Rising Stars

Firms To Watch: Leading firms

The ‘insightful and technically robust‘ full-service firm José Lupi houses a dedicated litigation department, and counts Chinese and international state owned and private clients, as well as investment funds, across a broad range of industries among its key roster of clients. Jose Lupi is praised for his 'negotiations skills, his cultural awareness of both the Asian and South American markets (mostly Brazil), and his relentless commitment to excellence'. Lupi jointly leads the practice alongside Pedro Leal.

Leading firms in Macau

CFB Lawyers

Praised for its ‘deep expertise in the Asian markets and impeccable client service‘, CFB Lawyers possesses a wealth of experience across the financial, dispute resolution, and gaming arenas. The practice is collectively led by Victor CastroBernardete Fan, and Hugo Maia Bandeira. Castro has extensive experience in matters concerning corporate, banking and finance, and M&A, while Fan is an expert in the areas of finance and accountancy and Bandeira is a name to watch in the banking and gaming sectors.

Practice head(s):

Victor Castro; Bernardete Fan; Hugo Maia Bandeira


‘CFB Lawyers has deep expertise in the Asian markets and impeccable client service. The partners are always available and very responsive. They have good commercial acumen and have proved to be valuable advisers on several occasions.’

‘Hugo Bandeira is a great lawyer, very savvy and with a deep expertise in contracts and contract negotiations. Also, Hugo has proven to be very useful in helping us to understand the Asian business environment and how to navigate the intricacies of local culture and how they affect negotiations.’

‘CFB Lawyers stands out as a distinguished Macau law firm, renowned for its exceptional qualities that set it apart within the legal landscape.’

‘Hugo Maia Bandeira and Bernardete Fan have an unparalleled understanding of Macau’s intricate legal framework.’

‘CFB are very skilled and experienced lawyers that provide excellent legal services and prioritize client satisfaction.’

‘Hugo Bandeira has excellent legal knowledge and analytical skills. He communicates well and has achieved favourable outcomes.’

‘CFB’s collective knowledge and skill set has enabled them to provide efficient solutions for even the most complex legal matters, setting the practice apart from others in the field.’

‘Victor Castro’s legal acumen, proactive approach, and commitment to client service distinguish him as an exceptional professional.’

Work highlights

  • Assisted a bank syndicate with the issuance of USD250m Floating Rate Notes due 2024.

JNV – Lawyers and Notaries

JNV – Lawyers and Notaries counts domestic gaming concessionaires, commercial banks and insurance companies, public entities and transportation companies among its key roster of clients. The practice is led by founder Jorge Neto Valente, who is noted for his expertise in gaming matters, with additional capability in mandates concerning civil and corporate, banking, insurance, real estate and arbitration. Pedro Branco, who advises on banking, gaming and employment-related work, is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Neto Valente

Other key lawyers:

Pedro Branco; André Santos Raquel

Work highlights

  • Acted as external counsel a Macau incorporated bank.
  • Acted as external counsel to a Macau gaming operator.
  • Advised a client in a USD200m international commercial arbitration (ICC) with seat in Macau.

Manuela António - Lawyers and Notaries

Manuela António - Lawyers and Notaries covers a broad range of industries, with notable experience in the gaming and financial services sectors. The practice is led by Manuela Antonio, who is highly regarded in Macau for her expertise in the gaming arena, with additional capability in matters relating to real estate and construction, banking and finance, and public and administrative law. Other key contacts in the group include Tiago Assuncao and Hugo Couto.

Practice head(s):

Manuela António

Other key lawyers:

Tiago Assunção; Hugo Ribeiro Couto


‘Tiago Assunção is always very approachable, helpful, and prompt to reply to all queries.’

‘The team is responsive, strong, and shows good morale.’

Key clients

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited – Hong Kong

Citibank, N.A., (Hong Kong) Branch

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau) Limited

Melco Resorts Macau Limited

NRT Technology

Aruze Gaming Limited

Crown Melbourne Limited

KSHG – Real Estate Investments, LDA

Jensen Hughes

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Golden Crown Development

Transportes Urbanos de Macau


MdME enhanced its offering, particularly in the areas of real estate and IP when it integrated with DSL Lawyers in September 2023. The broad practice covers a range of mandates concerning M&A, corporate compliance, capital markets, banking and finance, and dispute resolution. The firm’s strong expertise in compliance and regulatory has allowed the practice to participate in projects across Southeast and South Asia, such as Cambodia, Laos, and the Philippines. Commended as a ‘visionary leader with outstanding legal expertise‘, managing partner Rui Pinto Proença heads the team and maintains a robust gaming practice. Other key contacts in the group include Tirso Olazabal and Carlos Eduardo Coelho, who is praised for his ‘remarkable expertise and keen commercial sense‘.

Practice head(s):

Rui Pinto Proença

Other key lawyers:

Tirso Olazabal; Carlos Eduardo Coelho; Jacinto Wong; Carlos Duque Simões; David Silva Lopes; Rita Martins


‘MdME law firm boasts teams of professionals proficient in various languages. This allows for seamless and efficient communication with clients from diverse regions and countries, whilst also facilitating the handling of cross-border legal affairs with consummate ease and confidence.’

‘Carlos Eduardo Coelho has shown remarkable expertise and keen commercial sense in efficiently supervising our proceedings. He is well-versed in both the law and the business world, allowing him to provide us with strategic advice that is tailored to our individual goals.’

‘MdME’s legal expertise in various jurisdictions enables the firm to offer complete and unified legal services to clients operating in diverse industries and sectors. The firm customizes their legal approaches to satisfy each client’s distinct needs and objectives while also foreseeing and mitigating any potential legal risks and challenges that could emerge during business operations.’

‘Rui Pinto Proença is a visionary leader with outstanding legal expertise. He has a deep understanding of the law and the workings of the market, which he uses effectively to solve our legal problems. He is always quick to respond, very thorough, and very professional, and he works very hard to ensure that our firm succeeds.’

Key clients

The Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China

People’s Government of Guangdong Province of the People’s Republic of China

Underwriters of the Luso International Banking Limited Supplementary Capital Bonds

Zhangzhou Transportation Development Group Co., Ltd


Work highlights

  • Provided full legal assistance to the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China as Issuer of the second bonds issued in Macau by a Central Government body and governed by the laws of Macau. It is the first Central Government Bonds cleared with the Macao Central Securities Depositary and Clearing Limited.
  • Represented the People’s Government of Guangdong Province of the People’s Republic of China, leading the debt issuance on all aspects of Macau law. It is the second bonds issued in Macau by a Provincial Government body and governed by the laws of Macau. It is the first Provincial Government Bonds cleared with the Macao Central Securities Depositary and Clearing Limited.
  • We assisted the Underwriters of the Luso International Banking Limited Supplementary Capital Bonds as to Macau law on one of the few undated supplementary capital bonds issued in Macau and also one of the few bonds issued in Macau by a credit institution.

Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés - Advogados

Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés - Advogados is noted for its expertise in the gaming sector, with additional experience in handling corporate, banking and finance and capital markets matters. The practice is jointly led by Pedro Cortés and Frederico Rato. Cortes is highly experienced in the gaming industry, in addition to banking and finance, while Rato boasts a strong corporate, energy, real estate, and banking and finance practice. Calvin Tinlop Chui, who ‘shines as an exceptional lawyer’, and Helena Nazaré Valente are also key contacts in the group.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Cortés; Frederico Rato

Other key lawyers:

Helena Nazaré Valente; Calvin Tinlop Chui


‘What sets this practice apart from others is their in-depth expertise in the financial industry. Their deep understanding of financial laws and regulations allows them to offer comprehensive and customised legal services to their clients, catering to the complex nature of the financial sector.’

‘The team has a wealth of experience, handles legal affairs very skilfully, and proposes innovative legal solutions for clients. They are a reliable team.’

‘The team is well-rounded and provides practical and useful legal advice to its clients. They can always understand the clients’ needs and provide practical solutions.’

Key clients

Luso International Banking Limited

Messerschmitt Systems GMBH

Bank of China Limited, Macau Branch

ITG Holding Investment (HK) Limited

Agricultural Bank Of China Limited Macao Branch

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Micro Connect

Work highlights

  • Acted as legal advisers in connection with the Listing of the Boardware Information System Limited on Main Board of the Stock Exchange.
  • Acted as Macau lead legal adviser to Micro Connect in its application for the authorisation to establish and operate Micro Connect (Macao) Financial Assets Exchange Co., Ltd. in Macau SAR.
  • Acted as Macau legal counsel to the Issuer Agricultural Bank of China Limited Macao Branch in its issue of MOP1,000,000,000 1.15 per cent. Notes due 2023 under the U.S.$15bn Medium Term Note Programme.