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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Portugal > Banking and finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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The ‘proactive and insightful’ practice at Campos Ferreira, Sá Carneiro & Associados is one of the most highly regarded banking and finance teams in Portugal. It advises lenders, large national and international banks and other credit institutions on corporate, acquisition and consumer loans, as well as on regulatory matters. Francisco Sá Carneiro, Duarte Brito de Goes, António Rocha Alves and Maria Castelos are the names to note.

Linklaters ensures ‘effective interaction with offices abroad’, utilising its global ties in large cross-border deals. Domestic work included advising flag carrier TAP on the refinancing of €450m-worth of debt in the context of its privatisation, and assisting Banco Santander, CaixaBI and J.P. Morgan Securities with a €532m bridge loan for Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN)’s acquisition of Energias de Portugal (EDP)’s gas distribution business. Francisco Ferraz de Carvalho and ‘knowledgeable’ counsel Gonçalo Veiga de Macedo are recommended. Pedro Siza Vieira left the firm in 2017 to take up a position as a government minister.

The ‘always available’ team at Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados provides ‘swift, professional responses’. It is renowned for its project finance work and recently handled numerous refinancings. Its impressive client roster includes Portuguese banks such as Banco Comercial Português and Novo Banco, as well as international financial institutions. Filipe Lowndes Marques and managing associate Filipa Morais Alçada acted for Caixa Económica Montepio Geral on its €75m real estate finance loan to TAP. Luís Branco and Pedro Gorjão Henriques are also recommended.

The ‘outstanding’ team at VdA Vieira de Almeida is ‘dynamic and innovative when handling complex transactions’. After advising Banco de Portugal on the resolution measure applied to Banco Espírito Santo (BES), the group acts for Novo Banco on its sale to Lone Star. Other work included advising lenders, such as Caixa Económica Montepio Geral, and borrowers, such as Mota-Engil, on separate loan agreements. Hugo Moredo Santos, who alongside Paula Gomes Freire is a structured finance expert, was involved in both matters. Pedro Cassiano Santos and Pedro Simões Coelho are ‘excellent at proposing ideas’, while managing associate Tiago Correia Moreira is ‘very knowledgeable, dedicated and trustworthy’. Nuno Castelão joined from Allen & Overy’s London office.

Cuatrecasas acts for an impressive roster of international clients including J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. The group assisted Banco de Portugal with the non-transfer to Novo Banco of a loan granted by Oak Finance to BES. In another highlight, it advised Deutsche Bank on the acquisition of the debt of toll-road concessionaire Brisal – Auto-estradas do Litoral. Managing partner Maria João Ricou, who led on both matters, ‘knows the market inside out’. Manuel Requicha Ferreira’s ‘ability to think broadly and outside the box enables him to find innovative solutions to complex problems’.

Macedo Vitorino & Associados regularly acts on the financing of public entities, acquisition finance and structured transactions. It advised a client on two facility agreements entered into with Caixa Geral de Depósitos and Banco Popular for the acquisition of Dinamis Group. Key contacts António de Macedo Vitorino and André Vasques Dias also act for numerous banks and financial institutions, such as Credit Suisse, Dexia Sabadell and Goldman Sachs.

The ‘sharp, straightforward’ team at PLMJ is on Barclays’ and the European Central Bank’s panel, and was recently appointed to Citibank’s. André Figueiredo advised REN and REN Finance on a €532m short-term financing from J.P. Morgan, Banco Santander Totta and CaixaBI to finance the acquisition of EDP Gás. Hugo Rosa Ferreira is ‘commercial, experienced and an excellent communicator who knows the industry and its players’. The group welcomed a new partner, Gonçalo dos Reis Martins, who was formerly a managing associate at SRS Advogados. Bruno Ferreira and senior associate Rodrigo Formigal are the other names to note.

SRS Advogados’ ‘client-oriented’ group is increasingly active on regulatory matters, such as advising clients on the implementation of digital solutions for online consumer loans. Alexandra Valente covers domestic lending, while William Smithson acts on international transactions such as advising China Development Bank on the $75m acquisition financing of two vessels. Gonçalo dos Reis Martins joined PLMJ.

The ‘always available’ team at Sérvulo & Associados’ client portfolio includes Banco Santander Totta, Banif and Edmond de Rothschild. It is representing BES in high-profile civil actions brought by former clients concerning its alleged breach of duties as a financial services provider; Manuel Magalhães, who displays ‘excellent commercial awareness’ and jointly heads the team with Paulo Câmara, led the advice. The practice also includes recently promoted partner Verónica Fernández and principal associate Sofia Thibaut Trocado, who ‘goes above and beyond’ for clients.

Uría Menéndez - Proença de Carvalho advises numerous international clients such as Merrill Lynch International and the Spanish branch of ING Bank. Bain Capital Credit retained the group for the acquisition of a portfolio of performing and non-performing loans from Caixa Geral de Depósitos. In another highlight, the team assisted Bankinter Consumer Finance with the establishment of a branch in Portugal. Pedro Ferreira Malaquias heads the group.

The ‘knowledgeable’ team at CMS is increasingly active in real estate finance. Another area of growth is advising funds on the acquisition of distressed asset and non-performing loan portfolios: practice head António Payan Martins assisted Balbec Asset Management with its acquisition of a non-performing loan portfolio originated by Oitante. Francisco Xavier de Almeida is another name to note.

Particularly renowned for its derivatives expertise, Cardigos covers the full range of banking and finance work, including litigation. The department acts for an impressive roster of financial institutions including Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and J.P. Morgan. Pedro Cardigos is the key name.

Led by Diogo Leonidas Rocha, Garrigues Portugal’s practice impresses clients with ‘deep industry knowledge, decent response times and fair value for money’. It acted for BBVA Portugal on regulatory matters concerning its reorganisation, and, in a separate matter, advised Castlelake on the acquisition of a €20m non-performing loan portfolio from Banco Santander Totta. Senior associate Vasco Rodrigues is ‘very good’.

Gómez-Acebo & Pombo’s team is ‘service-oriented, commercially minded and a pleasure to work with’. Mafalda Barreto led advice to several hedge funds on their participation in a syndicated loan for the financing of a motorway toll-road system. Other key names include Miguel Castro Pereira and senior associate Filipe Santos Barata, who is ‘a great asset in cross-border transactions’.

Co-operating closely with clients’, Serra Lopes, Cortes Martins & Associados’ department is ‘competent, service-oriented and professional’. Though it covers the full range of services in banking and finance, the team was particularly active in debt restructuring. A highlight was advising the Portuguese state on restructuring credits, involving a €450m counter-guarantee to the loan provided to the insolvent Banco Privado Português by a syndicate of six Portuguese banks. Practice head Francisco Barona is ‘technically excellent’.

AAA Advogados acts for lenders such as Banco Carregosa and for borrowers such as Amorim Energia. The group is particularly well known for its project finance expertise. Vítor Pereira das Neves and Gabriela Rodrigues Martins are the key figures.

DLA Piper ABBC’s ‘very capable team of highly qualified lawyers’ advised CaixaBank on the purchase of €550m-worth of credits from EDP. Nuno Azevedo Neves has ‘the knowledge and expertise required to level up in all legal affairs and negotiations’. Bruno Azevedo Rodrigues and of counsel Márcio Carreira Nobre joined Telles de Abreu | Advogados in October 2017.

Led by the highly recommended Nelson Raposo Bernardo, Raposo Bernardo’s team ‘provides more than what is expected’. Highlights included advising BBVA on regulatory matters concerning the introduction of a new credit card. Other clients include BNP Paribas, Banco Primus, Barclays and CaixaBank as well as the Ministry of Finance.

Caiado Guerreiro & Associados stands out for its international client portfolio including Allied Irish Banks, Banque Transatlantique Luxembourg and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. It assisted Instantor, which provides online identification and financial data reports, with questions regarding the revised Payment Service Directive. João Caiado Guerreiro is the key name.

Espanha e Associados provides ‘clear and comprehensive analyses’ as well as ‘practical solutions’ on insurance-related banking and finance matters. The ‘well-connected’ João Espanha has ‘excellent knowledge of legal and fiscal matters’, and senior associate Leonor Futscher de Deus has ‘an excellent understanding of client needs’.

The ‘very responsive and commercial’ team at pbbr - Sociedade de Advogados RL is particularly active in credit restructurings. Sofia Sousinha assists Abanca with loan facilities and restructuring agreements and the constitution of guarantees. Alexandre Jardim is highly rated for litigation.

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Legal Developments in Portugal for Banking and finance

Legal Developments in Portugal

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

    Law no. 13/2016, of 30 December 2016, which amended and republished the Mozambican VAT Code, was recently rectified by a Notice, dated June 8th.

    In order to clarify some of the new obligations stemming from the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which will apply as of 25th May 2018, the Article 29 Working Party (“WP29”) – the independent European consulting body for data protection issues – recently issued its “Guidance on Data Protection Impact Assessment (“DPIA”)”. This document will be available for public consultation until 23rd May, 2017.

    On 28th January, 2017, the Portuguese Data Protection Authority (Comissão Nacional de Proteção de Dados/CNPD) published a document establishing 10 measures for entities to prepare for the application of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).

    Presidential Decree no. 193/17, which approves the Regulation on the Licensing of Establishments and of Commercial Activity and Market Services (“Regulation”), was published on 22 August. The Regulation, which will enter into force on 21 October (60 days after its publication), establishes the conditions and procedures governing the licensing of commercial activities and market services, as well as the licensing of the respective establishments, revoking Presidential Decree no. 288/10, of 30 November (Regulation on the Licensing of Commercial Activity and the Provision of Market Services), as well as all prior regulations on the matter contrary to the provisions of the new Regulation.

    Ministerial Statute 50/2017, of 11 July 2017, sets forth the measures approved by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy to streamline petroleum products’ import into and supply to the country and ensure fuel supply safety, regularity and quality. The newly approved measures obviously have a direct impact on distributors, but also affect suppliers, IMOPETRO, commercial banks operating in-country and the Banco de Moçambique (“BdM”).
  • Mozambique VAT Code Amended

    Law no. 13/2016, of 30 December 2016, which amended and republished the Mozambican VAT Code, was recently rectified by a Notice, dated June 8th.

    Decree-Law 79/2017, of 30 June 2017, was published last Friday and amends both the Insolvency and Corporate Recovery Code and the Companies Code, in order to implement the goals of the “Programa Capitalizar” approved by Council of Ministers Resolution 42/2016, of 18 August 2016

    Please be aware that a new Presidential Decree has been published on 24th of April (Presidential Decree 79/17 of 24 April) which, among others, introduces the following significant amendments to former Presidential decree 43/17 of 6 March (regulations on the performance of a professional activity by nonresident foreign employees ):

    Bearer securities have been prohibited under Law 15/2017, of May 3, 2017, published today. The Companies Code and the Securities Code have been amended in order to implement this measure.

    Presidential Decree 43/17, of 6 March 2017 (“DP 43/17”) just enacted new regulations on the performance of a professional activity by non-resident foreign workers, repealing former Decrees 5/95, of 7 April 1995 and 6/01, of 19 January 2001.

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