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Legal market overview

Portugal’s exit from the EU bailout programme in May 2014 confirmed an upturn in the market that had been growing throughout the year and had attracted the cautious return of foreign investment to the market. However, this optimism was rocked by the news in July that Portugal’s second largest bank, Banco Espírito Santo, had collapsed, a development which has generated significant work for law firms advising creditors and potential investors in the market.

With the economy continuing to struggle, the country has been keen to promote itself to international investors through its Golden Visa programme and firms have noted an increase in instructions from Chinese investors entering the market. The Corporate Income Tax Code Reforms came into effect in January 2014, with the objective of increasing Portugal’s ability to attract foreign investment; key reforms introduced include a reduction in the nominal corporate income tax rate, the introduction of a participation exemption regime and an extension of the tax loss deduction regime.

Late 2013 saw the first IPO in the Portuguese market for five years: that of CTT – Correios de Portugal, the country’s postal service. Linklaters LLP took a leading role advising the banks, PLMJ, Law Firm acted for the company and Vieira de Almeida & Associados represented the Portuguese Republic.

The Portuguese legal market remains stable and there have been relatively few moves in the legal market. However, 2014 did see the departure of Sérvulo & Associados’ employment and tax teams: Gonçalo Leite de Campos established Goncalo Leite de Campos, a tax boutique, in September 2014 and the employment team joined Campos Ferreira, Sá Carneiro & Associados to develop its labour practice. Tax specialist Miguel Reis joined PLMJ, Law Firm’s Oporto office from Garrigues.

Firms in the spotlight

AAMM, Sociedade de Advogados, RL

AAMM Law Firm was founded in 2012 by three eminent lawyers; José Filipe Abecasis, Filipe Azoia and Paulo de Moura Marques. The firm is widely recognised for its high level of specialisation in public, employment, labour and tax law, with a particular focus on key industry sectors. It is also recognised for the excellence, rigour and innovation of the services it provides clients...

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