Banking and finance in Portugal
‘Financial powerhouse’ Linklaters possesses ‘best-in-class advising capabilities' and is 'always adaptable to the business case’. The team, led by the ‘excellent’ Francisco Ferraz de Carvalho, works closely with the firm’s other offices, for example when advising China Development Bank on the proposed term loan facility to REN to refinance debt resulting from the acquisition of 42.5% of Electrogás. The team handled financing work in the energy and tourism sectors, as well as international project finance, NPLs, structured finance and restructuring work. ‘Talented’ of counsel Gonçalo Veiga de Macedo displays ‘incredible commitment’ and a ‘successful mix of soft and hard skills’.
Strong in project finance and the energy sector, the ‘prestigious’ practice at Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is noted for the ‘speed, clarity and efficiency in its approach’. It predominantly acts for domestic and international banks; recent work includes a variety of structured financing and refinancing matters as well as advice on NPLs. The ‘fantastic’ Luís Branco co-heads the team with Filipe Lowndes Marques; Pedro Gorjão Henriques is also recommended.
The ‘very dedicated’ and ‘strong’ team at PLMJ advised the European Investment Bank on a €300m risk-sharing instrument with BPI involving a credit portfolio of new loans to SMEs, and acted for REN and REN Finance as borrowers in the €150m term facility agreement with the China Development Bank. Both matters were led by the recommended André Figueiredo. Hugo Rosa Ferreira and Gonçalo dos Reis Martins advised CGD - Caixa Geral de Depósitos on its €800m portfolio sale of NPLs as part of the divesting plan imposed on the client by the European Central Bank. Bruno Ferreira ‘makes a real effort to understand the client’s business’. Rodrigo Formigal left to join Abreu Advogados in July 2018.
The ‘excellent’, 'dynamic' team at VDA is noted for its superb track record. It acts in complex, high-value deals for lenders and borrowers, handles regulatory matters and attracted some innovative work. It advised a banking syndicate consisting of Unicredit, Siemens Bank, BCP, Novo Banco, Demir-Halk Bank, DenizBank and the European Investment Bank on the €240m debt refinancing of six port operators. The matter was led by Pedro Cassiano Santos, who is singled out for his longstanding expertise. Paula Gomes Freire, Cláudia da Cruz Almeida, Tiago Correia Moreira, who was promoted to the partnership in 2020, and managing associate Benedita Aires are also recommended. Pedro Simões Coelho and Hugo Moredo Santos are the other names to note.
Campos Ferreira, Sá Carneiro & Associados handled a variety of work such as acquisition financing, syndicated loans, NPLs, debt restructuring, refinancing, and regulatory work for domestic and international borrowers and lenders. Dr Francisco Sá Carneiro, Duarte Brito de Goes, Dr António Rocha Alves and Maria Castelos are the names to note. Senior associate Márcio Carreira Nobre was a new arrival from Telles de Abreu | Advogados in 2019.
Cuatrecasas’ team is noted for its ‘professionalism and commitment’ and handles transactional and regulatory work for clients including CaixaBank, Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan Securities. Practice head Maria João Ricou also serves as the firm's managing partner. Manuel Requicha Ferreira and Paulo Costa Martins, who 'displays complete dedication to the objectives and responsibilities of the project’, are the other key practitioners.
Sérvulo & Associados’ strength lies in regulatory and compliance matters. Notable work included assisting Banif with the sale of several Brazilian-based assets in the context of the restructuring of subsidiary BanifBrasil, a matter led by Manuel Magalhães; he co-heads the department with Paulo Câmara, who is frequently singled out. Senior associate Francisco Mendes Correia is also recommended. Francisco Barona was a new arrival from SLCM | Serra Lopes, Cortes Martins & Associados in 2019.
With an enviable list of international banking clients, SRS Advogados continues to attract sophisticated operational and regulatory issues related to online banking and money laundering. Alexandra Valente acted for key client Banco do Brasil in numerous transactions, and William Smithson handled cryptocurrency and regulatory work, as well as financing and transactions.
The ‘great team’ at Uría Menéndez – Proença Carvalho covers a wide spread of work, and assists domestic and international clients including Banco Santander, Bain Capital, Banco BPI, Bankinter, and Natixis. Altamira Asset Management received advice on the acquisition of Oitante's NPLs and real estate assets servicing platform. The recommended Pedro Ferreira Malaquias heads the team.
CMS attracted a wide range of work, including debt restructuring, NPL portfolio transactions, real estate finance, securitisation and regulatory issues. Clients include JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs. Practice head António Payan Martins is a regulatory and antitrust specialist. Francisco Xavier de Almeida covers corporate finance, credit securitisation and structured products.
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo was busy assisting funds with investments in Portugal, including NPL portfolio acquisitions, and advising on the impact on existing investments and the feasibility of new opportunities in relation to the resolution measure applied to Banco Espirito Santo (BES) by the Portuguese central bank. Other work involved handling transactions in Angola and Mozambique. Managing partner Mafalda Barreto leads the team jointly with Miguel Castro Pereira.
The ‘very hardworking team’ at Garrigues acts for an impressive roster of clients such as The Bank of New York Mellon, Banco de Sabadell and Banco Santander. It assisted Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Mediobanca as deal managers in a liability management matter regarding €8.3bn notes issued by Novo Banco and Novo Banco Finance. Practice head Diogo Leónidas Rocha is a ‘great lawyer and partner in every negotiation’.
Macedo Vitorino & Associados provides 'unique and tailor-made solutions’. It advises on public financing and acts as local counsel in cross-border financing cases, recently advising Cohort on a facility agreement entered into with Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank, and RBS for the acquisition of Portuguese defence telecoms company Empresa de Investigação e Desenvolvimento de Electrónica (EID). António de Macedo Vitorino and André Vasques Dias co-head the practice.
SLCM | Serra Lopes, Cortes Martins & Associados' team possesses ‘very good negotiation skills and the ability to build relationships with counterparts and clients’. Representing mostly lenders, it handled debt restructuring, NPLs, lease agreements and other forms of financing. A highlight was advising BCP and Novo Banco on restructuring the debt of Elevo Group within its acquisition by Nacala Holdings. Francisco Barona joined Sérvulo & Associados in 2019.
Caiado Guerreiro's team is ‘very efficient’ and ‘to-the-point’. It acts for an international portfolio of clients including Barclays, Banque Transatlantique Luxembourg and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, and it handles payment guarantees, regulatory matters, mortgaged finance, financial leasing and NPLs. João Caiado Guerreiro and Joana Gomes dos Santos jointly head the team.