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Peers agree that this experienced group should remain at the top of the rankings because it is one of the largest firms in Portugal and because of its repeated involvement in headline deals. For example, the team recently assisted Sonaecom with the financing of the hostile public bids for the entire share capital acquisition of Portugal Telecom and of PT Multimédia. Its lawyers received enthusiastic praise for the “terrific quality of their work, business-oriented approach and ethical attitude.” While clients highlighted the “strong bench of associates behind the leading lawyers” competitors underlined that the merger with Porto-based firm Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados enhanced the firm’s banking team as well as its “impressive client portfolio of national and international clients." Clients/Work Highlights: The group advised an international syndicate of banks on the Portuguese law aspects of the financing and creation of a security package for the EUR520 million acquisition of Amorim Imobiliária by Inmobiliaria Chamartin. The team also assisted a bank syndicate headed by Eurohypo Aktiengesellschaft on the Portuguese law aspects of a global financing made available to British Land for the purchase of properties in Europe, including the EUR39 million acquisitions of two Portuguese retail parks in Portimão and Aveiro. The outfit also represented Portuguese banks in the EUR400 million financial rebalance agreement entered into between the Concessionaire of the North Motorway and the Portuguese Republic. Other key clients include CaixaBI; BES Investimento; Millennium bcp investimento and EDP - Energias de Portugal.
After a busy year advising Sonaecom and Millennium bcp on their groundbreaking takeover bids for Portugal Telecom and Banco BPI respectively, the firm has convinced many commentators that it is a force to be reckoned with in the corporate and private equity markets. Sources commented: “The group possesses plenty of resources and masses of potential to be one of the main national players.” Recently the team advised ECS Capitals on the incorporation of the largest private equity fund in Portugal, valued at over EUR90 million. Clients/Work Highlights: Lawyers represented EDP in the on the sale of 5% of the Portuguese energy TSO (transmission system operator) to a private equity fund.
Drawing upon its skills in both the energy and finance sectors, this practice is one of the leading names for projects work. It has experience in infrastructure and construction matters and is also taking on more environmental projects, sources report. On the renewable energy front, for instance, the team represented a syndicate of Portuguese and foreign banks in the EUR985 million refinancing of wind farms and hydropower plants. Clients are full of praise for the “outstanding quality of both the work and the lawyers,” with one competitor concluding: “This is an extremely good team.” Clients/Work Highlights: The firm advised a Portuguese syndicate of banks on EUR50 million project finance facilities granted to a Maltese parent company of a group that owns wind farms. Lawyers assisted the grantor with setting up the framework for the privatisation of ANA (the concessionaire for the Portuguese airport network) and the tender for design, financing, construction and operation of the new Lisbon airport. The group also advised a Portuguese banking syndicate on a EUR28 million project finance facilities to an entity licensed to construct and run the first hazardous waste disposal plant in Portugal. Other notable clients are RBS; Bes Investimento; Millennium bcp; EDP and Banco Português de Investimento.
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. 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 Calyon, BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Deutsche Bank on financing the EUR2.9 billion acquisition of Europcar Group. It assisted an international bank syndicate led by BNP Paribas with the provision of EUR500 million credit facilities to the public entity controlling REFER, the Portuguese railway. BCP and 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. Other highlights include assisting Caixa BI in Portugal, Spain and France with financing the acquisition of wind-related assets in France by a group of Spanish companies. Goldman Sachs also instructed the firm on the acquisition of credits granted by a group of international lenders to the Meridien Group, while Banco Espírito Santo instructed the team on the complex financing of a shopping centre, with security granted on surface rights, land and a public domain concession.
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, as well as 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 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.
Market sources consider this group “one of the front runners for banking matters.” It often deals with demanding and complex transactions, and clients laud the “ace team’s faultless language and negotiation skills.” In line with its high profile, the team recently advised Bank of America on the EUR192 million financing of the IPO for the Freeport Group, which involved the first Portuguese secured bond issue. Other key clients include Caixa - Banco de Investimento, Millennium bcp investimento and Eurohypo.
With a strong standing in the Portuguese market and a respected corporate team, this local firm acts for both private equity houses and companies. Clients observe: “It has extensive knowledge of the market and a broad range of specialists covering any area required.” The firm assisted Orey with the restructuring of its corporate group via the incorporation of a private equity fund. Other recent clients include ECS Capital and EDP - Energias de Portugal.
This ten-member group is a favourite choice with clients thanks to its “promptness and total efficiency in solving problems.” Private companies and financial houses are its main source of work in a broad range of projects, including infrastructure projects (particularly motorways), renewable energy and water concessions. The team advised an international syndicate of banks on the EUR450 million financing for one of the bidders for the Tunel do Marão road tunnel concession. Regular clients also include EDP, RBS and BES Investimento. “This is one of the best teams in the country, with an excellent track record,” competitors noted.
This firm is consistently praised for the experience of its professionals and its ability to provide high-quality services in almost all areas of law. Located within the corporate department, the banking and finance group is highly recommended by both peers and clients. Recent highlights include advising EDP – Energias de Portugal on the EUR1.6 billion revolving credit agreement which the lenders made available to EDP and EDP Finance. Lawyers also assisted Norscut with the negotiation of the financial rebalance agreement of the SCUT Interior Norte Concession. Sources Say: “This team has in-depth knowledge of the subject and plenty of resources; it is efficient and provides timely responses. In addition, the firm is able to advise on the most varied matters.
It is not surprising that this private equity practice is a strong one, given the firm's premier reputation and pool of excellent lawyers. Clients point to the fact that the lawyers “manage to understand our business and are always completely committed to the project.” The group acts for both companies and funds, with recent mandates including representing a group of financial investors, including ES Concessões and ES Capital, in the EUR451 million joint acquisition (with Group A. Silva & Silva) of Cintra Aparcamientos; the team also advised Orey on the restructuring of its corporate group through the incorporation of a Luxembourg private equity fund.
This firm is rated by both peers and clients as “one of the best teams for project finance in Portugal,” and has played a role in many of the most important projects in the country. The team acted for a syndicate of banks on the EUR1 billion refinancing of a debt contracted by Pebble for the construction and operation of a wind farm portfolio. In another energy mandate it assisted a consortium of banks from the BES and Banif groups on the financing of the construction, installation and operation of a photovoltaic power station in Alentejo. Clients develop strong relationships with the lawyers, who “have the crucial resources and experience for dealing with problems, and finding simple solutions.” One source added: “It is good having these lawyers across the table, as they make a real effort to reach agreement.”
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."
The private equity desk at this domestic major straddles the firm's banking and finance division and its corporate M&A and securities market department. It strength lies in the fact that the group is a market leader for corporate finance, and the private equity team is best recognised for its M&A work. It also provides regulatory and consultancy advice while two recent work highlights have come in fund formation. The team assisted the ECS in establishing the FCR II (Fundo Recuperação II, the second in the recovery funds series), and advised Group EVP Finance (Ridge Solutions) on setting up the Emerging Angola Fund, a platform for investment in Angola.
The project finance team at this Portuguese powerhouse is part of the wider corporate department and stands out for its exceptional full-service offering. The team particularly focuses on the renewable energy sector, notably wind farms and photovoltaic projects. The group also regularly handles PPP projects for road concessions and hospitals. Large banks and financial institutions are the bulk of the team's clientele, and it recently advised Banco Espírito Santo on the financing of the construction, installation and operation of a wind farm located in Cinfães. Sources say: "The team is proactive and has a deep bench of talents in all areas. Definitely one of the best project groups in Portugal."
The two-partner team at this award-winning Portuguese player provides counsel on all aspects of banking and finance. The group is especially active on acquisition finance, international lending, restructuring and real estate finance mandates for a client base including domestic and international banks and companies. It recently advised a syndicate of Portuguese banks on a corporate credit facility and security agreement entered into with Sport TV Portugal.
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 traditional Portuguese firm has long been at the forefront of banking and finance matters in the country. Its ten-strong team handles structured finance, investment funds, derivatives, insurance and project finance issues on behalf of local and international banks and investment funds. In addition to the influence it enjoys in Portugal, the firm has strong ties to law firms in Angola, Brazil and Macau. Sources say: "The lawyers always have their eye on the goal. Technically sound and very well organised."
What the team is known for: Remains a leading force in the market, representing national and international players in the banking sector. Its comprehensive range of expertise extends to structured finance, private equity financing, investment funds, derivatives, securitisations and regulatory matters. Significant insurance, reinsurance and pension fund capabilities complement the practice. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) "You can trust this team with the most difficult issues, knowing that you are going to get a solution." "Probably the best and most prestigious large firm in Portugal." Work highlights: Advised RBS on the restructuring of EUR1.8 billion worth of loans granted to Vestas Wind Systems. Assisted Fidelidade-Mundial with the restructuring of Caixa Geral de Depósitos' insurance arm.
What the team is known for: Handles complex national and international infrastructure projects, with a focus on the waste management, transport and energy sectors. Praised for its innovative approach and wealth of experience. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): "MLGTS offers high-quality, experience and skilled professionals, as well as the right level of partner involvement." "The lawyers are extremely experienced, fast and efficient; they take a global perspective, which smaller or less established firms cannot offer."
Market leader with an exceptional reputation across a wide range of banking and finance matters including private equity financing, structured finance, investment funds and covered bonds as well as regulatory issues. Advises major national and international banking institutions on domestic and cross-border transactions involving Portuguese-speaking jurisdictions such as Angola and Brazil. "As a firm, I consider them to be on an excellent level in terms of market presence and expertise." "It is my favourite firm, because it provides good advice, delivers on time and has great understanding of its clients' needs."
Market leader with an exceptional reputation across a wide range of banking and finance matters including private equity financing, structured finance, investment funds and covered bonds as well as regulatory issues. Advises major national and international banking institutions on domestic and cross-border transactions involving Portuguese-speaking jurisdictions such as Angola and Brazil. "As a firm, I consider them to be on an excellent level in terms of market presence and expertise." "It is my favourite firm, because it provides good advice, delivers on time and has great understanding of its clients' needs."
Leading Portuguese outfit praised for its wide-ranging insight into project finance across the energy, transportation and construction sectors. A popular choice for domestic banks on restructuring and financing operations. "The team responds to any question on time, cautioned us about risks we weren't aware of and did an excellent job at co-ordinating the work in different jurisdictions."
Widely reputed team with a multidisciplinary approach, handling the full scope of banking and finance matters. Frequently acts for lenders on acquisition finance and restructuring matters. Additional focus on private equity financing, regulatory and project financing issues. Active in cross-border matters involving Portuguese-speaking countries, particularly Angola. Sources credit the firm's presence in the market and consistent quality: "A good firm with an extensive area of expertise." Another source confirms: "A very well established firm in Portugal that provides a good quality of service."
Market-leading firm adept at handling the full range of project finance matters in energy, construction and infrastructure. Its comprehensive service encompasses activity in lusophone jurisdictions, including Angola, Mozambique and Brazil. Benefits from co-operation with supporting departments, including finance. Sources commend the fact that the team "offers expertise in matters related to road PPPs." Clients note the high quality of service provided by the team, saying: "They are practical, knowledgeable and available."
What the team is known for:  Widely reputed team with a multidisciplinary approach, handling the full scope of banking and finance matters. Frequently acts for lenders on acquisition finance and restructuring matters. Additional focus on private equity financing and regulatory and project financing issues. Active in cross-border matters involving Portuguese-speaking countries, particularly Angola. Particularly active of late in the financing of shopping centres and energy projects.  Strengths:  The team wins praise for its extensive knowledge and adaptability, with one source stating: "MLGTS demonstrated an ability to grasp concepts in a niche area with relative speed and ease."
 What the team is known for:  Market-leading firm adept at handling the full range of project finance matters, with notable recent work in the retail and renewables spaces. Typically seen representing the lenders in both financing and refinancing matters, advising local or foreign banks. Offers additional expertise in advising on the corporate aspects of concessions agreements.  Strengths:  The team has a reputation for being "excellent in projects." Market commentators report that the lawyers demonstrate "a deep knowledge of the issues and a strong practical sense."

Widely reputed team with a multidisciplinary approach, handling the full scope of banking and finance mandates. Frequently acts for lenders on acquisition finance and restructurings. Additional focus on regulatory matters as well as project financing issues. Experienced in cross-border matters involving Portuguese-speaking countries, notably in Africa. Active in the renewable energy, infrastructure and real estate sectors. Interviewees commend the team for its "strong commitment, hard work and alignment with the client's objectives and tight deadlines." Another source praises team members' availability as well as their "knowledge and experience."

Widely reputed team with a multidisciplinary approach, handling the full scope of banking and finance mandates. Frequently acts for lenders on acquisition finance and restructurings. Additional focus on regulatory matters as well as project financing issues. Also handles acquisition financings on behalf of corporate joint ventures. Experienced in cross-border matters involving Portuguese-speaking countries, notably in Africa. Active in the renewable energy, infrastructure and real estate sectors.

Chambers Global

Peers agree that this experienced group should remain at the top of the rankings for its sheer size - it is one of the largest firms in Portugal - and its repeated involvement in headline deals. For example, the team recently assisted Sonaecom with the financing of the hostile public bids for the entire share capital acquisition of Portugal Telecom and of PT Multimedia. While clients remarked on the “strong bench of associates behind the leading lawyers,” competitors underlined that the merger with Oporto-based firm Osório de Castro, Verde Pinho, Vieira Peres, Lobo Xavier e Associados enhanced the firm’s banking team, as does its “impressive portfolio of national and international clients”. Clients/Work Highlights: The group advised an international syndicate of banks on the Portuguese law aspects of the financing and creation of a security package for the EUR520 million acquisition of Amorim Imobiliária by Inmobiliaria Chamartin. The team also assisted the bank syndicate headed by Eurohypo on the Portuguese law aspects of a global financing made available to British Land for the purchase of properties in Europe, including the EUR39 million acquisitions of two Portuguese retail parks in Portimão and Aveiro. The outfit also represented Portuguese banks in the EUR400 million financial rebalance agreement entered into between the concessionaire of the North Motorway and the Portuguese Republic. Caixa - Banco de Investimento; Bes Investimento; Millennium BCP Investimento and EDP - Energia de Portugal are other key clients of the group.
After a busy year advising Sonaecom and Millennium bcp on their ground-breaking takeovers bids for Portugal Telecom and Banco BPI respectively, the firm has convinced many commentators that it is a force to be reckoned with in the corporate and private equity markets. Sources commented: “The group possesses plenty of resources and masses of potential to be one of the main national players.” Recently the team advised ECS Capital on the incorporation of the largest private equity fund in Portugal, valued at over EUR90 million. Clients/Work Highlights: Lawyers represented EDP in the sale of 5% of the Portuguese energy transmission system operator to a private equity fund.
Drawing upon its skills in the energy and finance sectors, this practice is one of the leading names for projects work. It has experience in infrastructure and construction matters and is also taking on more environmental projects, sources report. On the renewable energy front, for instance, the team represented a syndicate of Portuguese and foreign banks in the EUR985 million refinancing of wind farms and hydropower plants. Clients are full of praise for the “outstanding quality of both the work and the lawyers,” with one competitor concluding: “This is an extremely good team.” Clients/Work Highlights: The lawyers advised an international syndicate of banks on a EUR647 million project refinancing for Tejo Energia, and advised another banking syndicate on financing facilities for a police and emergency services communications system. The team also advised on a EUR175 million financing for the developer of the Grande Lisboa motorway. Other notable clients are RBS; Bes Investimento; Millennium bcp Investimento; EDP - Energia de Portugal and Banco Português de Investimento.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Market sources consider this group “one of the front runners for banking matters.” It often deals with demanding and complex transactions, and clients laud the “ace team’s faultless language and negotiation skills.” In line with its high profile, the team recently advised Bank of America on the EUR192 million financing of the IPO for the Freeport Group, which involved the first Portuguese secured bond issue. Other key clients include Caixa - Banco de Investimento, Millennium bcp investimento and Eurohypo.
This firm is consistently praised for the experience of its professionals and its ability to provide high-quality services in almost all areas of law. Located within the corporate department, the banking and finance group is highly recommended by both peers and clients. Recent highlights include advising EDP – Energias de Portugal on the EUR1.6 billion revolving credit agreement which the lenders made available to EDP and EDP Finance. Lawyers also assisted Norscut in the negotiation of the financial rebalance agreement of the SCUT Interior Norte Concession. Sources Say: “This team has in-depth knowledge of the subject and plenty of resources; it is efficient and provides timely responses. In addition, the firm is able to advise on the most varied matters.”
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Legal 500

‘If you’re looking for London standards, Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is what you want.’ The firm’s outstanding reputation owes much to the ‘simply unchallenged’ Luís Branco and his team. The firm advised an international syndicate of banks in connection with security for the €520m acquisition of Amorim Imobiliária, by Spanish real estate company Inmobiliaria Chamartín. Recently promoted to partnership, Filipe Lowndes Marques has established a reputation as one of the market’s best-respected experts. Millenium BCP also instructed the firm regarding the negotiation and launch of $1.5bn extendible floating rate notes, issued by BCP Finance Bank. Up-and-coming Luísa Soares da Silva and Pedro Gorjão Henriques are also recommended.
Also a major force in project finance, Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados has recently advised an international syndicate of banks on a €175.2m project financing connected with the Grande Lisboa motorway concession. The firm also acted for a Portuguese syndicate of banks regarding a complex €50m project finance structure involving a holding company in Malta in the wind farms sector. The department is led by highly regarded finance partner Luís Branco.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares Da Silva & Associados' stellar banking and finance practice owes much to expert partner Luís Branco, one of the most admired practitioners in this field. The firm's finance practice spans banking, project finance and securitisation. On the banking side, the up-and-coming Filipe Lowndes Marques led the firm's advice to Calyon, BNP Paribas, SocGen and Deutsche Bank in the €2.9bn acquisition of Europcar Group. Luís Branco led the firm's advice to Banco Espírito Santo in a complex €42m financing of a shopping centre in the north of Portugal. Filipa Arantes Pedroso and senior associate Pedro Gorjão Henriques are also highly regarded as leading experts in this field.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares Da Silva & Associados' top-drawer project finance team includes star partners Luís Branco and Filipa Arantes Pedroso. The firm acted for a syndicate of Portuguese banks in a complex €347.3m financing of a rebalancing agreement between the concessionaire for the Norte Motorway and the grantor. It also advised RBS, Caja Madrid, Caixa Geral de Depósitos and BES in the €646m refinancing and further financing of the Pego coal-fired power plant.
One of the most acclaimed specialists in the field is Luís Branco, head of department at Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados. The firm boasts two partners in banking (partner Filipa Arantes Pedroso is also a leading individual) leading a team of eight lawyers. Well known for being the leading advisor to Banco Comercial Português, one of the largest banks, Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados’ highlights in 2005 include advising the said bank with respect to the granting of credit facilities to Control invest, SA for the acquisition of leading Portuguese media group Lusomundo – Serviços, SGPS, SA - a deal worth € 184, 800 m. Senior associates Pedro Gorjão Henriques and Filipe Lowndes Marques are also highly regarded in the sector.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados had another successful year across the board with partners Luís Branco and Filipa Arantes Pedroso spearheading a team whose highlights last year include advising the syndicate of leading Portuguese banks that provided project finance facilities to the Sport Lisboa e Benfica Stadium. The work was connected to the €100m restructuring of such facilities by introducing a commercial credits assignment structure. Other major projects the firm was involved with include the €103m Tagus rail link concession and the €36m natural gas concession.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares Da Silva & Associados now boasts two of the most revered practitioners in the Potuguese banking finance sector, in partners Joao Soares da Silva and Luís Branco. The firm’s outstanding performance includes advising Natexis Bank and Fortis Bank on the €802m financing of several water concessions and also advising Banco Comercial Portugues – Millennium BCP on its financing of the concession for the construction and operation of a key toll road in the country (Litoral Centro).
Another of the highly experienced firms in this area is Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares Da Silva & Associados. Partners Luís Branco and Filipa Arantes Pedroso head a team which has been involved in some key projects last year, such as the concession for the construction and operation of one of the main toll roads in Portugal (Litoral Centro) – the firm acted for Banco Comercial Portugues – Millennium BCP – and also in the financing of a wind farm project in the north of Portugal (acting for the banks).
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is considered ‘an excellent choice’ for banking and finance matters. Its reputation is largely attributed to the calibre of its lawyers, including the formidable Luís Branco, considered ‘ the best Portuguese banking lawyer there is’, partner Filipe Lowndes Marques, and senior lawyer, Pedro Gorjao Henriques. The team advised Eurohype-Lisbon in the refinancing of two shopping centres; the deal, valued at €171.5m, involved using a complex crossed security structure in order to avoid financial assistant issues. The team also advised Bank of America on an acquisition finance matter for Carlyle Group, while other banking clients include Millennium BCP and Norscut. Clients rate the team’s ‘ knowledge, efficiency, performance and integrity’.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados advised an international syndicate of banks on the €471m project finance structure of the Marão Tunnel highway concession, the first to close under the new Portuguese roads legal framework. The team also advised another syndicate of banks on the €557.7m financing of a power plant in Pego. Luís Branco, noted for offering ‘ always brilliant solutions’, leads the department, while Filipe Lowndes Marques is considered a key practitioner. The team ‘ has the expertise and knowledge to provide legal services to a project finance deals for both sponsors and banks’.Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares Da Silva & Associados advised an international syndicate of banks on the €471m project finance structure of the Marão Tunnel highway concession, the first to close under the new Portuguese roads legal framework. The team also advised another syndicate of banks on the €557.7m financing of a power plant in Pego. Luís Branco, noted for offering ‘ always brilliant solutions’, leads the department, while Filipe Lowndes Marques is considered a key practitioner. The team ‘ has the expertise and knowledge to provide legal services to a project finance deals for both sponsors and banks’.
Recent highlights for Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados include advising Impresa on its acquisition of several media companies, as well as assisting Sonaecom in a number of high-profile acquisitions, valued at €50m. António Lobo Xavier leads a department that clients praise as ‘ very efficient and very good quality’, citing, ‘ we can always trust on the work done’.
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.
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.
"Undoubtedly a top-tier practice", Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados has a very strong banking and finance team, and recent experience of large financing deals. In early 2010, the team advised a syndicate of lenders, including Banco Espírito Santo and Caixa Geral de Depósitos, on financing for Sport TV Portugal. It also advised on the debt restructuring of Controlinveste Group through a €224m secured bond issuance guaranteed by Banco Comercial Português. EDP is also a key client. Practice head Luís Branco is ‘excellent’ and Filipe Lowndes Marques is also highly regarded.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is a ‘top name’ in project finance, with practice head Luís Branco enjoying a superb reputation as regular adviser to major Portuguese banks. The ‘excellent’ energy expert Filipe Lowndes Marques advised Banco Espírito Santo on the €30.25m construction, installation and operation of a wind farm in Cinfães. Marques also assisted EIB Facilities on financing for a portfolio of 23 wind farms. Banco Santander Investment, BPI and Caixa – Banco de Investimento are also clients.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is another ‘major player’ in the TMT arena and has substantial experience advising on commercial matters, advertising and regulatory disputes. Helena Tapp Barroso regularly represents SIBS Processos. Tomás Vaz Pinto advises beverage distributor Pernod Ricard Portugal on all media and advertising matters. Other clients include Impresa and Sonaecom. Oporto-based António Lobo Xavier heads the practice.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is widely known, particularly for advice to lenders on financings. Practice head Luís Branco advised Caixa Geral de Depósitos and Caixa – Banco de Investimento (CaixaBI) on matters regarding the conversion of shadow toll motorways into real tolls. Filipe Lowndes Marques advised Selenis Canada on financing for a PET plastic factory in Quebec. Debt restructuring and corporate reorganisation mandates included advising a bank syndicate on Brisa’s €3bn reorganisation. Senior lawyer Pedro Gorjão Henriques is recommended.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is highly recommended for its domestic financing work. Luís Branco’s team counts Banco Comercial Português, Banif – Banco de Investimento, Eurohypo and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria among its clients. It is active in advising key banks on debt restructuring matters, while other recent work includes assisting with the structuring of an aircraft lease agreement, and advising on a term loan facility agreement granted to an Angolan corporation. The ‘very good’ Filipe Lowndes Marques is ‘a sound lawyer’ noted for his ‘great gravitas and experience’.
One of the best firms for project finance work’, Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados has particular experience in renewable projects in Portugal and Portuguese-speaking Africa. The team is also involved in the restructuring of credit facilities for a shopping centre development. Clients include Banco Santander Investment, the European Investment Bank, and Group Espírito Santo. Luís Branco is ‘very good’, and Filipe Lowndes Marques and senior associate Pedro Gorjão Henriques are recommended.
‘Accomplishing the best standards’, Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados ‘brings excellent value to the most demanding projects’. Acting for institutions such as Espírito Santo, BBVA and Santander, its particular strengths include structured finance, projects and securitisation. Practice head Luís Branco, Pedro Gorjão Henriques and Filipe Lowndes Marques are recommended. The firm created a dedicated Africa desk in 2012, to build on its Angolan and Mozambiquan activities.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados’ ‘excellent’ ten-lawyer team has a strong track record advising banks, particularly on renewable energy projects. ‘Rated highly for his technical expertise’, Filipe Lowndes has ‘a really strong understanding of financial instruments and structures’. Luís Branco has ‘presence’ and inspires ‘confidence when discussing the most critical matters’. Pedro Gorjão Henriques is also recommended. Clients include Caixa – Banco de Investimento, Group Espírito Santo, Banif, Barclays and Santander.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is experienced in bank lending, derivatives, regulatory issues and restructuring. Recent instructions include representing the lender in the refinancing of senior and mezzanine debt. Luís Branco is a ‘star’ and Filipe Lowndes Marques and Pedro Gorjão Henriques are also recommended. The firm recently recruited a Macau-based partner to enhance its international offering.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados’ experience includes advising on energy projects, road and rail concessions, water and sanitation concessions as well as the construction of football stadiums. Practice head Luís Branco, Filipe Lowndes Marques and Pedro Gorjão Henriques are the key figures.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is particularly renowned for its project finance expertise, and recently assisted both the borrower, Parque Eólico do Pisco, and the shareholder, WPR – Windpartners Renováveis, with the financing of the construction, operation and maintenance of a €50m wind farm; Filipe Lowndes Marques led the advice. Pedro Gorjão Henriques and practice head Luís Branco are also recommended.
Luís Branco heads the banking and finance department at Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados, which has excellent project finance expertise. The group advised ING Bank on a €39.2m financing granted to the Alegro Setúbal shopping centre. Filipe Lowndes Marques, Pedro Gorjão Henriques and managing associate Filipa Morais Alçada stand out for their "business-oriented approach".
At Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados, Filipe Lowndes Marques and managing associate Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos advised Santander Totta, Novo Banco and Haitong Bank on the financing of the overpowering of Iberwind III-Produção. On the borrower side, Luís Branco and Ana Monjardino assisted NorScut with the renegotiation of a road concession due to the implementation of a toll collection system. Managing associate Filipa Morais Alçada is another name to note.
The ‘always available’ team at Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados provides ‘swift, professional responses’. It is renowned for its project finance work and recently handled numerous refinancings. Its impressive client roster includes Portuguese banks such as Banco Comercial Português and Novo Banco, as well as international financial institutions. Filipe Lowndes Marques and managing associate Filipa Morais Alçada acted for Caixa Económica Montepio Geral on its €75m real estate finance loan to TAP. Luís Branco and Pedro Gorjão Henriques are also recommended.

Strong in project finance and the energy sector, the ‘prestigious’ practice at Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is noted for the ‘speed, clarity and efficiency in its approach’. It predominantly acts for domestic and international banks; recent work includes a variety of structured financing and refinancing matters as well as advice on NPLs. The ‘fantastic’ Luís Branco co-heads the team with Filipe Lowndes Marques; Pedro Gorjão Henriques is also recommended.

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associado brings public law expertise to the table and continued to assist key client Sonae Sierra in land use planning and municipal tax matters related to its real estate properties and construction developments. João Pereira Reis and managing associate Rui Ribeiro Lima are the names to note.

IFLR 1000

Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados is the most consistent team in the rankings, according to clients and rivals. Says one competitor: “They have a great team in banking – they are proactive, trustwhorthy, and have a great lawyer in Luís Branco.” Filipe Lowndes Marques also receives much praise from the market for his banking work, and is regarded by the market as an “exceptional lawyer”. In February 2008, the firm advised RBS on Portuguese law matters in the €40 million financing of the acquisition of the public Swiss company Unilabs. In one of the most important deals in Portugal this year, the team advised Energias de Portugal (EDP) in the negotiation and execution of a $3 billion credit facility for the acquisition of Horizon Wind Energy. In October 2007, the firm advised Eurohyppo in €316 million acquisition and refinancing to both Almada Fórum and Montijo Fórum. In addition, the team advised long-time client EDP in the execution of a revolving credit agreement.
Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados’ project finance is respected by competitors for the depth of its knowledge. “It is one of the firms that if you have a deal with them, you always end up learning something”, says one rival. The partner adds: “They have Luís Branco, who is an amazing lawyer, and Filipe Lowndes Marques, also a good lawyer, and are involved in most of the project finance deals in Portugal.” The firm has a strong domestic project finance practice, advising in many of the key Portuguese project finance transactions for this year. In December 2007, the firm advised Banco Espírito Santo in the financing for the first hazardous-materials treatment centre in Portugal. In March 2008, the firm advised a bank syndicate on a €550 million project finance facility to a company held by International Power and Endesa for the construction and development of a natural-gas power plant. A month later, the team advised a bank syndicate in the financing for the Túnel do Marão road tunnel concession. “I think the firm has a deep knowledge and experience in project finance and provides an excellent service to their clients”, comments one client. “Luís Branco has extensive experience in project finance, and is very proactive in trying to solve things and reaching a successful transaction.”
Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados is rightly considered one of the leading firms in Portugal for banking work, both relating to acquisition finance and usual syndicated lending. It is described by peers as "the obvious choice given its general reputation and also its work this year". Luis Branco is described as both technical and commercial – "two qualities that don't often come together in the same package”. One of the most significant deals in banking this year was Morais Leitão's work for Sonaecom in March 2007. The €16 billion deal was led by Luís Branco, supported by Pedro Gorjão Henriques, João Honorato and Ricardo Andrade Amaro. The team advised Sonaecom in the financing of the hostile public bids for the entire share capital of Portugal Telecom (PT) and of PT Multimédia. The offers for PT included one in the US for shares and American depositary receipts issued by Portugal Telecom which traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Morais Leitão developed the entire international financing structure, which included an innovative undertaking to pay instruments to secure the registration of the offers, the negotiation of loan agreements, related security and refinancing facilities for the target company. The transaction was regarded by all participants as one of the most complex ever in Portugal, and was fully underwritten by an international syndicate of banks. In September 2006, the firm worked on a deal worth €40 million with Eurohypo. The team, led once again by Luís Branco, and backed up by Rita Ferreira Vicente and João Honorato, advised a sydicate of banks headed by Eurohypo on aspects of Portuguese law related to the international financing of British Land for the acquisition of retail parks in Portimão and Aveiro. For the first time Eurohypo used a highly tax effective Portuguese commercial-paper structure. A Portuguese syndicate of banks including BES, BCP and CGDS used the firm in its €400 million deal in July 2006. The team advised the consortium on the financing of a financial rebalance agreement with the concessionaire of the North Motorway and the Portuguese public. The financing included facilities with recourse rights against the grantor, coupled with project finance-type facilities. In addition, Morais Leitão worked on a €520 million deal for Banesto, with Luís Branco leading and Filipe Lowndes Marques assisting. This deal saw the firm advising the client, an international syndicate of banks headed by Banesto, on aspects of Portuguese law related to financing and the creation of security in the acquisition of Amorim Imobiliária (one of the largest Portuguese real-estate companies) by Inmobiliaria Chamartin.
One banking client rates Morais Leitão as a dependable firm for project finance, highlighting the lawyers Luís Branco and Filipa Arantes Pedroso as "extremely competent". In October 2006, the firm closed a €986 million deal relating to the refinancing of a portfolio of wind farms and hydroelectric plants held by Enersis, a Portuguese renewable energy company, recently purchased by the Australian group Babcock & Brown. The transaction's lead arrangers were BBVA, BPI, BESI, CaixaBI and Millennium BCP Investimento. The deal involved the refinancing of the Enersis group on a portfolio basis, structured in two major pools of assets, making up the largest renewable-energy portfolio financing in the world to date. One pool incorporated 21 operating wind farms and four under construction with a total 635MW generating capacity, and the other encompassed 10 operating mini-hydro stations with an additional one under construction, with a total 89.1MW generating capacity. This large-scale transaction was challenging because of the twofold nature of the structures, the high number of vehicles and securities, and the need to refinance existing debt and simultaneously restructure the borrower's group. Furthermore, although the documentation was drafted in English, it was done so under Portuguese law, and was advised on solely by local counsel. The deal received much exposure and was considered one of the best, as well as being the largest, renewable deals of the year. In another deal, worth €175 million, Luís Branco and Tomás Vaz Pinto led a team advising an international syndicate of banks on project finance facilities to the concessionaire of the Grande Lisboa motorway. This transaction was particularly challenging for the banks as it was closed pending an injunction filed by the losing bidder, which meant putting in place, in a very short period of time, risk allocation mechanisms to secure the successful closure of the deal.
In December 2005, Morais Leitão joined forces with Osório de Castro Verde Pinho Vieira Peres Lobo Xavier & Associados (CPPX), Oporto’s leading law firm. With 30 lawyers, CPPX was among the best-known firms in Oporto with a speciality in corporate and capital markets advice. The firm has now been fully integrated into Morais Leitão, a development that boosts significantly the size of Morais Leitão pratice in Oporto. It will be extremely interesting to chart the firm’s progress over the coming year, especially in its dealings with corporate clients from the Oporto region. Luís Branco heads Morais Leitão’s banking department, which comprises one other partner and 12 associates. The firm has notched up a strong year in the banking sector. It was instructed twice by Banco Comercial Português on key deals – first, on the financing of Controlinveste’s acquisition of Lusomundo for €184.8 million in August 2005, and secondly, in relation to the restructuring of various corporate credit facilities granted to soccer club Sporting Clube de Portugal, worth a total of €100 million. Morais Leitão landed a role on another land mark deal when Eurohypo called upon the firm in May 2005 to advise it on a €26.5 million Islamic financing – the first ever financing effected under an Islamic-compliant structure in Portugal. Among the year’s other banking work. Branco took the helm again to advise a syndicate of international banks (led by BNP Paribas) on a €500 million financing package to Refer, the Portuguese railroad operator, in August 2005.
Luís Branco heads Morais Leitão’s project finance team, which comprises two partners and 12 associates. Fernanda Martins Matias joined the practice as an associate in January 2006, as a result of Morais Leitão’s merger with leading Oporto firm Osório de Castro Verde Pinho Vieira Peres Lobo Xavier e Associados. Morais Leitão’s reach and expertise spans a number of sectors, making the firm “a great choice for advise no matter what the project”. This reputation – gained in particular for its tendency to advise the financiers of large, complex projects – has been borne out by the firm’s standout deals of the past year, all of which featured the guiding hand of the “excellent” Branco. In the construction sector, the firm acted for Banco Comercial Português and Banco Espírito Santo on the restructuring on the €123 million project financing package granted in relation to the José Alvalade stadium (home of Sporting Lisbon, one of Portugal’s biggest football clubs), and in September 2005 advised Banco Espírito Santo on its €42 million financing of the Estação Viana shopping centre, in relation to which the firm created an innovative structure for mortgage surface rights and a public domain concession. Energy sector mandates, meanwhile, included acting for Caixa Banco de Investimento (CBI) in relation to the Tagus project, on which CBI provided € 36.2 million-worth of financing to the concessionaire for natural gas distribution in the Tagus Valley, and – in an appearance on the other side of the negotiating table – guiding Enernova (EDP’s renewable energy subsidiary) through its wind farm project, Enernova’s first foray into project finance. And in a noteworthy infrastructure matter, Morais Leitão advised the financing banks on the entire renegotiation of the Lisbon area railway concession, a three-year project that reached conclusion in June 2005 and comprised highly complex negotiations between Fertagus (the railway company) and the government.
The 2004 merger that created Morais Leitão has been a great success, the new firm sitting comfortably in the top tier for each of the categories in Portugal. The firm won the award for Portuguese law firm of the year at IFLR’s annual awards earlier this year. Most interviewees considered it the strongest firm for banking, remarking that Morais Leitão “has a great mix after the merger” and “has gained a lot of strength and is now a good team.” Many banking and financial institutions agree, judging by the firm’s client roster. Banco Santander, Millennium BCP, Bank of New York, BNP Paribas, Portugal Telecom, Morgan Stanley, ABN Amro and UBS all seek advice from Morais Leitão. The firm recently acted on two of Portugal’s biggest banking transactions. In the first of these, the firm represented Banco Espírito Santo, the mandated lead arranger for a syndicated loan of €2.6 billion ($3.2 billion) to refinance the payment of Angola’s debts. This was one of the biggest syndicated loans executed in the international markets in 2004. The second big transaction involving Morais Leitão was the negotiation of two credit facilities, for a total of €2.65 billion, on behalf of Energias de Portugal (EDP). In two other smaller (but still considerable) banking transactions, Morais Leitão advised Eurohypo Portugal on the sale of a portfolio of Portuguese market credits for €467 million, and represented a syndicate of banks (ABN Amro, BNP Paribas and Société Générale) in relation to the €450 million refinancing of Optimus, Portugal’s third-largest mobile phone operator. The largest of the firm’s recent capital markets deals was the privatization of 11% of the share capital of EDP through a rights issue – the largest ever made in Portugal – to raise €1.2 billion. Morais Leitão advised EDP and the Portuguese government on the issue. The firm also acted in another groundbreaking deal when it represented Portugal Telecom on the structuring of the first share buyback programme concerning Euronext Lisbon listed companies. The programme saw Portugal Telecom purchase 7% of the share capital of the company (around 88,000 shares with a value of €790 million) and then cancel those shares. Portuguese bank Millennium BCP also sought the advice of Morais Leitão concerning an issuance of €500 million of perpetual non-cumulative guaranteed non-voting step-up preference shares. João Soares da Silva, who led the team in this and the Portugal Telecom deal, is recognized as one of the country’s top capital markets specialists. Nuno Galvão Teles is another leading name in this field.
Morais Leitão, winner of IFLR’s award for Portuguese law firm of the year, is a strong player in project finance and “able to deliver excellent legal service”. The project finance group is headed by Luís Branco, one of the top Portuguese lawyers in the field who received numerous commendations for his “excellent experience and negotiation skills.” The largest transaction the department worked on recently was the €717 million ($885 million) concession for the construction of the Litoral Centro motorway. Morais Leitão advised the banks financing the concession (Millennium BCPI, Caixa Banco Investimento, Banco Santander, Depfa Bank and Mizuho Bank). The firm also represented the banks underwriting two other notable transactions: Sirsp’s provision of an integrated telecommunications service for the Portuguese emergency services (for €95 million), and the concession for the development of the Fertagus rail link over the Tagus River (for €103 million). Morais Leitão also advised AGS in its capacity as concessionaire in relation to the negotiation and €64 million financing of the Barcelos water and sewage project. Other clients of the firm include Lusoponte, BES Investimento, Abertis and Fortis Bank.
Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados' banking practice is led by Luís Branco and remains in tier one after another strong year. "We choose the firm for three reasons," says a client. "First, they are pragmatic, second they seek solutions and the third thing is that they have very well balanced behaviour in the negotiation process and they implement a good environment, so there are never any difficult situations. It's very easy to have complicated relations between banks and lawyers but they are very careful not to do this." The same client goes on to praise Luís Branco and Filipe Lowndes Marques for their "very wide knowledge of the legal framework in Portugal". Competitors too heap praise upon the firm. "They have good lawyers and, also, special links with very important companies like Energias de Portugal that are often in the market - [so they] have access to new transactions very easily," says one rival. Corroborating this assertion, Luísa Soares da Silva led the team advising Energias de Portugal (EDP) and EDP Finance on a €1.6 billion revolving credit agreement in March 2009. And in December 2008 Luís Branco advised a consortium of banks, which included Banco Espírito Santo, on the restructuring of €148 million of Sporting Clube de Portugal's debt.
Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados is a contender for best project finance firm in Portugal according to clients, who praise the firm's length of experience, practical approach and flexibility. The projects team, which acts predominantly on the lenders' side, is led by banking and finance expert Luís Branco and includes Filipe Lowndes Marques. Both practitioners command respect from peers who, almost without exception, approve of the firm's top-tier ranking. "I agree with Morais Leitão's tier one position," says one rival of the firm. "They have one partner, Luís Branco, he's a great guy - a very creative and client-friendly lawyer, and a guy to be trusted with finding a solution. He is a great guy to work with. Also, the firm has a great team and another lawyer, Filipe Marques, who has been developing for some time. We see them across the table most of the time and on good projects too." Illustrating the firm's prevalence, Luís Branco led on a deal advising a consortium of banks, including Banco Espírito Santo, Caixa Geral de Depósitos and Fortis Bank, in the €753 million financing for the sub-concession for the whole process - from conception to maintenance - entailed in the motorway stretches and associated roads project in Douro. And in March 2009 Filipe Lowndes Marques advised a consortium of banks from the Banco Espírito Santo and Caixa Geral de Depósitos groups on the construction and operation of an electrical transformer factory in the US state of Georgia. The €80 million deal was predominantly structured under Portuguese law.
The capital markets and corporate offering at Morais Leitão was slightly reduced last year as Maria Antonia Cardoso de Menezes left in May 2009. The firm has a strong reputation in capital markets and is seen by the market as a major player. "Our closest competitor is Morais," says one peer. This reputation is played out by the firm's deal list. On the debt side, one of the firm's biggest clients is Banco Comercial Português (BCP) and in August 2009 the team acted on its €7.5 billion debt issuance programme. Specifically the team advised on the issue of a series of deeply subordinated notes with a combined value of €900 million. The bank also called in the team to act on its €25 billion EMTN programme including the issuance of floating and fixed rate notes. EDP also called in the firm to act on a substantial debt issuance programme. Led by Luisa Soares da Silva the team acted on various aspects of a €12.5 billion programme, including floating and fixed rate issues and a US offering under the 144A/Reg S rule. Soares da Silva was also active for another energy company Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN) on its ¥1 billion (€8.8 billion) issue of 2.71% notes as part of the company's €5 billion EMTN programme. On the structured finance side the firm received further work from BCP advising on its €10 billion covered bonds programme including issuance and an update in March 2010. Similar work came from Morgan Stanley who called on the team to advise over Banco Santander Totta's €5 billion covered bonds programme. In equity, although IPO's have generally been low on the ground in Portugal recently the team did act for Douro Azul on the preparation work for its offering on the Euronext Lisbon. Led by partner Carlos Osório de Castro, the deal is expected to be the first tourism IPO on the Euronext in Lisbon. Osório de Castro was also involved as the firm advised Papeles y Cartones De Europa on its delisting from the Euronext Lisbon. In the securitisation area the team acted for EDP subsidiary EDP - Serviço Universal (EDP SU). The deal saw EDP SU sell the rights to the capital produced by the positive adjustment to the electricity tariff estimated to be worth €447 million, to Tagus - Sociedade de Titularização de Créditos (Tagus). On the banking side, Morais Leitão's reputation is also well established. "Morais is counsel to BCP, the biggest bank in Portugal they also have a few international banks, certainly they deserve the tier one ranking," says one rival. When it comes to finance matters at the firm, peers and clients alike specifically highlight Luis Branco: "He's very knowledgeable, quite straightforward and he listens to the concerns that you have and doesn't rush to the banks immediately, he tries to find a way out for everyone involved," says one client. Branco led the team last year when the firm advised MSF in connection with a €55 million facility agreement for the acquisition of stakes in various infrastructure companies. Branco was also called in by Caixa Geral de Depósitos in its acquisition of credits, valued at €23 million, owed to several companies of the Portugal Telecom Group. One of the firm's largest transactions last year involved Filipe Lowndes Marques acting for the lenders, including Banco Espírito Santo and Banco Comercial Português on a €155 million corporate credit facility and security agreement for Sport TV Portugal.
"They are very close to certain companies who are active in this market so in that context it's common to see them in this area" is one peer's view of the project finance team at Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados. With the renewable sector still thriving, it is perhaps unsurprising to find that one of Morais Leitão's largest projects last year saw them work on the financing for the construction of 23 wind farms with a combined capacity of 480MW. The team advised the European Investment Bank (EIB), who is partly financing the deal, with facilities valued at €498 million. Another substantial energy deal saw a team led by Luis Branco and Filipe Lowndes Marques advising a consortium of banks over the refinancing of 30 existing wind farms and the construction of four new ones. The total value of the facilities was over €1 billion. Photovoltaic is one of the biggest areas of renewable energy activity and last year the team had a hand in a €37 million financing of a plant in Ferreira do Alentejo, again advising a consortium of banks as the lenders. Outside of energy, the firm also acted for the banks on a €82 million PPP (public-private partnership) for the construction of a new hospital building in the Lourdes area.
"I've worked with Morais Leitão, my experience with them is very good," says one client. In addition, the firm's flagship project finance lawyer Luís Branco also impressed both his clients and rivals. "I've worked with Luís Branco, he's a very good one, and a very nice lawyer," says one client, while a peer says: "Luís Branco is a very good project finance lawyer and he's very good at project finance." Though most of the PPP (public-private partnership) projects in Portugal have been suspended due to the economic downturn, Morais Leitão has fortunately managed to maintain a steady stream of mandates. One example saw Branco and Filipe Lowndes Marques lead the team advising on a €600 million PPP financing for a new hospital in the Lisbon area. Branco was again involved as the team advised Águas de Cascais as concessionaire in the negotiation of the financing, under a project finance regime, of the water and waste concession of Cascais. The mandate was worth €63 million. Renewable energy is still a key area of activity for most project finance teams with Morais Leitão no exception. February 2011 saw partner Lowndes Marques lead the team advising a syndicate of 11 commercial banks together with bondholders in relation to the repowering of a wind farm held by the Iberwind group, involving the substitution of 20 obsolete turbines with six new generation turbines. The €14 million mandate includes the amendment of the existing facilities, the release of security over the dismantled equipment, as well as the creation of additional security over the new wind turbines. Another highlight in the renewable energy sector saw Marques lead the team advising Banco Comercial Português in relation to the financing of the construction, installation and operation of a windfarm located in Vila Real, composed of six wind turbines with a global capacity of 15MW. The project, worth €12 billion approximately, was developed by Alto do Marão - Energia Eólica Unipessoal who acted as borrower and was sponsored by Enerflame Investimentos.
Morais Leitão's capital markets practice is traditionally very strong and is unrivalled in terms of Portuguese domestics. This status is backed by a number of clients and peers. "Morais Leitão has a very strong capital markets practice," says one peer. "If I am to distinguish someone that would be higher than others, then I would say that should be Morais Leitão. " While a client says: "I've worked with Morais Leitão, they're good in their own way." However some mention that the departure of Maria Antonia Cardoso de Menezes in 2009 has affected the firm to some extent. On the equity side, Carlos Osório de Castro, António Lobo Xavier, and Jorge Simões Cortez advised Vallis Capital Partners on the set up of private equity fund Vallis Sustainable Investments I. Another mandate saw Nuno Galvão Teles and Rui de Oliveira Neves advising a syndicate of banks, including Caixa BI and Morgan Stanley, on the preparation of Efacec Capital's IPO listing. "De Castro is a notable lawyer in capital markets, he's the best capital markets lawyer in Portugal," says one peer. "He's very good and very aggressive; you will find him on all these capital markets transactions." In the debt capital markets, one of the firm's key clients,EDP Energias de Portugal , called in a team led by partner Luísa Soares da Silva to advise on its issue of €750 million 5.875% notes, which is part of a €12.5 billion programme for the issuance of debt instruments. Again Da Silva was involved when BCP called in the team to work on the update of its €15 billion commercial paper programme on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Elsewhere the firm also advised BCP on a €1 billion issue floating rate covered bonds under a €10 billion covered bonds programme. On the securitisation market, Filipe Lowndes Marques again advised BCP on a €2.7 billion securitisation portfolio of receivables, arising mainly from small-and-medium-sized enterprise loans, which aims to assist banking activities of the originator. It was the first securitisation transaction involving only overdraft facilities in the Portuguese market. Morais Leitão also has an extremely good banking reputation and the firm has caught clients' eyes due to its established banking practice. "We work with Morais Leitão mostly on corporate governance and basically this firm is the principle firm of the banks, with whom the banks are working with on corporate governance," says one lawyer. "We've worked with several lawyers from the firm, João Soares da Silva is possibly the best lawyer there and we're quite happy with their firm." In banking, a team led by Luís Branco and Pedro Gorjão Henriques advised a syndicate of banks, including BCP, Banco Santander Totta, and Barclays alike, in relation to the corporate reorganisation of the Brisa Group. The transaction involved the transfer of the existing debt to the new concessionaire and the establishment of an MTN Programme for Brisa – Concessão Rodoviária. In terms of banking work, Branco is seen by peers as the firm's key figure. "Luís Branco is a leading lawyer in banking and project finance," says one rival. Another notable banking deal saw Branco involved again advising Caixa Geral de Depósitos and Caixa – Banco de Investimentos in regard to a €56 million investment in the infrastructure and equipment of Miff toll collection systems.
One of the few firms to take a top ranking across all three practice areas, Morais Leitão is simply put one of the premier financing firms in Portugal. With Luís Branco at the helm of the banking and project finance teams and João Soares da Silva guiding the capital markets team, the firm has two premier operators. Elsewhere in the financing department, Filipe Lowndes Marques is another active and highly regarded name spanning both bank and projects work. "Morais Leitão is by far the best firm. They have continued to approach us. They spend a lot of time with us, they make sure we are good," says one client. While the practice is fairly broad, the team is most often active on the bank side. Deals: On the bank side Luis Branco and Filipe Lowndes Marques acted for Banco Comercial Portugues, Banco Espírito Santo and Caixa Geral de Depósitos on the €3 billion financing of the public offer for Brisa Auto-Estrada de Portugal by Tagus Holdings. Branco also assisted China Development Bank on a $70 million loan granted to Angolan company Unitel for the payment of equipment. In the capital markets space, the firm has been involved in various matters related to bank recapitilisations, advising the likes of Banco Comercial Portugues. Luísa Soares da Silva also advised the bank on updates to its €25 billion EMTN programme and its €12.5 billion covered bonds programme. Soares da Silva also advised Deutsche Bank as the dealers on a similar deal for Banco Espírito Santo. The team has also advised EDP on various debt issuances. On the equity side Nuno Galvão Teles has advised the banks on the preparation of IPOs for the likes of Efacec Capital and TIM.
Despite problems in recent years, renewable energy is still an active sector in Portugal and last year the firm picked up two notable wind farm deals. In one Lowndes Marques advised the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the €260 million financing of 14 windfarms by ENEOP 2 and in a similar matter the same partner acted for the Government of Cape Verde on the €45 million project financing for a series of wind farms on the islands. Elsewhere in the financing department, Filipe Lowndes Marques is another active and highly regarded name spanning both bank and projects work.
The firm has a number of big names working across the corporate finance spectrum. Luís Branco, who one client describes as having "high commercial expertise and negotiation skills", manages the finance team and works alongside partner Filipe Lowndes Marques.
The firm has a number of big names working across the corporate finance spectrum. Luís Branco, who one client describes as having "high commercial expertise and negotiation skills", manages the finance team and works alongside partner Filipe Lowndes Marques.
The team also received various mandates for the Portuguese Treasury and Debt Management Agency (IGCP) relating to derivatives matters and regular project finance and bank refinancing instructions from Banco Espírito Santo de Investimento throughout 2013 and 2014. A projects client says the firm provides “good quality, permanent availability, senior staff involvement in the process, good relationship and a capacity to give tactical advice”.
Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados (MLGTS) has maintained a solid team and keeps its rankings across the board. A projects client says the firm provides “good quality, permanent availability, senior staff involvement in the process, good relationship and a capacity to give tactical advice”. “Exceptional,” says another for a refinancing, while a restructuring client says the firm gave “excellent service in an extremely complex and tough negotiation”. “I consider them as the best law firm in Portugal,” says a debt capital markets client. Over 2013-14 the firm won numerous instructions from domestic and foreign Portuguese banks, in some examples advising a syndicate on the restructuring of the debt of a wine producer, a Portuguese bank on the €117 million debt restructuring of a Portuguese media company and two Portuguese banks on the restructuring of a football club. The team also received various mandates for the Portuguese Treasury and Debt Management Agency (IGCP) relating to derivatives matters and regular project finance and bank refinancing instructions from Banco Espírito Santo de Investimento throughout 2013 and 2014. The firm was very active on the debt capital markets side and in some representative deals it advised Banco Santander Totta on the issue of €1 billion 1.5% covered bonds due 2017 within its covered bonds programme, Brisa Concessao Rodoviaria on its €350 million issue of 3.875% fixed rate notes under its EMTN programme and Energías de Portugal (EDP) on its €200 million floating rate instruments due December 2014. One notable mandate saw the firm advise JPMorgan Securities and other dealers in the structuring and implementation of Galp Energia €5 billion EMTN programme.
The banking and finance department led by partner Luis Branco has had involvement in a lot of refinancing and project financing transactions during the last year, as increased bank liquidity allows the sector to re-emerge post crisis. Although generally tending to work on the bank side, acting for most of Portugal’s largest banks on a regular basis, the firm advises on the borrower side on occasion.
A leader in project finance, the firm has long worked on financing in sectors including energy, transport, infrastructure and public projects, both domestically and in lusophone Africa, where MLGTS has a number of associate firms. During the last year the firm was most active with the financing of wind farms, assisting on the financing of several across Portugal for a number of companies including Parque Eólico and Terras Altas de Fafe, as well as Ancora Wind for whom they worked with Galp Energia to fund a 400KV farm worth €175 million.
Tier 1

Banking

2017
Tier 1

Project Finance

2017
Tier 1

Banking

2020

Lawyers

Chambers Europe

Undoubtedly a high-profile name in the area, Luís Branco is dubbed “the best-known lawyer in the Portuguese banking sector.” Observers commented on how “his friendly approach makes negotiations much smoother,” and added: “He is terribly efficient and gets directly involved in all aspects of the deal.” Branco is also renowned for his top performances in the projects sphere.
Filipe Lowndes Marques was recently elevated to the partnership and is considered to be “among the brightest lawyers in Lisbon.” He is involved in banking and finance transactions, and also advises on projects and investment fund matters.
Head of the banking and project finance group, Luís Branco is lauded as “one of the best lawyers in the field, thanks to his creativity and straightforward attitude that makes transactions move smoothly.”
Interviewees also reserve praise for “thoughtful and efficient” Filipe Lowndes Marques, describing him as an “excellent team player.”
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.”
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.”
Filipe Lowndes Marques is described as a “bright young lawyer,” and attracts praise for his “quick understanding, flexible approach and fantastic English.” He advises on a broad spectrum of banking and finance transactions and supervises what sources agree is "Portugal''s top practice in investment funds." According to clients, he is a "safe pair of hands, has good access to the CMVM and excellent international connections." Recent highlights include advising Orey Gestão de Activos on the incorporation and marketing of a range of funds, including football player and forestry funds with innovative structures.

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Band 1 Banking and Finance: Investment Funds
2007

Filipe Lowndes Marques

up-and-coming individuals Banking and Finance: Investment Funds
2007
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.
Filipe Lowndes Marques is increasingly active in the area and was warmly recommended by peers for his “intelligence and quick understanding.”
Luís Branco stands out for his “extremely creative and value-added advice,” and sources attest that he is “a top-notch banking and finance lawyer who is directly and personally involved in every single deal.”
Filipe Lowndes Marques is another notable member of the department. This “hands-on and outstanding” lawyer’s fruitful practice includes banking and finance, PFI and investment funds.
Corporate partner Tomás Vaz Pinto deals with private equity matters and is described as “a friendly, organised and dedicated lawyer with strong technical skills.”
Competitors noted, singling out group head Luís Branco as “one of Portugal’s most knowledgeable projects lawyers.” Branco and newly promoted partner Filipe Lowndes Marques lead “an experienced group of lawyers who promote the smooth running of negotiations, focusing on the relevant matters.”
Branco and newly promoted partner Filipe Lowndes Marques lead “an experienced group of lawyers who promote the smooth running of negotiations, focusing on the relevant matters.”
Department head Luís Branco is the star of this team and the Portuguese market, with peers and clients considering him a “true reference in the area.” As one source explains, “his knowledge, business-oriented mindset and strong work ethic combine to make him a unique practitioner.”
Filipe Lowndes Marques is another talented lawyer, recognised for his expertise in banking and finance, projects and capital markets.
Up and comer Martim Krupenski recently joined the firm from Barrocas. Clients praise him as an “extraordinary lawyer,” thanks to his speedy responses and habit of keeping clients constantly updated.
Tomás Vaz Pinto stands out for his negotiation skills and “his ability to defend our interests in complicated situations in an intelligent and constructive way," according to clients.
Clients rave about Luís Branco, who is unquestionably a project finance leader, explaining that he is very accessible and “has know-how that is hard to surpass. He takes a lot of time to understand our aims and can sort out any problem.”
Clients turn to Filipe Lowndes Marques for his ability to "combine legal advice with a commercial approach, helping negotiations to go smoothly and quickly.”
"Excellent" partner Luís Branco is undoubtedly the team's star attraction, with clients lauding his "in-depth knowledge and business acumen."
Partner Filipe Lowndes Marques is also highly praised, receiving particular mention for his exceptional English skills and renewable energy knowledge.
Tomás Vaz Pinto typifies the practice with his all-round M&A and corporate finance expertise. "Besides strong legal skills, he's very easy to deal with, always available and constantly involved supervising his team and revising its work," enthuse clients.
“Excellent” department head Luís Branco is well known for his project finance experience and works closely with a number of banks.
Filipe Lowndes Marques is another well-regarded member of the team and he recently advised the European Investment Bank on the financing of the construction and development of a portfolio of 23 wind farms by ENEOP.
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."
Sources laud Filipe Lowndes Marques for his “profound knowledge of projects from the lenders' point of view.”
Associate to watch Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos is heavily involved in infrastructure projects.
Seasoned player Luís Branco receives unanimous praise for his expertise in this area. "He's pragmatic, has strong commercial acumen, sets objectives and aims to achieve them. He has years of experience as well as excellent technical knowledge and negotiating skills," remarks a client.
Clients enjoy working with Filipe Lowndes Marques: "He is very intelligent and constructive, and offers high availability and responsiveness. He identifies risks and gives us exactly what we need."
Luís Branco leads the team. Clients admire his "solid technical knowledge, common sense and calm, balanced approach."
Commentators describe Filipe Lowndes Marques as "very commercial, tough and proactive."
Associate Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos is singled out as having a promising future. Her practice focuses on structured finance, real estate and project finance.
According to clients, practice head Luís Branco is "a brilliant lawyer, extremely intelligent and clever. A perceptive and resourceful negotiator."
Clients describe Filipe Lowndes Marques as "highly technical and strong in transactional banking matters."
Luís Branco is a widely recognised and respected name in the market. Clients say: "He is one of the best in Portugal, an expert. He's one of the most experienced lawyers in this area, an authority for project finance."
Interviewees highlight Filipe Lowndes Marques's "commercial approach, understanding of client needs, experience in the sector and deep legal knowledge."
Peers highlight Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos for her experience in banking and finance and corporate law.
Peers say Filipa Morais Alçada is "very knowledgeable, experienced and active in projects." Clients are also impressed: "She is hard-working and understands our needs."
Peers recognise Carlos Osório de Castro as an authority in the capital markets arena. "He is extremely clever; he is an excellent lawyer who clients adore," enthused one source.
They compliment his "tremendous knowledge and immense support," and consider him to be "the best banking and finance lawyer in the country."
Filipe Lowndes Marques is described by a client as "a proactive and knowledgeable" lawyer.

Claudia Santos Cruz

Band 4 Banking & Finance
2015

Luís Branco

Star Individuals Banking & Finance
2016

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Band 2 Banking & Finance
2016

Luís Branco

Band 1 Projects
2016

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Band 1 Projects
2016

Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos

Star Associate Projects
2016

Filipa Morais Alçada

Associates to watch Projects
2016
Star practitioner Luís Branco continues to be endorsed by peers and clients alike: "He is very reputable; we tend to follow his lead because he has the background." He is a visible presence on structured finance and project finance matters, advising domestic banking institutions and investment funds. Another source confirms that he "has deep knowledge of all the teams and sectors, one of the most knowledgeable lawyers in Portugal - he has a strategic view."
Filipe Lowndes Marques is particularly well regarded for his expertise in project finance. He is praised as a "very constructive and dedicated person, he is always there to find solutions to problems that arise." He is active in the infrastructure sector and provides further acumen in securitisations.
Banking and finance expert Luís Branco receives great praise from sources who consider him "one of the most experienced lawyers in Portugal for projects." His wide-ranging practice encompasses both structured and project finance, and he has been active in a range of refinancing mandates.
Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos is a key member of the projects team. She regularly assists with projects in the energy sector and road concessions. Clients highlight that she is "always supportive" and "very helpful" on matters.
Filipe Lowndes Marques is endorsed for his project finance expertise. He advises on a range of complex projects including those in the infrastructure and renewable energy sectors. Sources say that "he has a lot of experience in project finance" and "very good knowledge of the issues and a practical approach."
Filipa Morais Alçada is observed by sources to be "very solid and well-liked by clients." She is active in project financing matters, representing both lenders and sponsors, commonly in the areas of energy, infrastructure and waste.
The "excellent"Luís Branco enjoys a stellar reputation for his practice, with sources describing him as "a great expert in banking and finance and very well known." He handles project finance, securitisation and structured finance.

Chambers Global

Undoubtedly a high-profile name in the area, Luís Branco is dubbed “the best-known lawyer in the Portuguese banking sector.” Observers commented how “his friendly approach makes negotiations much smoother.” Branco is also renowned for his top-notch performances in the projects sphere.
Filipe Lowndes Marques was recently elevated to partner and is considered to be among the “brightest lawyers in Lisbon.” Involved in many banking and finance transactions, he also advises on projects and investment fund matters.
Tomás Vaz Pinto from the corporate is one main partner dealing with private equity matters.
Filipe Lowndes Marques from the finance department is one main partner dealing with private equity matters.
Head of the banking and project finance group, Luís Branco is lauded as “one of the best lawyers in the field, thanks to his creativeness and straightforward attitude that makes transactions move smoothly.”
Interviewees also reserve praise for “thoughtful and efficient” Filipe Lowndes Marques, describing him as an “excellent team player.”
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.”
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.”
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.
Filipe Lowndes Marques is described as a “bright young lawyer,” and attracts praise for his “quick understanding, flexible approach and fantastic English.”
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.”
Up-and-comer Filipe Lowndes Marques is increasingly active in the area and was warmly recommended by peers for his “intelligence and quick understanding.”
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.”

Carlos Osório de Castro

Band 2 Banking and Finance
2006
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.”
Clients appreciate Pedro Gorjão Henriques’ background in banking and admire his “hard-working and technically skilled 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 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.
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.”
“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”.
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.”

Carlos Osório de Castro

Band 2 Banking and Finance
2005
Pedro Gorjão Henriques impressed clients with his “dedicated work ethic” and was noted by competitors for his “exceptional” banking practice issues.
"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.
Luís Branco stands out for his “extremely creative and value-added advice,” and sources attest that he is “a top-notch banking and finance lawyer who is directly and personally involved in every single deal.”
Filipe Lowndes Marques is another notable member of the department. This “outstanding, hands-on” lawyer’s fruitful practice includes banking and finance, PFI and investment funds.
Department head Luís Branco is the star of this team and the Portuguese market, with peers and clients considering him a “true reference in the area.” As one source explains, “his knowledge, business-oriented mindset and strong work ethic combine to make him a unique practitioner.”
Up and comer Martim Krupenski recently joined the firm from Barrocas. Clients praise him as an “extraordinary lawyer,” thanks to his speedy responses and habit of keeping clients constantly updated.
Luís Branco heads the firm's banking and finance team. Sources appreciate his innovative ideas and execution and champion him as "the best lawyer for project finance in Portugal." He recently advised Eurohypo AG regarding credit facility agreements for three commercial properties.
Filipe Lowndes Marques is strong in both project finance and capital markets. He has close links to the UK as an Oxford graduate and director of the British Portuguese Chamber of Commerce.
Department head 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.
Clients enjoy working with Filipe Lowndes Marques: "He is very intelligent and constructive, and offers high availability and responsiveness. He identifies risks and gives us exactly what we need."
“Excellent” department head Luís Branco is well known for his project finance experience and works closely with a number of banks.
Sources laud Filipe Lowndes Marques for his “profound knowledge of projects from the lender's point of view.”
Associate to watch Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos is heavily involved in infrastructure projects.
Seasoned player Luís Branco receives unanimous praise for his expertise in this area. "He's pragmatic, has strong commercial acumen, sets objectives and aims to achieve them. He has years of experience as well as excellent technical knowledge and negotiating skills," remarks a client.
Luís Branco leads the team. Clients admire his "solid technical knowledge, common sense and calm, balanced approach."
Commentators describe Filipe Lowndes Marques as "very commercial, tough and proactive."
Associate Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos is singled out as a promising prospect for the future. Her practice focuses on structured finance, real estate and project finance.
According to clients, practice head Luís Branco is "a brilliant lawyer, extremely intelligent and clever.
A perceptive and resourceful negotiator."Clients describe Filipe Lowndes Marques as "highly technical and strong in transactional banking matters."
Luís Branco is a widely recognised and respected name in the market. Clients say "he is one of the best in Portugal, an expert. He's one of the most experienced lawyers in this area; an authority for project finance."
Interviewees highlight Filipe Lowndes Marques's "commercial approach, understanding of client needs, experience in the sector and deep legal knowledge."
Peers highlight Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos for her experience in banking and finance and corporate law.
Peers say Filipa Morais Alçada is "very knowledgeable, experienced and active in projects." Clients are also impressed: "She is hard-working and understands our needs."
Clients compliment his "tremendous knowledge and immense support," and consider him to be "the best banking and finance lawyer in the country."
Project finance expert Filipe Lowndes Marques is described by a client as "a proactive and knowledgeable" lawyer.
Clients enjoy working with star attorney Luís Branco. They compliment his "tremendous knowledge and immense support," and consider him to be "the best banking and finance lawyer in the country."
Filipe Lowndes Marques is a well-known player in the market, noted for his skill in project finance and "increasing seniority and experience."

Claudia Santos Cruz

Band 4 Banking & Finance
2015

Claudia Santos Cruz

Foreign Expert Angola - Banking & Finance
2015

Claudia Santos Cruz

Foreign Expert UK - Banking & finance
2015

Luís Branco

Star Individuals Banking and Finance
2017

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Band 2 Banking and Finance
2017

Luís Branco

Star Individuals Banking and Finance
2018

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Band 2 Banking and Finance
2018

Claudia Santos Cruz

Band 4 Angola - General Business Law - Foreign Expert Based in Portugal
2018

Claudia Santos Cruz

Foreign Expertise in Angola Banking and Finance
2019

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Band 1 Banking and Finance
2019

Luís Branco

Star Individual Banking and Finance
2019

Luís Branco

Band 1 Projects
2020

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Band 1 Projects
2020

Claudia Santos Cruz

Foreign Expertise in Angola Banking and Finance
2020

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Band 1 Banking and Finance
2020

Luís Branco

Star Individual Banking and Finance
2020

Legal 500

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking & Finance
2015

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyers Projects and Project Finance
2015

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking & Finance
2016

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking and Finance
2017

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Projects and Project Finance
2017

Filipa Morais Alçada

Next Generation Lawyer Projects and Project Finance
2017

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking and Finance
2018

Filipa Morais Alçada

Next Generation Lawyer Projects and Project Finance
2018

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking and Finance
2019

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Projects and Project Finance
2019

Filipa Morais Alçada

Next Generation Lawyer Projects and Project Finance
2019

IFLR 1000

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking
2009

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2009

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2009

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking
2008

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2008

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2008

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking
2007

Nuno Galvão Teles

Leading Lawyer Banking
2007

João Soares da Silva

Leading Lawyer Banking
2007

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2007

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking
2006

Miguel Galvão Teles

Leading Lawyer Banking
2006

João Soares da Silva

Leading Lawyer Banking
2006

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2006

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking
2005

Nuno Galvão Teles

Leading Lawyer Banking
2005

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2005

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2005

Filipa Arantes Pedroso

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2005

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking
2010

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2010

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2010

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2011

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2011

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking and Capital Markets
2011

Carlos Osório de Castro

Leading Lawyer Banking and Capital Markets
2011

João Soares da Silva

Leading Lawyer Banking and Capital Markets
2011

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2012

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking and Capital Markets
2012

João Soares da Silva

Leading Lawyer Banking and Capital Markets
2012

Carlos Osório de Castro

Leading Lawyer Banking and Capital Markets
2012

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2012

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2013

João Soares da Silva

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2013

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking
2014

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2014

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2014

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Leading Lawyer Banking
2014

Carlos Osório de Castro

Leading Lawyer Banking
2015

João Soares da Silva

Leading Lawyer Banking
2015

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking
2016

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Leading Lawyer Banking
2016

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2015

Claudia Santos Cruz

Leading Lawyer Banking
2016

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2016

Claudia Santos Cruz

Leading Lawyers Project Finance
2016

Luís Branco

Leading Lawyer Banking
2017

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Leading Lawyer Banking
2017

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Leading Lawyer Project Finance
2017

Luís Branco

Highly Regarded Banking
2018

Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos

Highly Regarded Project Development
2018

Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos

Highly Regarded Capital Markets: structured finance and securitisation
2018

Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos

Highly Regarded Project Finance
2018

Pedro Gorjão Henriques

Notable Practitioner
2018

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Highly Regarded Investment funds
2018

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Highly Regarded Banking
2018

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Highly Regarded Project Finance
2018

Ana Monjardino

Notable Practitioner
2018

Claudia Santos Cruz

Highly Regarded Energy and Infrastructure
2018

Claudia Santos Cruz

Highly Regarded Banking
2018

Ana Monjardino

Notable Practitioner Banking, Project development, Project finance
2020

Pedro Gorjão Henriques

Notable Practitioner Banking, Project Finance
2020

Luís Branco

Highly Regarded Banking
2020

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Highly Regarded Banking, Investment Funds, Project Finance
2020

Filipa Morais Alçada

Rising Star Banking
2020

Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos

Highly Regarded Capital Markets: structured finance and securitisation, M&A, Project development, Project finance
2020

Best Lawyers

Luís Branco

Banking
2010

Luís Branco

Banking
2012

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Banking
2012

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Banking
2010

Luís Branco

Finance
2012

Luís Branco

Finance
2010

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Finance
2010

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Finance
2012

Luís Branco

Projects
2010

Luís Branco

Projects
2012

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Projects
2010

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Projects
2012

Carlos Osório de Castro

Technology
2012

Carlos Osório de Castro

Telecommunications
2012

Luís Branco

Banking
2013

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Banking
2013

Luís Branco

Finance
2013

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Finance
2013

Luís Branco

Projects
2013

Pedro Gorjão Henriques

Projects
2013

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Projects
2013

Luís Branco

Banking
2014

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Banking
2014

Ricardo Andrade Amaro

Corporate
2014

Luís Branco

Finance
2014

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Finance
2014

Luís Branco

Projects
2014

Pedro Gorjão Henriques

Projects
2014

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Projects
2014

Filipa Morais Alçada

Project Finance and Development Practice
2015

Luís Branco

Banking
2015

Luís Branco

Project Finance and Development Practice
2015

Pedro Gorjão Henriques

Project Finance and Development Practice
2015

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Banking
2015

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Finance
2015

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Project Finance and Development Practice
2015

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Banking and Finance; Capital Markets; Project Finance and Development Practice
2016

Luís Branco

Banking and Finance; Project Finance and Development Practice
2016

Pedro Gorjão Henriques

Project Finance and Development Practice
2016

Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos

Finance
2017

Filipa Morais Alçada

Capital Markets; Project Finance and Development Practice
2017

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Banking; Capital Markets; Finance; Project Finance and Development Practice
2017

Luís Branco

Banking; Finance; Project Finance and Development Practice
2017

Pedro Gorjão Henriques

Project Finance and Development Practice
2017

Filipa Morais Alçada

Capital Markets; Finance; Project Finance and Development Practice
2018

Luís Branco

Banking; Finance; Financial Institutions; Project Finance and Development Practice; Structured Finance
2018

Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos

Finance
2018

Pedro Gorjão Henriques

Project Finance and Development Practice
2018

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Banking; Capital Markets; Finance; Project Finance and Development Practice
2018

Ana Monjardino

Finance
2018
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