Oporto: leading commercial firms in Portugal

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados' sizeable Oporto-based team excels across a number of practice areas, fielding experts in tax, corporate, capital markets, dispute resolution, competition, employment and public law. The team is well versed in high-profile and cross-border work. Carlos Osório de Castro enjoys a strong reputation for capital markets and M&A work; João Anacoreta Correia leads the litigation and arbitration team; António Lobo Xavier is an esteemed tax practitioner; Paulo Rendeiro spearheads the sport and entertainment team; and Bernardo Lobo Xavier is the managing partner of the Oporto office. Managing associates Inês Gouveia, who handles EU and competition work, and tax litigation specialist Francisco Mendes da Silva are also key figures.

Practice head(s):

Bernardo Lobo Xavier; António Lobo Xavier; Joaquim Vieira Peres; Luís Gagliardini Graça; António Pedro Braga; Nuno Peres Alves; Pedro Costa Gonçalves; João Anacoreta Correia

Work highlights

  • Advised EDP – Energias de Portugal on the tender offer announced by China Three Gorges (Europe), over the shares of EDP and EDP Renováveis.
  • Advises Bankinter on numerous lawsuits filed against Portuguese companies related to insolvency proceedings, restructuring proceedings and enforcement proceedings.
  • Advised Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian on the sale of Partex to PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP), a Thai public oil exploration and production company.

PLMJ

PLMJ is a 'large firm that has experts in every field' and is commended for the 'excellent service provided and the attention and commitment to meeting customer needs'. With broad expertise, the team is active across a number of practice areas such as corporate and M&A, tax, banking, finance, commercial, employment, administrative and public procurement, sports, entertainment, real estate, construction, tourism and dispute resolution. Domestic and cross-border work drive the team, which is instructed by a raft of national and international clients. Oporto office head Miguel C Reis leads the tax team, where he is ably supported by João Velez de Lima. Elsewhere, Manuel Cavaleiro Brandão, who leads the employment practice, receives consistent praise and Diogo Duarte Campos heads the public law offering. The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of several lawyers from Cuatrecasas, including Filipe Avides Moreira.

Practice head(s):

Miguel Reis

Testimonials

The team stands out for the quality of the advice and work.

Pragmatic and carefully listens to the briefing.

Great credibility and has a very strong market image.

Total customer engagement and a lot of availability.

Filipe Avides Moreira is a brilliant lawyer.

Manuel Cavaleiro Brandão is a person with extraordinary values and ethics; he has fantastic reasoning, very intelligent and insightful.

A large firm that has experts in every field.’

I value the excellent service provided and the attention and commitment to meeting customer needs.’

Key clients

Iberdrola

Finerge

Montepio Crédito

OMTEL (former Altice’s telecommunication towers owner)

Violas Ferreira

Randstad

Fidelidade Companhia de Seguros

Baxter Medico Farmacêutica

Farfetch

Porto da Figueira da Foz

Efacec

Associação Portuguesa de Facility Services (APFS)

Frezite

Ferrovial

Grupo Vendap

Work highlights

  • Assisted Finerge in a large-scale, €800m refinancing, which was negotiated with twelve different banks.
  • Assisted Morgan Stanley Infrastructure on the acquisition of a nationwide portfolio of telecommunications’ towers.
  • Advises Baxter Medico Farmacêutica on public procurement matters, including several legal actions regarding the sale of medical devices and other medical products to hospitals.

Abreu Advogados

Abreu Advogados' multi-disciplinary offering fields experts across corporate, employment, real estate, banking, finance and dispute resolution work, and is particularly praised for its proficiency in tax matters, where Maria Dulce Soares heads the department. Key local and international players instruct the team, which has a strong following from energy, tourism, tech, telecoms, finance, construction, real estate, manufacturing, automotive and health sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Rui Peixoto Duarte; Maria Dulce Soares; Paulo de Tarso Domingues

Key clients

Famaval -Criações Metálicas Adauta, S.A. Telecommunication

VIASAT GROUP S.P.A.

Donetec – Proyetos Inteligentes Tecnológicos, S.A.

Work highlights

  • Assists Famaval on several corporate and litigation matters, as well as labour, tax and commercial work.
  • Assisted Viasat on the acquisition of 60% of the share capital of the Portuguese company Trackit Consulting.
  • Defended Donetec, a Spanish company, regarding a European injunction proceeding filed in Portugal against it by a Portuguese company, related to a dispute concerning construction works at Charles de Gaulle Airport in France.

Garrigues

With 'business understanding and quick responses', the team at Garrigues, which has enjoyed significant recent growth and has been engaged by a slew of new clients, provides 'excellent risk analysis and presentation of alternative solutions in order to achieve the desired objectives'. It enjoys a strong reputation across corporate, tax, employment, social security and dispute resolution and is adept at handling complex, cross-border instructions. Corporate and M&A partner Tomás Pessanha 'works closely with the client and is always looking for business-orientated solutions' and Rui Valente, who heads the employment and social security offering, is an 'excellent professional with highly technical knowledge'. Senior associate André Oliveira Correia and principal associates João Soares Almeida and Manuel Liberal Jerónimo are also key figures.

Practice head(s):

Rui Valente; Tomás Pessanha

Testimonials

The labour team has a high commitment to solving our problems and tries to know our reality to better understand our positioning and perspective. These features can be identified with the Porto office in general.

The firm is more than a legal advisor; it is a partner with high know-how and excellent professionals, allowing decision-making to be based on legal robustness.

Very senior team involved in all aspects of any deal.

Knowledge, ability to respond quickly, great value for money.

Its overall level of service is excellent, and the team shows deep knowledge and understanding of the legal framework; high technical competence; professionalism; it places the customer’s interest at the core of the analysis and resolution of each issue; and demonstrates vision and integrated analysis of themes.

The firm offers services that we recognise and value for their excellence, rigor and innovation.

Great individual and collective performance, assertiveness in relationships with partners and high responsiveness in exemplary timings.

Tomás Pessanha is an outstanding lawyer with an acute business acumen and a practical sense of the law.

André Oliveira Correia is indispensable in our daily lives, with high technical skills, unparalleled dedication and availability and a fantastic interpersonal relationship.

Business understanding and quick responses.’

Excellent risk analysis and presentation of alternative solutions in order to achieve the desired objectives.’

We have worked with Tomás Pessanha for many years; he works closely with the client and is always looking for business-orientated solutions.’

Key clients

BNP Paribas Factor

Alain Afflelou Group

Mahle

Linde Group

Dachser

BSK Medical

ExpressGlass

Pathena

Klöckner Pentaplast Group

Hella Gutmann Solutions International AG

Corticeira Amorim

Vallis Capital Partners

I2S

ECS Capital

Mercan Capital

KP Films

Galro Resort Hotels

CYS Nederlands

Trust Saúde

Alert Life Sciences Computing

Porto Baixa

O2 CAPITAL

Mundifios

DFG Group

Ruas Group

Evalesco

Atena Capital Partners

Robotsol

Inter-Risco

Sonae MC

Pietec, S.A. (Diam, part of OENEO Group)

DIA Portugal

INWIT

DAT-Schaub

Grupo Siro

Work highlights

  • Advising Mercan Capital on the implementation of its investment strategy in Portugal, involving the acquisition and establishment of a group of hotels of different categories and sizes.
  • Advised CYS Nederland on the acquisition of 100% of Arlindo Correia de Aguiar, Lda.
  • Advised Solfim SGPS and AGS Moçambique on the disinvestment in AgroMoz – Agribusiness de Moçambique, and on the investment in ThirdWay Africa RDC.

TELLES

TELLES' Oporto-based team has a strong market presence and is active across finance, insolvency, dispute resolution, real estate, tax, energy, competition, employment, public law, corporate and M&A matters. The team is instructed by a range of SMEs, multinational corporations, international companies and public authorities. Carlos Lucena is a key name.

VdA

The 'responsive and commercial' team at VdA is active across a range of corporate, M&A, tax, employment, public law, real estate, corporate crime, TMT, data privacy, regulatory and dispute resolution mandates. It stands out for its client base, which spans the TMT, automotive, transport and infrastructure sectors. Isabel Gião de Andrade leads the Oporto office.

Practice head(s):

Isabel Gião de Andrade

Testimonials

Responsive and commercial.’

Key clients

SAKTHI Portugal, S.A.

Consoveyo, S.A.

Worthington Industries

AMTROL-ALFA, Metalomecânica, S.A.

CLdN

Efacec Power Solutions, S.A.

Hostelworld

INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory

CELBI – Celulose da Beira Industrial, S.A.

CEiiA

Didimo

AGI

Watgrid

Work highlights

  • Advised C.RO Ports Porto, the Portuguese subsidiary of CLdN, on the establishment of its local subsidiary and on the reorganisation of the company’s activity in Portugal.
  • Advises Amtrol – Alfa Metalomecânica on a range of issues.
  • Advises EFACEC Power Solutions on a range of issues and recently advised on the drafting and negotiation of major supply agreements for EFACEC’s products.

Cavaleiro & Associados

Commended for its 'technical skill', boutique offering Cavaleiro & Associados is 'versatile and adapts to the know-how required to provide a solution to the client'. The 'well-established' firm stands out for its specialist public law expertise and is also noted for its energy-sector work. Also demonstrating strengths in corporate, tax, employment and real estate, the team is adept in dispute resolution and IP matters and handles a high volume of cross-border mandates. Its client base includes an array of domestic and international clients, as well as public institutions. João Quintela Cavaleiro is a 'very good public law lawyer, with great work ability and a very practical and rigorous approach'.

Practice head(s):

João Quintela Cavaleiro; Pedro Seixas da Silva

Testimonials

It is a well-known team, which is very well led by João Quintela Cavaleiro, who is an excellent lawyer.

The difference in the service provided is in efficiency, quality, customer service and focus on the solution. It conveys confidence and security in the support provided.

Has lawyers with a great technical capacity and in-depth knowledge of the law; they are always available to assist us and resolve our legal issues and stand out for their willingness to attend and for the quick responses to the questions posed.

We usually work with João Quintela Cavaleiro, in whom we have the utmost confidence and excellent communication alignment. Of exceptional capacity and availability, he is undoubtedly an excellent partner.

João Quintela Cavaleiro has strong knowledge of the market and is pragmatic in helping the decision-making process.

Pedro Seixas da Silva has strong knowledge of the market.

Technical skill.

The group is versatile and adapts to the know-how required to provide a solution to the client.

The team is well-established in the market.

João Quintela Cavaleiro is a very good public law lawyer, with great work ability and a very practical and rigorous approach.’

Cuatrecasas

Now headed by Paulo de Sá e Cunha, the Oporto office at Cuatrecasas is active across corporate and M&A, public law, dispute resolution, employment and tax instructions. The firm's client base includes public bodies and hospitals, as well as international and Oporto-based companies. Senior associate Mónica Azevedo stands out for her dispute resolution expertise. The team has recently lost several key lawyers; José de Freitas has retired, and Filipe Avides Moreira recently left the firm to join PLMJ.

Practice head(s):

Paulo de Sá e Cunha

Testimonials

The closeness and trust they establish with the client, whether they are providing legal advice, in preventive processes, or in litigation.

Despite being a international law firm, there is no perception by the client of internal rivalry between lawyers or the obligation to obtain economic results to the firm.

Key clients

Alantra Private Equity

Menlo Capital

Banco Comercial Português

Gaw Capital Advisors Limited

Atena Equity Partners

Municipality of Oporto

CHTMAD – Centro Hospitalar de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, E.P.E

RSR SINGULAR ASSETS EUROPE SOCIMI SA

FAURECIA

ORPEA

DS Smith

Barata & Ramilo (Parfois brand)

Work highlights

  • Advising Banco Comercial Português on Soares da Costa in its Special Revitalisation Process (PER).
  • Advising Public Works Management of Oporto’s Council, E.M. on the rehabilitation of Bolhão’s Municipal Market.
  • Advising IFD on the organisation of the competitive procedures regarding venture capital funds financing and business angel financing.

JPAB - José Pedro Aguiar-Branco Advogados

JPAB - José Pedro Aguiar-Branco Advogados is 'focused on client's needs and requests and delivers its work in a speedy way, but without jeopardising quality'. The Oporto-based team, which often operates in tandem with the Lisbon-based team, is a well-established advisor to domestic clients and is developing its international client base across a range of corporate, M&A, commercial, employment, projects, banking, wealth management, insurance, sports, transport, energy, environmental, real estate, tax and dispute resolution instructions. It also stands out for its expertise in advising start-ups. Oporto office head José Pedro Aguiar-Branco leads the litigation and arbitration department.

Practice head(s):

José Pedro Aguiar-Branco

Testimonials

My contact with the firm is linked to Joana Silva Aroso, a great lawyer, with strong capacity in migration and environmental issues.

An old-style law firm, perfect for Oporto’s reality; you have contact with the senior staff and not only with junior lawyers.

João Martins Costa is a leading litigator in Portugal, probably one of the best; he has the particular capacity of being a problem solver, a quality that we do not find a lot in the market.

Joana Silva Aroso shows terrific qualities on public law and is a strong opinion maker that we do not find often in law firms based in Oporto.

Focused on client’s needs and requests and delivers its work in a speedy way, but without jeopardising quality; a very reliable firm with relevant experience in the area.’

Miranda & Associados

Miranda & Associados' 'accessible' team was bolstered in 2019 by the arrival of the team from Rios, Pinho & Cristo & Associates, which includes João Coelho de Pinho, who specialises in transactional work and dispute resolution. The team is best known for its capacity to handle commercial work and dispute resolution and is adept at domestic and cross-border instructions. It enjoys a strong following from construction and transport companies in particular.

Practice head(s):

Tiago Amorim; João Coelho de Pinho

Testimonials

Competence, know-how and seriousness; João Coelho de Pinho incorporates all these qualities. A trusted lawyer.

Great knowledge of the construction sector.

Honesty. Practical sense. Successful legal strategies.

Tiamo Amorim is outstanding.

Key clients

ACA – Alberto Couto Alves, S.A

Ascendi IGI, Inovação e Gestão de Infraestruturas, S.A.

BERD – Projecto, Investigação e Engenharia de Pontes, S.A.

Conduril – Engenharia, S.A.

Construgomes – Engenharia, S.A.

Copcisa, S.A. (Spain)

Interpolimeri, S.p.A (Italy)

MRG – Engineering & Solutions, S.A.

SOCORPENA – Engenharia e Construção, S.A.

Ferbar – Fernando Barros – Produtos Alimentares, S.A.

NPL, SGPS, Lda.

Football Champions Tour LLP

Metro Numbers – Comércio de Texteis, Lda.

Lightsand Technologies, Lda.

Work highlights

  • Representation in an arbitration procedure promoted by the Consortium MRG, Conduril and Tomás de Oliveira concerning the construction of a new children´s hospital.
  • Advised on a dispute relating to the enforcement of guarantees from a well-known financial institution, related to a complementary grouping of companies for the construction of a highway.
  • Advises Hard Club – Turismo de Animação Cultural on corporate, commercial, IP and labour issues.

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

PRA-Raposo, Sá Miranda & Associados, Sociedade de Advogados SP RL's sizeable offering in Oporto renders 'highly diversified and specialised teams' that are 'very skilled and effective'. It is active across a range of business law instructions, fielding experts across corporate, employment, commercial, IP, competition, tax, real estate and dispute resolution. The pharmaceutical and transport sectors are key focus areas and clients include leading Portuguese companies and public bodies.

Practice head(s):

Miguel Miranda

Testimonials

The firm is our go-to partner for most transactions and litigation cases which require a good understanding of Portuguese law. Having worked with them for almost 10 years, we are confident to say that the firm handles highly complex matters very well and is an outstanding choice for integrating multinational teams.

They have always shown profound dedication to us, as their customer, for which we are grateful.

Noel Gomes is an experienced public law counsel with a wide-ranging knowledge of Portuguese law, capable of delivering high-quality work on time and maintaining a strong commitment to client satisfaction; we dare say that his competence is only exceeded by his courteousness; he is a very talented and smart lawyer.

Miguel Miranda is an experienced commercial lawyer who also delivers high-quality work on time and maintains a strong commitment to client satisfaction; he is particularly well versed in commercial litigation and arbitration and provides great strategic advice on the overall management of complex commercial disputes.

Highly diversified and specialised teams; very skilled and effective. The firm is organised in a way that ensures that each matter is exclusively dealt with by the lawyers that have specialised in the relevant field. The firm is, therefore, from my experience, quite market savvy and still works well in integrating all different legal areas and it sure stands out for this reason.

Pedro Sá and Miguel Miranda are extremely experienced and knowledgeable individuals and I very much value their advice regarding corporate and commercial matters; they are trustworthy, available and they have a broad strategic-thinking approach to every subject.

Nuno Oliveira dos Santos and Márcia Passos are also highly experienced individuals and quite skilful in dealing with a range of complex matters.

CNA – Curado, Nogueira & Associados

CNA – Curado, Nogueira & Associados handles a spread of business-related instructions including corporate, employment, public law, projects and IP work. Carla Alexandra Malhão and Luísa Curado are names to note.

Durham Agrellos

The 'attentive and responsible lawyers' at boutique firm Durham Agrellos' Oporto office excel in contentious and non-contentious tax instructions and are particularly well versed in complex private client matters. 'The team has a deep knowledge of Portuguese tax law, and, in addition, has a very client-focused approach, which is very important in the private client practice.' Miguel Durham Agrellos heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Miguel Durham Agrellos

Testimonials

In-depth knowledge of the topics dealt with; it provides constant updates and follow-ups of possible changes and has a great relationship with its customers.

Miguel Durham Agrellos is always available to serve clients in the best way possible and discuss matters that interest them, even if they demand more complexity.

Dedicated and qualified team in customer service.

The firm is our top law advisor for tax matters, in particular, our international investment structure. We are very happy with the firm’s service as the lawyers are extremely knowledgeable and insightful. In addition, the firm’s response times and availability is clearly unparalleled.

The team has a deep knowledge of Portuguese tax law, and, in addition, has a very client-focused approach, which is very important in the private client practice.’

Paulo da Rocha Pichel is known by his outstanding legal knowledge. He is a fast and very perceptive lawyer, with an unusual capacity of connecting the dots. The way he interprets and explains the legal solutions proposed inspire trust and confidence in the client.

Miguel Durham Agrellos is one of the most prestigious and experienced lawyers in the market. He is very well known by his capacity to understand the client’s needs and offers solid and trustworthy solutions. He is always one step ahead.

Miguel Durham Agrellos has a broad knowledge of Portuguese laws, in addition to tax law. This is highly valued by clients, because they feel secure to receive a good general legal guidance. In addition, Miguel provides his advice on a timely basis and makes himself available to clients, whenever they need him.

The lawyers answer e-mails quickly and are always available to talk to the client.

The team has great knowledge and experience of Portuguese government processes and mechanisms, which gives their customers a spearhead advantage over those firms that are simply trying to navigate throughout the bureaucracy.

A boutique law firm that is perfectly suited to meet demanding needs of private clients. Excellent services rendered in a timely manner.

Miguel Durham Agrellos is professional, responsive, efficient, technically competent and has excellent soft skills as well. I feel comfortable recommending him to clients, colleagues or friends, and trust they will be satisfied.

Key clients

Unilabs Group

Engexpor

Yves Rocher Group

Atrium Investimentos

Vitropor

Associação Comercial do Porto

Adalberto Fashion Group

Aquitex

CPMPHARMA

Essência do Vinho

Mirafios

Work highlights

  • Represented Unilabs Group in the transfer of VAT proceedings from a state tax court to a tax arbitration court.
  • Advised Base Group in discussions with the Portuguese tax authorities and on the transfer of several VAT proceedings to the tax arbitration courts.
  • Advised on the restructuring of Engexpor Group in the context of a significant generational transition at the shareholders level.