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The In-House Lawyer

International comparative guides

In association with a leading international law firm, Legalease are producing a series of online country comparative legal guides, designed to give the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in unfamiliar jurisdictions.

Legal market overview

Portugal’s economy has continued to grow following the country’s exit from the EU bailout programme in 2014; it is back on the radar of foreign investors, with an uptick in M&A and private equity activity creating significant work for firms. Despite this optimism, the after-effects of the 2014 collapse of Banco Espírito Santo (Portugal’s second largest bank at the time) continue to be felt. While investigations into the dissolution are ongoing, the sale of successor institution Novo Banco has been delayed after talks with multiple international buyers were temporarily suspended.

Privatisations, the former conservative government’s flagship policy for structural reforms, continued into 2015, with the privatisation of EGF – Empresa Geral do Fomento, the waste management arm of the Águas de Portugal, and part-privatisation of airline TAP Portugal being the latest to take place. The country’s elections in late 2015, however, saw an anti-austerity left-wing coalition oust the centre-right government, with the intention of reinstating wages, pensions and benefits to 2011 levels. Although popular with the electorate, it is felt by some that these measures could stall further reform and dent investors’ confidence in the market.

The Portuguese legal market remains stable, with relatively few lawyer moves. However, 2015 saw the departure of six partners, including former name partner Rui Amendoeira, and around 30 associates from Miranda & Associados to Vieira de Almeida & Associados, which saw the latter firm gaining significant cross-border expertise, notably in Angola. Shortly after, Miranda & Associados absorbed Amorim Advogados in Oporto. PLMJ, Law Firm’s former corporate practice head Jorge de Brito Pereira moved to Uría Menéndez in early 2016.

Firms in the spotlight

AAMM, Sociedade de Advogados, RL

Abecasis, Azoia, Moura Marques & Associates, 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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Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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