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Chambers Europe

The Firm

Described as “a traditional and visible TMT competitor,” this team often handles competition and regulatory matters. Undoubtedly, its great reputation in TMT and other areas has helped to establish the strong roster of clients in telecoms. Lawyers here represented Media Capital Telecomunicações in a number of precautionary measures and proceedings involving mainly regulatory and competition issues. Clients stated: “The team goes beyond our expectations when accomplishing our requirements." Clients/Work Highlights: The team advises AR Telecom, Onitelecom, Cabovisão, COLT Telecomunicações and G9 on precautionary judicial measures, judicial suspension measures and lawsuits referring to regulatory and competition matters. Lawyers represented COLT Portugal in obtaining a licence for fixed telephone infrastructures for telecommunications. Other important clients include SkySoft Portugal, TV Globo and Sonae.
The integration of Porto’s leading tax team as part of the merger with Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados has “reinforced an already large and extremely potent department,” according to sources. The group boasts an impressive roster of domestic and international clients and handles the whole spectrum of tax issues, including litigation at all levels. Clients praise the “strength and depth” of the team and highlight its “outstanding track record.” The firm’s Madeira office is also thriving, advising leading US and European multinationals such as Chevron; PepsiCo; Santander Group and NatWest. Clients/Work Highlights: In litigation, over the past year the firm successfully represented EDP on VAT matters; Nobre over personal income tax; Impresa on double tax treaties; and Borealis on transfer pricing matters. The team advised EDP Group on specific tax incentives for new shareholders in the privatisation of 5% of its share capital. Further highlights include advising several public entities such as social security institutes, local councils and other state departments on corporate income tax, capital gains and property taxes. Other clients include Diba; Bank of America; Deutsche Bank; Barclays Capital and Eurohypo.
The firm’s diverse real estate practice involves acting for various national and international clients on the entire range of real estate issues. This “top and solid firm” spreads the practice between the real estate corporate and transactional department and the administrative, real estate and urban planning group. Real estate work in the tourism industry has been a particular feature of the team’s recent workload. Clients agree that they choose the firm “because the lawyers always drive projects forward,” and highlight the lawyers’ “availability, attention to detail and ability to explain arguments clearly.” Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised local investors and Hilton International Grand Vacations Co in all Portuguese regulatory matters regarding their operations in the Algarve. The firm represented Meridien in an international arbitration related to a business dispute with the owner of a hotel in Africa. The group also acts for Abertis; Jerónimo Martins; Lusotur; Sonae Sierra; Saip and Parque Expo.
This full-service firm houses a “high-quality, professional team” that was bolstered by the arrival last year of two new lawyers following the merger with Porto-based firm Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados. The department focuses on public procurement, the preparation of bids, PPP and litigation, while administrative law, real estate and urban planning matters have all taken up considerable time. Clients value the lawyers’ “ability to identify the problems and propose effective solutions.” Clients/Work Highlights: The firm advised EDP on several matters including electricity tariffs, the licensing of electrical plants, the public tender concerning wind farms, and issues concerning hydroelectric plants. The team also acted as legal adviser to NAER, the public company in charge of the new Lisbon airport. In the pharmaceuticals sector, the team advised Abbot on public procurement matters and Laboratórios Pfizer on relations with the regulator, INFARMED. Other highlights include assisting BES on PPPs launched by municipalities, and providing Aguas de Portugal with legal opinions on public procurement and water legislation issues.
This full-service firm houses a large practice group covering administrative law, real estate and planning. The team has considerable expertise in the area of planning for industrial, commercial and residential real estate and regularly assists the government and municipalities with urban operations. Recent highlights include advising Sociedade Alentejana de Investimentos & Participações (SAIP) on the planning and construction of a EUR900 million tourism real estate venture in the Alentejo, and assisting the public ministry of construction, transport and communication with the Portugal Logístico project. Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised Vila Sol on the planning and construction of a EUR40 million five-star tourist resort and golf course in the Algarve. Sonae Sierra instructed the group on licensing, land use and planning issues related to the construction of shopping centres. The practice also advised clients on a number of expropriation matters for projects such as Metro Sul do Tejo’s construction of the surface subway system on the south bank of the Tagus River. Other clients include Câmara Municipal de Cascais; Câmara Municipal do Cartaxo; Jerónimo Martins; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Lusoponte and Lusotur.
This full-service firm enjoys “excellent relations with a number of the leading banks and financial institutions” and had a busy year advising on project finance deals. The team was particularly active in the construction of football stadiums and shopping centres, as well as in projects concerning wind power, gas distribution, and rail transport and sewage treatment. Highlights include advising the syndicate of banks on the EUR123 million restructuring of the project financing of José Alvalade Stadium. The team also assisted a joint venture between Spanish investors and Enernova with the development of a wind farm in the north of Portugal. Clients highlight the “team’s deep experience and ability to provide realistic advice.” Clients/Work Highlights: The firm advised a syndicate of banks consisting of Banco Comercial Português, Banco Espírito Santo and Caixa Geral de Depósitos on the EUR100 million restructuring of project finance facilities for Benfica’s stadium by introducing a commercial credits assignment structure. It also assisted a syndicate of banks with the restructuring of the project finance facilities relating to Porto’s Dragão Stadium. The team advised Caixa de Geral Depósitos on the granting of project finance facilities to Tagusgás, the concessionaire of natural gas distribution in the Tagus Valley Region, while AGS instructed the firm on the financing of the municipal sewage concession of Covilhã. Other highlights include advising the banks Banco Comercial Português, Banco Espírito Santo and CaixaBI on the substantial renegotiations of the concession agreement for the rail link over the Tagus River.
Widely known for its long-standing relationship with EDP, one of the most important energy players in Portugal, this “top-rated” team shows a wealth of experience and fine grasp of the sector, according to sources. Its involvement in the growing energy market is illustrated by members of the firm advising EDP on the EUR720 million sale of its shareholding in Galp Energia to Américo Amorim Group. On the regulatory side, the firm acted for EDP on legal issues concerning electricity tariffs and jurisdiction of the Portuguese regulatory authority. This firm was a favourite among clients for its “extraordinary legal and sector know-how and high availability.” Clients/Work Highlights: The firm represented Rede Eléctrica Nacional (REN) in the EUR945 million sale to Amorim Energia of its 18.3% shareholding in Galp Energia. The team advised REN and the Portuguese government on its IPO. Other notable clients are EBM; Enernova; NQF Energia; Portgás; Águas de Portugal; MECI and Tagusgás.
This relatively young department has gained widespread market respect. With six lawyers in Lisbon and two in Oporto, the group covers the whole range of labour issues and has noteworthy experience in all employment matters involving M&A operations, such as restructuring, collective dismissals and outsourcing. As one client explained: “We always seek its strategy advice in M&A operations. Our company totally relies on the team.” Litigation and social security, especially relating to financial entities, are also among the group’s busiest areas of work. Clients/Work Highlights: PGA (Portugália Air Lines); Alcoa Fujikura; BPI Bank; BP; Pfizer; Santander Bank; Sonae Group; Schweppes; EDP and Mercer Human Resources Consulting.
This full-service firm boasts a long tradition in dispute resolution, having started out as an operation focused on litigation and corporate law. Renowned for housing a number of the “market’s leading heavyweights,” the department adopts a highly selective approach to work, only accepting complex, innovative and high-value cases. An enviable diet of predominantly commercial and civil disputes, white-collar crime and bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings keeps the team busy, with pharmaceutical and IP law clear growth areas. Clients laud the “incredibly in-depth analysis of matters submitted” and point out that the “technically outstanding lawyers are aggressive when necessary and persistent in their search for a solution.” The firm is also a force to be reckoned with in domestic and international arbitration, a field in which it has developed an outstanding reputation. The recent integration of leading Oporto firm Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados has added yet another string to the firm’s already powerful bow. Clients/Work Highlights: Banco Comercial Português; EDP; Pfizer; Santander Group; BP; Lusoponte and Sonae.
Sources consistently regard this firm as the best in Portugal for corporate law, and in March 2006, its name was fortified following the merger with one of Porto’s leading firms, Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados. This has made the team “unbeatable,” according to one source, and the integration has also boosted the practice’s ability to act in big transactions. Indeed, the corporate practice was present in both of Portugal’s biggest deals in 2006: the hostile takeover bids of Sonaecom for Portugal Telecom and Millennium bcp for Banco BPI, with lawyers advising Sonaecom and Millennium bcp respectively. Furthermore, sources point out contract negotiation as one of the team’s strengths, whilst clients highlight the “lawyers’ language skills, the ease of communication and of working together.” Clients/Work Highlights: Lawyers advised Bertelsmann on the acquisition of the Portuguese group Bertrand. The team represented REN (Rede Eléctrica Nacional) in the sale of its 18.3 % shareholding in Galp Energia, SGPS to Amorim Energia, a transaction valued at EUR945 million. Other clients include: Millennium bcp; Enernova; EDP; Investifino; Miller Developments and Sag Gest.
This market leader was strengthened further by the 2005 merger with Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados, widely considered northern Portugal’s “leading authority on competition law.” Sources point out that the firm now boasts comprehensive teams in both Lisbon and Porto, headed by two of the market’s most highly regarded practitioners, and played a major role in both outstanding deals of the year. In addition to merger control work, the team handled several cases in the area of restrictive practices and advised on state aid matters. Following the increase in the Portuguese Competition Authority’s activity, the team is also focusing on closer collaboration with other departments, participating in deals from the beginning and highlighting potential problems. Clients are full of praise for this approach: “The lawyers think on a business level and use the law to find solutions.” Telecoms and energy have become particular areas of expertise for the team. Clients/Work Highlights: The firm represented AGEPOR, the Shipping Agents Association of Portugal, before the Lisbon Commerce Court over a fine for the alleged anti-competitive practice of price-fixing. The team represented the Portuguese television broadcaster SIC in two cases against the Commission before the Court of First Instance. The state-controlled electricity system operator Rede Eléctrica Nacional instructed the firm on the filing of the acquisition of the natural gas regulated assets from Galp Energia as part of the energy sector restructuring aimed at improving competition. Other clients include Águas de Portugal; BCP; Sociedade Central de Cervejas and Sonaecom.
A competitor describes the merger between MLGTS and CPPX as “the perfect match; Osório de Castro brought his outstanding capital markets expertise to a firm more specialised in banking and finance, but with superior resources and structure.” Commentators are in no doubt that the combined force is a top-tier player, with several singling it out as “the best firm in Portugal for capital markets.” The team handles the gamut of work in the area, with representation of the bidders in the PT and BPI takeovers taking up considerable time of late. Ongoing advice to key clients such as EDP, and a series of securitisations also kept the firm busy. Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised Investifino on the acquisition of the total share capital of Grupo Soares da Costa, one of Portugal’s largest construction companies. Other highlights include assisting 093X - Telecomunicações Celulares with the EUR350 million roll-up into Sonaecom, involving a share capital increase in Sonaecom to be subscribed in kind by 093X with a 25.72% shareholding in Optimus. In the securitisations field, the firm advised Millennium bcp as originator on the sale and securitisation of a EUR1.5 billion portfolio of mortgage-backed receivables. It also assisted the European Investment Fund as guarantor in the sale and securitisation of a EUR500 million portfolio of SME loan receivables by BES, and Société Générale in the LG Electronics trans-European securitisation programme of trade receivables.
The integration at the end of 2005 of Porto-based Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados, widely considered the most significant player in the north of Portugal, “cemented the firm’s reputation as one of Portugal''s market leaders in the sector,” according to commentators. The team boasts experience across the spectrum of banking and finance transactions, regularly acting for major banks and advising on cutting-edge deals. For example, the firm recently handled its first Islamic financing, assisting Eurohypo’s Lisbon branch on the granting of facilities to an Islamic entity for the acquisition of real estate assets in Portugal. The department is also renowned for its expertise in capital markets, an area that was further strengthened by the merger, researchers were told. Clients sing the praises of the “experienced, knowledgeable and professional lawyers,” who are “practical and realistic in their approach” and provide a “service beyond what could be expected.” Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised Calyon, BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Deutsche Bank on financing the EUR2.9 billion acquisition of Europcar Group. It assisted an international bank syndicate led by BNP Paribas with the provision of EUR500 million credit facilities to the public entity controlling REFER, the Portuguese railway. BCP and BES instructed the firm on the granting of EUR100 million credit facilities to several entities within the Sporting Clube de Portugal group, restructuring its bank debt and providing for a rights issue. Other highlights include assisting Caixa BI in Portugal, Spain and France with financing the acquisition of wind-related assets in France by a group of Spanish companies. Goldman Sachs also instructed the firm on the acquisition of credits granted by a group of international lenders to the Meridien Group, while Banco Espírito Santo instructed the team on the complex financing of a shopping centre, with security granted on surface rights, land and a public domain concession.

Lawyers

Perhaps best known for her activity in the antitrust and banking fields, Filipa Arantes Pedroso is also singled out for her “experience in the TMT sector.” “She is a skilful and well-reputed lawyer,” peers acknowledged. A team led by Pedroso assisted Ascom with the EUR7 million sale of its private branch exchange division to Aastra Telecom Europe. The transaction included shares and asset deals across various European countries.
Corporate lawyer Carlos Osório de Castro represents Sonaecom in its takeover bid for Portugal Telecom. Rivals consistently praised his work in the telecoms arena: “You can be sure that whatever field Castro gets into, his performance will be outstanding.” Another added: "Despite his age he already deals with high-profile transactions and by now enjoys a great reputation." Sources further highlighted his ability to lead “a very strong TMT team.”
António Lobo Xavier joined the firm as part of the merger and heads the team in Porto. Commentators sing his praises, describing him as a “highly intelligent and terrifically knowledgeable lawyer.”
Peers unhesitatingly recommend Francisco de Sousa da Câmara, widely considered “one of Portugal’s very best in the tax arena” and a number-one choice for many making client referrals. “Well known and extremely experienced,” he is an “incredibly precise lawyer with outstanding technical skills,” according to sources.
With notable experience in M&A real estate operations, Filipe Freitas da Costa is an asset to the group. “He is a hard-working lawyer with the ability to deliver excellent results in complex situations," clients commented.
Head of the administrative, real estate and urban planning practice, Fernanda Matoso, is described as “an excellent, experienced lawyer who does outstanding work.”
Undoubtedly a high-profile name in the area, João Pereira Reis continues to elicit praise. Competitors state: “He is an excellent adviser for his clients,” and label him “one of the best lawyers ever.”
Margarida Olazabal Cabral is an “extraordinary lawyer and a huge name in public law,” according to peers. Sources highlight her “deep knowledge and experience” in the sector.
Peers acknowledge that the team benefits enormously from the depth of experience of João Pereira Reis, a former secretary of state for local administration and land use planning. “One of the best lawyers around,” he boasts a “vast, highly specialised knowledge of the area” and provides clear advice, according to interviewees. He recently assisted Spanish client abertis logística with the planning and construction of a EUR400 million 150-hectare logistics platform near Lisbon.
Filipe Lowndes Marques is increasingly active in the area and was warmly recommended by peers for his “intelligence and quick understanding.”
Commentators have enormous respect for Luís Branco: “He is an incredibly skilful, experienced lawyer and undoubtedly one of the market’s top names in project finance.
Head of the energy practice group, Nuno Galvão Teles is endorsed as “almost an in-house lawyer for EDP.” Branded as a corporate lawyer, he is in addition recognised for his regulatory skills. Clients furthermore highlighted his “outstanding work capacity and ability to lead his team.”
Interviewees have nothing but praise for Luis Miguel Monteiro, who is both head of practice and a professor. Clients appreciate his “careful and efficient approach,” while peers highlight his “outstanding technical skills.” “He knows how to be tough when he has to be,” one added.
Rui Patrício attracts widespread commendation for his expert criminal and civil litigation practice.
“Big-shot senior lawyer” José Manuel Galvão Teles is “as good as anyone out there,” according to a competitor, although market feedback suggests that he is not as visible as he used to be.
Although increasingly involved in management, head of the practice António Pinto Leite is a “wonderfully bright and skilful lawyer who boasts great experience in handling disputes as well as avoiding them,” clients told researchers.
The sole Portuguese member of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, Miguel Galvão Teles is “without doubt one of the most highly respected lawyers in the country.” According to observers, his “vast experience and knowledge” are reserved for the most challenging cases.
Clients highlight Tomás Vaz Pinto’s “good personable style, which helps avoid confrontations.” His commercial approach and advice on contractual issues were also emphasised to researchers.
Segismundo Pinto Basto is considered a “solid and excellent professional.”
Interviewees recognise Nuno Galvão Teles’ ability to establish “long-term relationships with clients”.
“Outstanding and aggressive corporate lawyer” Carlos Osório de Castro receives enthusiastic praise from his clients: “He is always two steps ahead of everyone else - he has written or influenced law codes himself so he is the one who knows what can or cannot be done and understands loopholes - fantastic for designing operations.” Peers add that: “Osório de Castro’s negotiation skills are exceptional: he is probably one of the brightest lawyers in the area.”
According to observers, the charismatic Miguel Galvão Teles “has a presence which fills the room.” They go on to describe him as “a sharp lawyer who knows when to be tough or soft, flexible or inflexible.”
Younger lawyer Margarida Rosado da Fonseca has made a name for herself over the past few years: “She is straight to the point and consistent in her work, no doubt a star of the future.”
J J Vieira Peres joined the firm with the merger and heads the team in Porto. According to a satisfied client, he is an “incredibly professional, thorough and rigorous lawyer with a gift for understanding the business specifics and an immense knowledge of matters both locally and in Brussels.”
Observers admire the “quiet and cool approach” of Carlos Botelho Moniz. Clients add: “He is fantastically knowledgeable and displays experience and maturity in his strategies and dealings with the competition authority.”

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Band 2 Capital Markets: Securitisation
2007
Hugely respected in the capital markets field, the “superb” Carlos Osório de Castro is “one of the most creative minds in the Portuguese legal market,” observers concur. Clients admire his “well-prepared, quiet and calm approach,” pointing out that “however complex the issue, he always manages to give an imaginative and fully justified answer.”

Filipe Lowndes Marques

up-and-coming individuals Banking and Finance: Investment Funds
2007

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Band 1 Banking and Finance: Investment Funds
2007
Filipe Lowndes Marques is described as a “bright young lawyer,” and attracts praise for his “quick understanding, flexible approach and fantastic English.” He advises on a broad spectrum of banking and finance transactions and supervises what sources agree is "Portugal''s top practice in investment funds." According to clients, he is a "safe pair of hands, has good access to the CMVM and excellent international connections." Recent highlights include advising Orey Gestão de Activos on the incorporation and marketing of a range of funds, including football player and forestry funds with innovative structures.
Filipa Arantes Pedroso attracts praise for her “professionalism and accurate advice based on deep knowledge.” One multinational client told researchers that she provides a “quality of service akin to leading international firms; in her eyes, all problems have solutions and she is always available to take calls, travel to meetings and work long hours.”
Luís Branco is “undoubtedly the best lawyer in the field,” in the opinion of a leading competitor. Sources describe him as a “highly experienced and skilful practitioner with a terrific name in the market,” while clients acknowledge that he is “personally involved in the deals; a crucially important aspect.”
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