About Us

The Firm

The “solid teamwork and high integrity” of this group makes it “an absolute delight”. It is especially noted for assisting the Portuguese Republic and the Ministry of Finance in the tax and social claims operation. “Aggressive and proactive”, it stakes its reputation on such complex cases as Vivendi’s involvement in the public water supply. The team also advises on the tax aspects of M&A, project finance and privatization transactions. The Clients: Chevron Texaco; BP; Goldman Sachs; Lehman Brothers; JP Morgan Chase; Santander Group; Banca Intesa; Nutrexpa; Telefónica.
Clients applauded the group as "an absolute pleasure" with its consistency in quality. It advised Pestana Group concerning the privatisation of Enatur and separatley represented Akeler Group of companies in the €60 million development and operation of the Quinta da Fonte office park. The firm also handled a subsequent sale involving the same office park in a deal estomated at about €127 million. The Clients: The team has advised Pestana Group, Parque Expo and Akeler Group of Companies among others.
Over the past year the firm advised on e of the biggest soccer clubs in Portugal, as well as the banks financing the other two biggest soccer clubs - Benfica and Porto. This was in connection with the financing of the construction, operation and maintenance under a project finance regime of the football stadiums for the Euro 2004 event. The group continues to advise on a range of water and wind farm projects and has been appointed to advise Banco Espírito santo Investment with its PFI/PPP. The team also acted for Lusoponte - Concessionária para a Travessia do tejo SA, the concessionaire for the construction, financing and operation of the vasco da Gama Brdge over the river Tagus and the operation and maintanance of the 25th April Bridge under a project finance regime, which is amongst the first infrastructure project finances in Portugal. The Clinets: Kusoponte; Abertis;espirito santo Investment;Banco BPI;HypoVereinsbank;Natexis Bank and Fortis Bank.
Following its recent merger the firm is said to be going “from strength to strength” in commercial litigation and arbitration. Clients particularly appreciate its innovative strategies in appellate law. Commentators also noted the group’s expertise in areas such as tax, administrative law, labour and criminal litigation. The team has advised Lusoponte on a range of arbitrations regarding the Vasco da Gama Bridge. Acting for the Republic of Portugal, the group defended a lawsuit brought by Sonae requesting indemnity by virtue of the privatisation of Banco Português do Atlântico. The Clients: BP; Companhia de Seguros de Crédito; Schweppes Portugal; Electricidade de Portugal and Cupertino de Miranda family.
Clients named this as “a top-notch firm” for restructurings, acquisitions, joint ventures split offs and M&A. The group’s corporate focus on complex multinational cases is said to be “undeniably its forte”. Clients note the team’s involvement in some of the most “intricate” cases including its advice for Cadbury Schweppes in the acquisition of Adams from Pfizer for €4.2 billion. The group was adviser to Ascom Holding, a Swiss-listed telecoms company, on the sale of its private bank exchange division to Aastra Technologies. In a further matter it advised EDP on the structured sale of Iberdrola stock, which involved the creation of a legal structure to allow sale of stock due to the contractual conditions agreed between EDP and Iberdrola. The Clients: Abertis; Auchan; Akeler (Security Capital Group); Cadbury Schweppes and Cadbury Adams; Diageo; EDP; GLOBO TV; Hays; Heinz; Pernod Ricard and FLS Industries.
This “prestigious” team provides “first-class” advice on EU and competition law, regularly appearing before the ECJ. The group’s “top-notch” counselling often pertains to non-transactional cases for such clients as the Portuguese Republic. The group was also praised for a proceeding before the Court of First Instance on behalf of Banco Comercial dos Açores concerning the income tax regime in the Azores archipelago. The Clients: Grupo Pestana/Pousadas de Portugal; Instituto Nacional de Garantia Agrícola; Sociedade Independente de Comunicação and Banco Comercial dos Açores.
The 2004 merger of Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles & Associados and Miguel Galvão Teles, João Soares da Silva & Associados cemented the group’s reputation as Portugal’s “leader” in banking and finance issues. Clients feel its “fantastic client base” and “star practitioners” put the firm “right at the very top of the list”. Other observers also viewed the combination as a success, pointing to the additional client build-up and deeper talent pool – including 85 lawyers, of 17 are partners. The group has represented the Portuguese government regarding non-performing tax and social security claims as well as advising Banco Espírito Santo. Representing the Bank of New York, the group advised on various domestic banking and securitisation issues. The Clients: The team advised EDP on an Iberdrola stock sale. Other clients include Banco Português de Investimento, Banco Espírito Santo, Banco Santander and Bank of New York.


António Lobo Xavier

Band 3 Tax
Francisco de Sousa da Câmara is renowned for covering complex international tax matters, offering some of the “best tax litigation expertise around”. As leader of the team, he has advised Pestana Group on the reorganization related to the taxation of intellectual and industrial property, namely on international transfer pricing issues.
Clients recommended João Pereirs Reis for his expertise in real estate and zoning, recalling that he appears to "always get involved in the biggest transactions".
Fernada Matoso was recommended as "highly professional and consistent in her work". She was one of the advisers to Parque Expo regarding Cidade Administrativa, an urban rehabilitation project that includes buildings to be used by the Portugueses public administration. The case also involved an arbitration element.
"Brilliant" Luís Branco has a "second to none advantage through his amazing banking connnections," clients feel. Market observers refer to him as "undoubtedly the leader in the field." He spearheaded the team advising a banking syndicate comprising Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria and Bayerische Hypo und Vereinsbank Aktiengesellschaft on the shadow toll motorway of the Interior Norte (Norscut) worth around € 1.15 billion. Branco's team is currently advising the banks on various issues, including changes of law, shareholders and hedging agreements.
Commentators described Miguel Galvão Teles as “one of the finest litigators we have ever dealt with”. Clients admire his legal flair and say: “He is a big shot who can deal with the most complex of cases with his eyes shut”. His astonishing knowledge helped “complete” the practice.
“Rising name” Segismundo Pinto Basto specialises in energy and M&A. He was noted for his leadership skills in a case concerning Portucel, SGPS, in the second phase of reprivatisation of the company share capital for a total of €396 million. He also acted for WPP in the acquisition of a 40% share capital in Marktest Investimentos, SGPS, SA.
Head of corporate Filipa Arantes Pedroso spearheaded the team advising Globo Group on the sale of its 15% stake in Portuguese company SIC, owner of one of the two private channels to BPI which exercised its pre-emption right after a €20 million offer made by BPN.
“Magnificent negotiator” Nuno Galvão Teles led the team in the advice given to EDP, worth an estimated €315 million, on the transfer of the entire share capital of OPTEP, SGPS, SA, a telecoms holding company that indirectly holds 25.5% stake in Optimus, the third-largest mobile telecoms operator in Portugal.

Carlos Osório de Castro

Band 2 Corporate / M&A
His “terrific” colleague Miguel Galvão Teles has the ability to deal with a variety of areas in public, constitutional and corporate law. Clients praise: his “excellent negotiation skills” and consider him “a generalist who can deal with anything thrown at him.”
“Witty” Margarida Rosado da Fonseca is considered to be his “right hand” and “is equipped with the textbook training for competition law.” Commentators also pitched her as “a star in the making”.
“Ace” Carlos Botelho Moniz (see 1196) is a key member of his “second-to-none team”, industry observers said. Advising Grupo Pestana, he facilitated notification to the Portuguese Competition Authority concerning the acquisition of more than 40 luxury hotels in historic castles and rural areas. Clients “trust the judgement of his legal mind.” One added: “He has never disappointed”. “Witty” Margarida Rosado da Fonseca (see page 1202) is considered to be his “right hand” and “is equipped with the textbook training for competition law.” Commentators also pitched her as “a star in the making”.
“Ace” Carlos Botelho Moniz is a key member of his “second-to-none team”, industry observers said. Advising Grupo Pestana, he facilitated notification to the Portuguese Competition Authority concerning the acquisition of more than 40 luxury hotels in historic castles and rural areas. Clients “trust the judgement of his legal mind.” One added: “He has never disappointed”.
Pedro Gorjão Henriques impressed clients with his “dedicated work ethic” and was noted by competitors for his “exceptional” banking practice issues.

Carlos Osório de Castro

Band 2 Banking and Finance
Miguel Galvão Teles is noted for his “tremendous flair and intensity when dealing with international law.” Clients “can’t pinpoint this expertise” as his practice is one of the most diverse in the field, although interests have included banking, litigation, civil and corporate law. He is truly “one of the most brilliant legal minds.”
“Legal superstar” Luís Branco is widely admired as probably “the one and only market leader for project finance”. Rivals noted that “he makes it look easy”, maintaining a “tranquil demeanour” in difficult situations. His “solution-oriented” approach and “solid scientific background” also won kudos among observers, who added that “he can foresee the immediate result and deal with it”.
The “brilliant” António Pinto Leite impressed competitors with his “hands-on” approach. He has been involved in some of the countries biggest commercial cases, for example, the Portugal Telecom case, where his “momentous” advice was praised by clients.