Banking and finance in Portugal


Standing out for its international coverage, Linklaters is one of the first ports of call for alternative asset managers, hedge funds and distressed debt traders. Furthermore, its client roster includes major domestic banks and leading international financial institutions, which engage the team on the gamut of banking and finance matters, ranging from loan portfolio disposals to acquisition finance, restructuring assignments and regulatory issues. Large-scale project finance is another strong point for the group, which often advises on bank lending and bond transactions involving the energy and infrastructure sectors. This is a particular area of focus for dual-qualified Francisco Ferraz de Carvalho, who has significant experience in multi-jurisdictional mandates. Gonçalo Veiga de Macedo stands out for his knowledge of structured finance deals.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Ferraz de Carvalho; Gonçalo Veiga de Macedo

Other key lawyers:

Teresa Novo Faria; Maria José Sousa Leite


Linklaters’ banking and finance team has a long history of successful transactions with a significant level of complexity, being an essential reference in the market. It has the great advantage of combining deep local knowledge with the support of the international network.’

‘Gonçalo Veiga de Macedo has a very significant international and local experience; he stands out for his knowledge, sobriety and perspicacity.’

Key clients

Novo Banco (owned by Lone Star)

Banco Santander

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Inc

ICBC (London) plc

BNP Paribas Personal Finance

J.P. Morgan

Oitante, S.A

ING Bank

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

Caixa Geral de Depósitos, S.A.


Deutsche Bank

Värde Partners Europe Limited

China Development Bank

African Development Bank (AfDB)

Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC)

Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI)

Work highlights

  • Assisted Novo Banco in providing a vendor financing for the sale of Herdade do Pinheirinho to VIC Properties secured against c. €200m worth real estate assets.
  • Advising Citibank, London Branch as arranger and lender on the Senior Facility agreement to Precise Credit Solutions 6.
  • Acted for Novo Banco, Lux Branch and Arrábida Fundo in the sale of a portfolio of performing and non-performing loans and other assets, with an approximate value of €2.4bn.

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados has one of the top banking departments in Portugal. Testament to its standing in the market is the stellar list of banks and financial services institutions which regularly instruct the team on transactional mandates. Advice on the full array of debt financing deals is offered by the group, which has been particularly active in high-value refinancing matters, as well as acquisition and project finance. The latter is a key specialism for practice head Filipe Lowndes Marques, who further demonstrates proficiency in securitisation transactions. Other names to note include highly regarded Luís Branco and Pedro Gorjão Henriques, who both focus on banking and financial law. Recently promoted counsel Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos has extensive experience in real estate finance and debt restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Filipe Lowndes Marques

Other key lawyers:

Luís Branco; Pedro Gorjão Henriques; Cláudia Castanheira dos Santos


PLMJ has an impressive track record in banking and finance, having been involved in some of the largest transactions in the country. Recent mandates included advising major Portuguese and international financial institutions on the sale and acquisition of high-value non-performing loan (NPL) and real estate owned (REO) portfolios. Also noteworthy is the team's experience across structured finance, restructuring and cross-border syndicated lending. The department benefits from the expertise of Hugo Rosa Ferreira, who has over twenty years of experience in the banking and finance sector, and André Figueiredo, who has recently led advice on complex NPL disposals. Financial regulatory matters are a notable area of practice for co-managing partner Bruno Ferreira; Gonçalo dos Reis Martins is skilled in cross-border financing deals.

Practice head(s):

André Figueiredo

Other key lawyers:

Hugo Rosa Ferreira; Bruno Ferreira; Gonçalo dos Reis Martins


‘Responsiveness and practical approach.’

‘André Figueiredo stands out.’

‘They are top quality – as a foreign lawyer in another country, it is a pleasure dealing with this team.’

‘Bruno Ferreira provides commercial advice that is rooted in technical excellence. I would trust Bruno to deliver on the most complex financial restructuring mandates. My experience of working with his team has been equally impressive.’

Key clients

Barclays Bank PLC

Elliot Advisors LLC

Volkswagen Bank GmbH


JP Morgan


CGD (Caixa Geral de Depósitos)

BNP Paribas (Global)

CBRE Global Investment Partners

Haitong Bank



Altum Capital


Sculptor Capital Management

REN – Rede Energéticas Nacionais, SGPS, SA

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

Crédit Agricole

Galp Energia SGPS, S.A.


Banco Santander Consumer

Banco Credibom


Bank of Communications Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Caixa Geral de Depósitos, S.A. on several sales of portfolios of NPLs and REOs.
  • Assisting TAP – Transportes Aéreos Portugueses, TAP and Portugália in the negotiation of the loan provided by the Portuguese state amounting to a maximum of €1.2bn.
  • Advising Citibank and Ares Lusitani within the context of Project Nata II, in relation to the securitisation of credits arising from a portfolio of NPLs.

Uría Menéndez – Proença Carvalho

In addition to high-value financing transactions, Uría Menéndez – Proença Carvalho regularly acts for credit and financial institutions, investment firms and insurance companies in complex regulatory matters. Among its recent engagements were an increasing number of mandates involving alternative sources of funding, such as bond issuances, and advice on deals concerning the disposal of assets by Portuguese banks. Department leader Pedro Ferreira Malaquias is a reference in the Portuguese NPLs market, and demonstrates extensive experience in retail and commercial banking. Recently promoted counsel Hélder Frias is also recommended for his expertise in finance deals.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Ferreira Malaquias

Other key lawyers:

Antonio Villacampa Serrano; Hélder Frias; Miguel Rodrigues Leal


‘Excellent technical quality of lawyers; great work capacity, creativity and security in the solutions found.’

‘Hélder Frias has the ability to understand and solve complex issues.’

Key clients

Banco Santander Totta, S.A.,

ING Bank N.V., Sucursal em Portugal

Caixa Geral de Depósitos, S.A.

Postbank – a branch of DB Privat – und Firmenkundenbank AG

Banco BTG Pactual, S.A.

CSCEC – China Construction Portugal, S.A.


Corum Asset Management

Avignon Capital Limited

Carlyle Group and Explorer Investments

DWS Grundbesitz GMBH

Work highlights

  • Advising a syndicate of banks on the refinancing of Centro Comercial Colombo, a large shopping centre in Lisbon (€371m).
  • Acted for Caixa – Banco de Investimento, S.A.; Caixa Geral de Depósitos in the financing of the acquisition and infrastructure of a group of real estate properties located in Herdade da Comporta, Portugal.
  • Legal advisor to Banco BTG Pactual, the largest investment bank in Latin America, regarding the incorporation of its first branch in Portugal.


VdA's offering spans the full range of regulatory and transactional work pertaining to the banking and finance sector. The group brings together seasoned practitioners across capital markets, trusts and collective investment schemes, who handle matters in close collaboration with other firmwide practices, notably M&A and real estate. Besides its strong practice in NPLs, the department particularly excels in securitisation transactions, syndicated loans and cross-border financing matters. Pedro Cassiano Santos chairs the practice; he specialises in banking regulations and structured finance transactions. Other key individuals include Benedita Aires, whose experience covers real estate financing and the recapitalisation of Portuguese banks, and Hugo Moredo Santos, who provides ongoing regulatory advice to credit institutions in Portugal and African jurisdictions.

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

Key clients

Group Claude Berda/ Vanguard Properties

Mota-Engil Group

Citizenergy 2.0 Project

EFACEC Power Solutions, SGPS S.A.

Morgan Stanley Bank, N.A. and Morgan Stanley Principal Funding, Inc.

Banco Invest, S.A.

White & Case LLP

Altamira Asset Management Portugal, Unipessoal, Lda.

ABSA Bank Mozambique

Arrow Global Limited

Capital Management LLC

Hefesto STC, S.A. | Whitestar, Asset Solutions, S.A.

Sierra European Retail Real Estate Assets Holdings B.V.

JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.; JP Morgan Limited

Caixa Geral de Depósitos, S.A.

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

Standard Bank Angola, S.A.

Christofferson, Robb & Company

Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol, SAD

C2 – Capital Partners, SCR, S.A.

Citibank International PLC

BNP Paribas

Galp Energia, SGPS, S.A.

Incus Capital Advisors, S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised Tagus (as issuer) in the first credit card securitisation in Portugal – the Victoria Finance No. 1 transaction.
  • Advised J.P. Morgan Group in a multi-jurisdictional transaction connected with a Chapter 11 submission by the borrower (Libbey Glass Inc) to grant the borrower group the necessary credit facilities to continue its day-to-day operations.
  • Acted for an international banking syndicate in the refinancing of debt of six port operators held by the Yildirim group, in the amount of €250m.

Campos Ferreira, Sá Carneiro & Associados

Campos Ferreira, Sá Carneiro & Associados is highly regarded for its banking and finance department, which covers a broad range of financial transactions and regulatory advice. The team, which assists both lenders and borrowers, receives instructions from a diverse client base, comprising domestic and foreign banks, funds and fintech companies. Standout individuals include practice head Francisco Sá Carneiro and partners Duarte Brito de Goes and Maria Castelos.


The banking and finance group at CMS has significant capabilities in cross-border transactions, often with links to Portuguese-speaking countries like Angola and Mozambique. The full-service team - which works closely with the M&A and dispute resolution departments - has been increasingly active in NPL deals, real estate finance, structured products, acquisition finance and litigation. It was one of the firms with a prominent role in the BES resolution process and the creation of Novo Banco as a bridge financial institution, which solidified its standing in the banking market. Focusing on cross-border matters, António Payan Martins leads the department, which also includes Francisco Xavier de Almeida, whose areas of expertise include credit securitisation and corporate finance.

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

Work highlights

  • Advised Davidson Kempner Partners on the acquisition of the Project Nata II Portfolio originated by Novo Banco, the largest NPL corporate portfolio ever traded in Portugal.
  • Assisted Gazprombank and Gemcorp in the €900m credit facilities granted to Opaia/Sonangol for the acquisition of Unitel 25% economic interest owned by PTV/OI Group.
  • Advised Amorim Luxury on the raising, negotiation and implementation of the real estate finance to fund the acquisition of the Comporta estate, the largest private real estate property in Portugal.


The banking and finance team at Cuatrecasas acts for major banks, sponsors, hedge funds and securitisation vehicles in domestic and cross-border transactions. Of particular note is its strength in large debt restructurings, sale of NPLs portfolios, bank resolutions and real estate finance. Managing partner Maria João Ricou has extensive experience in project and corporate financing deals. The latter is also a key area of practice for Manuel Requicha Ferreira, who further has a proven track record in high-value international hotel financing transactions. Regulatory issues pertaining to banking law are also covered by the team; Paulo Costa Martins is a name to note in this space.

Practice head(s):

Maria João Ricou

Other key lawyers:

Manuel Requicha Ferreira; Paulo Costa Martins; Margarida Leal de Oliveira


‘Knowledge and expertise in all areas of law related to financial markets.’

‘Market knowledge, pragmatic approach and availability.’

‘Paulo Costa Martins has a very “client oriented” and “straight to the point” approach.’

Cuatrecasas is very flexible: its partners – in this case Paulo Costa Martins – consistently demonstrate a capacity to adapt to the needs of clients.’

‘Paulo Costa Martins is creative and has the ability to understand and make himself understood to all stakeholders.’

Key clients

Invesco Ltd.

Caixa Geral de Depósitos

Riva Portugal II S.àr.L

Novo Banco, S.A.

Fortress Investment Group LLC

Sherpa Capital

Sacyr Somague, S.A.

IFD – Instituição Financeira de desenvolvimento, S.A.


Deutsche Bank AG London Branch

Work highlights

  • Advised Invesco Ltd. on the financing of the acquisition of three Tivoli hotels located in Lisbon, the largest hotel transaction and financing of 2019.
  • Assisted Caixa Geral de Depósitos in the context of certain commitments made regarding the closing of its bank branch in Spain and the reorganisation of its Spanish business.
  • Assisted Sacyr Somague in the context of the restructuring of the bank debt of Sacyr Somague with Banco Comercial Português.


Garrigues's banking and finance team is skilled in domestic and cross-border transactions, and has recently witnessed an increase in mandates pertaining to real estate finance and NPL portfolio deals. The team has a strong track record in acting for borrowers in acquisition finance, and showcases equal capabilities in distressed assets transactions and restructurings. Leading the practice is Diogo Leónidas Rocha, who attracts instructions from credit institutions and rating agencies in relation to financing arrangements and regulatory matters. Leónidas receives key support from Vasco Rodrigues, who focuses on financing transactions pertaining to the acquisition of companies and real estate assets.

Practice head(s):

Diogo Leónidas Rocha

Other key lawyers:

Vasco Rodrigues


‘Garrigues offers an excellent service in terms of technical skills, experience, transparency, ease of communication and multidisciplinary expertise.’

‘ In addition to his legal skills, Vasco Rodrigues stands out for his sense of business, ability to understand client priorities and communication skills.’

‘Strong expertise and fantastic tailoring to each fund’s needs and specific deal requirements.’

‘We work mainly with Vasco Rodrigues, who offers strong expertise and capacity to adapt to different situations.’

‘Diogo Leónidas Rocha is recommended.’

‘The banking team makes banking understandable for non-professionals and focuses on the key issues for the clients.’

‘Vasco Rodrigues clearly stands out when it comes to client relationship. He makes himself available throughout the transaction, stepping in whenever you need him or when your interests are at stake. He also anticipates your needs with a very commercial and practical approach. When the parties reach a dead end his knowledge of the market is very useful and he is able to come up with new alternatives.’

Key clients

Novo Banco, S.A.

Goldman Sachs International (GSI)

Bain Capital Credit

Harbert Management Corporation

Group TSBC – The Summer Berry (TSBC)

Njord Partners

Brookfield Asset Management

The Bank of New York Mellon

Castlelake LP


Lifento Pan European


Crédit Agricole Leasing & Factoring S.A.

Work highlights

  • Assisted Novo Banco in relation to the sale and financing of Project Sertorius (real estate asset portfolio).
  • Acted as Portuguese counsel to Njord Partners in a complex refinancing transaction of Group Elevo (borrower).
  • Advised Brookfield Asset Management as borrower in a financing for the acquisition of a Portuguese company holding student housing, for the initial value of €70m.

Sérvulo & Associados

Sérvulo & Associados is noted for its impressive track record in assisting Portuguese banks subject to regulatory intervention, and consequent liquidation and resolution processes. Covering the entire spectrum of transactional and regulatory services, the banking and governance practice not only acts for financial and credit institutions, but is also engaged by payment service providers and insurance companies. In addition, the firm offers an integrated fintech service, which has become popular among financial clients. Regulatory expert Paulo Câmara oversees the department with Manuel Magalhães, who is seasoned in restructurings. Other noteworthy individuals include Verónica Fernández, who is a key point of contact for investment fund managers, and Inês Palma Ramalho, whose experience spans real estate, project and acquisition finance.

Practice head(s):

Manuel Magalhães; Paulo Câmara

Other key lawyers:

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


‘By representing several financial players in Portugal, the team has an extensive experience in all banking and finance matters.’

‘Paulo Câmara is very knowledgeable.’

‘ I would like to highlight the enormous technical quality of this team.’

‘In addition to Paulo Câmara, an indispensable figure in the banking, financial and governance world is Verónica Fernandez. The team stands out for its professionalism, knowledge and pragmatism and also for its clear understanding of the Client’s needs (and sometimes limitations).’

‘We believe that Sérvulo brings to our company the seriousness, competence and above all experience that our activity requires. We always feel secure in relation to all the activities managed by or in partnership with Sérvulo.’

‘Inês Palma Ramalho has been our best bet. Since we started working together, she has demonstrated great availability and knowledge.’

Key clients

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

NAMA – National Asset Management Agency

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

Bison Bank, S.A.

Proteste Crédito, Intermediário de Crédito, Sociedade Unipessoal, Lda. / Proteste Seguros – Mediação de Seguros, Unipessoal, Lda.

Société Générale Equipment Finance Iberia EFC, S.A.

UNICRE – Instituição Financeira de Crédito, S.A.

COFIDIS (Portuguese branch of the French credit institution)

Banco Credibom, S.A.

Deutsche Leasing SA – Sucursal em Portugal

Oney Bank, S.A – Sucursal em Portugal

PAGAQUI – Pagamentos e Carregamentos, S.A.

Milllenium BCP

Novo Banco, S.A.

Montepio Investimento, S.A. (Banco Empresas Montepio – “BEM”)

Work highlights

  • Ongoing assistance to Banco Espírito Santo – Em Liquidação, after the withdrawal of its banking license by the European Central Bank in July 2016.
  • Advised Novo Banco and Montepio Investimento on a real estate mortgage financing agreement involving the acquisition, by a SIGI (a Portuguese Real Estate Investment Trust), of five properties leased to supermarket chains.
  • Assisted PAGAQUI – Pagamentos e Carregamentos throughout the incorporation process of a payment institution.

SRS Advogados

SRS Advogados stands out for its international footprint, evidenced by its practitioners' experience in key foreign financial markets - with a particular emphasis on Angola, Mozambique, Brazil, Malta and Singapore - and their ability to provide advice on Portuguese and English law from the firm's Lisbon office. International financial services companies and borrowers are at the core of the practice's client base; they seek assistance in a range of banking and finance matters, notably real estate, project and acquisition financing arrangements. Co-heads Alexandra Valente and William Smithson are the names to note for structured finance and restructuring matters, while Gustavo Ordonhas Oliveira further advises on banking regulations.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Rebelo de Sousa; William Smithson; Alexandra Valente; Gustavo Ordonhas Oliveira

Other key lawyers:

João Santos Carvalho


‘The finance team lead by Alexandra Valente is really responsive and client solution oriented on complex cross-jurisdiction subjects.’

‘Alexandra Valente was responsive and always available. She was pro-active in finding solutions to issues in her jurisdiction.’

Dedicated and attentive team, with technical quality and client focus approach. ’

‘We received competent and detailed advice on complex structures. Our queries were dealt with in a timely manner. ’

‘We mostly dealt with Alexandra Valente. She was very responsive and her answers to our questions were structured and comprehensive. ’

‘Team with complementary skills that reinforce the ability to analyse situations.’

‘High level of professionalism, responsiveness, and specialisation.’

‘Wide availability, fast and effective responses, coordinated team, diligence in action and very pleasant treatment.’

Key clients

321 Crédito

Beka Finance

FBN (UK) Bank

Respol Group

African Export Import Bank

Banco do Brasil

Deutsche Bank


M7 Real Estate Fund

Standard Bank Mozambique


Lombard Bank


Rabobank Madrid

Work highlights

  • Advising Afreximbank as lender on a revolving credit facility to Mota Engil Africa to finance the group’s activities in Africa.
  • Assisting the Respol Group on a facility to its Finnish subsidiary Frochem OYJ by a syndicate of Portuguese banks in part to refinance listed Finnish bonds issued by the borrower.
  • Advising M7 Real Estate Fund on the refinancing of the acquisition of six real estate properties in Portugal.

Abreu Advogados

Securitisation transactions, asset management issues, debt restructuring and NPL deals are key areas of activity for the finance department at Abreu Advogados. Advice to credit institutions and investment companies on financial regulatory issues and compliance is also included in the broad service offering. Ana Sofia Batista co-ordinates the team along with José Maria Corrêa de Sampaio; both are skilled practitioners in financing transactions in Portugal and abroad. Cross-border mandates, as well as distressed asset deals, are among Rodrigo Formigal's specialisms. Diogo Pereira Duarte is also noted.

Practice head(s):

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

Other key lawyers:

Ana Sofia Batista


‘Abreu Advogados has become a reference firm in the market. In the last few years it has registered a significant growth and managed to add to its team very talented lawyers.’

‘I work with Ana Sofia Batista. She is very responsive and commercial in her approach. We have been working together for a number of years now and her advice is always very clear and helpful.’

‘I have collaborated with Diogo Pereira Duarte, who stands out for being a very solid legal professional, and who at the same time stands out for his strong ability to solve problems, find innovative and well-structured solutions, in a short time.’

‘I have had the opportunity of working with Diogo Pereira Duarte for two years in the scope of investment banking activities. Diogo showed to have very important skills, namely the strong ability to deal with the negotiation and drafting of intensive financing documents involving many stakeholders at an international scale; continuously develop an understanding of the ever-changing dynamics of the local, national and international business climate; and evaluate the project risks and the mitigation mechanisms set down in the financing documents. Diogo combines a solid experience in the Banking and Finance legal practices with a strong business vision.’

‘Good working ability and excellent knowledge of necessary topics. José Maria Corrêa de Sampaio is recommended.’

Responsiveness; deep knowledge of subjects; multidisciplinary teams. José Maria Correa de Sampaio stands out.’

Key clients



Banco Económico, S.A. – (Angola)

Banco de Investimento Global S.A. (BiG)

Banco BiG de Moçambique


Caixa Geral de Depósitos

Crédito Agrícola

Economico Fundo de Investimento SGFI

Grupo JJW

Morgan Stanley

Syndicated banks (E.g.: AFDB – African Development Bank; EIB – European Investment Bank; ABSA Bank and KfW Development Bank).

Starz Real Estate

Caixa – Banco de Investimento, S.A. (Caixa BPI)

TOTAL (former Anadarko)

Efacec Group

Rolls-Royce plc

Work highlights

  • Advised 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 borrower in the review and negotiation of the term sheet, financing and Portuguese law security involving a multipurpose financing to Brazilian telecoms company Oi.
  • Acted for Caixa Geral de Despósitos (CGD) in the sale of an NPL divestment project, including the sale of performing loans and REOs held by CGD with the branches of the bank in Spain, France and Luxembourg.


A diverse client roster, comprising commercial and investment banks, funds, borrowers, sponsors and institutional lenders, seek CARDIGOS' legal support in a range of banking and finance transactions and regulatory matters. The team has a solid reputation in the derivatives market, and also has a strong background in leveraged and acquisition finance. Pedro Cardigos, Maria Almeida Fernandes and Sara Santos Dias make up the core team.  

Practice head(s):

Pedro Cardigos; Maria Almeida Fernandes; Sara Santos Dias


‘Pedro Cardigos is always very clear, responsive and delivers work in the time frame requested.’

Key clients

ISDA Committee

Barclays plc

BNP Paribas

Bank Vontobel AG

ABN AMRO Clearing Bank N.V. (AACB)

NN Investment Partners (NNIP)

NatWest Markets Pic (NWM PLC)

JP Morgan

Standard Chartered Bank


Goldman Sachs

Societe Generale – Corporate & Investment Banking

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Assisted Barclays in respect of a credit default swap (CDS) to which Barclays was a seller facing Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
  • Assisted Bank Vontobel AG in the context of a pledge / assignment of a life insurance policy governed by Portuguese law as a security in the context of a loan governed by Swiss law.
  • 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.


With particular strength in cross-border deals, DLA Piper ABBC's finance team is adept in transactional work and advising on regulatory matters. João Nuno Azevedo Neves leads the practice, and has significant experience in privatisations, corporate finance and secured lending deals. Gonçalo Castro Ribeiro, who was recently promoted to the partnership, focuses on project finance, securities issues and distressed debt transactions.

Practice head(s):

Nuno Azevedo Neves

Other key lawyers:

Gonçalo Castro Ribeiro


‘Availability and practical experience.’

‘Commitment and professionalism.’

Gonçalo Castro Ribeiro is a professional with excellent knowledge of the subjects in question and with an excellent track record in financial and banking matters.’

‘Their responsiveness and ability to structure complicated transactions in Spain and Portugal is outstanding.’

‘Nuno Neves is excellent; he’s concise, can simplify complex issues and always delivers on time. I would strongly urge my peers to instruct Nuno and his team.’

Gómez-Acebo & Pombo

Combining expertise in banking, capital markets and insurance, the team at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo continues to be instructed by longstanding clients in relation to restructuring and acquisition finance. In addition, the team has also been busy handling transactions involving NPL portfolios and syndicated lending. Managing partner Mafalda Barreto leads on work pertaining to distressed asset deals. Fellow co-head Miguel Castro Pereira is knowledgeable in the banking legislation of Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa. Besides debt restructuring and other financing transactions, Filipe Santos Barata also excels in complex insurance matters.

Practice head(s):

Mafalda Barreto; Miguel Castro Pereira; Filipe Santos Barata


‘GA_P was involved from the onset, always available and provided excellent legal advice. Noteworthy is that the whole team was at any moment in time ready. Portuguese law related input was critical – and the team did deliver. GA-P delivered a truly meticulous performance and such performance was critical for the successful closing of the deal.’

‘Filipe Santos Barata has quickly become our go-to Portuguese counsel on a variety of complex top-tier transactions. He is an expert in his field and able to guide our clients through the nuances and complexities of Portuguese law. Filipe is innovative and dynamic and understands the commercial drivers of our key private equity clients. He is exceptionally responsive and provides easily digestible succinct legal advice and has quickly become a trusted advisor to our clients. ’

‘Most of the time I had the pleasure of working with Filipe Santos Barata. I was truly impressed by his abilities as he was always spot on in a quite complex and very dynamic deal, displayed an extraordinary responsiveness and went the extra mile when time was of essence. Filipe successfully negotiated all Portuguese law related documentation in time and well balanced the need for pragmatic solutions with the legal thoroughness required in such situations which eventually results in an outcome which is in the client’s best interest.’

‘Their deep knowledge of the Portuguese insurance sector and their excellent relationship with the Portuguese Insurance Regulator is excellent.’

‘Their expertise on insurance matters, language skills (including Spanish and English) and their availability makes them stand out in the market.’

Key clients


Work highlights

  • Advising several foreign hedge and investment funds in relation to the resolution measures applied to Banco Espírito Santo by the Bank of Portugal.
  • Advised several creditors on the liquidation proceedings of Banco Espírito Santo.
  • Advising several retail investor’s associations in the setting of Credit Recovery Funds in the context of Grupo Espírito Santo and Banco Espírito Santo.

Macedo Vitorino & Associados

Founding partner António de Macedo Vitorino and securities law expert André Vasques Dias lead the banking and finance practice at Macedo Vitorino & Associados. Borrowers and lenders regularly retain the department, looking for assistance in financing transactions, regulatory issues and compliance matters. Other key fields of expertise include acquisition and real estate matters, as well as derivatives and other structured products.

Practice head(s):

António de Macedo Vitorino; André Vasques Dias


‘I would like to highlight the ability to present unique solutions and the commitment of the entire team.’

‘António de Macedo Vitorino and André Dias are recommended for their know-how, excellence and availability.’

Key clients


Caixa Central – Caixa Central de Crédito Agrícola Mútuo, C.R.L.

Work highlights

  • Advising a syndicate of banks led by Caixa Central in connection with the financing of the acquisition of commercial and office buildings and the conversion of a commercial area.
  • Assisting a syndicate of banks led by Caixa Central in connection with the refinancing of the acquisition of an office building.
  • Advising Caixa Central in connection with the financing of the acquisition of a real estate asset for an office park held by a Portuguese SPV.

pbbr - Sociedade de Advogados RL

pbbr - Sociedade de Advogados RL provides legal support to both financial institutions and corporations in a variety of financing transactions. Typical mandates range from assisting with debt restructuring processes, to handling matters pertaining to syndicated lending, credit recovery as well as acquisition finance, particularly in relation to real estate assets. Alexandre Jardim and Sofia de Sales Sousinha are key individuals in the team, which is a popular choice for Spanish banks seeking transactional advice in Portugal.

Practice head(s):

Alexandre Jardim

Other key lawyers:

Sofia de Sales Sousinha; Marco Pereira Cardoso

Key clients

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


ABANCA Corporacion Bancaria (formerly NCG Bank)

Sogevinus SGPS, S.A.

Stone Capital

Aegon Spain

Groupe Terresens

Louvre Capital

MDSR Investments

CTT Bank

Keys Asset Management

GMG- Geneva Management Group

Signal Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Continues to assist ABANCA on a daily basis in the context of restructuring agreements, facilities agreements and constitution of guarantees.
  • Assisted SplendidBeloura with the acquisition from CGD of asset-back NPLs, as well as with the enforcement of the same in the interest of recovering the assets.
  • Assisted Stone Capital in the financing of the acquisition and rehabilitation of a real estate asset through a secured loan by Banco BIC Português.

Raposo Bernardo

The banking and finance team at Raposo Bernardo undertakes transactional and regulatory work and is divided into sub-groups: asset, corporate and trade finance, investment banking, NPLs and compliance. The group is adept at handling cross-border matters, receiving instructions from an impressive roster of international clients. Managing partner Nelson Raposo Bernardo is the key point of contact in the team; project finance, syndicated lending and international credit operations are some of his areas of expertise.

Practice head(s):

Nelson Raposo Bernardo


They are unique in the way they solve problems and do not complicate things. It is a law firm with a strong focus on delivering results, and that anticipates the difficulties and problems in each project.’

‘Raposo Bernardo stands out for the extreme depth of analysis and rigor of reasoning and conclusions; ability to take controlled risks, and find new solutions to complex problems; the general level of knowledge of the team is extraordinary.’

‘Nelson Bernardo is one of the most charismatic, gifted and the most brilliant lawyers in the market. He uses his international experience to advise on any subject or provide legal opinions; he is simply brilliant and often innovative.’

Raposo Bernardo & Associados has proved to be an increasingly important partner in the activity of our group. I am particularly impressed by their extreme dedication to clients’ business and the presentation of solutions that are tailored to our needs. They don’t try to sell us general drafts that they’ve used a thousand times.’

‘Nelson Bernardo is our preferred contact for all banking matters. He has extensive experience and is a lawyer of the highest legal quality. He is an expert and very resilient in the face of the adversities that we face at times.’

‘What we want when we hire a law firm is that it provides a service with the highest quality, that lawyers are well aware of the legal regimes applicable to our activity, respect deadlines, report everything to us in a clear and transparent manner, and are serious. We find all of this at Raposo Bernardo & Associados.’

‘Nelson Bernardo is a lawyer with infinite knowledge of banking, finance, M&A and projects. For me and most of the people who work with him, he is considered one of the best lawyers in legal terms. He is a person with unsurpassed availability and work capacity and with a stunning practical spirit, who finds solutions where we only see problems.’

It is a firm with a quality above average and has a strong focus on banking and financial law. They distinguish themselves by treating each case as if it were the only one, giving 100% attention to clients’ concerns, they are very dedicated, always available and provide practical solutions. In addition, they are very quick to respond.’

RRP Advogados

RRP Advogados fields a banking and finance team with a solid background in administrative law, that is sought after by foreign credit institutions, investors and domestic banks in relation to regulatory and transactional matters. Of particular note, the firm is well equipped to assist borrowers and lenders in mid-market refinancing matters, acquisitions of loan portfolios and debt restructuring. Carlos Vaz de Almeida has significant experience in real estate, acquisition and syndicated finance.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Vaz de Almeida

Other key lawyers:

Francisco Bessa de Carvalho


‘Very strong over-all performance regarding Portuguese financing. Fast and serious replies. Good collaboration with third party lawyers and understanding of German regulatory law issues.’

‘Carlos Almeida provided fast and prudential replies to any client’s concerns.’

‘I believe that what stands out the most when working with them is the fact that they have a dedicated team, with a very pragmatic / commercial attitude (that translates into solutions and assertive opinions), which at the same time conveys security and technical strength. I would also emphasise the fact that they always involve the most senior people in the team.’

‘I would highlight the partner Carlos Vaz de Almeida and the associate Francisco Bessa de Carvalho. Regarding Carlos, what distinguishes him is the fact of being able to combine ample knowledge and technical rigor with high commercial sensitivity and an approach focused on obtaining solutions. The dedication and availability that he puts on matters allows him to be more than an external lawyer.’

‘From our perspective, the team stands out because of the combination of the following qualities: hard working (always available, very fast in processing the workloads); very knowledgeable; proactive; and goal oriented (always figure out a very direct way to meet the needs of the client).

‘The individuals who stand out in our view are: Carlos Almeida (Head of Banking and Finance) and Francisco Bessa de Carvalho (Associate).’

‘Carlos Vaz de Almeida is recommended for his dedication to customers, level of attention to detail and proactive stance.’

‘Carlos Vaz de Almeida is an absolute star. In addition to being a standout lawyer with incredible attention to detail, he has the ability to always view the larger picture, and brings to the table wonderful client management and problem solving skills and capabilities.’

Key clients

Banco de Empresas Montepio

Mitiska REIM


NovEnergia Group


AM Alpha

Krest Real Estate Investment

CaixaBank Group


Cofidis Portugal

Banco de Negócios Internacional (Europa) / Banco BNI Europa

Labatec Pharma

Work highlights

  • Advised Mitiska REIM on the financing of the acquisition of the PREF portfolio from Blackstone.
  • Assisted Abanca in the potential acquisition of EuroBic.
  • Assists CaixaBank Group in the launching and carrying out of activities in Portugal in several areas, including investment services, consumer credit, payment services and private banking.

SLCM | Serra Lopes, Cortes Martins & Associados

SLCM | Serra Lopes, Cortes Martins & Associados is well placed to advise on a wide range of banking and finance matters, notably NPL portfolio deals and debt restructuring processes. The team is jointly led by Rafael Lucas Pires, who is proficient in the setting up of credit institutions and related regulatory issues, and Maria Raquel Moreira, who specialises in restructuring. Ana Guedes Teixeira is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Rafael Lucas Pires; Maria Raquel Moreira

Other key lawyers:

Ana Guedes Teixeira


‘Their service quality is excellent and above average. Availability to always look for solutions. Excellent articulation between “the legal” paths and the business ones.’

‘Raquel Moreira is recommended for her experience in litigation, negotiation and contracting. She provides effective solutions and is present in moments of decision preparation and choice of paths. Other standout lawyers include Ana Guedes Teixeira.’

SLCM clearly stands out in the national scene, its work being synonymous with rigor, quality, innovation and availability. It presents an adequate organisational structure, with key people in leadership positions.’

The technical capacity and quality of the work is exceptional. In addition to competence, they are empathetic lawyers who favour the working relationship both with the client and with the other party. Dedication to the profession and the client, exemplary ethical rigor. I’ve been working with SLCM for almost 10 years, quality standards persist over time.’

In addition to the great experience of the team, I emphasise the fact that the partners with whom we work are very “hands-on”. All team members are good lawyers, very creative and are aware of our business and address the main concerns we have in each subject.’

‘Rafael Lucas Pires has the ability to intervene, present solutions and solve problems efficiently.’

‘Rafael Lucas Pires is highly qualified, competent and easy to deal with. Ana Guedes Teixeira is focused, uncomplicated, assertive and extremely available.’

Key clients

Banco Comercial Português, S.A.

Novo Banco, S.A.

Caixa Geral de Depósitos,

Controlinveste Group

Sovena Group

Elaias Group

Millennium Fundo de Capitalização, FCR

Lx Partners, SaRL

Balbec Ltd