About Us

The Firm

Recommended for its ‘efficient, fresh, commercially astute tax counsel’, Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados continues to provide support to some of the largest companies and banks in Portugal. Francisco de Sousa da Câmara is a ‘very, very strong lawyer – the ideal person to work with’, and he heads the group alongside Oporto-based partner António Lobo Xavier. The practice is well known for its cadre of work complementing transactional teams on major M&A and finance deals, notably working with Sonaecom on issues connected to the securitisation of telecoms corporate receivables. In terms of its litigation capabilities, the group has frequently proven itself ‘adept both in and out of court’ and represented Grupo Jerónimo Martins in claims against tax liquidation.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados has, largely thanks to the close relationship its team has with an array of domestic issuers and arrangers, been among the most active practices in this difficult market. ‘By comparison with the competitors, the lawyers here are miles ahead’, and name partners João Soares da Silva and Nuno Galvão Teles are ‘without question two of the most experienced and knowledgeable lawyers available’. On the debt side, the group has handled a range of work for Energias de Portugal, including advising on its €1bn notes issuance. Luísa Soares da Silva, Carlos Osório de Castro and Rui de Oliveira Neves are also recommended.
Benefiting from an ‘exceptional depth of experience’, Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados has been able to ride the wave of project finance deals, while continuing to act on a spread of acquisition finance activities. Practice head Luís Branco is ‘smart, strategic and efficient’, and has recently acted for several major lenders including Banco Espírito Santo, which he advised on its €33m medium-term commercial facilities for Explorer’s acquisition of the Probos group. In terms of inbound work, the team acted for a syndicate of European banks on acquisition financing and refinancing facilities for Capio Laboratories. ‘The very reliable’ Filipe Lowndes Marques led on this deal.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados’ Oporto team by size, reach and the scale of work it handles, has an edge over its competitors. Regarded as ‘the complete commercial team’, and replete with ‘strong experience and hands-on skills’, the group works seamlessly with counterparts in other offices on large finance and corporate deals. The ‘deeply knowledgeable’ Carlos Osório de Castro advised Banco Comercial Portugês on a €900m issue of subordinated debt and more widely handles a range of corporate and finance matters. Joaquim Vieira Peres is a prominent figure on competition matters and has advised on competition compliance programmes for several clients. António Lobo Xavier’s tax work marks him out as ‘an exemplary adviser’ and he counts Jerónimo Martins, Mota Engil and Sonaecom among his clients. Eduardo Verde Pinho also draws praise for his ‘intelligence and personal approach’, and in 2008 he advised Laboratório de Patologia Clínica Hílario Lima on the sale of share capital to SwissLab.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados’ cross-practice TMT group advises several leading industry clients, including Impresa and Sonaecom. The team of ‘creative, forward-thinking lawyers’ is headed by António Lobo Xavier, and offers wide-ranging regulatory, transactional and commercial expertise. Tomás Vaz Pinto worked with Impresa on a content supply partnership with PT Group, including the creation of a new TV channel. The group is known for its ‘deep resources and diversity of talent’.
Shipping law is a key strength of Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados’ 19-strong transport law team. ‘Able to give precise advice on time and with an exceptional attention to detail’, the team is led by António Lobo Xavier in Oporto, and Francisco de Sousa da Câmara, who splits his time between Lisbon and Madeira. The team advises a range of international and domestic shipping companies on management and maintenance procedures, and on the registration of fleet vessels with the International Shipping Register of Madeira.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is ‘very good for real estate advice’, and its sharp focus on the tourism sector has brought a flow of work. Led by Fernanda Matoso, the group also features João Pereira Reis, who recently advised Logoálapega on the planning and construction of tourism real estate ventures valued at €310m. Elsewhere, Pereira Reis acted for Sonae Sierra on real estate and construction matters surrounding the development of shopping centres.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados’ ‘dynamic and practical’ public law team draws on the resources of its impressive domestic network and is regularly engaged in big-ticket mandates. Pedro Gonçalves co-heads the team with Margarida Olazabal Cabral, and is noted for his ‘academic and technical prowess on legal issues’. Recent highlights include advising NAER – Novo Aeroporto and the government on the construction of the new Lisbon airport and on the NAER’s various public tenders. On the private side, the group advised EDP on several concession contracts concerning hydroeletric stations in Ribeiradio, Tâmega e Fridão. Miguel Nogueira de Brito and João Serra are recommended.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados has one of the oldest and ‘most reliable’ finance practices in the country, and has developed a projects practice that straddles a range of industry sectors. Filipe Lowndes Marques recently advised a consortium of banks including BES and BCP on the €154m financing of the construction and operation of a photovoltaic solar cell manufacturing plant. The ‘responsive and experienced’ Luís Branco recently advised a consortium of domestic banks on financing the Douro motorway subconcession.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados acted on behalf of creditors in some of 2009’s largest insolvencies, and has several partners adept at handling the creditor side of insolvency proceedings. Among these, Carlos Osório de Castro has a notable depth of expertise, while Ana Isabel Seabra advised Portgás in relation to the recently bankrupt Araújo & Ferreira.
‘Absolutely gold standard’, Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is best known for its work for longstanding client EDP, which it represents across a range of transactions. Name partner Nuno Galvão Teles has ‘an incomparable understanding of the energy sector’, and recently led a team which advised EDP on the €330m acquisition of gas assets from Gas Natural. Along with the ‘resourceful and talented’ Rui de Oliveira Neves, the nine-strong team has acted on a swathe of finance, M&A and public law mandates. On environment matters, a group of 12 lawyers, including the ‘reliable’ and ‘pragmatic’ João Pereira Reis, advise clients on a spread of licensing work and administrative offences.
‘One of the best legal minds in Portugal’, Luís Miguel Monteiro leads Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados’ ‘experienced, focused and results-driven’ employment team. Able to leverage off the firm’s corporate department, as well as acting in major standalone cases, the group excels at both contentious and non-contentious matters. Recent highlights include acting for Pfizer in dismissal proceedings and subsequent litigation, and representing Santander in employment and social security litigation. Another key strength is at associate level, where Pedro Pardal Goulão and Joana Almeida are recommended.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados divides its dedicated EU and competition experts between Lisbon and Oporto, and is considered to be ‘among the most accomplished and broadly capable practices’ operating in the market. Carlos Botelho Moniz heads the team and recently advised EDP Producão on the conditions of its agreement with EDIA, as well as its obligations to the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA). Joaquim Vieira Peres is the key contact in Oporto and ‘a very honest and knowledgeable partner’ with ‘a safe pair of hands’. He acted for Sonae and RAR Group on the merger control issues surrounding its joint venture. Few competitors offer the same level of dedicated resources as this ‘absolutely excellent’ group.
With a team significantly larger than its peers, Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados has the country’s ‘dominant dispute resolution practice’. Recent highlights include advising BP on multiple lawsuits and representing Pfizer on IP rights litigation against several companies. The team represents leading clients across a range of industry sectors and has the resources to address niche areas such as IP litigation and white-collar crime with ‘highly targeted expertise and in-depth knowledge’. Recent highlights include representing Lusoponte on two high-profile ICC arbitration cases against the Portuguese state. The firm also continues to advise leading Portuguese banks including BCP, BES, Santander, Totta and BPI. The ‘skilled, confident and responsive’ António Pinto Leite led on several of these prominent arbitrations and heads the practice. José Manuel Galvão Teles and Miguel Galvão Teles are ‘two of the best lawyers you could work with – they are legends in their own right’.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados has an exceptional depth of talent in corporate law and ties with a swathe of the most active domestic corporates and banks, and provides ‘advice of the absolute highest calibre’. This strength has resulted in prominent roles across various regions and industry sectors, including work with Pfizer on the Portuguese aspects of its merger with Wyeth, and advising EDP on the acquisition of gas transmission assets from Gas Natural. Nuno Galvão Teles and recently promoted partner Rui de Oliveira Neves led on this deal, while Segismundo Pinto Basto draws praise for his ‘accuracy and efficiency’. Elsewhere, in practice head João Soares da Silva and Carlos Osório de Castro the firm has two of the market’s leading corporate lawyers.