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Chambers Europe

The Firm

This large Portuguese firm continues to be a heavy hitter in the north of the country. The team covers the full range of legal services and is highly recommended for transactional work, especially in M&A and capital markets. It attracts leading local and multinational clients, such as construction and infrastructure giant Mota-Engil. The group collaborates closely with its colleagues in Lisbon to offer clients a seamless and highly integrated service.
The shipping department of this large domestic firm is based at its Madeira outpost, from where it often advises international shipping companies operating with the International Business Centre of Madeira (IBCM). The group also advises foreign banks and financial institutions on vessel registration with the international shipping registry of Madeira. As well as a keen domestic service, the team handles leading international mandates and is often referred work by global law firms. Sources say: "An excellent team that provides timely and swift advice on complex matters."
The multidisciplinary TMT group at this Portuguese giant comprises lawyers from the public law, dispute resolution, competition and corporate/M&A departments, and is strong in all three areas of TMT. On the media side, the team represents private television broadcaster SIC in various regulatory issues, and in the IT area the group advises clients on compliance, software licensing and data protection matters. Recent mandates include assisting Sonaecom with various matters, such as advising its subsidiary Optimus on a mobile phone 4G bid, and challenging the new regulatory fee structure. Sources say: “These lawyers are problem solvers. It is easy to discuss matters with them.”
The tax team at this Portuguese powerhouse is divided between the firm's Lisbon, Funchal and Porto offices. Sources commend the group for its tax planning advice within corporate restructuring operations, and its strength in tax litigation. The team regularly advises EDP - Energias de Portugal on the tax implications of its international M&A, and also represents the company in tax litigation cases. Its client portfolio includes numerous multinationals such as Barclays, Mitsubishi and Siemens. Sources view the group as “one of the leading tax practices in the country” and enthuse about its pragmatic approach.
This leading Portuguese firm provides a full real estate service concentrating on tourism, corporate real estate and planning. Within those areas the team works on a variety of real estate issues including M&A, investment, litigation, structures and financing. The group boasts an extensive list of multinational clients such as Zara, Abertis Infraestructuras, Mousquetaires and VINCI, the latter of which it assisted with the tender for the operation of the car parks of the major Portuguese airports.
The public law practice at this domestic powerhouse concentrates on public work for a variety of private companies. Its main areas of focus are public tenders; regulation within a variety of sectors including energy, health, telecoms and urban planning; and administrative litigation. The team plays a central role in the pharmaceutical industry and advises energy companies such as REN and EDP - Energias de Portugal on public procurement matters. Recent highlights include advising the APL (Lisbon Port Authorities) on the launching of a public tender for the award of the future operation of the new Lisbon multi-purpose terminal, and assisting with the Parque Escolar project, responsible for the modernisation of public schools across Portugal. Clients praise the group for its professionalism and responsiveness.
This Portuguese giant's project finance practice is housed within the corporate department, alongside the banking and finance group. The majority of its clients are banks or financial institutions and, following the suspension of the majority of public projects in Portugal, it devotes nearly all of its time to the private sector. The team is particularly active in the renewable energy sector and on the restructuring of various infrastructure projects. A recent mandate saw it advise a major bank on the financing of a wind farm in Romania. Sources say: “The team knows projects and covers every aspect, including project finance. It has built up strong relationships with a large number of clients.”
This large domestic firm's private equity group is made up of lawyers from the corporate/M&A, banking and finance, and securities departments. Over the past year the team has focused on providing tailored advice to recovering funds willing to invest in distressed companies. It is noted for assisting ACEGE – Associação Cristã de Empresários e Gestores with the incorporation of private equity fund Bern Comum, which is designed to invest in socially oriented projects focusing on reducing unemployment. Sources say: "The execution was perfect, even with the added difficulty of establishing a management company in another jurisdiction."
The planning team at this leading Portuguese firm is housed in the public law department. It handles urban planning, licensing and environmental issues and assists a diverse client base including private sector entities, public institutions and architects. Major recent highlights include acting for SAIP on the construction of a key tourist development in Alentejo worth over EUR1 million, and advising Sonae Sierra on land use and licences relating to shopping centres.
The restructuring and insolvency team at this Portuguese giant incorporates lawyers from other practice areas such as tax, corporate and banking, depending on the nature of the work. The team of 12 represents a number of multinationals in a variety of industries, including finance, energy and pharmaceuticals, on both in-court and out-of-court restructurings. Recent highlights include advising several creditors on the Banco Privado Português insolvency, and representing a syndicate of creditor banks in the Fadesa Portugal insolvency. Sources say: “If we throw a large amount of work at them, they have the manpower and ability to do it quickly and accurately.”
This traditional Portuguese firm offers the complete range of IP services, with a dedicated team of 13 lawyers. The group acts on innovative, high-value transactions and has a particular focus on patent litigation, representing Pfizer in more than 200 separate proceedings. Besides its pharmaceutical industry work, the team advises clients from the electronics and TMT sectors, and recently acted for Philips on a number of cases relating to the counterfeiting of its products. Sources say: “Whenever I request clarification, the team is excellent at providing a helpful explanation of its points.”
MLGTS represents the biggest names in the energy market, and sources agree that it belongs in the top tier. The team of ten fee earners is involved in transactional and regulatory work in both traditional and innovative areas, such as wave and wind energy. The natural resources/environment group is part of the firm's public law department and supports the energy team. Recent highlights include advising Spanish group Abertis Infraestructuras on environmental impact studies and licensing procedures for the construction of a logistics platform. Other key clients include major Portuguese companies EDP - Energias de Portugal and REN, which the team is advising on their internationalisation processes.
The 12-lawyer employment team at this Portuguese powerhouse is split between the firm's Lisbon and Porto offices. It spent much of the past year focusing on restructurings, redundancies and collective dismissals. It is noted for its litigation skills and expertise in a number of sectors including technology, energy, pharmaceuticals and aviation, and counts a plethora of multinational corporations as clients. The group recently advised easyJet on the start-up of its operations in Portugal. Sources say: “It has technical quality and durable relationships with clients.”
This group covers national and international arbitration, commercial and corporate litigation and corporate crime. The size and scope of its practice means that it often handles some of the most complex, high-value and innovative disputes in the market. It boasts specialist litigators in areas such as TMT, labour, IP and sports, and regularly represents clients in the ICC arbitration courts in Paris. It recently acted for Lusoponte on an ICC international arbitration against the Portuguese state concerning the concession agreements entered into on two major bridge projects. Large multinationals including Philips, BP and Santander make up a substantial percentage of the team's client base. In a major recent highlight, it represented Pfizer in more than 150 separate proceedings surrounding patents. Sources say: “The firm is top-class - it is very well organised, with excellent lawyers who possess a variety of skills and are able to help their clients across several industries.”
MLGTS remains one of Portugal's leading firms in this area, regularly advising on the country's biggest transactions. The firm has one of the largest teams for corporate/M&A and an unbeatable track record in the practice area. Large domestic and international corporations are part of the firm's long-standing clientele, and the economic crisis has seen the group focus on assisting clients with the development of their business abroad. The firm advised EDP - Energias de Portugal and its partners Iberdrola and Telco on the sale of Guatemalan holding company DECA II to Colombia's Empresas Públicas de Medellín. Sources say: "Undoubtedly one of the best full-service firms in Portugal, with high technical quality in every practice area."
This domestic giant maintains its position at the top of the competition market, despite a recent downsize in its department. The group now comprises nine lawyers, who have been extremely busy of late on merger control files, EU law litigation, antitrust and state aid. The team acts out of Lisbon and Porto, giving it considerable domestic reach and attracting clients from throughout the country. Key mandates include representing Abbott Laboratories in an administrative and judicial case regarding alleged cartel procedures. Another highlight saw the team represent SIC before the EC in a state aid judicial ruling, and advise it on subsequent measures granted by the Portuguese state. Sources say: "One of the best teams in Portugal. It is very much on the ball and is exceptional on technical points. We greatly appreciate the group's energy and dedication."
This domestic giant is an undoubted leader for capital markets work, and handles a huge range of high-yield transactions. The well-resourced team's impressive size enables it to advise long-standing clients on a constant stream of transactions. Although the Portuguese market has suffered due to the economic crisis, the firm advised EDP - Energias de Portugal on the issue of EUR750 million in notes due in 2016 under the programme for the issue of debt instruments. On the equity side, the team is assisting Banco Comercial Português with a complex and innovative programme of share capital increases. Sources say: "It is a highly competent team, attentive to the client's needs and with full capacity in every practice area."
This traditional Portuguese giant is an acknowledged leader for banking and finance work. The team comprises two partners, four senior associates and three associates providing sophisticated advice to a large and loyal list of clients. The group has seen a huge surge in restructuring, refinancing and company reorganisation work. It advised an international syndicate of banks including BCP, Santander Totta, Barclays, BNP Paribas and Caixa Geral de Depósitos on the corporate reorganisation of Brisa Group. Sources say: "It is the best firm in Portugal, with excellent technical quality, proactive lawyers and ample knowledge of every practice area."

Lawyers

Leading light Francisco de Sousa da Câmara heads the team in Lisbon and Madeira and is hailed for his tax litigation skills.
Peers are impressed by Jorge Simões Cortez's expertise in M&A transactions.
Sources describe Eduardo Verde Pinho as "very well thought of in the Porto market and a great administrator." His broad practice covers corporate and commercial law.
Tax expert António Lobo Xavier is a key figure at the firm and wins excellent market feedback.
Star lawyer Carlos Osório de Castro maintains his top-tier position in the market, particularly for capital markets, corporate/M&A and restructuring and insolvency cases.
Madeira-based Cátia Henriques Fernandes is described as "a very good shipping and corporate lawyer, with in-depth knowledge of local regulation issues within an international context."
Clients deem IT area head Helena Tapp Barroso “co-operative, practical and quick. She is prepared to talk the TMT language.”
Sources praise key team member Nuno Peres Alves for his telecoms expertise.
Renowned capital markets lawyer Carlos Osório de Castro has in-depth experience in the TMT field and works closely with Sonaecom.
António Lobo Xavier is the driving force behind the Porto team. Interviewees note his “strength in court and excellent arguments before the tax authorities."
Filipa Arantes Pedroso heads up the corporate side of the real estate practice.
Sources regard Nuno Peres Alves as “hard-working and technically astute.”
Pedro Costa Gonçalves is also an important member of the team, and worked on the Parque Escolar schools project.
Margarida Olazabal Cabral leads the team and is highlighted by sources for her deep knowledge of public procurement.
Associate to watch Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos is heavily involved in infrastructure projects.
Sources laud Filipe Lowndes Marques for his “profound knowledge of projects from the lenders' point of view.”
Tomás Vaz Pinto is admired as a multi-talented lawyer with expertise in capital markets and corporate/M&A.
Associate to watch Rui Ribeiro Lima is an important team member who advises a number of key clients.
Sources recognise department head João Pereira Reis as a market leader, highlighting his experience, strong personal relationships and expertise in the planning area.
Sources describe senior associate Helena Soares de Moura as "highly analytical and a strong negotiator with great contacts."
Carlos Osório de Castro is a prestigious and experienced lawyer who is recognised by his peers for his role in formulating the Portuguese Insolvency Code.
Team co-head Tomás Vaz Pinto earns praise for the accuracy and thoroughness of his work.
Finance specialist Luís Branco supports the energy team on large transactions in the energy area.
Nuno Galvão Teles is a well-established corporate lawyer with ample experience in the sector.
Clients are impressed by associate Pedro Pardal Goulão, who has expertise in sports law.
Interviewees appreciate key team member Joana Almeida's “great attention to detail and valuable opinions.”
Clients and peers applaud practice head Luís Miguel Monteiro, declaring that “he is extremely solid and structured in his analysis of the legal questions, and has a deep knowledge of the employment field.”
Senior statesman José Manuel Galvão Teles continues to work on complex disputes.
Observers point out that corporate litigation team head Francisco Cortez “is very accurate and knows exactly when something should be done. We always get the best possible result with him.”
Rui Patrício is a key member of the team working on both civil and criminal matters.
Highly regarded practice head António Pinto Leite is “a very clever and reasonable guy, who manages cases well and quickly understands the principal issues,” say sources.
The market continues to recognise Miguel Galvão Teles as a star lawyer “who sees things nobody else sees.”
Tomás Vaz Pinto is a highly skilled transactional practitioner.
Segismundo Pinto Basto is a well-established name for commercial transactions.
Nuno Galvão Teles specialises in energy and natural resources, and his business acumen and proactive attitude are key attributes for corporate clients.
João Soares da Silva is praised for "his ability to always find innovative solutions to complex matters."
Carlos Osório de Castro is described by sources as "a fantastic lawyer with ample international knowledge and legal vision."
Miguel Galvão Teles heads the public and international law department and is widely acclaimed for his experience on a number of large, complex, domestic and cross-border financial operations, with sources describing him as "one of the greatest Portuguese lawyers."
Eduardo Maia Cadete "looks to understand our needs in order to find the best solution. He is like part of our company," says one interviewee.
Sources admire Porto-based Joaquim Vieira Peres for his established competition/EU law practice, hailing him as "one of the best in Portugal."
Department head Carlos Botelho Moniz wins tremendous feedback for his "excellent client support and in-depth knowledge of EU law."
Luisa Soares da Silva is another valuable member of the team and the main partner leading transactions undertaken for EDP - Energias de Portugal.
João Soares da Silva leads the department, and headed the team that assisted Banco Comercial Português with its high-profile share capital increase.
Carlos Osório de Castro works out of the Porto office and is considered to be a heavyweight in capital markets.
Filipe Lowndes Marques is the group's securitisation expert, and also handles banking and finance mandates.
Luís Branco is undoubtedly the star player of this team. He led the team that assisted Caixa Geral de Depósitos and CaixaBI with structuring and organising the acquisition of credits corresponding to the investment in the infrastructure and equipment of MLFF toll collection systems.
Filipe Lowndes Marques represented Banco Comercial Português in the securitisation of a portfolio of receivables from small and mid-sized enterprise loans, and sources report him to be "proactive and knowledgeable."
“Excellent” department head Luís Branco is well known for his project finance experience and works closely with a number of banks.
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