Firms To Watch: Banking and finance

Under the leadership of Miguel Cordeiro, CTSU – Sociedade de Advogados, S.P., R.L., S.A. has been developing its innovative banking and finance practice, mainly focused on the digital transformation of the financial sector; it has proven popular among established players in the market as well as fintech start-ups.

Banking and finance in Portugal


The banking and finance practice at Cuatrecasas has witnessed significant growth in recent years, having advised in some of the largest transactions in the market. The firm’s clients come from across the financial services sector, including major banks, sponsors, borrowers, investment funds and fintech players. Clients seek expert advice on the full array of matters, including corporate finance, debt restructuring, M&A in the financial sector, as well as regulatory and compliance matters; real estate financing transactions and non-performing loan (NPL) deals are also core areas of strength. Managing partner Maria João Ricou oversees the group, with support from Manuel Requicha Ferreira, who is particularly experienced on the real estate finance side, and Paulo Costa Martins, who specialises in regulatory matters. Margarida Leal De Oliveira is the main point of contact in the team for project finance. Since publication, the firm merged with SLCM | Serra Lopes, Cortes Martins & Associados in January 2023, adding Rafael Lucas Pires, Maria Raquel Moreira, and Ana Guedes Teixeira to the bench.

Practice head(s):

Maria João Ricou

Other key lawyers:

Manuel Requicha Ferreira; Paulo Costa Martins; Margarida Leal de Oliveira; Ana Sofia Silva; Francisco Soares Machado


‘The team is quite simply top class. What sets them apart from other law practices in this field is their in-depth knowledge of the business and strong technical competence. Their attitude to their clients is remarkably positive, they care passionately about developing relationships, and they are always on hand to solve problematic issues with practical solutions. They are extremely commercial in their approach and you can have complete confidence in their advice. In my view they are some of the best in the market currently.’

‘Cuatrecasas is a law firm with a high quality team and an international office network that gives Lisbon-based lawyers access to global know-how and experience.’

‘Paulo Costa Martins is a partner with extensive experience and deep knowledge, which allows him to adapt to complex situations, always ready to offer creative and business-oriented solutions. Paulo is highly respected by his colleagues and has a good relationship with the regulatory agents, being an essential part in the interactions with the regulator.’

‘Highly responsive, strong knowledge of the sector and great at coming up with creative solutions.’

‘The monitoring and availability shown throughout the entire transaction were excellent. The detailed explanations provided by the team throughout the entire process are noteworthy.’

‘The elements of the Cuatrecasas team that we would like to highlight are Ana Sofia Silva, Paulo Costa Martins and Francisco Soares Machado. We highlight in them the know-how, availability and pro-activity shown, as well as the clarity shown in their interventions.’

‘The team delivers the best possible advice for businesses with an exceptional degree of precision.’

‘The individuals we work with are continuously adapting to new ways of working. Each project is led by an experienced partner who fully understands our objectives and can expertly represent our needs.’

Key clients

Azora European Hotel & Lodging, F.C.R.

IFD – Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento

BigCity Holdco LLP

Servdebt Capital Asset Management

Groupement Les Mousquetaires

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Banco BIG


ING Bank

Davidson Kempner European Partners



Work highlights

  • As Groupement Les Mousquetaires intended to restructure the real estate portfolio held in Portugal, the team advised on multiple alternative structures involving regulated and non-regulated vehicles that would be suited to the client.
  • Provided Portuguese legal advice to IFD, a financial institution indirectly owned by the Portuguese state, which is responsible for stimulating the Portuguese economy through the granting of loans to SME and mid-caps.
  • Assisted BigCity Holdco in the financing for the clearance and construction of a student housing development.


Linklaters has established a strong reputation in the Portuguese legal market for transactional work, and is regularly involved in standout deals, notably in relation to loan portfolio disposals, refinancing, restructuring and project finance matters. Besides attracting instructions from major banks and financial institutions in Portugal and abroad, the firm is also a go-to destination for international alternative asset managers, distressed debt traders and hedge funds. The team – which manages to strike a balance between transactional and regulatory work - is jointly led by Francisco Ferraz De Carvalho, who focuses on project finance in the energy and infrastructure sectors and has a wealth of experience in cross-border mandates, and Gonçalo Veiga De Macedo, whose specialisms include structured finance and restructuring. Teresa Novo Faria, who was recently promoted to managing associate, is another key contact for NPL deals, syndicated facilities and project finance.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Ferraz de Carvalho; Gonçalo Veiga de Macedo

Other key lawyers:

Teresa Novo Faria; Maria José Sousa Leite


‘The Portuguese team is simply put, great. Great delivery, great professionals and harworking people.’

‘Teresa Novo Faria is a great professional.’

‘It is a very prestigious and well-reputed firm in the national market. I highlight their capacity for innovation, their ability to analyse issues in a transversal way, their technical knowledge and good working relationships with regulators.’

‘Maria José Sousa Leite and Gonçalo Veiga de Macedo stand out for their professional rigour, good technical knowledge, negotiation skills, the presentation of solutions, and ability to meet deadlines.’

‘Linklaters needs no introduction. Their competence, attention to detail and commercial concern are known and recognised by the market and this is particularly visible in the banking and finance department. These virtues are attributable to the team, but in particular to Gonçalo Veiga de Macedo, whose technical virtues are unquestionable.’

‘Gonçalo Veiga de Macedo is recommended for his competence, rigour and availability.’

Key clients

Novo Banco, S.A.

Morgan Stanley


Morgan Stanley

BNP Paribas Personal Finance

ECS – Sociedade de Capital Risco, S. A.

Oitante, S.A.

Banco Comercial Português, S.A.

European Investment Bank

King Street Capital Management, LP


Kronos Asset Management

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados has a multidisciplinary banking and finance practice, with a strong following among the most prestigious Portuguese and international banks and financial institutions. The team is seen with great regularity acting for clients in market-shaping transactions, and has been particularly active advising on acquisition finance, real estate finance and project finance, especially in the energy sector. Benefitting from solid relationships with leading firms based in Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa, the team is adept at handling complex, multi-jurisdictional financing deals. Furthermore, the firm has recently partnered up with Portugal Fintech and Microsoft to launch Fintech365, which was designed to accelerate proofs of concept between technology companies and corporations in the banking, finance and insurance sectors. Practice head Filipe Lowndes Marques is noted for his experience in project finance. Among the partners, Luís Branco is well versed in securitisations, investment funds and derivatives, while Pedro Gorjão Henriques is seasoned in debt restructuring. Cláudia Castanheira Dos Santos is active across debt restructuring, project and real estate financing. Maria Soares do Lago – who was recently promoted to partner – maintains a broad practice, advising domestic and international corporate and financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Other key lawyers:

Luís Branco; Pedro Gorjão Henriques; Cláudia Castanheira Dos Santos; Maria Soares do Lago; Elmano Sousa Costa; Claudia Santos Cruz


‘Elmano Sousa Costa and Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos are recommended.’

‘We worked on an extremely challenging transaction and the team were extremely professional and responsive.’

‘Cláudia Santos Cruz was amazing. Cláudia is a very talented lawyer.’


PLMJ is a popular choice for major Portuguese and international banks, financial institutions and asset managers seeking banking and finance advice. Among its recent engagements were an increasing number of mandates involving real estate financing, loan portfolio acquisitions, project finance, refinancing matters and securitisations. In addition to its involvement in market-leading deals, the team is also active advising on financial services regulation and compliance issues. Leading the department is André Figueiredo, who acts on behalf of the largest lenders and investors in relation to financing transactions and complex NPL disposals. Other key practitioners include Bruno Ferreira, whose areas of activity include distressed asset transactions and financial regulatory matters, and Gonçalo Dos Reis Martins, who is a name to note for securitisation, syndicated lending and cross-border deals.

Practice head(s):

André Figueiredo

Other key lawyers:

Hugo Rosa Ferreira; Bruno Ferreira; Gonçalo dos Reis Martins


‘PLMJ has been a partner in several of our projects, demonstrating the enormous quality of the service provided. Our appreciation is linked to the high level of knowledge demonstrated in these types of transactions, both in terms of knowledge of the main players and monitoring of the evolution of the NPLs market, both nationally and internationally.’

‘Bruno Ferreira is one of the best in his field in Portugal able to mine the detail, but also to give a good overview and to refer to relevant market developments.’

‘We highlight Gonçalo dos Reis Martins, for his dedication and excellence.’

‘Best Portuguese law firm for banking and finance. The team understands the client’s needs and seeks solutions to problems.’

‘Business oriented. Always available and willing to take transactions to a successful and smooth closing. Gonçalo dos Reis Martins is extremely efficient and always achieves great negotiation results for clients.’

‘Bruno Ferreira and his team have demonstrated a great experience in structured finance transactions. They have a comprehensive understanding of the concerns of both lenders and borrowers and that eases the negotiation process.’

‘Bruno Ferreira is very responsive and has a great experience in structured finance transactions.’

‘André Figueiredo is a reference in the capital markets sector, who is always available and ready to help. He is versatile and is a great communicator.’

Key clients

Barclays Bank PLC

Goldman Sachs

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Apple Pay

Bank of England

Facebook Payments International


Société Générale

Crédit Agricole


Elliot Advisors LLC

JP Morgan

Banco Santander

Haitong Bank



Morgan Stanley

BNP Paribas


ABANCA Corporación Bancaria

Work highlights

  • Advising TAP on the negotiation of the loan provided by the government, amounting to €1.2bn.
  • Assisting the European Investment Bank in connection with a guarantee agreement to be entered into with Caixa Geral de Depósitos.
  • Advising Banco CTT on the establishment of a partnership with Sonae Financial Services regarding the Universo credit card.

Uría Menéndez – Proença Carvalho

Uría Menéndez – Proença Carvalho offers a broad range of expertise to its domestic and international clients, including in financial services regulatory matters, transactions in the Portuguese NPL market, debt refinancing, real estate financing, and M&A in the banking sector. The multi-faceted group acts for an impressive mix of credit institutions, investment firms and insurance players in high-value mandates. Hélder Frias balances a broad banking and finance practice, while Miguel Rodrigues Leal is recommended for project and real estate financing transactions. Since publication, Pedro Ferreira Malaquias left the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Antonio Villacampa Serrano; Hélder Frias; Miguel Rodrigues Leal


‘Law firm with high technical knowledge.’

‘Miguel Rodrigues Leal is excellent.’

‘They treat clients in a unique way, considering the specific aspects of each client and adapting solutions accordingly. They have a deep knowledge of our business, which proves to be an asset in the different matters they advise us on.’

‘Hélder Frias has a strong knowledge of the sector. He is an excellent professional and is always available.’

‘With regard to this specific team, what stands out is the experience and technical knowledge in the various matters associated with banking law and the growing regulatory environment in the Portuguese market.’

‘Hélder Frias – always available and has an excellent knowledge of the market both at the national and European level.’

Key clients

Banco Santander Totta, S.A.,

Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft

ING Bank N.V., Sucursal em Portugal

Caixa Geral de Depósitos, S.A.

Banco BTG Pactual, S.A.

Food Delivery Brands, S.A.U.


Corum Asset Management

Avignon Capital Limited

Carlyle Group

Explorer Investments

DWS Grundbesitz GMBH

Currencies Direct Spain, E.D.E., S.L.U.

Banco BPI, S.A.

Blantyre Capital Limited

Montepio Investimento, S.A.

Associação Portuguesa de Bancos

Unión de Créditos Inmobiliários, S.A., E.F.C. (Sociedad Unipersonal) – Branch in Portugal

Barclays Bank Ireland PLC – Branch in Portugal

Bankinter, S.A. – Branch in Portugal

Hermes Investment Management Limited


VdA excels in handling large-cap, and often cross-border financing mandates for a balanced mix of domestic and international banks and financial services clients. The firm has a deep bench of expertise that cuts across regulatory matters involving payment services, credit granting and financial intermediation, and transactional work including sector-related M&A, sustainable financial instruments, NPL deals and banking recapitalisations. Pedro Cassiano Santos steers the team on market-leading financing transactions. He not only advises on the structuring of complex deals, including the issue of debt and securitisation transactions, but is also seasoned in the full range of regulatory issues pertaining to the banking and finance sector. Hugo Moredo Santos stands out for his experience in retail bond issuances, structured finance deals and aviation finance. With in-depth knowledge of the public recapitalisation of Portuguese banks, Benedita Aires is singled out for her strong track record in the issue and placement of debt instruments, real estate financing and asset-backed transactions. Pedro Simões Coelho is a key contact for aviation finance and collective investment schemes. Recently appointed managing partner Paula Gomes Freire is also active in the practice, and Tiago Correia Moreira is the name to note for fintech-related mandates.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Cassiano Santos

Other key lawyers:

Benedita Aires; Hugo Moredo Santos; Paula Gomes Freire; Pedro Simões Coelho; Tiago Correia Moreira; Orlando Vogler Guiné; Filipa Fonseca Santos


‘Technical knowledge, quick response and commitment to the client. We also highlight their availability.’

‘Some of the characteristics I think are the most important are: the ability to problem solve and realistically assess the risks, availability, and relationships that the team is able to develop with clients.’

‘Pedro Cassiano Santos is a very experienced lawyer, who quickly finds the best solution to the problem. He can easily get into the client’s shoes, and be part of the team.’

‘Fantastic know-how and clarity of information.’

‘Pedro Cassiano Santos and Tiago Correia Moreira are recommended.’

Key clients

Águas de Portugal Group

European Investment Bank

Apollo Global Management

Arrow Global Limited

Banco Credibom, SA (Credit Agricole Group)

Banco de Portugal / Fundo de Resolução

Banco Invest

Banco Santanter Totta, S.A.

Blackstone Group

BNP Paribas0

Caixa Geral de Depósitos

Citibank International PLC

Citizenergy 2.0 Project

Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft


Haitong Bank, SA

Hefesto STC, S.A.

Whitestar, Asset Solutions, S.A.

International Finance Corporation

JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.

JP Morgan Limited

Morgan Stanley


NatWest Markets PLC

Nomura International plc Limited

Novo Banco

Portuguese State

Parpública – Participações Públicas (SGPS), S.A.

Sierra European Retail Real Estate Assets Holdings B.V.

Standard Bank Angola, S.A.

Unión de Créditos Inmobiliarios Establecimiento Financiero de Crédito (UCI) – Sucursal em Portugal

Work highlights

  • Assisted CREDIBOM in the setting up of two joint ventures to enlarge its footprint and presence in the consumer lending market in Portugal, one with CGD and the other with Novo Banco.
  • Assisted Banco Santander Totta (Santander Group) in the accomplishment of its synthetic securitisation transactions, including Project Castelo in July 2021.
  • Assists Arrow Global group entities in a variety of their activities involving the Portuguese jurisdiction, mostly covering the acquisition, management and servicing of NPLs and other banking exposures.

Abreu Advogados

Abreu Advogados handles a range of banking and finance matters on behalf of a diverse client roster. The team is singled out for its ability to advise on cross-border finance transactions (particularly those linked to Mozambique), debt issuances, OTC derivatives, NPLs and real estate finance matters. Emerging areas such as fintech, cryptocurrencies and new payment methods are also covered by the team. In July 2021, the practice saw a change in leadership as Diogo Pereira Duarte and Rodrigo Formigal joined José Maria Corrêa de Sampaio in the coordination of the finance group. The team’s offering in the insurance sector was further boosted by the arrival of Nuno Luís Sapateiro from PLMJ in June 2021. Project finance is a key area of practice for Ana Sofia Batista. Pedro Ferreira Malaquias was a new arrival in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

José Maria Corrêa de Sampaio; Diogo Pereira Duarte; Rodrigo Formigal

Other key lawyers:

Ana Sofia Batista; André Modesto Pinheiro


‘Abreu Advogados has very relevant knowledge in terms of investment operations in SMEs. André Modesto Pinheiro is recommended for this type of work.’

‘Professionalism and dedication is their main strength, resolving conflicts between parties to make the deal fly.’

‘I have been working with Ana Sofia Batista and her team for a number of years now and they always provide an excellent service. Ana is very responsive and the team provides clear and pragmatic advice. They are also always willing to accommodate client’s demands. The team has in-depth knowledge of the regulatory framework and covers a very broad range of legal areas which is very valuable.’

Key clients


Caixa Geral de Depósitos


Rolls Royce

Dura Automotive

Yildirim Group


Sacyr Somague

JJW Hotels & Resorts Group

Big Mozambique


Credit Suisse

PRIO Group

Work highlights

  • Advising the Senior Creditors – Export Credit Agencies and Africa Development Bank/AfDB on the financing and development of the Area 1 LNG project in Mozambique.
  • Assisted the Yildirim Group in connection with the negotiation, preparation and formalisation of all contractual documentation regarding various syndicated loan facilities.
  • Provided legal assistance to the Efacec Group in the negotiation of a new financing with a banking syndicate composed of five Portuguese banks which was guaranteed by the Portuguese state.


Domestic and international banks, international funds and a number of listed companies turn to CMS for assistance with an array of banking and finance matters, ranging from syndicated finance to bond issues and restructuring mandates involving Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries. The banking and finance team’s recent workload testifies to its strength in NPL portfolio transactions, real estate finance, structured products and acquisition finance. Sector-related contentious matters are another area of focus for the department, which is led by António Payan Martins, who is noted for his cross-border experience. Francisco Xavier de Almeida has a good reputation for corporate finance and securities law.

Practice head(s):

António Payan Martins

Other key lawyers:

Francisco Xavier de Almeida

Key clients

J.P. Morgan

Deutsche Bank

Barclays Bank

Goldman Sachs

Davidson Kempner Partners

Caixa Geral de Depósitos


Galp Energia

Amorim Luxury

Fortress Capital


Garrigues has a strong track record in complex and high-value financings, acting for a diverse range of international and domestic clients. Acquisition financings on behalf of corporate borrowers feature prominently in the firm’s workload, although recently the firm has also been heavily active in real estate finance, NPL portfolio transactions and restructurings. The banking and finance team is under the leadership of Diogo Leónidas Rocha, who has a wealth of experience in distressed debt transactions, bond issues and regulatory matters. Acquisition and real estate financing deals are some of Vasco Rodrigues's key areas of activity; he also focuses on capital markets and corporate law.

Practice head(s):

Diogo Leónidas Rocha

Other key lawyers:

Vasco Rodrigues

Key clients

Henderson Park

Brookfield Asset Management

The Bank of New York Mellon

LaSalle Investment Management

Haitong International Holdings Limited

Lifento Care Pan European

Deutsche Bank

Tander Group

Byggfakta Group


Work highlights

  • Advised Henderson Park in Project Atlantic relating to the acquisition of Lagoas Park, a company that owns one of Portugal’s largest and most innovative business parks.
  • Assisted the US and Germany-based firm Jamestown in the financing of a €98m real estate investment in Portugal.
  • Acted for Brookfield Asset Management as borrower in a financing for the acquisition of a Portuguese company holding student residences in the Portuguese territory.

SRS Legal

SRS Legal has a versatile banking and finance practice, which is sought by domestic and international clients, including borrowers, lenders and funds. The team is regularly involved in cross-border acquisition and structured financings and has also been involved in several high-value real estate finance transactions. The department is jointly led by three partners: managing partner Pedro Rebelo de Sousa; William Smithson, who is noted for cross-border matters and financial restructurings; and Alexandra Valente, who frequently acts for international financial institutions and private equity funds in structured finance and banking regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Rebelo de Sousa; William Smithson; Alexandra Valente

Other key lawyers:

João Santos Carvalho


‘Professional team.’

‘They know the clients’ needs and deliver advice accordingly in a truly professional manner.’

Key clients

African Export Import Bank

Banco do Brasil


Banco Carregosa

Bank of Portugal

Rabobank International

Oxy Capital

BNP Paribas

Banco Itaú Europe

Work highlights

  • Advising Banco do Brasil on the negotiation and execution of various financing transactions entered into with various large Portuguese corporates.
  • Advising M7 on the additional issues of bonds by five M7 group companies incorporated in Portugal and cleared through Interbolsa and Clearstream.
  • Advising Banco Carregosa on the incorporation of a fund management company.

Sérvulo & Associados

Sérvulo & Associados, which is well known for its strong regulatory capabilities, has been increasing its presence in innovative transactions in the sector, notably in refinancing and venture capital deals. In addition to providing regular assistance to leading domestic and international credit and financial institutions, the firm is also instructed by insurance companies, payment service providers and public banks in Portugal in relation to restructuring matters, corporate governance, real estate and acquisition finance. Furthermore, the team is well positioned to advise on ESG-related issues, and offers a multidisciplinary fintech service, providing integrated legal support to companies operating in this ecosystem, at both start-up and more advanced phases. Manuel Magalhães and Paulo Câmara, who is recommended for regulatory matters, jointly head the practice, which also includes Verónica Fernández, who excels in compliance issues, and Francisco Barona, a key contact for transactional work. Inês Palma Ramalho is experienced in the full array of financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Manuel Magalhães; Paulo Câmara

Other key lawyers:

Verónica Fernández; Francisco Barona; Sofia Thibaut Trocado; Francisco Boavida Salavessa; Inês Palma Ramalho


‘Full availability and quick response times; interdisciplinary technical skills, which translate into the ability to respond to requests of different natures in the same process; professionalism and versatility of lawyers, including in the negotiation process with counterparties; ability to present solutions to the challenges posed.’

‘Manuel Magalhães and Francisco Boavida Salavessa stand out for their quality of work and proximity to the client.’

‘The Banking and Finance team of Servulo is multidisciplinary and includes a fair number of associates and partners capable of providing legal support in all stages of the transaction. The allocation of resources across the different stages (with more intervention by more senior lawyers in the structuring and negotiations phases, and bigger presence of more junior lawyers at documentation phase, closing and processing of conditions precedent) has been appropriately and efficiently managed.’

‘Manuel Magalhães and Sofia Trocado are very knowledgeable and experienced and business oriented. Their approach is prudent and based on in-depth legal analysis, but they are also pragmatic and manage to propose well-founded tailor-made solutions to problems arising in the context of the transaction. They are excellent communicators, which stands out during the negotiations of financing agreements.

‘I am working closely with Inês Palma Ramalho, who is in my opinion a rising star in the FinTech industry. She is knowledgable, practical, proactive, innovative and business oriented.’

‘Sérvulo & Associados strives for professionalism, efficiency and excellent technical knowledge, making working with this law firm an asset.’

‘Sérvulo’s Banking / Finance team has provided an exceptional service. It has had an enormous capacity to respond to many topics, some very specific to the sector and the company, always with great quality in the responses.’

‘I would clearly recommend Francisco Salavessa at the partner level for his quality, knowledge, ability to analyse and build creative/intelligent solutions. He stands out for his enormous availability and empathy with the client, creating a partnership relationship.’

Key clients

Banco Comercial Português, S.A.

Novo Banco, S.A.

Montepio Investimento, S.A.

Banco Santander Totta, S.A.

BBVA – Instituição Financeira de Crédito, S.A.

Oney Bank, S.A – Sucursal em Portugal

EDP Comercial

Saltpay Portugal, S.A. (former PAGAQUI – Pagamentos e Carregamentos, S.A.)

BES – Banco Espírito Santo, S.A. – Em Liquidação

BANIF – Banco Internacional do Funchal, S.A. – Em Liquidação

Société Générale Equipment Finance Iberia EFC, S.A.

Banco Credibom, S.A.

Orey Financial – Instituição Financeira de Crédito, S.A. – Em Liquidação

Caixa Económica Montepio Geral

Work highlights

  • Assisted BBVA in a comprehensive gap analysis exercise on the entity’s policies and practices regarding one of the most significant regulatory instruments issued by the Portuguese Central Bank in 2020 (Regulation 3/2020).
  • Provides ongoing day-to-day assistance to BANIF, a Portuguese listed credit institution, after the application of a resolution measure by the Bank of Portugal.
  • Assisted Banco Comercial Português (Millennium BCP) in the structuring, negotiation and closing of a sale and purchase agreement involving investment units in a closed real estate investment fund.


Boutique law firm CARDIGOS is a reference in the market for derivatives matters, but also attracts mandates from commercial and investment banks, financial institutions, private investment funds and other institutional lenders and borrowers in relation to a range of financing transactions. Apart from advising on project, acquisition and leveraged finance, the team also has a strong track record in acting for creditors in the context of the BES liquidation proceedings. Pedro Cardigos focuses on contentious matters in the banking and financial services sectors, while Maria Almeida Fernandes is a key contact for derivatives work.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Cardigos; Maria Almeida Fernandes


‘I have always found the people working on my matters to be very responsive, meeting deadlines punctually and their work very clear.’

‘The principal contact for my matters has been Pedro Cardigos, who has always been helpful and very clear.’

‘Responsive with excellent communication.’

Key clients

International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA)

Aosphere LLP


BNP Paribas

Bank Vontobel AG

ABN AMRO Clearing Bank N.V. (AACB)

NN Investment Partners (NNIP)

NatWest Markets Plc (NWM PLC)

JP Morgan

Standard Chartered Bank

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Goldman Sachs

Société Générale

BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV (BNPPF)

Work highlights

  • Assisted Barclays in respect of a CDS to which Barclays was a seller facing Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
  • Acted as counsel, alongside Allen & Overy, to the International Derivatives Association in respect of the legal consequences of the BES liquidation proceedings on the bondholder’s rights.
  • Provided a legal opinion to Goldman Sachs in respect of the capacity and authority of Instituto de Gestão de Fundos de Capitalização da Segurança Social acting on behalf of Fundo de Estabilização Financeira da Segurança Social to enter into an ISDA Master Agreement.


The banking and finance team at DLA Piper ABBC acts for a diverse client roster, comprising domestic and international credit and financial institutions, in relation to financing transactions and regulatory work. Department co-head Nuno Azevedo Neves is particularly experienced in cross-border transactions and privatisations; he is the main contact for banks, financial institutions and funds. Fellow co-leader Gonçalo Castro Ribeiro focuses on distressed asset deals, project finance and financial regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Nuno Azevedo Neves; Gonçalo Castro Ribeiro

Other key lawyers:

Nuno Castelo Branco


‘DLA Piper ABBC is result-oriented and provides tailor-made solutions. The fact that it is an international firm with offices all over the world helps a lot when dealing with a multi-jurisdiction transaction.’

‘They are very commited to the projects and treat them as their own. Nuno Azevedo Neves and Nuno Castelo Branco are recommended.’

‘International firm that is a safe choice for Pan-European transactions.’

‘Good relationship with their colleagues located in Spain so it is a good international firm for the Iberian market.’

Key clients

Caerus Real Estate Funds

Investec Bank Plc

Kommunalkredit Austria AG

European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF)

Itaú BBA Europe, S.A.

Gómez-Acebo & Pombo

The team at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo handles an impressive variety of deal types for a number of highly active financial institutions. Assisting clients in syndicated lending, credit portfolio transactions and restructuring matters are key areas of focus for the department. Mafalda Barreto, who excels in cross-border financing deals and restructurings, oversees the banking and finance practice alongside Miguel Castro Pereira, whose areas of expertise include financial regulation. Filipe Santos Barata leads on insurance work, advising insurers and other key market players on their day-to-day activities and transactions, notably warranties and indemnities issues.

Practice head(s):

Mafalda Barreto; Miguel Castro Pereira; Filipe Santos Barata


‘The team based in Portugal is good, available, and provides clear explanations.’

‘Filipe Santos Barata did a good job, he was really helpful and on top of the job.’

‘Excellent service, as expected from the level of expertise and experience that was sought.’

‘The GA_P team has broad and deep technical knowledge in insurance matters, namely in the provision of advisory services to insurance companies in Portugal, more specifically, in the scope of the design and implementation of manifestation and guarantee policies. They are, in our country, an undeniable name in this practice.’

‘Filipe Santos Barata is recommended.’


MACEDO VITORINO's practice is particularly active in acquisition finance and in the financing of infrastructure, energy and real estate projects. The team is adept at acting for both lenders and borrowers in high-value transactions, including derivatives and other structured projects, and is also engaged in regulatory and compliance matters. Founding partner António de Macedo Vitorino has significant experience in securities law and corporate finance. André Vasques Dias is also noted for his track record in cross-border financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

António de Macedo Vitorino; André Vasques Dias


‘Macedo Vitorino was always on top of the transaction and raised potential issues early and transparently. Advice and work products were concise, to the point and provided speedily.’

‘André Vasques Dias is very responsive and to the point. Highly recommended!’

‘The Macedo Vitorino & Associados team demonstrated exceptional flexibility and dedication in the services provided, having always responded to the first request and in good time to the questions asked and in a clear manner, providing essential help for the resolution of highly complex legal problems.’

‘André Vasques Dias has been permanently following the evolution of our project, having provided decisive solutions for the success and financial strength of the public contracts to be signed, and participated in the procedural parts of public tenders. He stands out for his experience in similar markets, conveying confidence in his contribution, and for his level of commitment to the success of our project.’

Key clients


Crédit Agricole and Investment Bank

ING Bank

Siemens Bank

BNP Paribas

Intesa Sanpaolo


Danske Bank

Caixa Centralde Crédito Agrícola Mútuo, C.R.L.

Aberdeen Infrastructures

Solaria Energía y Medio Ambiente, SA

Nordic Solar Management

Municipality of Lisbon

Work highlights

  • Advising MEAG in connection with a financing to Roadis following the acquisition of two road concessionaires.
  • Advised HC Hospitais Concessionados and its shareholders Aberdeen Infrastructures and Sacyr Somague on a financing granted by Banco Santander Totta and Abanca Corporación Bancaria.
  • Assisted Nordic Solar and its Portuguese subsidiary Goldalqueva in the financing of the construction of a 48.5MWp solar park in Portugal.

pbbr - Sociedade de Advogados RL

pbbr – Sociedade de Advogados RL's banking and finance offering covers transactional and regulatory work, such as real estate finance, transfer of credits, securities issues, debt restructuring and compliance. Of particular note is the team’s representation of Spanish banks in relation to transactions in Portugal. Alexandre Jardim – head of the banking practice – is skilled at handling financings involving real estate assets. Restructurings and facility agreements are typical instructions for Sofia de Sales Sousinha, who brings together multidisciplinary expertise in banking law, real estate and litigation.

Practice head(s):

Alexandre Jardim

Other key lawyers:

Sofia Sales Sousinha; Patricia Goldschmidt; Marco Pereira Cardoso


‘The law firm demonstrates an exceptional availability whenever we ask for their help and they easily adapt to the timings requested by us. They present solutions with creativity, always taking into account the best position for the client in solving problems. We are very confident in this office.’

‘Sofia Sales Sousinha and Marco Pereira Cardoso are recommended.’

‘The team is extremely agile in responding to our questions, always focusing on solving the problem presented.’

‘All professionals who advise us are extremely competent and accessible, which greatly facilitates our daily lives.’

‘Great senior partner level involvement in transactions and a total commitment to getting deals closed.’

‘Great depth of experience, commercial and legal acumen. Provide sound advice and good judgement.’

Key clients

ECS Capital Sociedade de Capital de Risco, S.A.

Millennium bcp

ABANCA Corporacion Bancaria

Sogevinus SGPS, S.A.

Stone Capital


Groupe Terresens

MDSR Investments

CTT Bank

Keys Asset Management

GMG- Geneva Management Group

Signal Capital Partners

Banco Português de Gestão, S. A.


Raposo Bernardo

Raposo Bernardo is well placed to advise on a wide range of banking and finance matters, notably NPL portfolio deals, corporate finance and regulatory issues. Managing partner Nelson Raposo Bernardo – whose fields of expertise include project finance and international credit operations – leads the group, which has recently been engaged in several financing matters related to projects and the aviation sector.

Practice head(s):

Nelson Raposo Bernardo


‘Raposo Bernardo’s Banking area is very strong. They are always one step ahead, they not only know and apply current law, they also dominate trends and anticipate problems for future legislation and point out solutions. They provide answers with the utmost precision, they are experts in solving intricate questions.’

‘Nelson Raposo Bernardo has an impressive work capacity, in addition to being completely focused on delivering results.’

‘Their attention to the client, total dedication to the bank’s affairs, a strong commitment to achieving clear goals makes them stand out. Their lawyers go beyond traditional legal advice.’

‘Nelson Raposo Bernardo is extremely charismatic, magnetic in business relationships, dominates any negotiation, is quick and sharp but at the same time cultured and affable, he always gets what we want.’

‘The legal services they provide us are of the highest quality. I also emphasise that they know precisely what they must do to achieve these results, they are experienced, they stay focused on the issue. Lawyers are very communicative and competent in everything they do. They give us a lot of security.’

‘Nelson Raposo Bernardo stands out for his ability to resolve issues, for his impressive dynamism, and ability to understand our needs.’

‘Maximum attention to our affairs, preparation and in-depth knowledge of the files, permanent reporting, perfect organisation with a lot of proactivity.’

‘Nelson Raposo Bernardo is a highly respected lawyer who is always a great support in a negotiation.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a client on an innovative transportation portfolio financing facility agreement.
  • Assisted a client in relation to a syndicated bridge loan facility.
  • Advising two clients on the legal framework of the creation of a new credit card.

RRP Advogados

With wide-ranging experience across the gamut of banking and finance matters, RRP Advogados provides legal support to both lenders and borrowers. Typical mandates range from acquisition and real estate finance to syndicated lending, debt refinancing, loan portfolio transactions and regulatory compliance. Carlos Vaz De Almeida is sought by foreign and domestic credit and financial institutions in several matters of strategic importance, including cross-border financing transactions and project finance. Francisco Bessa de Carvalho maintains a transaction-heavy practice, focused on leveraged and structured finance.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Vaz de Almeida

Other key lawyers:

Francisco Bessa de Carvalho; José Manuel Alves


‘RRP’s Banking and Finance department has a responsible partner and lawyers on the team who have relevant backgrounds in the banking and finance sector.’

‘Carlos Vaz de Almeida and José Manuel Alves are two reference names.’

‘They have a multifaceted team with different skills. They know how to manage their time and work in order to meet deadlines. They were never late in delivering a document. In turn, they also make a correct and fair assessment of the fees to be charged.’

‘Carlos Vaz de Almeida is an extremely dedicated professional. He also enjoys discussing the various strands of strategies to be adopted in order to protect the client’s best interests. Lastly, he is a concerned attorney who likes to involve the client so that the client understands the process and who offers solutions to any problems that arise.’

‘A law firm focused on the client and on meeting their needs. It complies with the established ad-initio fees (fixed fee), regardless of the direction of the negotiations and the time they take. A serious and honest company in its approach to the client. Carlos Vaz de Almeida and José Manuel Alves are recommended.’

‘A firm with lawyers with a lot of technical quality and easy approach – that is, they know how to be competent and rigorous without ceasing to be cordial. Despite having a relatively small team (when compared to the largest offices), they have successfully advised on important transactions.’

‘Carlos Vaz Almeida is aways available, fully aware of the issues and with a very focused approach to the conclusion of the business between the parties.’

‘Carlos Vaz de Almeida is an absolute superstar. He always makes it a point to explain difficult concepts in a business-friendly manner, and is always available and responsive.’

Key clients

Krest Real Estate Investment

Banco de Empresas Montepio

EuroBic (Banco BIC Português, S.A.)

CaixaBank Group

Labatec Pharma SA (Switzerland)

Viva Payments



Work highlights

  • Advising Banco de Empresas Montepio and EuroBic in the context of the syndicated loan entered into with Medway Terminals.
  • Assisting Labatec Pharma (Switzerland) in a club deal financing with UBS and Credit Suisse.
  • Assisting CaixaBank Group on the launching and carrying out of its activities in Portugal in several areas.