EU and competition in Portugal
Linklaters demonstrates vast experience in competition issues involving investment funds, private equity houses and financial services companies, including those operating in the payments sector. The department undertakes the full range of work, notably high-profile cartels, state aid issues and complex merger control. Working closely with other offices in the firm's network, the practice is also active in assisting international clients seeking advice on Portuguese competition law in relation to large-scale M&A transactions. Other core areas of strength include abuse of dominance, market investigations, dawn raids and compliance. EU and Portuguese competition law expert Carlos Pinto Correia oversees the practice. João Pateira Ferreira, who was promoted to counsel in 2020, is experienced in antitrust law, merger cases and state aid issues.
Carlos Pinto Correia
‘Strong knowledge of competition law, namely local authorities’ policies and procedures. The team has the ability to anticipate challenges and issues.‘
‘Accurate assessment, long-term vision and availability to meet client needs are what best describe Linklaters.‘
SIBS SGPS, S.A.
The Navigator Company
China Three Gorges Corporation
Banco BPI, S.A.
Lusitania, Companhia de Seguros, S.A.
Johnson & Johnson
Beiersdorf Portuguesa, Lda.
Luz Saúde, S.A.
BP Portugal – Comércio de Combustíveis e Lubrificantes, S.A.
ITM Enterprises, S.A
- Assisted China Three Gorges (Europe) on the takeover offers launched over EDP – Energias de Portugal and EDP Renováveis, which included competition-related advice on merger reviews in the EU, US, Brazil, Canada and Mexico, and other relevant jurisdictions.
- Advising SIBS (the main payment processor and ATM deployer in Portugal) on regulatory and competition compliance in the payments sector.
- Acting for Banco BPI in all matters related to an investigation, involving most Portuguese commercial banks, which was launched by the Portuguese Competition Authority regarding the alleged exchange of commercially sensitive information.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados handles a steady flow of competition matters, with a proven track record in national and cross-border transactions, disputes and investigations in Portugal. The team offers representation to multinational and domestic corporations, financial institutions and the Portuguese government and relevant authorities in relation to a wide range of mandates such as antitrust investigations, merger control, state aid issues, cartels, annulment actions and internal compliance initiatives. Joaquim Vieira Peres, whose experience covers the fields of retail and distribution, telecoms and banking, leads the team. Carlos Botelho Moniz has experience acting for clients before the European Commission and the EU courts. Other key practitioners include Pedro de Gouveia e Melo, whose sectoral expertise encompasses a variety of industries, such as energy, financial services and food and beverages, and Inês Gouveia, who regularly advises clients on the implementation of competition law compliance policies.
Joaquim Vieira Peres
‘Team with extensive knowledge and experience. Lawyers are always available and are very knowledgeable of our industry sector.‘
‘The quality of the service provided by Morais Leitão is high; the knowledge, experience and promptness of response are unique in the national market.‘
‘Work ability, customer orientation, pragmatism and delivery of services are worth a mention.‘
‘For the provision of services within the framework of state aid schemes, Eduardo Maia Cadete is highly recommended.‘
‘Luis Nascimento Ferreira and Pedro Gouveia e Melo stand out for their quality of work and availability.‘
‘Inês Gouveia not only has extensive legal knowledge, but is also experienced in other very relevant subjects in this area of practice.‘
‘The performance of Carlos Botelho Moniz was unbeatable. He was also accompanied by Dzhmamil Oda, whose competence and responsiveness are noteworthy.‘
- Represented Fidelidade, the leading insurance company in Portugal, in a cartel investigation initiated by the Competition Authority in the insurance sector.
- Representing the EDP and Sonae Groups in appeals against the Competition Authority’s decision in the “Plano EDP Continente” case.
- Represented NOS and IMPRESA, acting as opposing third parties, in the Phase II merger review before the Competition Authority of the proposed acquisition by Altice of Media Capital.
PLMJ is often involved in high-profile competition matters taking place in the country. Its broad service offering includes legal support in relation to antitrust investigations, merger control and cartel cases in the insurance, banking and healthcare sectors. Head of department Ricardo Oliveira is noted for his understanding of cartel matters, litigation and implementation of antitrust compliance programmes. Restrictive practices are a particular specialism for Sara Estima Martins, who has experience acting for clients in EU law proceedings before the European Commission and the European Court of Justice.
‘The most remarkable strength of this team is how quickly lawyers answer to the clients’ requests. This helps to build great confidence in the team.‘
‘Sara Estima Martins provides proactive legal advice every time she feels the client need to be made aware of relevant changes or circumstances. In addition, Sara is also very keen on analysing potential risky scenarios.‘
ANF (National Association of Pharmacies)
Volvo / Renault Trucks
Tabaqueira (a subsidiary of Philip Morris International)
Coca-Cola European Partners
Eleven Sports Network
ESFG (Espírito Santo Financial Group)
- Represented Seguradoras Unidas in a Portuguese Competition Authority investigation regarding possible anti-competitive practices in the insurance sector.
- Acts for insolvent Estate of Espírito Santo Financial Group (ESFG) in an action before the EU General court to force the European Central Bank to disclose documents requested by the client.
- Assisting Volvo / Renault Trucks in the preparation of its defence regarding claims stemming from an infringement decision issued by the European Commission relating to an alleged cartel in the truck manufacturing industry.
SRS Advogados undertakes the entire spectrum of competition work; the service offering ranges from advising on abuse of dominance, cartels, horizontal and vertical restrictions, as well as state aid matters and unfair competition. The department also has notable experience in merger control procedures. In a recent highlight, the team was involved in the first private enforcement case to be heard by the Portuguese Competition Court. Gonçalo Anastácio, who has a strong background in acting for clients in high-profile matters before the European Commission, national courts and relevant authorities, leads the practice group. Duarte Pirra is proficient across all areas of competition law and unfair trade practices, standing out for his experience in dawn raids and restrictive practices. Antitrust matters and merger control are among Nuno Calaim Lourenço's core areas of activity.
‘Sizeable team with in-depth Portuguese competition law expertise.‘
‘Total availability on short notice and very experienced in their local competition practice. We felt very confident in their assessment of each situation at every step of the process.‘
‘Timely responses, high level of technical expertise but mainly an extraordinary industry knowledge.‘
‘Gonçalo Anastácio and Nuno Lourenço are noted for their technical skills in the competition law environment and a great professionalism.‘
‘Gonçalo Anastácio has good connections with the Portuguese Competition Authority and is on top of market developments.‘
‘Gonçalo Anastáscio is a very experienced lawyer with remarkable negotiation skills and a solid legal background.‘
‘Gonçalo Anatácio is a great team leader with an exceptional insight view of EU and Competition law; Ana Rita Andrade provides quick responses; and Luis Seifert Guincho is remarkable.‘
‘Duarte Pirra has excellent legal knowledge, is very proactive, and delivers excellent results.‘
Campofrio Food Group
EMEF (Empresa De Manutenção De Equipamento Ferroviário)
Fromageries Bel Portugal (Bel Group)
GDA – Cooperativa de Gestão de Direito de Autor
Maritime Ports of Setúbal & Lisbon
SAS Apostas Sociais, Jogos e Apostas Online
Sumol + Compal
Adraces-Associação para o Desenvolvimento da Raia Centro-Sul
Apax Partners LLP
Elliott Management Corporation
Fábricas Lusitana – Produtos Alimentares
Hospital da Luz
Laboratoires Pierre Fabre
Magalhães Associados – Sociedade De Advogados
Toshiba Memory Europe
The Planning, Policy and General Administration Office
- Assisted Adraces- Associação para o Desenvolvimento da Raia Centro-Sul in the filing of an appeal to the General Court of the European Union following a decision from the European Commission to terminate a partnership with the client.
- Assisted DataOnline on the analysis of a potential notification to the PCA of a transaction by which the company acquired ISA (Intelligent Sensing Anywhere).
- Provided a Legal Opinion to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MAFDR) on the potential state aid aspects regarding the National Irrigation Programme (Programa Nacional de Regadios).
VdA handles a breadth of complex issues concerning national and EU competition law, as well as EU law in general. The team is adept in competition litigation cases as well as M&A transactions requiring merger control advice; other core areas of strength include abuse of dominance matters, state aid issues and cartel cases. Domestic and international clients from a variety of sectors, including telecoms, insurance, food and beverage, banking, ports and energy, instruct the team on a regular basis. Nuno Ruiz heads the practice group. Ricardo Bordalo Junqueiro has a strong track record in abuse of dominance cases at the national level, and merger control matters are among Cláudia Coutinho da Costa's areas of strength. Miguel Mendes Pereira left the firm in 2020 to join DLA Piper ABBC.
‘The team includes Nuno Ruiz and Ricardo Bordalo Junqueiro, with whom I’ve come to work in several occasions and across different industries over the years.‘
‘A very strong and professional competition compliance team – one of the best in Portugal.‘
‘I appreciate working with a team that is multidisciplinary and especially agile.‘
‘Ricardo Bordalo Junqueiro does not crack under pressure; he is the perfect fit to assist in-house teams (local and international) manage processes and matters which entail competition work. He is respected by peers and authorities, and manages a team quite effectively.‘
‘I would like to highlight Nuno Ruiz, who has a deep knowledge and experience in Competition and EU law, as well as Cláudia Coutinho, whose technical competence is noteworthy.’
PT Portugal / MEO
Banco de Portugal
- Advised TAP on the antitrust proceedings in case AT.39860 – Brussels Airlines/TAP.
- Assisted CTT in an abuse of dominant position case under investigation by the PCA related to the alleged refusal of access to its distribution network.
- Represents Zurich Insurance PLC in high-profile misdemeanour proceedings before the Competition Authority, named the ‘insurer cartel’.
Cuatrecasas is adept at advising clients on major antitrust infringement investigations, merger control matters, private enforcement cases as well as on the implementation of tailored compliance programmes. On the merger control side, the department has a strong background in domestic and multi-jurisdictional phase I and II cases. Notable areas of practice also include cartels, vertical restraints and abuse of dominance issues, as well as dawn raids and competition litigation. Former General Director of Investigations at the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) Pedro Marques Bom coordinates the team, which was further strengthened with the arrival of Luís Bordalo e Sá - also previously at the PCA - who brings a wealth of experience on dawn raid matters.
Pedro Marques Bom
‘The team shows deep knowledge of all legal affairs, providing a holistic approach to sometimes apparently single-context problems. The delivery times are excellent, as is the content quality and business focus.‘
‘The European and Antitrust Team has been readily available to tackle any matter at hand with unbeatable delivery times (without any quality compromises).‘
‘With a deep knowledge of the national hard and soft legal and regulatory framework, their work allows for the development of business in a high-paced yet sustainable and safe way. The directly involved members are: Pedro Marques Bom, Rita Leandro Vasconcelos, Luís Bordalo e Sá.‘
‘The EU and Competition Law team has in-depth technical knowledge and vast experience of numerous processes.‘
‘The EU/Competition team is highly focused on the needs of the client, presenting the best solutions with an incredible technical and legal knowledge.‘
‘Pragmatic and objective advice and deep knowledge of the subjects.‘
‘Pedro Marques Bom is knowledgeable and available, and strives to meet clients’ needs.‘
‘Pedro Marques Bom’s experience and technical skills make him one of the best EU/Competition lawyers in the market.‘
Auchan Retail Portugal
Fergrupo (Group COMSA)
Galp Energia Group
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)
Roche Farmacêutica Química (Group F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG)
Stemlab / Bebécord (Crioestaminal Group)
- Successfully represented GALP Energy in the notification before the PCA in connection with the acquisition of TAGUSGÁS and the concession for natural gas in two regions of Portugal.
- Advising BMW on a number of matters including vertical agreements with its distributors and customers and the development and implementation of a compliance programme.
- Advising Mediterranean Shipping Company on a number of matters, including vertical agreements, merger control and compliance, in relation to the acquisition of T.V.T. – Terminal Multimodal do Vale do Tejo and Parque Sul da Bobadela.
Garrigues is equipped to handle complex and large-scale domestic and international matters, covering advice in the context of merger control, state aid issues, as well as antitrust investigations and related litigation. The department is led by Luís Pinto Monteiro, who demonstrates comprehensive knowledge and experience in cartel infringement proceedings. The practice head is also regularly involved in the implementation of antitrust compliance programmes.
Luís Pinto Monteiro
‘Garrigues’ EU and Competition law team is undoubtedly the best legal team we have worked with so far. They systematically offer bright solutions to complex problems. They are extremely fast in delivering the work, and always exceed our highest expectations. For them, the clients always come first.‘
‘I’m very pleased and satisfied with the work done by the team. The team is responsive and pragmatic, which in-house counsels highly appreciate. They focus on details but don’t overlook the big picture.‘
‘Garrigues has an exceptional team of legal professionals. Key capabilities and strengths include commercial awareness, knowledge, specifically in Competition Law / Antitrust, and excellent interpersonal skills.‘
‘Strong expertise in EU and competition law and a very effective support to put in place a solid compliance culture.‘
‘Good communication, analytical and research skills.‘
‘Readiness to understand the issue and to fully support clients.‘
‘Luís Pinto Monteiro has excellent technical skills and a great ability to understand business drivers. I really appreciate his ability to lead clients smoothly through stressful situations.‘
‘Luís Pinto Monteiro is a crucial piece in the team. He is intelligent and pragmatic. He works non-stop and around the clock to meet our needs. His knowledge of EU and Competition law, alongside the solutions offered to solve problems, puts him well above most senior EU and Competition lawyers in the market.‘
‘Luís Pinto Monteiro as a stand out in the team of Garrigues. He is a true passionate professional with high value standards in Antitrust /Competition Law. Reflecting the team’s strengths, he also gathers great articulated communication, attention to detail, creative problem solving, resilience and self-confidence.‘
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria
Volvo Cars Portugal
Jaguar Land Rover
- Assisted MCH Private Equity Investments in the acquisition of the exclusive control of Palacios Alimentacion, a major Spanish producer of pre-prepared meals supplied to supermarkets.
- Acted for SG ALD AUTOMOTIVE – Sociedade Geral de Comércio e Aluguer de Bens, in the acquisition of the renting business portfolio of BBVA AUTOMERCANTIL, Comércio e Aluguer de Veículos Automóveis, which included merger control challenges.
- Advised Merlin Properties in the acquisition of joint control over Penha Longa Resort by the Carlyle Europe Realty Fund and Marriott International.
Uría Menéndez – Proença Carvalho fields a team exclusively dedicated to EU and competition law, which has experience acting for domestic companies and clients from other Portuguese-speaking jurisdictions before the authorities in Lisbon and Brussels. The department provides legal support in the preparation of antitrust compliance polices on a regular basis, and has a strong track record in large-scale merger control and antitrust investigations in Portugal. Joaquim Caimoto Duarte leads the team, and is proficient in restrictive practices, while Tânia Luísa Faria specialises in antitrust and merger control proceedings.
Joaquim Caimoto Duarte
Grupo Hospital Particular do Algarve
REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais, SGPS, S.A.
- Representing Hospital Particular do Algarve in the merger control filing before the PCA related to the acquisition of Hospital de São Gonçalo de Lagos.
- Represented Altice in the merger control filing before the PCA related to its attempt to acquire Media Capital Group.
- Representing Marubeni in the merger control filing before the PCA related to the acquisition of AGS.
Abreu Advogados advises across the entire gamut of EU and competition law, covering advice on the filing of merger controls before the PCA and the European Commission, as well as restrictive agreements and abuse of dominance. Acting for clients in state aid matters and assisting them with the development of compliance programmes are other areas of activity for the team, which advises players in the energy, water, healthcare, media and transport sectors. The team is under the joint leadership of Armando Martins Ferreira and Inês Sequeira Mendes, who focuses on notification processes pertaining to complex concentration operations.
Armando Martins Ferreira; Inês Sequeira Mendes
‘I would say that this team, in terms of commitment and multi-disciplinary, is unbeatable. Lawyers are available, use a clear language and provide straightforward advice.‘
‘An excellent team of professionals with expertise in different areas of competition law.‘
‘Abreu’s team is extremely competent, committed and available. When compared to other firms, Abreu is very organised and methodical.‘
‘Inês Sequeira Mendes and Armando Martins Ferreira complement each other and deliver the work efficiently. Inês is experienced in mergers, especially in the health sector, while Armando stands out in restrictive practices.‘
‘Inês Sequeira Mendes and Pedro Alves da Silva are highly qualified and concerned with their clients’ needs and expectations.‘
Sport Lisboa e Benfica
Compañia De Servicios De Bebidas Refrescantes, S.L.
Lidl & Cia
PH Energia/ Energia Simples
- Assisting Sport Lisboa e Benfica in litigation involving a major competitor on unfair competition, antitrust, regulatory and proprietary information infringements.
- Provides ongoing and general legal advice to Compañia de Servicios de Bebidas Refrescantes, the company in charge of the Coca Cola business activities in Portugal, including IP and competition matters.
- Advises Lidl on retail sector investigations launched by the PCA.
Advising clients from the outset of deals, CMS's broad service offering covers merger control matters, state aid issues, dawn raids, and all aspects of regulatory law and compliance matters. The team is particularly experienced acting for consumer goods companies and has a proven track record in distribution agreements. Luís Miguel Romão is the name to note.
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo has experience in all areas of EU law, as well as competition and antitrust matters, having represented domestic and multinational corporations, the EU Commission and the Portuguese Government in a variety of settings. Notable areas of practice include cartel cases, abuse of dominance, merger control proceedings and state aid issues. Advising on the design of compliance programmes is a growing area of activity for the department, which is led by recognised EU and competition law expert Mário Marques Mendes. Alexandra Dias Henriques is another key practitioner in European law and competition matters.
Mário Marques Mendes
‘Personal and quick response from partners. The team has a high level of expertise.‘
‘Lawyers have an exceptional amount of experience in EU and competition law.‘
‘Technical knowledge and excellent quality of service.‘
‘I highlight Mário Marques Mendes, Sofía Martínez-Almeida e Alejos-Pita, Alexandra Dias Henriques and Mercedes Corbal. I recommend them for their high competence, availability and involvement in the provision of services.‘
Procter & Gamble
Grupo Nabeiro – Delta Cafés
- Assisting and representing Grupo Prisa in arbitration proceedings in relation to contractual and competition matters, in the wake of the merger control proceedings Altice/Meo – Media Capital.
- Advise Henkel, the leading European company in house and personal care products, in all aspects relating to its competition compliance systems in Portugal.
- Representing PrimeDrinks, a beverage distribution company, in competition matters, including in a complex and wide-ranging investigation by the PCA.
Combining its knowledge of competition law with a deep understanding of regulatory matters, SLCM | Serra Lopes, Cortes Martins & Associados is equipped to provide legal support in relation to merger control matters, cartel cases, private enforcement issues, as well as antitrust investigations. Head of department Miguel Pena Machete is experienced in M&A transactions which raise competition issues.
Miguel Pena Machete
‘The lawyers’ performance is excellent.‘
Sport TV Portugal, S.A.
SCC – Sociedade Central de Cervejas (Heineken Group)
Lisnave – Estaleiros Navais, S.A.
China Three Gorges
José de Mello Saúde
- Acted as China Three Gorges’s local counsel in the tender offers preliminary launched in 2018 over EDP and EDP Renováveis, providing advice on competition and energy regulatory matters.
- Assisting Sport TV as defendant in three different private enforcement claims pending in the Portuguese Lisbon civil court regarding an abuse of dominant position.
- Assisting SCC- Sociedade Cetral de Cervejas (Heineken Group) on the investigation procedure held by the PCA regarding alleged restrictive practices in the beverage industry and retail market.
The European and competition law practice at Sérvulo & Associados covers restrictive practices, abuse of dominant position, state aid law and private enforcement. The department not only assists with compliance and pre-emptive advice, it also offers representation to clients in investigations. Miguel Gorjão-Henriques oversees the team, which has a strong background in assessing transactions from a market concentration perspective, and advising private and public entities on state aid procedures, notably those involving the transport, energy, retail and financial services sectors.
‘The team is concise in its responses, available and accessible, raising issues as and when required, and handling them with appropriate focus.‘
‘Excellent handling of communication with the Competition Authority.‘
‘Miguel Gorjão-Henriques proposes practical solutions to complex questions in a time-efficient manner.‘
Regional Government of the Madeira Region
Portuguese Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (APIFARMA)
BES Bank (Banco Espírito Santo, S.A.)
Municipality of Lisbon
Portuguese Federation of Tobacco Wholesalers (“FPGT”)
- Assisting the Regional Government of the Madeira Region in a state aid procedure launched by the European Commission, regarding the compatibility of the tax-free zone with the EU state aid rules.
- Representing EuroBic Bank in an alleged restrictive practice investigation before the Competition Authority, regarding restrictive practices in the banking sector.
- Advising BANIF Bank in its relations with the Monitoring Trustee and the European Commission in connection with the compliance of commitments detailed in the European Commission’s State Aid Decision.
Albuquerque & Almeida advises clients on the implementation of competition compliance programmes as well as on Portuguese and European antitrust issues. Notable areas of practice include merger control, horizontal and vertical agreements and abuse of dominance matters. The team is well versed in acting for companies and public entities in administrative proceedings, as well as in litigation before the European and national courts. Practice co-head Sónia Gemas Donário has significant experience in anti-competitive issues and trade restrictive practices.
António Mendonça Raimundo; Sónia Gemas Donário
‘The team showed an accurate sense of integrity, great knowledge of commercial issues and skilled antitrust legal guidance. The availability and speed at which they handled our requests must also be emphasised.‘
‘Sónia Gemas Donário and António de Mendonça Raimundo are extremely professional, and have excellent knowledge of EU and competition matters.‘
Águas do Tejo Atlântico
- Acted for AGEFE in a complaint to the PCA regarding several public procurement processes pertaining to the Portuguese low voltage electricity distribution concessions.
- Advised Massimo Zanetti Beverage Iberia Group on a merger process, following the acquisition of Cafés Nandi.
The competition and EU law team at Caiado Guerreiro offers legal support in relation to restrictive practices, abuse of dominant position, merger control and state aid, while also advising on issues pertaining to market liberalisation and deregulation. Ricardo Rodrigues Lopes, who has in-depth knowledge of European law, co-heads the department, which is equipped to assist clients with competition compliance policies.
João Caiado Guerreiro; Ricardo Rodrigues Lopes
‘We are very pleased with the advice we have received. The team’s quick response is worth a mention.‘
‘Ricardo Rodrigues Lopes and Henrique Sousa Freire are always available to help.‘
- Provided legal advice to GFI, a French IT group, in the context of the acquisition of I2S, resulting in the successful approval of the concentration.
- Assisted Fapricela in the completion of the negotiations and payment of a fine in relation to a European Cartel process following a long judicial procedure.
- Provided legal assistance to Tendam Group, the second biggest clothes retailer in the Iberian Peninsula, and successfully represented the company in several unfair competition administrative and criminal procedures.
Campos Ferreira, Sá Carneiro & Associados
Campos Ferreira, Sá Carneiro & Associados provides legal assistance to clients in merger control proceedings before the regulators, as well as in relation to compliance matters, EU and competition law issues. Margarida Rosado Fonseca, whose areas of expertise include restrictive practices and state aid matters, recently joined from DLA Piper ABBC, where she led the EU and competition department.
Raposo Bernardo has strong expertise acting for clients operating in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, construction, tourism and leisure industries. Compliance, competition regulation, EU directives, abuse of dominant position and processes before the PCA are some of the team's core areas of activity. Mafalda Contumélias Batista is the main contact. Sofia Ferreira Enriquez joined FCB Sociedade de Advogados.
Mafalda Contumélias Batista
‘Raposo Bernardo & Associados provides the highest quality services. The team maintains close relationships with clients, providing clear advice. It has international experience which is noted in the kind of legal services it offers.‘
‘The quality of Raposo Bernardo & Associados’ services is beyond reproach. Lawyers are always up to date with legislation; they are practical and address problems efficiently.‘
- Assisting a client with auditing of competition practices, pricing and agreements with distributors, as well as detailed reporting of the client’s commercial activity before the PCA.
- Advise a hospitality and leisure company on competition matters regarding acquisitions across the Iberian Peninsula, which include assistance in merger control.