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Chambers Europe

The Firm

This firm's restructuring and insolvency practice centres around creditors' counselling, although it also advises the insolvent and assists with the restructuring of businesses. The sizeable restructuring team is integrated within the firm's litigation department, and includes four partners and ten associates. The group offers specialist expertise in litigation, corporate and tax matters, and has been advising major stakeholders in some of the most high-profile restructuring and insolvency cases in Portugal. Sources Say: “It has great connections in Portugal, which makes the execution of deals and negotiations very easy.” “Extremely professional, excellent client service, great follow-up, high quality of legal advice, fantastic timing: five stars.”
The shipping practice at this Portuguese powerhouse is spread across offices in Lisbon, Porto and Madeira. It primarily handles ship registration and assists banks with finance, as well as the management of shipping companies based in Madeira.
Much of the momentum behind the strong TMT practice at this Portuguese giant comes from having major telecoms player Sonaecom as one of its principal clients. It also gives ongoing support to Portuguese media group Impresa, which counts television channel SIC amongst its interests. The team is able to provide full-service counsel, being comprised of lawyers from various different legal areas.
This full-service firm is universally recognised for the strength of its tax practice, and continues to lead the field. With offices in Lisbon, Porto and Madeira, it is close to the country’s main business players and has become a byword for both quality and quantity. The team covers advisory and litigious tax matters. Recent highlights include providing counsel to Chevron in relation to its local subsidiaries and the structuring of its investments.
The real estate practice at this highly regarded firm is integrated into the planning section of the public law department. It advised Eiffage on the planning and construction project for the Barreiro Retail Planet, and assisted regular client Sonae Sierra Group with real estate and construction matters linked to shopping centres. The team wins praise for building strong relationships with its clients through the high quality of its work, and its dedication to getting to know clients' business and interests.
The large and diverse public law practice at this Portuguese giant advises clients on the full spectrum of matters, including projects, life sciences and litigation. It also works regularly in conjunction with the firm’s other departments. The team advised its public and private clientele on the new Public Contracts Code, and continues to act on the side of the government and NAER on the privatisation of ANA, and on the launch of various tenders connected to the construction of the new Lisbon airport. It is also present on hospital, highway, school and energy concessions, and represents pharmaceutical companies in public procurements for medical supplies. Clients value the department's multidisciplinary nature and its unfailingly “ultra-professional culture."
This firm is rated by both peers and clients as “one of the best teams for project finance in Portugal,” and has played a role in many of the most important projects in the country. The team acted for a syndicate of banks on the EUR1 billion refinancing of a debt contracted by Pebble for the construction and operation of a wind farm portfolio. In another energy mandate it assisted a consortium of banks from the BES and Banif groups on the financing of the construction, installation and operation of a photovoltaic power station in Alentejo. Clients develop strong relationships with the lawyers, who “have the crucial resources and experience for dealing with problems, and finding simple solutions.” One source added: “It is good having these lawyers across the table, as they make a real effort to reach agreement.”
It is not surprising that this private equity practice is a strong one, given the firm's premier reputation and pool of excellent lawyers. Clients point to the fact that the lawyers “manage to understand our business and are always completely committed to the project.” The group acts for both companies and funds, with recent mandates including representing a group of financial investors, including ES Concessões and ES Capital, in the EUR451 million joint acquisition (with Group A. Silva & Silva) of Cintra Aparcamientos; the team also advised Orey on the restructuring of its corporate group through the incorporation of a Luxembourg private equity fund.
This firm's excellent reputation extends to its planning group, which, as part of the public law department, benefits from the input and expertise of a variety of practitioners. Whilst the team's bread-and-butter work comes from the tourism sector, it has been diversifying and branching out into logistics and business parks of late. The practice continues to advise SAIP on the planning and construction of Alentejo leisure venture Alqueva, and was also instructed by regular client Sonae Sierra on real estate and construction matters relating to retail centre plans.
This IP group is divided between the firm’s corporate and litigation departments, and has the advantage of being able to draw on the firm's large pool of some of the country’s leading practitioners in other practice areas. Its strength in the sector continues to grow, and it advises on patent litigation and assists members of the media industry and other high-profile public figures. The practice recently represented Pfizer in patent litigation cases against other pharmaceutical companies, and acted for Philips in industrial property litigation against a number of hi-tech goods importers.
This is the largest office in Porto, and perhaps the only team in town which competes at a truly national level. The “extraordinary” full-service group attracts consistently excellent feedback, and clients value its commitment to them, and its common-sense approach to finding solutions and closing deals. Sources highlight the corporate, tax, employment, IP, disputes and competition practices at the firm, and its impressive client list includes Sonae, Mota-Engil and Jerónimo Martins.
This full-service heavyweight's all-encompassing disputes practice includes litigation and arbitration in a number of key industry sectors, and also has the size and know-how to cover specialisations such as IP. The broad scope of the litigation practice is reflected in the sphere of arbitration, where the firm handles a number of cases for national and multinational players, both on an ad hoc basis and through organised bodies such as the ICC. Clients describe a “five-star service at both a technical and a client service level.” Significant clients include Banco Santander, Philips, Pfizer and BP.
This competition practice, which is divided equally between Lisbon and Porto, is one of the largest and most traditional in the country, and has a well-balanced ratio of senior to junior lawyers. The team advises high-profile clients on all aspects of competition and antitrust. Clients value its “consistently excellent service, and deep theoretical and practical knowledge.”
This firm is widely considered one of the best in the capital markets arena. The team comprises 11 partners, three senior associates and 34 associates. The group's size enables it to take part in most prominent Portuguese transactions, always maintaining an excellent service. In spite of a slow equity market, the team's recent highlights include advising Banco Comercial Português (Millennium bcp) on its EUR1.3 billion offering of new ordinary shares with preferential rights to shareholders of the bank. Sources Say: “Sensational – experience and service are way above average. It's a very reliable firm, whose lawyers are always available.” “It has the resources and the experience to find simple solutions to complicated matters.”
This firm is consistently praised for the experience of its professionals and its ability to provide high-quality services in almost all areas of law. Located within the corporate department, the banking and finance group is highly recommended by both peers and clients. Recent highlights include advising EDP – Energias de Portugal on the EUR1.6 billion revolving credit agreement which the lenders made available to EDP and EDP Finance. Lawyers also assisted Norscut with the negotiation of the financial rebalance agreement of the SCUT Interior Norte Concession. Sources Say: “This team has in-depth knowledge of the subject and plenty of resources; it is efficient and provides timely responses. In addition, the firm is able to advise on the most varied matters.
With roots going back to the 1930s, this firm has a solid corporate/M&A practice group that handles an impressive list of annual deals involving prominent clients such as EDP - Energias de Portugal and Banco Comercial Português. Recent work high-lights include advising on the merger between Pfizer and Wyeth, and assisting on Cristiano Ronaldo’s world record-breaking transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid. Sources Say: “Five-star service – truly focused on clients and their issues, providing excellent follow-up within a swift time frame. One of Portugal’s foremost legal outfits without a doubt”.

Lawyers

Carlos Botelho Moniz is “balanced in negotiations, and produces widely respected opinions,” according to sources.
Clients praised “brilliant” Porto-based Joaquim Vieira Peres for his “profound expertise and considerable experience of dealing with national and international competition authorities”
Nuno Galvão Teles stands out as a safe pair of hands for corporate and capital market issues
Miguel Galvão Teles is highly recommended for corporate/M&A and dispute resolution matters
The “truly amazing” Carlos Osório de Castro impresses interviewees with his extraordinary corporate expertise
João Soares da Silva is a noteworthy individual considered “one of the leaders of the market” by both peers and clients.
Segismundo Pinto Basto and Tomás Vaz Pinto are also well respected market players
Clients recommend Eduardo Verde Pinho for his global vision and solid advocacy. He manages the Porto office, focusing on corporate/M&A.
Funchal-based associate Cátia Henriques Fernandes is recommended for her shipping knowledge.
Public law specialist Nuno Peres Alves “has deep knowledge of telecoms regulation, and has also played an important role in some of the sector’s most crucial legal battles,” researchers were told.
“One of the best lawyers in Portugal” according to an interviewee, Porto-based Carlos Osório de Castro is primarily a renowned corporate practitioner, but is also noted for his telecoms-related activity.
Also a leading figure in the market, Porto practice head António Lobo Xavier draws praise for his "profound expertise," deep understanding of the big picture and ability to deal with complex problems.
"Excellent" tax specialist Francisco de Sousa da Câmara leads the group in Lisbon and Madeira, and is held in high regard by commentators.
Helena Soares de Moura is currently leading the team's representation of the distressed company in one of Portugal's largest insolvencies. Sources praise her efficiency, remarking: "She has a proactive manner and gives us the confidence we need.”
Carlos Osório de Castro is a member of the Portuguese Securities Code's review committee, and highly regarded in corporate/M&A and capital markets.
Senior associate Filipe Freitas da Costa is recognised for his corporate real estate activity.
Telecoms expert Nuno Peres Alves is noted for his overall regulatory expertise, and is praised as “flexible and solutions-oriented, with fine political awareness.”
According to interviewees, Margarida Olazabal Cabral’s and Pedro Gonçalves stand out for being “among the most innovative of lawyers, who have given profound thought to the public law issues arising in the market today.”
Sources highlight Margarida Olazabal Cabral’s pragmatism and practicality. According to interviewees, she and Pedro Gonçalves stand out for being “among the most innovative of lawyers, who have given profound thought to the public law issues arising in the market today.”
Clients turn to Filipe Lowndes Marques for his ability to "combine legal advice with a commercial approach, helping negotiations to go smoothly and quickly.”
Clients rave about Luís Branco, who is unquestionably a project finance leader, explaining that he is very accessible and “has know-how that is hard to surpass. He takes a lot of time to understand our aims and can sort out any problem.”
Tomás Vaz Pinto stands out for his negotiation skills and “his ability to defend our interests in complicated situations in an intelligent and constructive way," according to clients.
Commentators see partner João Pereira Reis as a point of reference in the field, and value his “thoughtfulness and analytical skills, which cover a wide range of areas.”
António Pinto Leite and Tomás Vaz Pinto are the IP contact partners.
António Pinto Leite and Tomás Vaz Pinto are the IP contact partners.
Of counsel Jorge Simões Cortez is valued for his “negotiating skills, understanding of the clients' needs, and pragmatic, rational thinking, which focuses on finding solutions.” He is part of the corporate/M&A team.
António Lobo Xavier is the office's tax specialist, and an authority for TMT matters. “He is able to understand both the big picture and the more detailed, complex problems,” sources report.
“Excellent” project finance practitioner Luís Branco is recognised as a player in the energy sector, where he has mainly acted on the side of banks in energy projects.
Corporate lawyer Nuno Galvão Teles co-ordinates the practice and is recognised for his considerable expertise in the electricity industry, mostly through advising EDP. He builds strong relationships with his "great dedication to clients, unparalleled technical knowledge, negotiating skills and good honest advice on problem resolution."
They also rave about young associate Joana Almeida, who is “super-practical, confident and has full command of the subject – you can tell that she is going to go far.”
“Astounding” department head Luís Miguel Monteiro has profound expertise that comes from a strong academic grounding and practical experience, according to interviewees.
Rui Patrício was recently appointed 'Delegate attached to the Constitutional Court' by the Lisbon District Council of the Portuguese Bar Association, as part of an initiative to foster a closer working relationship between the courts and legal professionals. He is one of the firm’s most experienced litigation experts and in recent years has focused on the area of corporate crime.
António Pinto Leite is a major figure in the team and heads the litigation department as well as co-ordinating arbitration. He has a superb academic and professional record and often speaks at conferences and seminars.
The universally respected José Manuel Galvão Teles focuses on special and unusual cases that capitalise on his distinguished legal experience.
Miguel Galvão Teles is an outstanding figure in this field and heads one of the disputes teams, as well as the firm's public and international law department. In addition to his unbeatable professional credentials in both litigation and arbitration, he is described as “a real pleasure to work with.”
Tomás Vaz Pinto is also well-respected market player.
Antitrust practitioner Eduardo Maia Cadete is “definitely one to watch.”
Margarida Rosado da Fonseca is creating a name for herself through her dedication and specialisation in the field.
Luisa Soares da Silva is lauded for her efficiency and quick service, and was one of the partners involved in the rights issues of Millennium bcp, together with Osório de Castro and João Soares da Silva.
Filipe Lowndes Marques is well regarded for his expertise in securitisations. He is also highly rated in banking and finance and projects.
João Soares da Silva is one of the department’s well-known names. Clients recommend him as an expert in this area and highlight his competence and charisma.
An undisputed market leader, Carlos Osório de Castro is consistently praised by peers and clients for his deep market and legal knowledge. He is described as a “fantastic lawyer – one of the best in capital markets,” and is also highly regarded in corporate and TMT.
Up and comer Martim Krupenski recently joined the firm from Barrocas. Clients praise him as an “extraordinary lawyer,” thanks to his speedy responses and habit of keeping clients constantly updated.
Filipe Lowndes Marques is another talented lawyer, recognised for his expertise in banking and finance, projects and capital markets.
Department head Luís Branco is the star of this team and the Portuguese market, with peers and clients considering him a “true reference in the area.” As one source explains, “his knowledge, business-oriented mindset and strong work ethic combine to make him a unique practitioner.”
Carlos Osório de Castro mainly focuses on corporate/M&A, capital markets and restructuring/insolvency, and clients praise "his ability to find well-supported, swift, outside-the-box solutions.” For some clients he is simply “the best lawyer in the country.”
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