive funding rounds we had.”  - Banking and finance

“Very complete and knowledgeable service and high standards. Good ability to deal with new issues and innovative financing instruments. Somewhat old fashioned or academic in some areas.” – M&A, private equity, and restructuring and insolvency

“Very professional, dedicated and available.” – Competition, and M&A

Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos

"She is a very practical lawyer, with common sense."

Elmano Sousa Costa

"Dedicated. Business oriented. Deep market and technical knowledge."

Luís Roquette Geraldes

"He is probably the best lawyer in Portugal on his job. He has a real sense of the market, understands the context of the transactions and adds more value other than from a legal point of view."

João Alfredo Afonso

"He helps us with a lot of different matters and he's always available."

Segismundo Pinto Basto

"Great lawyer, extremely loyal and technically excellent."

pbbr

pbbr is an independent corporate firm working in the banking, finance and capital markets areas. 

During the research period, the firm worked in the banking area, advising Keys Asset Management on financing arrangements for the acquisition of Lx Factory. 

Key clients are Groupe Terresens, Louvre Capital, and Abanca Corporacion Bancaria. 

PLMJ

PLMJ is one of the largest domestic Portuguese firms and is best known for its M&A work.

The banking team acted on acquisition financing, credit facilities, and NPL portfolio matters. Key clients include Caixa Geral de Depósitos, ING Bank, European Investment Bank and the Macquarie Group.

In capital markets, the firm advised the bondholders in the liability management exercise carried out by Novo Banco, and assisted the Portuguese Sovereign Debt Agency in a sovereign notes issuance by the Portugual. The firm also advised in some equity and securitisation matters. 

The M&A team advised on deals in the infrastructure, pharmaceutical, and TMT sectors. Key clients include Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund, Sapphire Ventures, TPI Enterprises, and Reisswolf.

In projects, the firm continues advising on the procurement and contracting of the supply of equipment for the Salamonde Dam II. The firm also acted on a number of projects in Angola. a clear highlight is work for Kora Angola on an affordable homes project. 

The restructuring and insolvency team’s work highlights are advice to Rio Forte Investments on its insolvency, and assisting Alliance Healthcare with many cases involving insolvency or a special corporate recovery process. 

Staffing changes include the departures of partner Miguel Urbano in March 2018, and managing associate Ana Graça Remondes in November 2017.

Raposo Bernardo

Raposo Bernardo Portugal offers advice in banking and finance, capital markets, M&A, projects and restructuring and insolvency. 

In banking and finance, the firm advised Caixa Bank on an asset-based lending and acquisition financing; worked for BNP Paribas in the financing of an Aircraft Portfolio; and worked for Barclays in the refinancings of several construction groups.

The capital markets team has been active, working on securitised debt portfolios for Goldman Sachs, and worked on other matters for Elix Assets and Banco International. 

In M&A the firm worked for Menarini Pharmaceutical Group on the merger with Guidotti Pharma, and advised on other corporate matters for the likes of Kodak Lens Prooptica and Iberostar Hotels & Resorts Group. 

The projects team worked for BNP Paribas as the arranger of a secured mezzanine loan raise through the high yield market to assist in the financing of a maritime terminal project.

In restructuring and insolvency a clear highlight is the firm’s work for Caixa Geral de Depósitos on a debt restructuring by its corporate clients.

Key clients are Fundbox Investment Fund, DVD Bank, Pillar Retail Europark Fund, Interpass Group, Opel Cars, Bergen Plastics, Vidrembal, and Coopraizes.   

Serra Lopes Cortes Martíns & Associados

Serra Lopes Cortes Martíns & Associados is a full service firm with partnerships in various jurisdictions including Angola, Brazil, Spain, and Germany.

In banking the firm worked for the Portuguese Republic on the implementation of agreements for the restructuring of credits owned by the Portuguese Republic over BPP Cayman and Banco Privado Português, and an insolvent Portuguese private bank. The firm also advised Millennium Fundo de Capitalização as borrower on a loan agreement to be granted by the European Investment Bank.

In M&A the firm advised Portuguese BAR’s shareholders in the sale of shares representing 68.75% of BAR’s share capital; the buyer was the holding company WPP, a British multinational advertising group. The firm also worked for Grupo Madre in the acquisition of Portuguese companies operating in the tourism and hotel sector: Cabanas Park – Exploração Hoteleira, and Cabanas Formosa – Exploração Hoteleira.

The restructuring and insolvency team has ongoing work for the Portuguese Republic on the insolvency of Banco Privado Português, which includes the granting by the state of a personal guarantee. The firm also is advising Caixa Económica Montepio Geral in the PER, special revitilization proceeding and insolvency proceedings of the HN Group, which operates in the real estate and construction sectors. 

Other key clients are Olivedesportos, Solaer, Banco Comercial Português, and ECS Capital.

Client feedback

“All the team is very well prepared, has a high level of expertise, is very efficient, is always available and can identify important and not always obvious details.” – Banking, project finance, restructuring and insolvency

"Excellent and competent." – Banking and finance, restructuring and insolvency

“The Serra Lopes team is very professional, available, proactive and has a deep knowledge of legal matters. They are a strong team with great ability to find innovative and fast solutions in difficult contexts and under pressure.  First of all, Raquel Moreira has strong leadership and extensive technical knowledge. Ana Guedes Teixeira, Diana Simão Lourenço and Maria Sanches Afonso are a young team with a very mature attitude. They are practical, highly qualified and focused on the solution.” – Investment funds, M&A, private equity, project development, project finance, restructuring and insolvency

“SLCM is a very client-oriented firm providing a very comprehensive and valuable advice in Portugal.  Partners at SLCM typically have strong connections at the political and regulatory level being able to provide invaluable insights as to the expected developments of the country and sector specifically. Also, lawyers at the firm have a best-in-class education and training, and serving the client is their top priority.” - Banking and finance, M&A

“Strengths [include firm’s] commitment, knowledge and client-centric [approach].” - M&A

Sérvulo & Associados

Sérvulo & Associados Portugal is active in banking, capital markets, M&A, projects, and restructuring and insolvency. It works in Madeira and the Azores through strategic partnerships, and in Angola, Brazil, China, Mozambique, and East Timor through international associations.

In banking, the advised the National Asset Management Agency on regulatory matters, and loans granted to a group of companies and property investment funds.

A clear highlight in the capital markets area saw team advise Banco Santander Totta on swap transactions.  

In M&A the firm worked for Oney Bank on a complex cross border merger with French Banque Accord, and advised H Capital Partners on an acquisition.

The firm’s project development team has been active working on ongoing projects for clients like the Ministry of Defence, Lusiadas, and the Regional Government of Madeira.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm is working for Banco Espírito Santo in the bank’s liquidation proceedings, and is advising on the insolvency proceeding of Banco Privado Português.

Some of the firm’s key clients are Novo Banco, Barclays Bank, Abbott Laboratories, Petro Gaz, Scenic Tours, Docapesca and EDP Comercial.

Client feedback

“Has good knowledge of the matters. Provides deep analysis of questions. Available.”  - Banking and finance, capital markets and restructuring and insolvency

“I'm very pleased with the firm's work. They are very proactive and easy to work with. They are really involved in the legislative requirements and give fast and fundamental [answers] to our questions. The lawyers we work with are very polite and nice to talk with. They have an integrated overview of all the requirements there are to comply with.” – Banking and finance

“Outstanding capacity of its managing partner, Mr Paulo Câmara, in all areas of contact. Very strong technically and with strong capacity to deliver. The rest of the team does not seem so effective in terms of capacity to deliver.” – M&A, private equity

“Sérvulo & Associados´ team has shown over these last years a tremendously high knowledge on areas such as (i) banking regulation and (ii) data privacy, including support on interactions with regulator(s), as well as impossible to separate levels of availably and respect for deadlines. The technical expertise combined with high levels of seniority and field experience definitely represent Sérvulo & Associados’ biggest strengths and the primary reason for the regular relationship with us.” – Banking, finance

“Sérvulo & Associados is a very well reputed law firm. It has lawyers highly specialised in some areas of the law.” – Restructuring and insolvency

“Strengths: expertise, real partnership and focus.” – Capital markets

“The posture of the firm was extremely professional showing a high level of expertise and critical attitude, all the time. It's important to note the level of knowledge they show in the area (aeronautics) which is not common in this area.” – Project development

“They are very quick and rigorous in answering questions. Sometimes, they are too conservative in their answers.” – Banking and finance

“They do a very good job. But they exceeded the budget.” – Banking and finance

SPS Advogados

SPS Advogados is an independent Portuguese firm and a member of ALFA International – Global Legal Network.

The firm has been active in banking and finance, M&A, and restructuring and insolvency but all the work is confidential.

SRS Advogados

SRS Advogados is recognised for banking, capital markets, M&A, project finance, and restructuring and insolvency work, and has offices in Lisbon, Porto and Funchal.

In banking, the firm advised Mizuko Bank on the refinancing of the La Muralla IV credit facility relating to the financing of oil drilling platforms for Group R, and worked for a hotel chain, Corinthia group as borrower on a refinancing. 

The capital markets team has worked for Citicorp Trustee Company, as the trustee on the securitisation of Portuguese non-performing loans originated by Caixa Económica Montepio Geral, and on the listing and placement of securitisation notes. The firm also advised 321 Crédito – Instituição Financeira de Crédito as originator on the issuance of securitisation bonds by Sagres – Sociedade de Titularização de Créditos.

The firm’s M&A practice work includes advice to Vallis Capital as seller on the sale of Elevo Group, and work for China Datang on the acquisition of a renewable energy group.

In projects the firm worked for IKEA Portugal on the acquisition of Parque Eólico do Pisco, a wind farm project; and the team is working for the Lisbon Port Authority on the Barreiro Terminal Project. 

The restructuring and insolvency team has been working for GP2 Motorsport on its ongoing claim related to amounts paid by GP2 as investments, as GP2 Motorsports had a joint-venture agreement with Parkalgar, which is in a special revitalisation proceedings, for the promotion of car racing events within the GP2 series. The team is also advising Nutrexpa, a major food and beverage supplier to the Iberian market, on multiple insolvency proceedings.

Other notable clients are Novo Banco, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, China Development Bank, YD Ynvisible, Banco do Brasil, Oxy Capital, Scale Venture Partners, Alfamicro, Iberdrola, ECS Capital, and Sumol + Compal Marcas. 

Client feedback

“Good knowledge of the regulatory framework, accessible, has a clear understanding of the subject matters and is focused on delivering results.” – Banking and finance

“SRS Advogados is a reputable law firm in Portugal, and we highly recommend them.”  - Capital markets, M&A, project development, project finance, restructuring and insolvency 

“SRS is on par with all top tier Portuguese law firms, albeit it is slightly smaller in size. Top-notch lawyers and partners, a quality that is totally passed down to the second and third level of lawyers. My experience with SRS relies mainly on the group led by Alexandra Valente who rates among the very best professionals in her fields of expertise (finance, capital markets and M&A), adding practicality, business acumen, and, of foremost importance to the corporate clients, a quickness of response. I also have had considerable experience with João Maricoto Monteiro, in charge of the tax department. João is very probably the best tax attorney I have come across in 30 years.” – M&A, restructuring and insolvency

“SRS lawyers are very hardworking, dedicated and technically competent.”  - Capital markets, M&A, private equity, restructuring and insolvency

“Strengths: experience, qualified staff, office reputation and knowhow. Weaknesses: response time, proactivity and cost.” – Restructuring and insolvency

“They are very productive. I appreciate their ability to propose new legal solutions, particularly in public law, and the continuous updates. I have no weaknesses to report.”  - Banking and finance

José Luís Moreira da Silva

"Excellent service mostly in finance and investment."

"Accuracy and quick response, aims to build new law solutions that can assure the best way in the future for the due processes."

Octávio Castelo Paulo

"Excellent lawyer, hardworking, dedicated, focused, accurate, objective."

João Santos Carvalho

"Good legal knowledge, excellent management of relationships with stakeholders."

Uría Menéndez – Proença de Carvalho

In Portugal, Uría Menéndez is known for its M&A practice but also has a solid practice in the finance area.

The banking team advised on acquisition financings, and refinancing in various industries and was also active in project finance during the research period. Key clients include Banco BPI, Natixis, Banco Santander, Banco Popular Español and ING Bank.

In capital markets, the firm worked on right issues, bond issues, and IPOs. Deal highlights include working for the underwriters in the rights issues of BCP, and advice to Banco Santander on the issuance of bonds to be offered to retail clients of the Santander Group that were affected by the resolution of Banco Popular.

In M&A, the firm advised on deals in the energy, finance, TMT, and real estate industries. A clear highlight was work for REN in the acquisition from EDP Iberia of the gas business of the EDP Group. 

The firm is also active in project finance and development working in the infrastructure and energy industries. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm advised various clients, but the deals are confidential. 

Client feedback

“First time I have worked with Uría Menéndez - Proença de Carvalho on an M&A deal. I appreciated the availability, technical expertise and hands on approach of the partner in charge of the engagement as well as the solid background of the deal team.” – M&A

“Exceptional work performed by competent lawyers and supervised by experienced partners.” – Competition and M&A

“One of the best offices in Portugal with some of the best partners. A bit expensive for smaller operations.” – Competition, M&A and private equity

“They are professionals that have high knowledge of the areas of work contracted. They are dedicated and efficient and have an excellent capacity for relationships with other entities in the sector.” – Banking and finance, and M&A

“Strong legal practice with a team of professionals, fully committed to the success of the projects.” – Banking and finance, and M&A

Catarina Tavares Loureiro

"Extremely meticulous, excellent technical background, a problem solver."

Francisco Brito e Abreu

"One of the most commercial lawyers I've ever worked with. Capable of understanding the commercial needs of the client and translate it to the legal framework in a very efficient manner. He's clearly one of the best professionals in the country and my positive view on Uria is largely due to his work."

Carlos Costa Andrade

"Ability to analyze, agility in solutions, excellent relationship with other entities of the sector." 

VdA Vieira de Almeida

VdA Vieira de Almeida is one of the largest domestic Portuguese firms and is top tier across all financial and corporate practice areas.

The banking team advised on financings, NPL portfolio sales, and project finance matters in the banking, finance, technology, and infrastructure sectors. Key clients includes Banco de Portugal, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Santander, Money Gram and Novo Banco.

In capital markets, the firm advised on bond issues, tender offers, securitisations and project bonds in the sports, infrastructure and transportation industries. Deal highlights include work for the banks on the Novo Banco tender offer, advice to JP Morgan Securities on the Évora Finance securitisation, and advice to the banks in the sovereign bond issue targeting the retail market by the Portugal.

The M&A team worked in the finance, healthcare, infrastructure and real estate sectors. Work highlights include advice to the Banco de Portugal and the Resolution Fund on the completion of the sale of Novo Banco, advice to ICU Medical on the acquisition of Pfizer’s global infusion therapy business, and work for Globalvia Inversiones on the acquisition of the Scutvias and the Transmontana road concessions. 

Energy, infrastructure and transport were the main sectors of activity for project finance and development. The key projects they have been involved in are the 25MW photovoltaic power plant in Évora, NOVA SBE Campus in Cascais, and the Northwest Parkway in Denver.

The restructuring team advised on reorganisations, insolvencies and liquidation proceedings in real estate, telecoms and banking. Key clients are Oi, Barclays Bank, Morgan Stanley, Fundger, BCP, and Banco de Portugal.

Client feedback

“Extremely committed and skilful team.” – Banking and finance, capital markets and M&A

“High competence, transparency, efficiency, strict compliance with deadlines, close relationship with the customer, friendliness and cordiality.” – Restructuring and insolvency

“[Strengths include] knowledge, experience, relationship management and efficiency. No weakness detected.” – Banking and finance, and M&A

“One of the best law firms in Portugal.” – Capital markets

“The assessment of the firm is very good. Availability of the team involved in each transaction and capacity to understand, analyse and resolve any issue is excellent. Vast experience in debt capital markets transactions.”  - Banking and finance, and capital markets

“VdA has always provided us excellent legal advice and support. Their telecommunications regulatory department is top notch. The M&A group is also excellent. As a former telecommunications carrier in Portugal, I think they are the best in Portugal for these services.” – Banking and finance, competition, and M&A

“Very experienced team with strong knowledge of all relevant issues. Flexible and efficient in their work.” – Banking, capital markets, project finance, and restructuring and insolvency

“Very professional, very knowledgeable of latest regulatory developments. Very good ability to liaise with international firms.” – Capital markets

Benedita Aires

"Dedicated, passionate, extremely committed, always available and intelligent lawyer."

Teresa Pitôrra

"High skills, transparency, strict compliance with deadlines, a very close relationship with the customer, friendliness and cordiality. She is very efficient and anticipates the clients needs."

Tiago Correia Moreira

"Very dedicated lawyer with great expertise on capital markets transactions."

Magda Cocco

"She is very senior, she and her team provided expert advice and guidance. She also served as primary contact and project manager for VdA to us. Excellent service."

Hugo Moredo Santos

"Strong knowledge of the company and of all relevant issues. Always available to discuss."

Margarida Couto

"Extremely proactive and very knowledgeable of a wide range of items."

Orlando Vogler Guiné

"High work capacity, ability to see beyond obvious questions."