16.01.2024 International Comparative Legal Guides (ICLG) • Tiago Félix da Costa, João Matos Viana, Nuno Igreja Matos • Global Legal Group

ICLG to Corporate Investigations 2024 – Portugal

Tiago Félix da Costa, João Matos Viana e Nuno Igreja Matos assinam o capítulo de Portugal do guia “ICLG to Corporate Investigations 2024”, uma publicação do Global Legal Group.

"Under Portuguese Law, there is no general framework on internal investigations. There are, however, some provisions that entail the need to follow-up on internal suspicions, including duties to start an internal investigation. The National Strategy for Combating Corruption (2020– 2024) and the subsequent entry into force of the General Regime for the Prevention of Corruption (“GRPC”) (Decree-Law No. 109-E/2021, of 9 December) and the General Regime for the Protection of Whistleblowers (Law No. 93/2021, of 20 December) (“GRPW”) have introduced a new legal framework on compliance and whistleblowing, including on matters relating to internal investigations.

Under this framework, obliged entities (companies with 50 or more employees) are under a duty to examine any verbal or written report from a whistleblower and, depending on the type of complaint, to start an internal investigation should that be considered the appropriate measure. Covered entities must also give notice to the whistleblower within seven days to inform him/her that the report was received and that an external complaint may also be presented. Portuguese law also establishes a duty to inform the whistleblower of the steps envisaged or taken to act on the report. Failure to comply with these duties gives cause to regulatory offences punishable with fines that can be applicable to the company and to individuals. It should be highlighted, however, that these rules arising from the GRPW are only applicable to suspicions relating to the infractions included in the Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 23, 2019."