About Us

The Firm

The integration of Porto’s leading tax team as part of the merger with Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados has “reinforced an already large and extremely potent department,” according to sources. The group boasts an impressive roster of domestic and international clients and handles the whole spectrum of tax issues, including litigation at all levels. Clients praise the “strength and depth” of the team and highlight its “outstanding track record.” The firm’s Madeira office is also thriving, advising leading US and European multinationals such as Chevron; PepsiCo; Santander Group and NatWest. Clients/Work Highlights: In litigation, over the past year the firm successfully represented EDP on VAT matters; Nobre over personal income tax; Impresa on double tax treaties; and Borealis on transfer pricing matters. The team advised EDP Group on specific tax incentives for new shareholders in the privatisation of 5% of its share capital. Further highlights include advising several public entities such as social security institutes, local councils and other state departments on corporate income tax, capital gains and property taxes. Other clients include Diba; Bank of America; Deutsche Bank; Barclays Capital and Eurohypo.
The firm’s diverse real estate practice involves acting for various national and international clients on the entire range of real estate issues. This “top and solid firm” spreads the practice between the real estate corporate and transactional department and the administrative, real estate and urban planning group. Real estate work in the tourism industry has been a particular feature of the team’s recent workload. Clients agree that they choose the firm “because the lawyers always drive projects forward,” and highlight the lawyers’ “availability, attention to detail and ability to explain arguments clearly.” Clients/Work Highlights: Recent notable deals include assisting abertis on the EUR400 structure, acquisition and development of a Portuguese logistic park. The team also represented Vila Sol on the planning and construction of a five-star tourism resort. Sonae Sierra engaged the team on constructions and real estate issues concerning a shopping centre. The group also acts for Macquarie; HJ Heinz; Pernod Ricard; Pontegadea; Lusoponte; Abbott Laboratórios, LDA; Saip and Parque Expo.
This full-service firm houses a “high-quality, professional team” that was bolstered by the arrival last year of two new lawyers following the merger with Porto-based firm Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados. The department focuses on public procurement, the preparation of bids, PPP and litigation, while administrative law, real estate and urban planning matters have all taken up considerable time. Clients value the lawyers’ “ability to identify the problems and propose effective solutions.” Clients/Work Highlights: The firm advised EDP on several matters including electricity tariffs, the licensing of electrical plants, the public tender concerning wind farms, and issues concerning hydroelectric plants. The team also acted as legal adviser to NAER, the public company in charge of the new Lisbon airport. In the pharmaceuticals sector, the team advised Abbot on public procurement matters and Laboratórios Pfizer on relations with the regulator, INFARMED. Other highlights include assisting BES on PPPs launched by municipalities, and providing Aguas de Portugal with legal opinions on public procurement and water legislation issues.
This full-service firm enjoys “excellent relations with a number of the leading banks and financial institutions” and had a busy year advising on project finance deals. The team was particularly active in the construction of football stadiums and shopping centres, and in projects concerning wind power, gas distribution, and rail transport and sewage treatment. Highlights include advising the syndicate of banks on the EUR123 million restructuring of the project financing of Sporting’s José Alvalade stadium. The team also assisted a joint venture between Spanish investors and Enernova with the development of a wind farm in the north of Portugal. Clients highlight the “team’s deep experience and ability to provide realistic advice.” Clients/Work Highlights: The firm advised a syndicate of banks consisting of Banco Comercial Português, Banco Espírito Santo and Caixa Geral de Depósitos on the EUR100 million restructuring of project finance facilities for Benfica’s stadium by introducing a commercial credits assignment structure. It also assisted a syndicate of banks with the restructuring of the project finance facilities relating to Porto’s Dragão Stadium. The team advised Caixa de Geral Depósitos on the granting of project finance facilities to Tagusgás, the concessionaire of natural gas distribution in the Tagus Valley Region, while AGS instructed the firm on the financing of the municipal sewage concession of Covilhã. Other highlights include advising the banks Banco Comercial Português, Banco Espírito Santo and CaixaBI on the substantial renegotiations of the concession agreement for the rail link over the Tagus River.
This full-service firm boasts a long tradition in dispute resolution, having started out as an operation focused on litigation and corporate law. Renowned for housing a number of the “market’s leading heavyweights,” the department adopts a highly selective approach to work, only accepting complex, innovative and high-value cases. An enviable diet of predominantly commercial and civil disputes, white-collar crime, and bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings keeps the team busy, with pharmaceutical and IP law clear growth areas. Clients laud the “incredibly in-depth analysis of matters submitted” and point out that the “technically outstanding lawyers are aggressive when necessary and persistent in their search for a solution.” The firm is also a force to be reckoned with in domestic and international arbitration, a field in which it has developed an outstanding reputation. The recent integration of leading Oporto firm Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados has added yet another string to the firm’s already powerful bow. Clients/Work Highlights: Banco Comercial Português; EDP; Pfizer; Santander Group; BP; Lusoponte and Sonae are just a few of the clients that feature on an outstanding client list.
Sources consistently regard this firm as the best in Portugal for corporate law, and in March 2006, its name was fortified following the merger with one of Porto’s leadings firms: Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados. This has made the team “unbeatable,” according to one source, and the integration has also boosted the practice’s ability to act in big transactions. Indeed, the corporate practice was present in both of Portugal’s biggest deals in 2006: the hostile takeover bids of SonaeCom for Portugal Telecom and Millennium bcp for Banco BPI, with lawyers advising SonaeCom and Millennium bcp respectively. Furthermore, sources point out contract negotiation as one of the team’s strengths, whilst clients highlight the “lawyers’ language skills, the ease of communication and of working together.” Clients/Work Highlights: Lawyers advised Nutrinveste on the acquisition of a majority stake of 80% of East Coast Olive Oil valued at USD21 million. The team represented Sonae on the sale of its 17.4% shareholding in Sonae Sierra to Grosvenor Investment. Millennium bcp; Enernova; EDP; Miller Developments and Sag Gest also figure in the group’s client list.
This market leader was strengthened further by the 2005 merger with Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier & Associados, widely considered northern Portugal’s “leading authority on competition law.” Sources point out that the firm now boasts comprehensive teams in both Lisbon and Porto, headed by two of the market’s most highly regarded practitioners, and played a major role in both outstanding deals of the year. In addition to merger control work, the team handled several cases in the area of restrictive practices and advised on state aid matters. Following the increase in the Portuguese Competition Authority’s activity, the team is also focusing on closer collaboration with other departments, participating in deals from the beginning and highlighting potential problems. Clients are full of praise for this approach: “The lawyers think on a business level and use the law to find solutions.” Telecoms and energy have become particular areas of expertise for the team. Clients/Work Highlights: The firm represented Agepor - Associação Nacional dos Agentes de Navegação before the Lisbon Commerce Court over a fine for the alleged anti-competitive practice of price-fixing. The team represented the Portuguese television broadcaster SIC in two cases against the Commission before the Court of First Instance. The state-controlled electricity system operator Rede Eléctrica Nacional instructed the firm on the filing of the acquisition of the natural gas regulated assets from Galp Energia as part of the energy sector restructuring aimed at improving competition. Other clients include Águas de Portugal; BCP; Sociedade Central de Cervejas and SonaeCom.
The integration at the end of 2005 of Porto-based Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados, widely considered the most significant player in the north of Portugal, “cemented the firm’s reputation as one of Portugal's market leaders in the sector,” according to commentators. The team boasts experience across the spectrum of banking and finance transactions, regularly acting for major banks and advising on cutting-edge deals. For example, the firm recently handled its first Islamic financing, assisting Eurohypo’s Lisbon branch on the granting of facilities to an Islamic entity for the acquisition of real estate assets in Portugal. The department is also renowned for its expertise in capital markets, an area that was further strengthened by the merger, researchers were told. Highlights over the past year include advising Banco Comercial Português as originator on the EUR1.5 billion securitisation of mortgage loan receivables using an FTC structure. Clients sing the praises of the “experienced, knowledgeable and professional lawyers,” who are “practical and realistic in their approach” and provide a “service beyond what could be expected.” Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised an international syndicate of banks led by BNP Paribas on the provision of EUR500 million credit facilities to the public entity controlling the Portuguese railway, REFER. Banco Comercial Português and Banco Espírito Santo (BES) instructed the firm on the granting of EUR100 million credit facilities to several entities within the Sporting Clube de Portugal group, restructuring its bank debt and providing for a rights issue. The department advised CaixaBI on the granting of acquisition finance to a group of Spanish companies purchasing French companies and assets in the renewable energy sector, as well as a Portuguese company purchasing shares in the cargo container sector.


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.”
Peers unhesitatingly recommend Francisco de Sousa da Câmara, widely considered “one of Portugal’s very best in the tax arena” and a number-one choice for many making client referrals. “Well known and extremely experienced,” he is an “incredibly precise lawyer with outstanding technical skills,” according to sources.
Head of the administrative, real estate and urban planning practice Fernanda Matoso is described as “an excellent, experienced lawyer who does outstanding work.”
Undoubtedly a high-profile name in the area, João Pereira Reis continues to elicit praise. Competitors state, “He is an excellent adviser for his clients,” and label him “one of the best lawyers ever.”
Margarida Olazabal Cabral is an “extraordinary lawyer and a huge name in public law,” according to peers. Sources highlight her “deep knowledge and experience” in the sector.
Up-and-comer Filipe Lowndes Marques is increasingly active in the area and was warmly recommended by peers for his “intelligence and quick understanding.”
Commentators have enormous respect for Luís Branco: “He is an incredibly skilful, experienced lawyer and undoubtedly one of the market’s top names in project finance.”
Rui Patrício attracts widespread commendation for his expert criminal and civil litigation practice.
“Big-shot senior lawyer” José Manuel Galvão Teles is “as good as anyone out there,” according to a competitor, although market feedback suggests that he is not as visible as he used to be.
Although increasingly involved in management, head of the practice António Pinto Leite is a “wonderfully bright and skilful lawyer who boasts great experience in handling disputes as well as avoiding them,” clients told researchers.
The sole Portuguese member of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, Miguel Galvão Teles is “without doubt one of the most highly respected lawyers in the country.” According to observers, his “vast experience and knowledge” are reserved for the most challenging cases.
Clients highlight Tomás Vaz Pinto’s “good personable style, which helps avoid confrontations.” His commercial approach and advice on contractual issues were also emphasised to researchers.
Segismundo Pinto Basto is considered a “solid and excellent professional.”
Interviewees recognise Nuno Galvão Teles’ ability to establish “long-term relationships with clients.”
“Outstanding and aggressive corporate lawyer” Carlos Osório de Castro receives enthusiastic praise from his clients: “He is always two steps ahead of everyone else - he has written or influenced law codes himself so he is the one who knows what can or cannot be done and understands loopholes - fantastic for designing operations.” Peers add that “Osório de Castro’s negotiation skills are exceptional: he is probably one of the brightest lawyers in the area.”
According to observers, the charismatic Miguel Galvão Teles “has a presence which fills the room.” They go on to describe him as “a sharp lawyer who knows when to be tough or soft, flexible or inflexible.”
Younger lawyer Margarida Rosado da Fonseca has made a name for herself over the past few years: “She is straight to the point and consistent in her work, no doubt a star of the future.”
J J Vieira Peres joined the firm with the merger and heads the team in Porto. According to a satisfied client, he is an “incredibly professional, thorough and rigorous lawyer with a gift for understanding the business specificities and an immense knowledge of matters both locally and in Brussels.”
Observers admire the “quiet and cool approach” of Carlos Botelho Moniz. Clients add: “He is fantastically knowledgeable and displays experience and maturity in his strategies and dealings with the competition authority.”
Filipe Lowndes Marques is described as a “bright young lawyer,” and attracts praise for his “quick understanding, flexible approach and fantastic English.”
According to observers, the firm has benefited hugely from the arrival of Carlos Osório de Castro as part of the recent merger. “An extremely creative lawyer,” he is hugely respected in the capital markets field and boasts further experience in financing and lending.
Filipa Arantes Pedroso attracts praise for her “professionalism and accurate advice based on deep knowledge.” One multinational client told researchers that she provides a “quality of service akin to leading international firms; in her eyes all problems have solutions and she is always available to take calls, travel to meetings and work long hours.”
Luís Branco is “undoubtedly the best lawyer in the field,” in the opinion of a leading competitor. Sources describe him as a “highly experienced and skilful practitioner with a terrific name in the market,” while clients acknowledge that he is “personally involved in the deals, a crucially important aspect.”