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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

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...

Interview with...

Law firm managing partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

Press releases

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Legal Developments in Portugal

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Press Releases worldwide

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  • OLG Frankfurt: Misleading advertising featuring corporate history

    If over the course of its history a company was split up, advertising featuring the company’s history may be misleading. That was the verdict of the OLG Frankfurt (Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt) in a recent ruling (6 U 167/14).
  • Gender Pay Gaps: The Latest Reporting Requirements

    On average, male employees are paid more than female employees. In 2015, men working full-time were paid approximately 9.4% more than women working full-time. As a result, the government is working to introduce measures with the aim of reducing this gap.
  • European Commission Recognises The Importance Of Crowdfunding

    It has been announced last week that the European Commission (EC) has published a report on the EU crowdfunding sector, as part of its Capital Markets Union Action Plan. In doing so, the EC has recognised the growing importance of crowdfunding platforms – websites that allow fundraisers to interact with investors and donors – for the improved economic growth and job creation in Europe. Despite being acknowledged as relatively small at this moment in time, its rapid development has been noted, and for that reason, efforts are being made for crowdfunding to be appropriately regulated en route to becoming one of the key sources of financing for small & medium sized enterprises in the future.
  • Pitmans acts on Westcoast’s acquisition of Art Systems Holdings Ltd

    Pitmans LLP has acted on behalf of its longstanding client, Westcoast (Holdings) Limited on its acquisition of Art Systems Holdings Limited.
  • Dubai Investors Take Ownership Of Porto Montenegro

    One of the biggest news reports in the region last week was the acquisition of Porto Montenegro , the luxury yacht marina located in Tivat, by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD). The marina was handed over to the new owners during a press conference at the Regent Hotel, where the accompanying protocol was signed by ICD's Executive Director, Sheikh Mohammed Al Shaibani, and the CEO of the marina's previous owner – Adriatic Marinas, Oliver Corlette. The conference was also attended by the Montenegrin Prime Minister, Milo Đukanović, and the Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Branimir Gvozdenović.
  • Insolvency Update: Changes that take effect from April 2016

    The Department of Justice has issued a practice direction in connection with the new insolvency express trials pilot.
  • The Apprenticeship Levy

    Following last year’s autumn statement, HMRC has now published draft legislation which introduces the proposed new apprenticeship levy. The levy will have effect from 6 April 2017.

    Another piece of news related to our competition team in Serbia are the recent signings of a Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement of Cooperation in the field of forensics between the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA).
  • Chinese Company To Invest In Bosnian Thermal Plant

    The Sarajevo Business Forum 2016 (SBF) was, among hosting a number of lectures and discussions, a platform for one of the largest post-war investments in the energy sector in Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH). The reason for this can be found in the latest reports that an agreement was reached for the EUR 722 million construction of Thermal Power Plant Tuzla's Block 7 between Elektroprivreda BiH and the China Gezhouba Group Corporation , with the official MoU signing taking place on the first day of the SBF 2016. The project financier for the deal in question will be the Export Import Bank of China (EXIM), and the repayment period – together with a five-year grace period, is reported to be 15 years.
  • Karanović & Nikolić Attends Commission’s Anniversary

    ​Karanović & Nikolić attorneys were among the guests at the Republic of Serbia's Commission for the Protection of Competition's 10 year anniversary celebration, which also included an international conference on the topic of the law and policy of competition protection. The conference was opened by Deputy Prime Minister, Prof. Dr Kori Udovički, President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Dr Miloje Obradović, President of the National Assembly's Committee for Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy, Dr Aleksandra Tomić, and European Union Delegate, Steffen Hudolin.