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Chambers Europe

The Firm

Peers agree that this experienced group should remain at the top of the rankings because it is one of the largest firms in Portugal and because of its repeated involvement in headline deals. For example, the team recently assisted Sonaecom with the financing of the hostile public bids for the entire share capital acquisition of Portugal Telecom and of PT Multimédia. Its lawyers received enthusiastic praise for the “terrific quality of their work, business-oriented approach and ethical attitude.” While clients highlighted the “strong bench of associates behind the leading lawyers” competitors underlined that the merger with Porto-based firm Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados enhanced the firm’s banking team as well as its “impressive client portfolio of national and international clients." Clients/Work Highlights: The group advised an international syndicate of banks on the Portuguese law aspects of the financing and creation of a security package for the EUR520 million acquisition of Amorim Imobiliária by Inmobiliaria Chamartin. The team also assisted a bank syndicate headed by Eurohypo Aktiengesellschaft on the Portuguese law aspects of a global financing made available to British Land for the purchase of properties in Europe, including the EUR39 million acquisitions of two Portuguese retail parks in Portimão and Aveiro. The outfit also represented Portuguese banks in the EUR400 million financial rebalance agreement entered into between the Concessionaire of the North Motorway and the Portuguese Republic. Other key clients include CaixaBI; BES Investimento; Millennium bcp investimento and EDP - Energias de Portugal.
Peers unanimously identify this group as one of the leading forces in the Portuguese securities market, covering the whole spectrum of capital markets matters, including securitisation. In the words of one peer who recently acted opposite the team: “Its performance was faultless and the lawyers showed great professionalism all the way through - they perfectly understand the market and know how to react in each situation.” Clients share this view and add that the group possesses “astonishing levels of resources and know-how.” These were recently put to use when advising on takeover bids for PT and BPI. Clients/Work Highlights: Lawyers assisted EDP - Energias de Portugal on the USD2 billion issuance of medium term notes listed on the LSE. The team advised Inapa on a EUR122 million rights issue on several operations in European countries within the paper and paper pulp markets. Other notable clients include Millennium BCP; REN; Mota-Engil and Banco Santander.
Peers unanimously identify this group as one of the leading forces in the Portuguese securities market, covering the whole spectrum of capital markets matters, including securitisation. In the words of one peer who recently acted opposite the team: “Its performance was faultless and the lawyers showed great professionalism all the way through - they perfectly understand the market and know how to react in each situation.” Clients share this view and add that the group possesses “astonishing levels of resources and know-how.” These were recently put to use when advising on takeover bids for PT and BPI. Clients/Work Highlights: Lawyers assisted EDP - Energias de Portugal on the USD2 billion issuance of medium term notes listed on the LSE. The team advised Inapa on a EUR122 million rights issue on several operations in European countries within the paper and paper pulp markets. Other notable clients include Millennium BCP; REN; Mota-Engil and Banco Santander.
Split between the Lisbon and Porto offices, this experienced team works jointly on traditional competition matters and a number of other fronts, from litigation to compliance programmes. It also boasts noteworthy experience in key sectors such as telecoms, energy, pharmaceutical, distribution and construction, among others. Moreover, it maintains an international profile reinforced by its membership of the Lex Mundi alliance, and its lawyers are commended for being “technically strong yet understated practitioners.” Clients/Work Highlights: Lawyers successfully advised Sonaecom on filing its projected acquisition of sole control over Portugal Telecom SGPS and PT Multimédia before the Portuguese Competition Authority. They also assisted Sonaecom with the acquisition of TELE2 and of ONI’s assets. The team further advised TAP Portugal on its acquisition of PGA - Portugália Airlines. Other leading clients include Optimus; Mota Engil; Jerónimo Martins; REN and Ernova.
In recent years - and particularly since its 2006 merger with top Porto outfit Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados - this firm’s corporate and M&A offering has gone from strength to strength. Lawyers advise a significant number of companies listed on the Portuguese stock exchange, offering particular expertise in the banking, energy and telecoms sectors. Clients recommend this “one-stop shop” for the “consistently high quality of work produced by these outstanding lawyers.” Commentators were quick to highlight the excellence that pervades all levels of the team. Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised EDP on the EUR250 million sale, to each of Gestmin, SGPS, Logoenergia, Oliren and Red Eléctrica de España, of a 5% shareholding in REN. The team assisted Automatic Data Processing with the acquisitions of Inforauto (Salvador Cateano Group) and ServiSIS (Entreposto Group), and lawyers advised Sonae Distribuição on the EUR662 million acquisition of Carrefour (Portugal). Further clients include Sonaecom; Bertelsmann; OMNI and RTL.
This major Portuguese firm has maintained its usual high level of litigation activity, and is a “top-quality group with the ability to respond efficiently and rigorously to the clients’ needs.” The team’s typical workload includes cutting-edge cases in the IP and pharmaceutical sectors in particular. Clients highlighted the lawyers’’ sound experience, business-oriented approach and reliable and ethical attitude,” and added: “We truly feel the lead partners have a strong team backing them.” Clients/Work Highlights: REN; TV Globo; Pfizer; Optimus and Inapa.
Described as “one of the best employment teams in the country,” this national group splits its employment practice between the Lisbon and Porto offices. The nine-member outfit is “client-focused and very quick to respond,” and noted for always being “on top of matters.” It also enjoys “excellent assistance from the junior lawyers.” The team covers the whole array of employment matters, with labour litigation and collective dismissals forming a sizeable proportion of the workload over the past year. Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised Alcoa Fujikura on the closure of its Portuguese factory and the collective dismissal and litigation that followed. Other clients include BP; Pfizer; Santander Group; Abbott and Banco BPI.
Lauded for its “fantastic energy expertise,” this firm maintains its strong position in the market thanks largely to its relationship with chief national energy client EDP. Indeed, it is through working for this key client that the firm has been able to develop its energy experience outside Portugal. For example, the practice represented EDP in the EUR2 billion acquisition of Horizon Wind Energy, the third major renewable energy operator in the USA. Sources commented: “This firm is totally deserving of a place in the top tier - it has accumulated significant knowledge working with EDP and also a strong presence in renewable projects.” The firm is a member of the Energy Law Group. Clients/Work Highlights: The lawyers advised EDP on the negotiation of a strategic partnership with Sonatrach, an Algerian gas supply company, relating to gas and power-generation businesses. The firm acted for REN and the Portuguese government on REN’s IPO and the first phase of its privatisation. The firm also assisted EDP Produção-Bioeléctrica with the implementation of a strategic partnership with Caima Energia.
Interviewees identify this firm as “practically unbeatable - the top outfit in Porto.” As one peer explains, “the combination of having several of the most renowned lawyers in the country and its impressive client portfolio puts the firm in a fantastic position.” It provides full-service assistance to prominent clients such as Sonae and Mota-Engil. While the Porto-based group often works in conjunction with the Lisbon team, it also has exclusively local corporate and tax practices. “It is marked out by its local work, and it is a versatile, high-quality team,” sources say. Clients/Work Highlights: Lawyers assisted Sonaecom with the structuring and submission of a EUR1.2 billion bid for the acquisition of PT Multimédia by means of public takeover. Violas engaged the team on the EUR17 million public takeover bid for Solverde, and the group represented RL in the EUR20 million public takeover bid for Tertir and Ternor.
The IP team at this full-service firm operates within the litigation and corporate department and is selective in the work it accepts, limiting its activity to highly complex and high-value copyright, patent and trade mark violation and litigation cases. Clients/Work Highlights: The firm represented two multinational pharmaceutical companies in a complex dispute involving the protection of their patents. It also successfully prevented the import of optical recording and reading systems infringing a client’s patents by applying for a border detention order.
Two partners and nine associates make up the administrative, real estate and urban planning department at this large firm. Working with both public and private clients, the team enjoys a solid reputation among peers and is praised by clients for its “deep knowledge and timely response.” Clients/Work Highlights: The team continues to advise Spanish group Abertis Infrastructures on the construction of a 150-hectare logistics platform near Lisbon. It is also active in the tourist sector, where it is advising SAIP on the planning and construction of a EUR900 million venture in the Alentejo region. Other notable clients include international shopping centre specialist Sonae Sierra and the famous hotel chain Hilton International.
After a busy year advising Sonaecom and Millennium bcp on their groundbreaking takeover bids for Portugal Telecom and Banco BPI respectively, the firm has convinced many commentators that it is a force to be reckoned with in the corporate and private equity markets. Sources commented: “The group possesses plenty of resources and masses of potential to be one of the main national players.” Recently the team advised ECS Capitals on the incorporation of the largest private equity fund in Portugal, valued at over EUR90 million. Clients/Work Highlights: Lawyers represented EDP in the on the sale of 5% of the Portuguese energy TSO (transmission system operator) to a private equity fund.
Drawing upon its skills in both the energy and finance sectors, this practice is one of the leading names for projects work. It has experience in infrastructure and construction matters and is also taking on more environmental projects, sources report. On the renewable energy front, for instance, the team represented a syndicate of Portuguese and foreign banks in the EUR985 million refinancing of wind farms and hydropower plants. Clients are full of praise for the “outstanding quality of both the work and the lawyers,” with one competitor concluding: “This is an extremely good team.” Clients/Work Highlights: The firm advised a Portuguese syndicate of banks on EUR50 million project finance facilities granted to a Maltese parent company of a group that owns wind farms. Lawyers assisted the grantor with setting up the framework for the privatisation of ANA (the concessionaire for the Portuguese airport network) and the tender for design, financing, construction and operation of the new Lisbon airport. The group also advised a Portuguese banking syndicate on a EUR28 million project finance facilities to an entity licensed to construct and run the first hazardous waste disposal plant in Portugal. Other notable clients are RBS; Bes Investimento; Millennium bcp; EDP and Banco Português de Investimento.
This full-service law firm is one of the biggest in Portugal, and boasts a “skilled and knowledgeable public law team.” It is very active in public contracts and PPPs, as well as litigation and regulatory work, particularly in the energy and pharmaceutical sectors. Its work in the telecoms sector is also on the increase. Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised Naer on the drafting of regulatory models for the new Lisbon airport. Further clients include Laboratórios Pfizer, Augusta Westland Group and the Ministry of Economy, who it is advising on a lawsuit concerning the licensing of a tourism real estate venture.
“Swift responses, proactive attitude, and clear and concise reports” are reasons why clients choose this team. Both the Lisbon and Porto offices enjoy an enviable client portfolio that includes local and international companies investing across the whole country, particularly in tourism projects. Clients/Work Highlights: The firm advised Abertis on the EUR400 million acquisition and development of a logistics park in central Portugal. It also represented Acordo in the incorporation of a real estate investment fund management company and real estate funds for the acquisition and development of tourism projects, a deal valued at EUR400 million. The team continues to advise Lusoponte on the concession agreement related to the 25 de Abril Bridge, Vasco da Gama Bridge and the third crossing over the river Tagus in Lisbon. Other major clients include APL; Eurohypo; HJ Heinz; ING Real Estate and Pontegadea.
This 20-member team enjoys a well-earned reputation as “one of the best tax groups in the country; it is technically flawless and amazingly solid,” market sources confirmed. The lawyers played a key role in last year’s ground-breaking hostile takeover bids, representing Sonae and Millennium BCP. As well as its strong Lisbon-based group, the firm fields noteworthy tax outfits in Porto and Madeira. It covers the whole spectrum of tax matters, advising public and private companies from the pharmaceutical, financial, tourism, energy and telecoms industries. Clients reported: “The quality of the work is outstanding - this is the perfect choice if you have a complicated case.” Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised Abbott on structuring the acquisition of Guidant’s business in Portugal, and represented Chevron in matters relating to its Madeira companies and investment structures. The group also provided tax advice to Grupo Jerónimo Martins relating to major restructuring and litigation issues. Other leading clients are Caixa Geral De Depósitos; Deustche Bank; Inforauto; Tap and Mercapital.
This national group covers TMT matters across several departments, as clients’ needs dictate, with the administrative, competition, corporate and litigation groups being particularly prominent. This has proven a successful formula, as clients’ state: “Lawyers co-ordinate flawlessly between teams - the results are always exceptional.” Clients/Work Highlights: The team represented TVTEL in a complaint to the national competition authority against Portugal Telecom for abuse of dominant position. The lawyers advised Media Capital Telecomunicações on contract negotiation procedures and regulatory issues connected with ISP, Voice over Internet Protocol and mobile virtual network operator businesses. The firm provided legal assistance to several IMPRESA group companies regarding their Internet-based business activities and the acquisition of companies operating mostly through the Internet. Other key clients are SONAECOM; Novis Telecom; Optimus Telecomunicações; TV Globo International and Onitelecom.

Lawyers

Undoubtedly a high-profile name in the area, Luís Branco is dubbed “the best-known lawyer in the Portuguese banking sector.” Observers commented on how “his friendly approach makes negotiations much smoother,” and added: “He is terribly efficient and gets directly involved in all aspects of the deal.” Branco is also renowned for his top performances in the projects sphere.
Filipe Lowndes Marques was recently elevated to the partnership and is considered to be “among the brightest lawyers in Lisbon.” He is involved in banking and finance transactions, and also advises on projects and investment fund matters.
Carlos Osório de Castro received enthusiastic praise from his peers for being “one of the brightest minds in the country.” He also impresses with his “tough but fair approach and genuine efforts to understand his clients’ business.”
João Soares da Silva’s “precise and effective advice, as well as his professionalism and dedication” are major draws for clients, who also enjoy his ability to deal with “extremely complex corporate and capital market issues.
Market sources identify Filipe Lowndes Marques as the “best asset” of the firm’s securitisation practice.
Carlos Botelho Moniz is highly praised for his firm grasp of competition matters, particularly EU law, and he is widely respected as a “leading figure in the team.”
Joaquim Vieira Peres is “results-oriented and a solid, tenacious lawyer who excels at providing ad hoc and well-structured solutions.”
Interviewees highlighted Margarida Rosado da Fonseca’s rich experience in the market and describe her as “one of the future stars of the group.”
Gonçalo Machado Borges has attracted attention for his “strong advice on regulatory and competition matters within the telecoms sector.”
Miguel Galvão Teles attracts widespread commendation from market sources: “He has a brilliant mind, and is excellent at devising strategies and explaining complex principles.”
Clients identify Carlos Osório de Castro as “a genius” in relation to corporate and capital markets work: “He is bright and has a great understanding of clients’ needs.”
João Soares da Silva has an excellent reputation as a “pragmatic and technically proficient” lawyer with a broad range of expertise, including corporate and capital markets matters.
Sources report that Nuno Galvão Teles “defends his clients’ positions vigorously and has a keen understanding of the Portuguese market.” Clients appreciate “his creative approach.”
Segismundo Pinto Basto attracts praise for his excellent relationships with local companies, in addition to his “calm and professional attitude.”
Tomás Vaz Pinto is a “bright young lawyer with great potential."
Seasoned lawyer José Manuel Galvão Teles focuses his attention on carefully selected high-profile litigation and arbitration cases. He is a widely respected figure among peers for his “unmatched experience and immense knowledge,” and remains a “reference in the country."
Observers describe Miguel Galvão Teles as an “outstanding and bright lawyer who commands the respect of all parties in the courtroom.”
Clients described: “António Pinto Leite as a "true fighter who keeps innovating in his approach and always finds a solution.” Recently he has been increasingly involved in arbitration proceedings and in the firm’s management.
Young partner Rui Patrício “already enjoys an impressive reputation” sources acknowledge. Working in civil and increasingly in criminal litigation, he is considered “a very worthy adversary” by his peers.

Rui Patrício

Band 1 Dispute Resolution: Corporate Crime
2008
Head of department Luís Miguel Monteiro, a professor and author of several books on labour law, “is highly efficient, pragmatic and very knowledgeable.”
Rising star Joana Almeida is seen as “clear-thinking and objective” as well as “quick in understanding clients’ needs.”
Partner in charge of the firm’s energy group, Nuno Galvão Teles is a “magnificent corporate lawyer with great negotiating skills.” Peers also singled out his “excellent track record in the energy sector advising star client EDP.”
Tax lawyer António Lobo Xavier is regarded as “the most outstanding name in Porto’s legal scene.” Clients comment: “In addition to its amazing technical skills, he have excellent client service and will readily face difficult challenges. He have totally gained our confidence.
Capital markets partner Carlos Osório de Castro is regarded as “the most outstanding name in Porto’s legal scene.” Clients comment: “In addition to its amazing technical skills, he have excellent client service and will readily face difficult challenges. He have totally gained our confidence.”
Eduardo Verde Pinho impresses sources with his “business approach and focus on the big picture. He keeps in mind the client’s commercial goals.” He mainly deals with corporate matters for companies based in North Portugal.
Head of department is partner João Pereira Reis. His former position as secretary of state for local administration and land use planning ensures his high profile, as well as his status as a reference, in the field.
Head of the banking and project finance group, Luís Branco is lauded as “one of the best lawyers in the field, thanks to his creativity and straightforward attitude that makes transactions move smoothly.”
Interviewees also reserve praise for “thoughtful and efficient” Filipe Lowndes Marques, describing him as an “excellent team player.”
Margarida Olazabal Cabral is a “talented lawyer” whose experience in public law is widely recognised.
Pedro Gonçalves, who joined the firm in 2007, is also admired by peers: “He’s pragmatic, efficient, and has good communication skills.”
Partner Filipa Arantes Pedroso is “greatly efficient and a brilliant negotiator,” according to her clients.
Filipe Freitas da Costa, who is praised for approaching the real estate sector from a corporate angle; clients say he is “a solutions-driven lawyer who’s always available to us.”
Clients admire Francisco de Sousa da Câmara for his great local and international tax knowledge. “We always feel safe in his hands,” one client commented.
António Lobo Xavier is “amazing technically,” and impresses clients with his consistently “proactive, reliable and competent” advice.
Although probably best known for his corporate and capital markets practice, Carlos Osório de Castro also enjoys a fine telecoms reputation, mainly due to his successful relationship with chief client Sonae. Commentators note: “He’s an outstandingly prolific lawyer, who knows absolutely everything his client needs to know.”
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