Planning law in Portugal

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados

In planning law, the team at Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is 'outstanding in the market; the team has specific knowledge on urban planning topics and deep knowledge on the municipality processes'. The team handles a raft of high-profile, planning-related instructions and is involved in numerous urban planning, rehabilitation and tourism sector projects. The team is also able to offer licensing and related tax advice. João Pereira Reis is a highly regarded planning expert and managing associate Rui Ribeiro Lima 'is, for sure one, of the best lawyers in this area'.

Practice head(s):

João Tiago Silveira; João Pereira Reis


The firm and specifically the planning law team provide bullet-proof legal assistance. Every memorandum, email and report is very detailed, very well thought-out, with specific recommendations (and not abstract legal suggestions) that provide the client true guidance.

Very good lawyers with academic experience but also with deep commercial knowledge (market knowledge), which are two skills difficult to combine in a lawyer.

If we have any complex problem it is them that we call.

Rui Ribeiro Lima is outstanding. He knows how to navigate in the complexity of the urbanistic procedures within the municipality, understands perfectly the business side of the projects.

Rui Ribeiro Lima is always available to answer our doubts and thinks ahead (he projects the future constraints of the projects and knows how to solve them). He is, for sure, one of the best lawyers in this area.

In planning law they are outstanding in the market; the team has specific knowledge on urban planning topics and deep knowledge on the municipality processes.

Work highlights

  • Advised Round Hill Capital on the allotment operation and construction of a real estate development project in Porto.
  • Advised Round Hill Capital on the purchase and licensing of an allotment operation in Lisbon for the construction of housing units as well as a student residence.
  • Advising Seguradoras Unidas on the review of its real estate portfolio (more than 125 assets), including legal due diligence, focusing on licensing issues, support on needed legalisation procedures and advice on the negotiations for the sale and purchase agreements.

Sofia Galvao Advogados

Real estate and planning boutique Sofia Galvao Advogados consistently 'demonstrates its knowledge of urban planning and land-use planning; it is a team which closely and professionally monitors the matters entrusted to it by its clients'. The team, which is praised for its 'pragmatic advice', is regularly engaged in high-profile planning instructions for complex development projects. Sofia Galvão is a 'well-known lawyer in this area with solid academic knowledge'; she is ably supported by Hugo Nunes, who 'provides constant customer support, efficient responses and finds the best solution', and Luís Moitinho de Almeida, who 'has great knowledge for planning matters'.

Practice head(s):

Sofia Galvão


There is no better in Portugal in terms of quality, professionalism, honesty and kindness in contact.

Strong knowledge of the law and fast customer responses.

The team is very committed to the client’s goals and this is revealed in the work they deliver. Strong academic knowledge.

Very deep knowledge of this area of ​​law.

It is a specialised law firm which is an advantage over other generalists. Personalised treatment and follow-ups by experienced specialists.

Sofia Galvão has deep knowledge of the law, knowledge of the market.

Hugo Nunes has in-depth knowledge of the law and its mechanisms, as well as the related bodies, entities and the legal and functional procedures. The team has full domain of the English language.

Luís Moitinho de Almeida has in-depth knowledge of the law, the investigative capacity and the legal framing of proceedings.

Hugo Nunes is a young but very experienced lawyer, combative in forensic practice, permanently available and has great academic competence.

I consider Sofia Galvão to be the greatest specialist in real estate management law, with enormous knowledge and experience.

Hugo Nunes is permanently updated in this practice area, is very professional and has strong technical knowledge. Very remarkable availability and shows commitment towards his clients.

The best law firm for planning law in Portugal; the understanding of the market, legal and technical skills and availability to the client makes the firm stand out.

Truly available and great knowledge within the planning of real estate projects.

Sofia Galvão stands out in dealing with sensitive issues; she understands how public institutions work very well.

We work with several other firms, but Sofia Galvão is one of the top firms; it is a safe choice when needing to solve real estate and planning law problems.

Sofia Galvão has a long career and rich know-how in these areas and Hugo Nunes has long experience is these areas; both are dynamic, sound and assertive in solving and advising very complex problems.

This team is one of the (very) few I know in Portugal that truly is dedicated to a sector with all the focus, relevance and quality. The level of service, both technically and responsively, is simply remarkable.

They study not only the issue in discussion but also make a 360º analysis that provides clients with the fulfilment of all the possible externalities and expectations.

The team not only understands the relevant rules and regulations, but also the needs of the clients and the way to satisfy them.

Real knowledge of legislation and its practical application. Objectivity of its opinions. Solution-focused.

Sofia Galvão has impressive knowledge and an impressive track-record; her contributions are strategic for the achievement of the developers/owners goals.

Hugo Nunes is an outstanding lawyer; he is very practical and objective.

Luís Moitinho de Almeida has a complete knowledge of regulations and is skilled to understand the situations and manage the legal solutions.

Rosália Russo’s knowledge of municipality procedures is key for new planning.

The team is very polite, correct and client-driven; it has important social skills that ease all meetings with partner, colleagues and clients, and always has a strong political view of the subject that anticipate several problems with the municipalities.

Hugo Nunes, Rosália Russo and Luís Moitinho de Almeida are very efficient and always look to provide a solution to the problems; any problem raised by them has a solution proposal.

The law firm in question, although small (a boutique), demonstrates a great knowledge of the matters of urbanism and spatial planning and a team that closely and professionally monitors the matters entrusted to it by clients.’

Pragmatic advice.

Sofia Galvão is a well-known lawyer in this area with solid academic knowledge.

Hugo Nunes provides constant customer support, efficient responses, and finds the best solution.

Luís Moitinho de Almeida has great knowledge for planning matters.

Key clients

Discovery Land Company



Jckl No

ECI Porto


Habitat Invest

Louvre Properties


Metropolitano de Lisboa

Work highlights

  • Advising Discovery Land Company on the acquisition and development of a residential and tourist complex.
  • Represented ECS Capital on the development of FPM 41 building in Lisbon, which led to its subsequent €125m sale.
  • Advising Batipart on the development of a resort to be managed by Club Med.


PLMJ's 'highly efficient and professional' team is well versed in town and country planning issues and offers experts in public and administrative law, environmental law, dispute resolution, tax, tourism, real estate and construction. Large development projects are a key strength of the team, which is instructed by leading international companies and developers, as are related contentious issues. Team head Sara Blanco de Morais 'is the kind of professional who makes the difference in a big project; she is available, efficient, and all her interventions have a purpose'. Managing associate Manuel da Silva Gomes and senior associate Nuno Pimentel Gomes are also key figures.

Practice head(s):

Sara Blanco Morais


Extremely highly qualified services.

Sara Blanco de Morais is rigorous, gets to the point and answers all the queries; she then reassures you and your initiative that the firm is the right choice and the best.

Fernando Costal Carinhas is a young lawyer but he never gave us the impression of lacking experience; we appreciate his constant availability and obviously the quality of his work.

Sara Blanco de Morais is the kind of professional who makes the difference in a big project; she is available, efficient, and all her interventions have a purpose; she is one the best lawyers we have the chance to work with.

Highly efficient and professional.

Key clients

Elegant Family Hotels/Martinhal

Ikea Portugal/Inter Ikea Centres

Quinta do Lago

Vale do Lobo

United Investments Portugal – Sheraton Pine Cliffs Resort in the Algarve

Eunea/VESB, S.A. – Aldeia da Muda/Comporta

Universidade Nova de Lisboa

SCAI, S.A. (Grupo Champalimaud)

W.P. Carey, Inc.

Grupo SIL

Corporation of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Portugal

Galp Energia




United Lisbon International School

Capinha Lopes Consultant

Estoril Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Represented the District Council of Vila Real Santo António in litigation which involved several planning and environmental issues relating to the publication of an urban plan.
  • Advising United Lisbon International School on ‘Educational Hub’, a €150m development project.
  • Advised Jackyl on the urban licensing of ‘Project Aquaterra’, a shopping and leisure centre in Santa Cruz, Oeiras.


VdA excels in complex planning issues relating to domestic development projects and is experienced across related areas such as dispute resolution, environmental law, construction and regulation. The team is also adept at international planning work, particularly in Portuguese and French-speaking countries. The tourism, real estate, energy, infrastructure, logistics and agribusiness sectors are key focuses for the 'responsive' team, which is led by Raul Mota Cerveira.

Practice head(s):

Raul Mota Cerveira


We would recommend the firm for its high technical ability, availability, expertise and satisfactory results.

It is a multi-disciplinary team comprised of lawyers specialised in several fields who ensure an efficient and reliable service.

The lawyers we work with are experts in their specific areas and provide the client an efficient service and a good follow-up of the legal processes; they are always available to provide us any additional information we may need.

Raul Mota Cerveira is recommended.

Key clients


ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, SA

Auto-Estradas do Baixo Tejo (“AEBT”)




Edd’s Consultancy

EDP Renováveis

Fundbox / Quinta da Ombria

Governo Regional dos Açores


IFRRU – Instrumento Financeiro da Reabilitação e Revitalização Urbanas 2020

Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão (ISEG)

J. Cruz & M. Cruz


Municipality of Figueira da Foz

Neptune Charisma

Odebrech Ambiental

Stericycle Portugal


Urbireal Construções Civis

Work highlights

  • Continues to assist IFRRU – Instrumento Financeiro para a Reabilitação e Revitalização Urbana 2020 (IFRRU 2020) on the implementation of the financial instrument for the urban renewal, that covers the entire Portuguese territory.
  • Advising MEO – Serviços de Comunicações e Multimédia in disputes against several municipalities in Portugal.
  • Advising a South African private investor who is developing a five-star tourist resort in Príncipe island, Praia Sundy Resort.


Cuatrecasas regularly advises on town planning and planning issues relating to high-profile Portuguese construction, development and redevelopment projects. The team has a strong following from both international and domestic clients and is active across the commercial, retail, tourism, logistics and residential sectors. Nuno Sá Carvalho is a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Duarte Abecasis; Nuno Sá Carvalho; Lourenço Vilhena de Freitas

Key clients


Deka Immobilien Investments

Baupost/Eurofund (BPI Xv S.à.r.l)

XIOR Group

Orpea Group

Club Med

Acciona Group

Bosch group

DHL Group

Zurich Group

Fremont Bluespace

Habitat Invest


Savills Investment Management

Hi Partners (Blackstone)

The Student Hotel

RIVA Asset Management

Drago Capital Real Estate Advisors

Robinson Hotels (Tui Group)

Fundger Asset Mangement (CGD Group)

Bain Capital


Mabel Capital


Brico Depot

CBRE Global Investors

Faisal Private Bank

Solvay Group

Habitat Invest

Faurecia Group

Novo Banco

Principal Real Estate Europe

Leroy Merlin

Bank of America

Work highlights

  • Advising Novo Banco on the €60m sale of an emblematic resort in Comporta, which included advising on complex town planning issues.
  • Advising Baupost/Eurofunf management company on all real estate matters related to the redevelopment of Dolce Vita Tejo Shopping Centre, acquired by AXA Investment Managers.
  • Advising Xior Group on several acquisitions of student residencies in Portugal, which included advice on the town planning aspects.

FALM, Ferreira de Almeida, Luciano Marcos & Associados, Sociedade de Advogados, R.L

With 'very senior lawyers that have lots of experience in planning law', FALM, Ferreira de Almeida, Luciano Marcos & Associados, Sociedade de Advogados, R.L is home to several 'leading experts' such as Luciano Marcos and José Mário Ferreira de Almeida.

Gómez-Acebo & Pombo

Gómez-Acebo & Pombo takes on a range of planning work; it is particularly active in energy-sector mandates and has advised several international funds on the acquisition of energy plant portfolios. Real estate developments and rebuilding work are also a key strength and the team is present on a number of residential, hospitality and tourism sector projects. Of counsel Sofia Rodrigues Nunes, who was recently promoted, is noted for her urban planning and licensing experience.

Practice head(s):

Sofia Rodrigues Nunes


Undoubtedly the ability to know both sides of the issue.

I have to highlight the combination of technical capacity with the ability to know and follow the processes together with the respective services.

Sofia Rodrigues Nunes is outstanding, incredibly supportive and diligent. Her communication skills are also very notable.

Key clients

ODEON Properties


TCG Partners

Plenium Partners

Boissée Finances

UPI Group

Eastbanc Fund

AFA – Adelino, Farinha e Agrelles

Imobiliária Lisanjos

Treasure Scale


Work highlights

  • Advising ODEON Properties on two large projects – Secret Garden Villas and the Odeon Theatre – located in Lisbon.
  • Advising Junerastior on the implementation of an execution unit, integrating five parcels of land currently occupied with degraded industries, to implement an allotment for residential and services purposes.
  • Advising Boissée Finances on the refurbishment of a five-star hotel.


The 'extremely experienced and knowledgeable team' at Garrigues handles a range of zoning and planning instructions. The team is adept in urban regeneration and large development projects, and is also active on projects across the logistics, tourism and leisure sectors. Practice head Jorge Salvador Gonçalves is 'extremely dedicated, and his advice is very reliable and consistent.'

Practice head(s):

Jorge Salvador Gonçalves


In-depth knowledge of the material, analytical ability and speed in the processes.

Has a unique understanding of urban planning and large scale development in Portugal.

Extremely experienced and knowledgeable team.’

Jorge Salvador Gonçalves stands out for his professionalism and execution capacity.

Jorge Salvador Gonçalves has true exceptional technical ability in our affairs, he is clear and unambiguous.

Jorge Salvador Gonçalves is exceptional; apart from being highly knowledgeable and responsive he is extremely dedicated, and his advice is very reliable and consistent.

Miguel Menezes da Silva is solid and deserves credit for his dedication, professionality and quality.

Key clients

Fidelidade Group/Fosun

Novo Banco Group

Carlyle Group /Explorer Investments

Merlin Properties


Onyria Group

EastBanc Portugal


Work highlights

  • Advising Fidelidade – Property Europe on the landmark multi-use project at Entrecampos (Feira Popular) in Lisbon.
  • Advising The Carlyle Group (in a JV with Explorer Investments) on the planning and development of a condo, hotel and tourist village at Penha Longa Hotel & Golf Resort, Sintra-Cascais.
  • Advising AXA IM Real Assets on the redevelopment and refurbishment of UBBO Shopping Centre.


Drawing expertise from the firm's public law and real estate departments, Linklaters is able to offer urban planning advice, which is enhanced by the firm's tax, environmental law, banking, regulatory and dispute resolution experience. The team is often engaged on the planning aspects of high-profile real estate developments and transactions. Vera Eiró and Diogo Plantier Santos are names to note.

Practice head(s):

Vera Eiró; Diogo Plantier Santos


Vera Eiró has great knowledge.

Key clients

Kronos Investment Group and King Street Capital Management LP

Unilever Plc


Fundação Centro Cultural de Belém

Work highlights

  • Advised Kronos Investment Group and King Street Capital Management, under a JV arrangement bid, for the acquisition of plots A and B1 located in the properties of the former Lisbon Fair (Feira Popular).
  • Advised Fundação Centro Cultural de Belém on the public award procedure for surface rights for the construction and operation of a retail, services and hotel project in Lisbon.
  • Advised Cerberus on the acquisition of a portfolio of REOs located in Portugal and a portfolio of NPLs from Novo Banco.

SRS Advogados

The planning team at SRS Advogados is instructed by national and international clients on urban and land use planning issues relating to high-profile projects. Alexandre Roque heads the team, which is also adept at regulation, licensing, public procurement and urban planning-related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Alexandre Roque

Key clients

Port of Lisbon

Sumol+Compal, S.A.

Repsol Portugal, S.A.

Ventinveste, S.A.

Marcascais, S.A.

IHRU – Instituto de Habitação Urbana, I.P.

Regional Government of Madeira

Quinta dos Oitavos, Lda.

GALP Energia, S.A.


Work highlights

  • Advised the Port of Lisbon on the Marina de Pedrouços Project.
  • Advised Sumol + Compal on the construction of a new logistics storage facility.
  • Advised Marcascais on the urban renewal of the Cascais Marina.

Sérvulo & Associados

The urban planning department at Sérvulo & Associados is instructed by investors, major companies, funds and banks, and advises on planning and zoning issues and the execution of planning contracts. Licensing, technical and construction agreements are also key areas of expertise. Eduardo Gonçalves Rodrigues heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Eduardo Gonçalves Rodrigues


Eduardo Gonçalves Rodrigues has excellent planning knowledge.

Key clients

Interfundos – Gestão de Fundos de Investimento Imobiliário S.A.

FOCUS GROUP II – Design & Consultancy, Lda.

Graciosa Parcela, Lda.

New Paradigm – Investimentos Imobiliários, Lda.

Work highlights

  • Advised Interfundos on the planning matters of the €80m Golfe Praia da Marinha project.
  • Advised Focus Group II on the execution of the Lejana detail plan.
  • Advised Graciosa Parcela on the planning and licensing aspects related to the luxury and nature tourism development, Umay Resort,  which is located in Melides.