About Us

The Firm

This substantial team has a “terrific knowledge of tax legislation, excellent international experience and a tremendous turnover.” Over the past twelve months, the group has been particularly active assisting its blue-chip clients on a significant number of tax reorganisations and a range of other tax issues. Judicial and administrative litigation are other key areas of development of this practice, whose lawyers also regularly assist on the firm’s M&A, project finance and privatisation transactions. Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised the Portuguese government in the sale of non-performing tax and social security claims for securitisation, involving an initial purchase price of approximately €1.8 billion of claims, with a nominal amount of €11.5 billion. This operation was the first of its kind carried out by a European state. The practice also assisted Pestana Group on the reorganisation of structures related to the taxation of its intellectual and industrial property, cash pooling and other tourist-related activities, and represented EDP Group in relation to several corporate transactions as well as in international operations in Spain and Brazil. Highlights of the year include the team’s assistance to Banco Espírito Santo, as the Portuguese mandated lead arranger of a USD2.25 billion jumbo loan for financing debts of the Angolan state and Angolan entities owed to the Portuguese state and a group of Portuguese banks and financial institutions. Other clients on the roster include: Portucel; Chevron Texaco; Santander Group; UniCredit; Nutrexpa; McKinsey; HP; Lusoponte; Impresa Group; BCP and Makro.
Clients were impressed with the quality of this ten-lawyer team’s work. The group has considerable experience in the field and has rendered advice to the Portuguese government and municipalities regarding urban operations and the provision of innovative solutions. Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised the Portuguese government on the creation of a programme to relocate several ministries and public services. It assisted Sonae on real estate matters relating to shopping centres, land use and planning. Saip instructed the group on the planning and construction of a €620 million tourism real estate venture in the Alentejo. Other clients include: Lusotur; Metro Sul do Tejo; Parque Expo; Inditex; Junta de Turismo da Costa do Estoril; Vila Sol; Lusoponte and Casa Amiga.
The Firm: According to commentators, this “imaginative and confidence-inspiring team is excellent and a pleasure to work with.” The practice has substantial expertise in public procurements and project finance, and regularly acts for the Portuguese government in matters related to airports, railways and roads. Litigation also takes up a significant amount of the group’s time. Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised Águas de Portugal on public procurement and water legislation issues, and continues its long relationship with Lusoponte, assisting it in relation to the €1 billion third crossing of the river Tagus in Lisbon. The group also advised Rodoviária de Lisboa on the negotiations with the Portuguese government of compensation for public service obligations. Other main clients on the roster include: Administration of the Ports of Lisbon; AGS; EDP; Pfizer; Parque Expo and Sonae.
This powerful team “clearly belongs in the first tier considering the sheer number of high-profile deals that it handles,” according to market feedback. Interviewees further highlight the team’s “consistent quality and its exceptional experience of acting for banks and financial institutions.” The firm has continued to provide legal advice to Lusoponte on issues related to the new bridge over the River Tagus, one of the largest projects ever carried out in Portugal with a value of €900 million. The group has also been active in the construction of football stadiums, PPPs in the health sector, and in projects related to water concessions, rail transport, wind and hydro energy, and roads. Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised Millennium BCP in financing the concession for the €717.3 million construction and operation of the Litoral Centro motorway, and represented the bank syndicate led by Banco Espírito Santo, in connection with the PPP public tender for the Loures Hospital valued at €142 million. Highlights of the year also include advising banks in the renegotiation of the concession of the rail link between Lisbon and the south coast of the Tagus valued at approximately €103 million. Other clients on the roster include: Fertagus; EDP; Abertis; AGS; Aquapor; BPI; Natexis Bank; Fortis Bank; Enersis and Caixa Geral de Depósitos.
Since its merger in 2004, “the firm has consolidated its position in the market as the leading firm for litigation and arbitration.” It continues to grow and offers vast expertise in civil and commercial litigation, white-collar crime and fraud, as well as domestic and international arbitration, insolvency and bankruptcy. According to clients, the group offers an “incredibly strong team of proactive and resourceful practitioners, supported by the firm’s modern and fantastic structure.” Clients/Work Highlights: The group advised the Portuguese government in a €480 million lawsuit requesting indemnity by virtue of the privatisation of Banco Português do Atlântico, and represented EDP on the arbitration case against the public entity in charge of the construction of the Alqueva dam. A partner of the firm was counsel and advocate for Portugal in a case concerning the legality of the use of force (Serbia and Montenegro v Portugal) at the ICJ. Other key clients of the practice include: BP; Indian Union; Lusoponte; Oni Way; Pfizer; Millenium BCP; Banco Espirito Santo e Comercial de Lisboa and BTA Santander.
The 2004 merger between the longestablished Portuguese law firms Morais Leitão, J. Galvão Teles & Associados and Miguel Galvão Teles, João Soares da Silva & Associados cemented the group’s reputation as one of Portugal’s market leaders for M&A and corporate law. The team advises a significant number of the main companies listed in the Lisbon Stock Market, as well as the major banks, and has experience of advising foreign clients on their business dealings in Portugal. Furthermore, “high-value, complex and cross-border transactions make up a significant portion of the group’s workload,” according to commentators. Clients spoke of a “highly experienced and dedicated team that forms part of a top-drawer, full-service firm with expertise across the board.” Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised EDP, a client who provides the firm with a substantial amount of work, on the acquisition of an additional 56.2% shareholding in the share capital of Hidrocantábrico. This manoeuvre enabled EDP to control 97.5% of Hidrocantábrico’s share capital. The transaction was valued at €1.2 billion. The team also assisted Millennium bcp in its negotiations with several bidders for the sale of its insurance companies, valued at €843 million. Portugal Telecom instructed the group on the structuring of the first share buy-back programme concerning Euronext Lisbon-listed companies, involving the acquisition of shares and the cancellation of shares connected with it. The deal was valued at approximately €790 million. Other highlights include advising Portucel on the €334 million reprivatisation of an indivisible block of nominative shares representing 30% of its share capital. Additional clients of the firm include: Abertis; Auchan; Akeler (Security Capital Group); Diageo; Cadbury Schweppes and Cadbury Adams; Globo TV; HJ Heinz; Lusoponte; Philips; Pernod Ricard; BES; BPI; BBVA; Bank of New York and Millennium bcp.
Since the 2004 merger between Morais Leitão, J Galvão Teles & Associados and Miguel Galvão Teles, João Soares da Silva & Associados, this firm has continued to consolidate its position in the market as one of Portugal’s leading firms in the sector. “The idea of bringing together the experience and expertise of the two firms is clearly working, and the group is consequently involved in the vast majority of the market’s major operations,” according to interviewees. Clients are full of praise for the “sober, solid and discreet lawyers who made up the team, a group capable of handling complex transactions and taking an aggressive stance when necessary.” Clients/Work Highlights: The practice advised BCP in the €1.5 billion securitisation of mortgage loan receivables using an FTC structure, and assisted this leading financial institution in relation to the €185 million credit facility granted to Controlinveste for the acquisition of the entire share capital of the media group Lusomundo. It also advised the banks on the €450 million refinancing of the Portuguese mobile phone operator Optimus. The team assisted Eurohypo on the €467 million sale of a portfolio of Portuguese mortgage credits in the international markets via an innovative legal structure. This allows for the registration in Portugal of the assigned creditors, whilst not involving withholding of tax in relation to the respective interest payments. Other key clients on the roster include: BNP Paribas; BES; Caixa Geral de Depósitos; Optimus; EDP; Portugália and Pontegadea.


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.”
Market connoisseurs agree that Francisco de Sousa da Câmara is “one of the top tax lawyers the country has to offer.” Sources admired his “remarkable litigation skills and ability to deal with complex international transactions,” while one key client commented: “He relishes a challenge.”
João Pereira Reis specialises in public and administrative law but also has expertise in real estate, zoning and environmental issues. One interviewee said: “He is great value in negotiations with the local authorities as he is extremely well connected.”
According to clients, Fernanda Matoso’s “systematic and patient approach is perfect for handling long, complicated matters.”
Margarida Olazabal Cabral is “one of the most well-known and highly regarded lawyers in the sector.” Clients applaud her “immense knowledge of Portuguese law and positive approach to obstacles.” An international firm adds: “She is great at sustaining the momentum of a transaction.”
Although still young, Filipe Lowndes Marques enters the tables on the strength of his “outstanding intelligence and ability to remain focused on the client’s interests.”
Clients and peers alike single out “highly experienced and sensible negotiator” Luís Branco as a “fine lawyer and undoubtedly a leader in the field.” His “deep understanding of the banks’ needs, excellent connections, and ability to work in an international context,” attract further praise from interviewees.
Rui Patrício, an expert in criminal and civil litigation, enters the tables on the strength of his technical skills and “tough but fair approach.”
António Sampaio Caramelo has recently been involved in some of the most prominent international arbitration arbitration cases.
Senior lawyer José Manuel Galvão Teles participates in both litigation and arbitration and “knows how to juggle the practical contingencies of litigation and the local needs of his clients,” according to interviewees. A leading competitor describes his skills in court as “some of the most natural and amazing I have ever seen.”
Head of the practice António Pinto Leite attracts praise for his involvement in leading commercial and labour-related dispute resolution cases. “He provides outstanding advice and is always available to answer questions.”
João Morais Leitão (see p.1486) has an excellent reputation, both as a lawyer and as a pioneer of the legal profession in Portugal, and is still active in arbitration. Commentators point to Miguel Galvão Teles (see p.1485) as “undoubtedly one of the finest litigators Portugal has to offer.” Clients are particularly impressed with his “vast knowledge and experience, Commentators point to Miguel Galvão Teles as “undoubtedly one of the finest litigators Portugal has to offer.” Clients are particularly impressed with his “vast knowledge and experience, coupled with a friendly and open-minded approach.”
Tomás Vaz Pinto also makes his first appearance in the tables on the back of excellent recommendations. “Although still young, he has to be one of the safest pairs of hands for complex transactions,” remarked one leading competitor.
Rivals recommended Segismundo Pinto Basto for his expertise in M&A and energy law. He heads one of the groups in the corporate department and has participated in a number of the major deals over the past year. remarked one leading competitor.
Nuno Galvão Teles was hailed by clients as a “highly motivated lawyer and extremely tough negotiator.” “His sharp business sense allows him to both identify and assess the risks inherent in any deal.”
Miguel Galvão Teles is a “huge name in the Portuguese legal market,” according to commentators. He covers a broad range of practice areas but concentrates his activity on litigation, public, international, constitutional and corporate law. One key client observed that he is “outstanding for advice on near impossible deals.”
According to clients, Carlos Botelho Moniz (see p.1481) is a “top lawyer with a fantastic reputation and excellent contacts in Brussels.” Market sources highlight the “combination of his experience and technical expertise with a calm and quiet approach.” Margarida Rosado da Fonseca (see p.1489) is described as an “incredibly bright individual from a new generation of younger lawyers.”
According to clients, Carlos Botelho Moniz is a “top lawyer with a fantastic reputation and excellent contacts in Brussels.” Market sources highlight the “combination of his experience and technical expertise with a calm and quiet approach.”
Filipe Lowndes Marques’ “excellent technical skills” guarantee him an entrance to the tables. “He is a brilliant lawyer and definitely a star of the future,” according to a satisfied client.
Clients appreciate Pedro Gorjão Henriques’ background in banking and admire his “hard-working and technically skilled approach.”
Filipa Arantes Pedroso wins respect for her lead role in major deals and the “superb experience and expertise that she brings to the table, particularly concerning project and real estate-related finance.”

Carlos Osório de Castro

Band 2 Banking and Finance
A leading competitor tells researchers: “Whenever I am conflicted out of a deal always refer my client to Luís Branco, he is probably the greatest of us all.” Peers and clients alike marvelled at his “fantastically creative and open minded approach, as well as his ability to do it all with a smile.” An international client adds: “He is a sharp and intelligent lawyer with the technical skills, experience and connections to put us at ease.”