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VdA Vieira de Almeida

Work +351 21 311 34 00
Fax +351 21 311 34 06
Lisbon, Oporto

JoĂŁo Vieira de Almeida, managing partner

Managing partner João Vieira de Almeida explains how VdA – Vieira de Almeida is adapting to clients' changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate your firm from your competitors?

Four structural differences set us apart from our peers: (i) a distinctive, very strong and cohesive culture, (ii) a highly empowered professional (non-lawyers) management team, (iii) our focus on innovation, and (iv) our international footprint (11 jurisdictions).

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

I expect growth across most practices, with an emphasis on M&A, Litigation & Arbitration, Banking & Finance, Real Estate, and Energy. This will be driven by growing demand in Portugal in the wake of the post-crisis recovery, and the firm’s expansion abroad (our international network now accounts for roughly 20% of revenue and we expect that to increase).

What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?

We overhauled our IT department and hired a CTO to develop and implement a radical technological program which will progressively (i) enhance efficiency, in terms of processes and cost, (ii) treamline operations across the network and (iii) increase proximity and responsiveness vis a vis our clients.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Client interaction now relies on powerful business intelligence and CRM tools which we developed in the last few years, on top of KM and project management platforms that had been introduced earlier. All have a profound impact on what we do , both internally and with/for clients. Artificial intelligence, mobility and what we call knowledge integration are the next steps.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

Portugal Telecom (PT) entered the Timorese telecoms market under a BOT agreement, pursuant to which at the end of the concession period PT should transfer all assets to the Government. However, with our assistance from conceptualization to final agreement, PT managed to reframe the contractual equation and agree to maintain the operation and all its assets under a long-term license in exchange for the market liberalization.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

We are currently implementing our strategic plan, VdAmbition, which sets our goal to be The First Choice (of clients, people and stakeholders) in our markets. The plan is very detailed and has clear qualitative and quantitative objectives. In three years’ time we will inter alia boast a better integrated and expanded international network, an even stronger brand and a state of the art technological platform supporting our processes and enhancing our KM and project management capabilities.

Revenue will grow, driven by slowly increasing demand and strong efficiency gains. VdA will have cemented its status as the most international Portuguese law firm, with an unprecedented footprint in lusophone and francophone Africa.

Legal Developments by:
VdA Vieira de Almeida

  • New Insurance Contract Legal Framework - Impact on the Bancassurance’s activity

    Decree-law no. 72/2008, of 16 April - the new insurance contract legal framework (" DL 72/2008 ") - which entered into force on 1 January 2009, is a step forward in the Portuguese insurance sector regulation, not only because it covers regulation that was currently lacking in insurance legislation, but also because it sets forth new legislative solutions, in either case always reflecting the concern of granting an increased protection to consumers, the policyholders.
    - VdA- Vieira de Almeida

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