Insolvency and restructuring in Portugal


With 'knowledge, experience and a continued focus on client priorities', the multi-disciplinary team at Linklaters, which is aided by the firm's vast international footprint, handles complex transactions and restructurings. The team has recently been engaged on the refinancing and disposal of bank loan portfolios, the restructuring of companies and on insolvency and pre-insolvency proceedings. Group head Nuno Ferreira Lousa is noted for his 'strong dispute resolution experience' and is ably supported by 'exceptional' counsel Gonçalo Veiga de Macedo.

Practice head(s):

Nuno Ferreira Lousa


Manuel Castelo Branco has excellent knowledge of Portuguese insolvency law and litigation; he is exceptionally service-orientated.

Knowledge, experience and continued focus on client priorities.’

Nuno Ferreira Lousa has strong dispute resolution experience.’

Gonçalo Veiga de Macedo is exceptional.’

Key clients

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

Caixa Geral de Depósitos, S.A.

Oitante, S.A.

Novo Banco, S.A.


Galp Energia, SGPS, S.A. / Petróleos de Portugal – Petrogal, S.A.

MEAG Munich Ergo Asset Management GmbH


Lisgráfica – Impressão e Artes Gráficas S.A.

Luz Saúde, S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advising Lisgráfica – Impressão e Artes Gráficas on its insolvency proceedings following the closure of its Special Revitalisation Process (PER).
  • Advising Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) in the context of the insolvency proceedings of Artlant, following the sale by La Seda to Indorama Ventures, one of the world’s leading petrochemicals producers.
  • Continues to advise ECS – Sociedade de Capital de Risco following the acquisition from Turpart SGPS of a 72% shareholding in Vale do Lobo Resort, Turístico de Luxo, by Sigmastructure.

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados

With 'out-of-the-box thinking' and a 'problem-solving approach', Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is a 'one-stop-shop' for insolvency and restructuring work. The team is instructed by debtors and creditors on matters relating to the liquidation and restructuring of companies and is experienced in complex litigation cases related to insolvency. Cross-border instructions are a key strength for the team, which 'really works as a partner with its clients'. Filipe Lowndes Marques is 'impressive'.

Practice head(s):

Filipe Lowndes Marques; António Pinto Leite


The team is reputed as the best-in-class.

‘I have been most impressed by the team’s in-depth legal knowledge; its ability to break down complex issues and creatively analyse different legal and factual angles to translate those into highly effective and clear legal documents.

Filipe Lowndes Marques, Pedro Gorjão Henriques, Margarida Torres Gama and Nuno Gundar da Cruz delivered an outstanding performance in extremely hard negotiations.

Rui Patrício is one of the most respected legal professionals in his field and, true to his reputation, has been highly effective in designing the legal strategy for the case and outlining the different angles for argument and analysis.

Nuno Gundar da Cruz is highly detailed, knowledgeable and is really excellent at capturing the complexity of the issue at hand in a logical and clear way.

Out-of-the-box thinking, has a problem-solving approach, experienced and is a one-stop-shop; they really work as a partner with clients.

Filipe Lowndes Marques is impressive.’

Work highlights

  • Represents Banco Comercial Português, Banco BPI, Novo Banco and Caixa Geral de Depósitos in a €500m restructuring agreement related to several companies of SIVA Automotive Group, which Porsche Holding Salzburg is acquiring within this transaction.
  • Represents José Manuel Espírito Santo Silva (former director and key shareholder of Banco Espírito Santo and of Espírito Santo Group (GES)) and former directors of Rio Forte in proceedings filed by FRC – Papel Comercial ESI e Rio Forte, in connection with commercial paper issued by ESI and Rio Forte.
  • Represents José Manuel Espírito Santo Silva in proceedings filed in Portugal by ESI’s insolvency practitioners, which are based on the alleged practice by former directors of acts of ruinous management which led to ESI’s insolvency in Luxembourg.


PLMJ delivers a 'very high level of service' across complex restructuring and insolvency cases and the team is noted for its 'strong' domestic and cross-border expertise. It acts for creditors and debtors across the banking, finance, pharmaceutical, automotive, aviation and IT sectors. 'Esteemed practitionerNuno Líbano Monteiro leads the 'skilled and very responsive' team and is ably supported by managing associate Catarina Guedes de Carvalho, who heads the debt recovery team, and Pedro Caetano Nunes. Joaquim Shearman de Macedo was a new arrival in June 2020.

Practice head(s):

Nuno Líbano Monteiro


The team delivers a very high level of service.’

The team has strong domestic and cross-border expertise.’

‘Apart from the outstanding knowledge it has of Portuguese regulations, the team also performs in financial acumen, which it is key in these proceedings.

It is very easy to collaborate with Nuno Miguel Lourenço; the communication flows without a hitch and he shows a level of performance above his peers.

Nuno Líbano Monteiro is an esteemed practitioner.’

The team is skilled and very responsive.’

Key clients

Rio Forte Investments, S.A. (Luxembourg) and subsidiaries

Espírito Santo Financial Group (ESFG)

Insolvent estate of Partran, Insolvent estate of Espírito Santo Financial Group, Insolvent estate of Espírito Santo Financial Portugal

Euroamerican Holding (Deloitte Luxembourg)

Bankinter S.A. – Sucursal em Portugal

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Portugal – Sociedade Financeira de Crédito, S.A. / Mercedes-Benz – Aluguer de Veículos, Unipessoal, Lda.

Alliance Healthcare, S.A.

Caixa Económica Montepio Geral, Caixa Económica Bancária, S.A. / Montepio Investimento, S.A.

AEDL – Auto-Estradas Douro Litoral (Douro Coastline Concession)

Volkswagen, AG / Volkswagen Finance Belgium, S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advising Rio Forte Investments in its insolvency and has analysed the consequences of this situation under Portuguese law and related multi-jurisdictional regulations.
  • Assisting in all the legal measures taken in Portugal and other jurisdictions that relate to the insolvency of the Espírito Santo Group.
  • Assisting the insolvent estate of Partran in all pending litigation and in its insolvency proceedings in Portugal, which it was responsible for issuing.


VdA's multi-disciplinary practice houses 'lawyers who understand the client's business' and excels at challenging insolvency and restructuring mandates, often involving cross-border issues. The team has a strong following in the financial services sector and also services a considerable roster of domestic and international companies. Contentious work is a key strength of the practice, where Frederico Gonçalves Pereira, who is a 'strong disputes lawyer', is ably supported by 'very able' senior advisor Teresa Pitôrra. In a significant move, experienced restructuring and insolvency partner Filipa Cotta joined in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Frederico Gonçalves Pereira; Paulo Olavo Cunha; Cláudia Cruz Almeida


Teresa Pitôrra is an agile, practical and excellent lawyer.

The team has lawyers who understand the client’s business.’

Frederico Gonçalves Pereira is a strong disputes lawyer.’

Teresa Pitôrra is very able.’

Key clients

Oi S.A. and its subsidiaries including Portugal Telecom International Finance B.V.

Barclays Bank Plc, Morgan Stanley, Carval Investors, Fir Tree Partners, Värde, Wingspan Investments, Citibank London

Massa Insolvente do Fundo de Investimento Imobiliário Fechado Promovest

Fundger – Sociedade Gestora de Fundos de Investimento Imobiliário, S.A.

Banco Comercial Português, S.A. (BCP)

Banco de Portugal

Porsche Holding GmbH

Work highlights

  • Represented Oi and its subsidiaries on the recognition in Portugal of the court-supervised company reorganisation (processo de recuperação judicial), pending before the Court in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Advising Barclays Bank, Morgan Stanley, Carval Investors, Fir Tree Partners, Värde, Wingspan Investments and Citibank London as creditors of Banco Espírito Santo (BES) and Grupo Espírito Santo (GES).
  • Assisting Fundger in the insolvency proceedings of Fundo Promovest and Promovest’s insolvent estate in the claim filed by one company (held by fund participants) against it.


Operating across its Lisbon and Oporto offices, the team at Cuatrecasas is regularly involved in challenging bankruptcy, refinancing and debt restructuring mandates. The team is instructed by large domestic and international clients; it boasts a significant financial services sector following and is instructed by several multinational entities. Cross-border work is a key pillar of the practice. José de Freitas retired in August 2019. Maria João Ricou and Miguel de Almada are key names.

Practice head(s):

Maria João Ricou; Miguel de Almada

Key clients

Somague. SGPS

Bank of Portugal

Deutsche Bank AG London Branch

J.P. Morgan Securities PLC

Farallon Capital Management

Toys “R” US

Banco Privado Português, SA (BPP)

Summer Várzea

Work highlights

  • Provides Portuguese law advice to Bank of Portugal, as Resolution Authority, on several lawsuits brought against Bank of Portugal regarding the resolution of Banif.
  • Portuguese law assistance to Deutsche Bank AG London Branch with respect to the restructuring of the bank debt of Brisal – Auto-Estradas do Litoral.
  • Provides Portuguese law assistance to Farallon within the restructuring of Group Elevo to be implemented through the granting of a facility for the repayment of part of the Elevolution Group existing bank facilities and respective security to be taken over four road concessions.

SLCM | Serra Lopes, Cortes Martins & Associados

The 'client-focused' team at SLCM | Serra Lopes, Cortes Martins & Associados stands out for its 'versatility, creativity, proactivity, availability, speed' and its 'strong technical knowledge'. Corporate and institutional clients instruct the team on complex insolvency, restructuring and bankruptcy work across the banking, finance, real estate, telecom, energy, media, consumer products, distribution and agro-food sectors. Maria Raquel Moreira is 'brilliant at handling challenging issues'.

Practice head(s):

Luís Miguel Cortes Martins; Maria Raquel Moreira


The team is solid, experienced and very professional.

They are client-focused.

I especially like the involvement of senior lawyers in the affairs, the technical quality they reveal and their knowledge of our business and the legal and contractual rules that apply to it.

Has a customer-tailored approach that allows very fast and creative solutions.

In addition to the great experience of the team, I stress the fact that the partners we work with are very hands-on, leading the business processes and addressing the various issues involved.

All team members are good lawyers and are very creative and knowledgeable about our business and the main concerns we have on every subject.

Maria Raquel Moreira and Diana Simão Lourenço always stand out in a litigation context, but also in pre-litigation, which is not so common.

Luís Miguel Cortes Martins is a heavyweight of Portuguese law; he is a born negotiator, very assertive and combative.

Maria Raquel Moreira has extensive experience in matters of particular complexity, such as corporate restructuring processes and litigation, among others.

Versatility, creativity, proactivity, availability, speed’ and strong technical knowledge.’

Maria Raquel Moreira is brilliant at handling challenging issues.’

Key clients

Nutrinveste Group (Sovena/Elaias sub-groups)

Controlinveste Group

Sociedade Central de Cervejas (SCC) – Heineken Portugal

ECS Capital

Banco Comercial Português, S.A.

Portuguese Republic

Caixa Económica Montepio Geral

Apollo Management Fund/Calm Eagle Holdings/Tranquilidade

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of Controlinveste, the former holding company of the Controlinveste Group, in its insolvency proceedings.
  • Advised Banco Comercial Português on the structuring, drafting and negotiation of a financial lease agreement with the Estêvão Neves Group.
  • Acted on behalf of Caixa Económica Montepio Geral (CEMG), a financial institution, in the PER (Special Revitalization Proceeding) and insolvency proceedings of the HN Group, which operates in the real estate and construction sectors.

Uría Menéndez – Proença Carvalho

With an 'excellent reputation', Uría Menéndez – Proença Carvalho excels across prominent restructuring and insolvency matters across the finance, banking, construction, real estate and tourism sectors, where it acts for creditors and debtors.

Practice head(s):

Duarte Garin; David Sequeira Dinis; Nuno Salazar Casanova

Abreu Advogados

Abreu Advogados' sizeable offering is present on complex restructuring and insolvency mandates and stands out for its distressed M&A, corporate restructuring, insolvency and creditor’s rights (PERs) expertise. The real estate sector is a key focus and the team is instructed by several real estate investment funds. Team head Francisco Patrício is 'excellent'.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Patrício

Key clients

Iberdrola Generación (in Portugal)

Fundo de Investimento Imobiliário Imoreal


321 Crédito

Fundo de Investimento Imobiliário Mercapital

Fundo de Investimento Imobiliário Real Estate

Fundo de Capital de Risco do Banco Efisa

UFG Solas

Work highlights

  • Represented Parvalorem in several insolvency proceedings and special revitalisation processes, and in recovery plans.
  • Assisted Fundo Investimento Imobiliário Real Estate in an insolvency proceeding filed by the main creditor.
  • Represented Imoreal in several insolvency proceedings and special revitalisation processes, credit claims, and assisting it during the negotiations and the implementation of the recovery plans.


Aided by its international network of experts, CMS is well placed to handle complex, cross-border restructuring and insolvency work for leading banks, distressed debt investors, private equity firms, creditors and businesses.  Joaquim Shearman de Macedo left the firm in June 2020.

Practice head(s):

Miguel Esperança Pina; Nuno Pena; Rita Gouveia

Key clients

Banco Comercial Português

Caixa Económica Montepio Geral

Chamartín Group

Discovery Real Estate Fund, SICAV-FIS

Explorer Investments, S.A.

J. P. Morgan Securities PLC

Goldman Sachs International

Perpeturbana , S.A.

Massilly Holding SAS

Moneygram Payment Systems, INC

Davidson Kempner European Partners, LLP

Farallon Capital Europe LLP

Starship, LLC

Work highlights

  • Assisting CEMG, as majority creditor, in the recovery proceedings of Espírito Santo Hotéis– a company fully owned by Rioforte Investments.
  • Advising Chamartin Group on its recovery and insolvency restructuring, which involves negotiating with several Portuguese and Spanish banks.
  • Appointed by the insolvency administrator to represent the insolvent estate of Espírito Santo Financial (Portugal) in pending proceedings filed by the Insolvent Estate of Espírito Santo Financial Group (Luxembourg).

SRS Advogados

The sizeable restructuring and insolvency team at SRS Advogados is led by José Carlos Soares Machado; it is instructed by national and international clients and stands out for its contentious expertise. The insurance, pharmaceutical, automotive, construction, infrastructure, shipping, energy, TMT and financial services sectors are key focuses.

Practice head(s):

José Carlos Soares Machado

Key clients


Agro Capital

AIG Europe Limited – Secursal em Portugal


Banco do Brasil

Barloworld STET (Sociedade Técnica Equipamentos E Tractores)


Copisa – Proyectos y Mantenimientos Industriales

Hoya Lens Ibéria

Iberdrola Renewables Portugal

Iveco Portugal


Portuguese Building Owners Association

Sumol + Compal, S.A.

Tecnotrónica – Indústria e Comércio de Componentes

VIRBAC Portugal

Work highlights

  • Advising Bain Capital on the bid for the acquisition of a non-performing loan (NPL) portfolio from Novo Banco.
  • Advising GP2 Motorsport, which had a joint venture agreement with Parkalgar, on an ongoing claim following the filing of Special Revitalisation Process (PER) for Parkalgar.
  • Advising a major food business in relation to the recently implemented Special Revitalisation Process (PER).

Sérvulo & Associados

Praised for its 'knowledge and availability', Sérvulo & Associados' sizeable and multi-disciplinary team handles high-profile domestic and cross-border restructuring and insolvency mandates. It is often engaged on the restructuring and insolvency of banks and other financial institutions, and acts for banking groups on restructuring and insolvency issues regarding clients. Manuel Magalhães is a key figure.

Practice head(s):

Manuel Magalhães; Mafalda Ferreira Santos; António Teles; João Saúde


In-depth knowledge of the issues of insolvency and the particular situation of credit institutions.

Permanent follow-up on ongoing issues.

Alexandra Valpaços and Miguel Santos Almeida are noted for the quality of the work performed.

Knowledge and availability.’

Key clients

Banco Espírito Santo, S.A. (Bes)

Banco Internacional Do Funchal, S.A. (Banif)

Banco Privado Português, S.A. (BPP)

Banco Comercial Português, S.A. (BCP) And Caixa Geral De Depósitos, S.A. (CGD)

Ferrovial/Msf – Barragens A.C.E.

Monumental Residence – Empreendimentos Imobiliários, SA

Multi 24 – Sociedade Especial De Investimento Imobiliário De Capital Fixo, Sicafi, SA

Work highlights

  • Advising Banco Espírito Santo (BES) in its liquidation procedure and its €1bn liability in pre-litigation and litigation matters, which involve a broad range of legal issues.
  • Advising Banco Internacional do Funchal on its liquidation procedure and almost all pending legal actions following the Bank of Portugal’s decision to put Banit into resolution.
  • Advising Banco Privado Português in pre-litigation and litigation matters following the revoking of its banking license in 2010 and subsequent liquidation.

APTS - Alves Pereira & Teixeira de Sousa, S.P., R.L.

APTS - Alves Pereira & Teixeira de Sousa, S.P., R.L. is instructed by debtor and creditor clients on a range of insolvency and restructuring mandates. The team has a strong track record in both domestic and cross-border instructions.

Practice head(s):

João Marques de Almeida

Key clients

Abdullah A. Al Jiburi Contracting Company

Ameriprise Financial

Bear Canyon, Ltd.

Dupi Import SL

IPG Mediabrands

Megameios, ACE

Pacific Sky Corp, SL

Rentokil Initial Portugal, Lda.

Threadneedle Asset Management Holdings Limited

· Veralia Corporación, SL

Work highlights

  • Representing Abdullah A. Al Jiburi Contracting Company in the insolvency of Coffor – Internacional Exploração de Patentes and in several criminal proceedings against the debtor’s former shareholders and director.
  • Representing Bear Canyon on the insolvency proceedings of IMOCOM – Palácio de Valverde, SA, which owns the hotel Conrad Hilton Algarve.
  • Advising Dupi Import on several contractual liability and debt recovery claims against a Portuguese company, which resulted in the insolvency of the debtor. Several criminal charges were also brought by the client against the debtor’s major shareholder and director.

Caiado Guerreiro

Caiado Guerreiro is adept across domestic and cross-border restructuring and insolvency issues and demonstrates strengths in contentious instructions. The real estate, media, financial services and professional services sectors are key focuses. João Caiado Guerreiro and Sandra Ferreira Dias jointly lead the team.

Practice head(s):

João Caiado Guerreiro; Sandra Ferreira Dias

Key clients

Coutinho & Ferrostaal International


Bertelsmann Group

Imocompletíssimo – Consultoria De Imóveis, Unipessoal Lda.

Fineberries, Unipessoal, Lda.

Sma Solar Technology AG.

Molaflex – Colchões S.A.

Ledvance Lda.

Novo Nordisk

Cerberus Capital Management LP

Work highlights

  • Representing IMARALEI in relation to the insolvency proceedings of Banco Espírito, where a credit claim of €2m has been filed.
  • Represented Motor Press Lisboa, Edição e Distribuição in its insolvency proceedings.
  • Assisting Imocompletíssimo – Consultoria de Imóveis, Unipessoal to recover credits in the insolvency proceedings of property developer,  Béltico-Empreendimentos Turísticos.


The multi-disciplinary offering at Garrigues is able to tap into the firm's international network to provide cross-border advice across a range of restructuring and insolvency mandates. The team has recently been involved in transactions involving distressed debt, restructuring and NPL-related matters. Banking, finance, construction and real estate sector clients are a key focus. João Duarte de Sousa specialises in dispute resolution and insolvency, while Diogo Leónidas Rocha is an expert in banking, M&A and capital markets.

Practice head(s):

Diogo Leónidas Rocha; João Duarte de Sousa

Key clients

Bain Capital Credit


Atena Equity Partners



Iberian Distressed Assets Fund


BNP Paribas Factor

Work highlights

  • Advising Bain Capital in Project Nata II, a circa €3.2bn NPL portfolio, the largest ever to be put on the market.
  • Assisted Hipoges Portugal in its role as advisor for the winning bidder (KKR) in Project Nata, the sale by Novo Banco of a NPL portfolio with an outstanding balance of circa € 2bn.
  • Represented Castlelake in a sale of an aprox. €150m NPL portfolio.

Raposo Bernardo

Raposo Bernardo is instructed by leading distribution, retail, construction, pharmaceutical, healthcare, transport and tourism sector clients, as well as investment funds, on a range of complex restructuring and insolvency matters. Ana Cláudia Rangel and the team have a strong track record in cross-border mandates.

Practice head(s):

Ana Cláudia Rangel

Work highlights

  • Advised a client on its restructuring.

Andrade de Matos - Advogados

Andrade de Matos - Advogados handles a range of contentious and non-contentious insolvency and restructuring work. António Andrade De Matos is the key contact.


Building on its banking, finance and disputes expertise, DLA Piper ABBC is present on a range of prominent restructuring and insolvency mandates. The Lisbon-based team utilises the firm's international network to handle cross-border instructions. Nuno Azevedo Neves and João Costa Quinta are key practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Nuno Azevedo Neves; João Costa Quinta

Macedo Vitorino & Associados

António de Macedo Vitorino and João de Macedo Vitorino lead the team at Macedo Vitorino & Associados, which offers insolvency and restructuring advice through its litigation, banking and capital markets teams. The group, which acts for domestic and international clients, is instructed by an array of lenders and borrowers.

Practice head(s):

António Macedo Vitorino; João Macedo Vitorino

PRA-Raposo, Sá Miranda & Associados, Sociedade de Advogados RL

PRA-Raposo, Sá Miranda & Associados, Sociedade de Advogados SP RL is best known for its expertise in debtor-side mandates; however, it is equally proficient in handling creditor-side instructions. It is adept in real estate and construction-sector reorganisations, restructurings and insolvencies, and regularly advises on the sale and acquisition of distressed real estate assets. Susana Santos Valente heads the department.

Practice head(s):

Susana Santos Valente

Key clients

Construtora do Tâmega, S.A.

Nova Primores do Oeste – Serviços e Consultadoria, A.C.E..

Primores do Oeste,S.A

Syncrea – Enterprise Communications, S.A.

Agrilanca – Casa Agrícola, S.A.

Sofisa – Sociedade Imobiliária, S.A.

Tracar – Transportes de Carga e Comércio, S.A.

Recimicro – Reciclagem e Micronização de Plásticos, S.A.

Noble Mineral – The Original N Portuguese Marble, Lda.

Aguambiente Portugal, Lda

Luis Abreu & Filhos, Lda

Work highlights

  • Advised Construtora do Tâmega on its recovery plan.
  • Advised Nova Primores do Oeste – Serviços e Consultadoria on the creation and management of a recovery plan to reorganise the company’s existing debt and inject new money from its banking creditors.
  • Advised Agrilanca – Casa Agrícola on its Special Revitalisation Process.