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Planning law in Portugal

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados‘ planning practice operates within the firm’s wider public, urban and environmental law department. Instructed by developers and local governments, the team regularly advises on major real estate developments and joint ventures across Portugal. Particularly praised by clients for its expertise in urbanisation projects, touristic developments and resorts, the team also provides assistance in terms of licensing, administrative procedures and investments. João Pereira Reis leads the team and is well regarded as a planning expert. Rui Ribeiro Lima further supports the practice, with a focus on public procurement, environmental and urban planning matters. Public law practice head João Tiago Silveira and real estate partner João Torroaes Valente are other names to note.

Practice head(s):

João Pereira Reis

Other key lawyers:

Rui Ribeiro Lima; João Torroaes Valente; João Tiago Silveira; Filipa Moraes Vaz

Testimonials

‘Extensive knowledge of the market, the political and legal framework, as well as experience and involvement in “past lives” of the same assets.’

‘Rui Ribeiro Lima is a well of knowledge about urbanism, risks and opportunities and with a very positive attitude and openness.’

‘João Pereira Reis – cooperated especially from the angle of the current political context, having demonstrated an openness and availability.’

‘Filipa Moraes Vaz is competent and professional.’

‘Wide range of specialties, all with high quality associates and partners. Excellent communication of legislation, processes, expectations and risks either orally (virtual or in person), written (Portuguese or English) or in the context of meetings with external entities (business and customer monitoring).’

‘In particular I recommend Dr. Rui Ribeiro Lima. Brilliant communication, availability, diligence and mastery of specialties.’

Key clients

Round Hill Capital

SONAE Capital

Câmara Municipal de Cascais (Municipality of Cascais)

Work highlights

  • Supporting a joint venture between an investment fund managed by Arrow Global and a group of investors in the acquisition from Lone Star of ten joint stock companies – “Vilamoura World Group”.
  • Assisting Re VIVE (a Belgian company) in acquiring a large area in Matosinhos (north of Portugal) to develop a sustainable residential project.
  • Advising Round Hill Capital on the licensing of an allotment and construction operation in Lisbon for housing units and student accommodation.

Sofia Galvao Advogados

Sofia Galvao Advogados is a boutique firm focused on real estate and project planning, development, and the implementation of economic activities on land and at sea. The firm offers an integrated approach for developers and investors in mixed-use touristic and high-end residential developments. Founding members Sofia Galvão and Hugo Nunes lead the practice; Galvão is a founding partner and has vast experience in real estate, tourism, construction and environmental planning, while Nunes has a strong litigation practice. Luís Moitinho de Almeida is another key figure in the team.

Practice head(s):

Sofia Galvão; Hugo Nunes

Testimonials

Our experience with SGA is of a highly skilled technical team, with a very pragmatic and useful approach to each situation.’

Sofia Galvão, Hugo Nunes: Creative thinking “out of the box” understanding the needs of the other party, thus allowing us to reach a successful conclusion with the objectives of all those involved satisfied.’

‘It is a privilege to work with Hugo Nunes, he is a highly skilled Lawyer with an out of the box approach to problems.’

‘The relationship with the office is excellent, a closeness and personal affinity that is important to the establishment of a professional relationship of trust. Transparency of communication and clarity of options are essential factors. The fluid and operational form of teamwork has been much appreciated and the results are visible.’

‘The firm is the reference in our market, it is a boutique office that only does this type of service, so they are super competent and knowledgeable. They are always available and return all communications in good time.’

‘Extremely experienced team in urban planning law, clearly among the best in the country. Focus on “outside the box” thinking and multidisciplinary interaction. Great ability to liaise with various public entities in the field of planning and urban planning. Great informality in the personal and institutional treatment, facilitating the sharing of information. Uncomplicated, objective and inclusive.’

Very happy with Hugo Nunes.’

Key clients

Discovery Land Company

Coporgest

Tidewell Corporation

Jackyl

Metropolitano de Lisboa, EPE

Quinta do Mar

Stone Capital

Auchan Portugal Hipermercados

El Corte Inglès

Grupo de Moradores do Restelo

Gulbenkian Foundation

Bedrock Capital

Smartenergy

Pestana

Work highlights

  • Advising DLC on a project which translates into the acquisition and development of a prime-location allotment, for the installation of a residential and touristic complex.
  • Supporting Novo Banco Group in two of its real estate and planning projects; Artilharia 1, in Lisbon, and Benagil, in Algarve, as well as due diligence.
  • Assisting a group of over 200 residents of the Restelo Neighbourhood in Lisbon to contest two public initiative urban development projects (allotments) put forward by the Lisbon Town Council.

PLMJ

PLMJ‘s planning team is particularly adept at advising on urban developments, utilising its strong relationships with local municipal councils in Lisbon and Porto. The team is regularly instructed in matters concerning public, administrative and environmental law, for touristic, real estate and construction transactions. 2021 brought a new era for the team, with urban and rural planning specialist Andreia Candeias Mousinho returning from an in-house role to take over as practice head. Manuel da Silva Gomes left the firm in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Andreia Candeias Mousinho

Other key lawyers:

Benedita Lacerda; Diogo Duarte Campos; Raquel Freitas

Testimonials

‘Strong drive to achieve client and project goals. Exceptional accountability and availability.’

‘Diogo Duarte Campos, Andreia Candeias Mouzinho and Benedita Lacerda are a strong and balanced team, always available to help project management, designers and customers to overcome constraints and achieve success in the approval of territorial plans prepared by the entire team.’

‘Experienced team with knowledge of the market. Deal oriented. Face-to-face and virtual availability.’

‘With regard to urban planning and land use planning, it has a multidisciplinary team allowing for the specialization of each subject. Knowledgeable in each region, each city council and each Plan, allowing a quick and accurate response.’

‘For the project in question, the existence of a multidisciplinary team capable of responding to the various needs in both the urban and real estate areas was crucial, providing an effective and capable response to the problem presented.’

‘Andreia Candeias Mousinho has in-depth knowledge of all the issues of urbanism raised, capacity for extraordinary teamwork, speed of responses and people capacity to adapt to the nuances that the project gained with the evolution of the process.’

‘Excellent communication. They are very professional, communication is very proactive and fees are competitive for an office that is among the best in Portugal. The quality and speed with which they develop the work is very satisfactory.’

‘Raquel Freitas is very professional, manages communication with our company promptly.’

Key clients

Verdelago – Sociedade Imobiliária

Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Oxy Capital

Davidson Kempner European Partners

Norfin

Hipoges Iberia

Loftspace Projetos

United Investments Portugal

Decimasuplente

Changereality

Arboreabiofoods

Unidorm – Residência para Estudantes

Petróleos de Portugal – Petrogal

CSH Sousa Lopes

W.P.Carey

Temprano Capital Partners

Corporation of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Portugal

Work highlights

  • Advised Verdelago on the licensing procedures to execute a touristic development located on the Algarve coast and on a detailed plan alteration procedure.
  • Advised Universidade Nova de Lisboa on the procedure to create key facilities in the Campus of the School of Science and Technology in Caparica (which is inserted in the Almada Innovation District)
  • Advised CSH Sousa Lopes on the licensing procedure relating to the construction, use and operation of a student residence in Lisbon.

Sérvulo & Associados

Acting for major real estate investors, companies, banks and funds, the planning team at Sérvulo & Associados advises on a large share of planning and licensing matters related to development in the Portuguese market. Zoning and planning expert Eduardo Gonçalves Rodrigues leads the team and also works alongside the firm’s wider real estate practice, particularly on residential and touristic developments, where his experience as an architect is valuable to clients. Litigation and urban licensing specialist Filipa Névoa works closely alongside Rodrigues.

Practice head(s):

Eduardo Gonçalves Rodrigues

Other key lawyers:

Filipa Névoa

Testimonials

‘In addition to the technical quality of the work team, I emphasize the commitment to the client, without disregarding the concern with the defense of the public interest.’

‘I highlight Eduardo Gonçalves Rodrigues, my privileged interlocutor at Sérvulo, for the consistency of his ethical and behavioral values, along with his technical knowledge of the subjects.’

‘Eduardo Gonçalves: Helpful and always ready to present new perspectives and examples for a given challenge.’

‘Eduardo is excellent. Superb knowledge and incisive mind.’

Key clients

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

FOCUS GROUP II – Design & Consultancy, Lda.

New Paradigm – Investimentos Imobiliários, Lda.

Ponta do Oeste – Sociedade de Promoção e Desenvolvimento da Zona Oeste da Madeira (SPDPO)

Work highlights

  • Assisted Interfundos on the planning matters of the Golfe Praia da Marinha (GPM) project.
  • Assisted Focus Group II on the execution of the Vidais Industrial Detail Plan.
  • Advised New Paradigm on the execution of a plotting project aiming to execute the UOPG3 Detail Plan.

TELLES

TELLES' planning practice is praised by clients for its urban development expertise, and is particularly strong in development, construction and licensing instructions. In Porto, Pedro Almeida e Sousa's extensive and longstanding real estate experience is valued by clients, particularly in historic regeneration projects. Miguel Nogueira Leite is based in Lisbon, from where he co-leads the team; he has a broad practice across the retail, tourism, agricultural and industrial sectors. Senior associate Frederico Styliano Reis and associate Bernardo Gomes De Castro are further names to note.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Almeida e Sousa; Miguel Nogueira Leite

Other key lawyers:

Frederico Styliano Reis; Bernardo Gomes de Castro

Testimonials

‘TELLES offer a great relationship with the client, involvement in the themes with great collaboration and a good knowledge in urbanism matters.’

‘The firm has deep knowledge in matters of urbanism, with specialists in the area are highlights for this law firm, resulting in a quality of service provided above what is normal in the market.’

Key clients

RAR – IMOBILIÁRIA, S.A

SIS (SKTO) GROUPE

FERREIRA BUILD POWER

ALTIS GROUP

SUPERBOCK GROUP

MUNICIPALITY OF LISBON

JUSHI INC.

VOGUE HOMES

CELESTIAL ORDEM DA TRINDADE

GARCIA, GARCIA, S.A.

TRANSMAIA  -TRANSPORTES LDA

HOTÉIS DO RIO SOCIEDADE TURíSTICA DO RIO SADO, LDA

PROMIRIS

THOMAS & PIRON

WORK 3 ENGENHARIA E CONSULTORIA LDA

Work highlights

  • Advised RAR Group on the licensing of the rehabilitation of Quinta de S. José de Ribamar (a 16th Century monastery and palace) for the development of a residential area.
  • Advised Lousas de Valondo S.A on the preparation of a Prior Information Request and a development contract for the maintenance of the construction capacity of land located in Valongo.
  • Advised SIS Groupe on the licensing process of an operation to rehabilitate a city block in ruins in the historical centre of Braga and  build an assisted living and care centre.

Cuatrecasas

Cuatrecasas advises clients on town planning, licensing and portfolio planning matters in relation to high-profile real estate M&A. The team, led by real estate head Nuno SÁ Carvalho, works on a broad range of transactional, financing, construction and development matters for major banks and investors. Urban regeneration specialist Sara Quaresma was promoted to partner in 2020 and is active in town planning matters.

Practice head(s):

Nuno Sá Carvalho;

Other key lawyers:

Sara Quaresma

Testimonials

‘As an international client who does not know the nuances of the Portuguese law or has experience in the Portugal legal system, the key capabilities of Cuatrecasas are clearly their collective experience across all aspects of law as well as specific specialised areas.’

‘One can get an overview of a specific topic and then a detailed in-depth assessment of the topic and their unique aspects feeling comfortable and understanding the aspects.’

‘The team is always punctual and communicates well. The team is also ‘goal’ focussed to find results quickly and not to ‘draw’ issues out.’

‘Nuno Sa Carvalho is clear in his assessment of the challenges at hand, available, and extremely committed to getting the result. Nuno has a very good way when negotiating with the other parties and articulates himself very well.’

‘The team is extremely proactive. The analysis and insights on the topics under discussion are remarkable and help understanding the possibilities and impacts of the issues at hand.’

‘Nuno Sá Carvalho is a very talented professional and individual. His capability to understand the larger picture and to then narrow down implications and decisions is a much appreciated.

‘The main quality to describe our relation with CUATRECASAS Portugal is availability and security. Specially during these days when you need flexibility and quickness to answer several important legal matters, the possibility to call one partner and obtain the answer is extremely important.’

Key clients

Orpea Group

Hi Partners (Blackstone)

RIVA Asset Management

Novo Banco

Auchan

Les Mousquetaires

Fremont Bluespace

Zurich

COFIDIS

Robert Bosch Group

The Student Hotel

Castle Group

Unicorn Group

Baupost/Eurofund (BPI Xv S.à.r.l)

Savills Investment Management

Circuito do Sol

BricoDepot

Invesco

Work highlights

  • Advising Orpea on the acquisition and development of several real estate properties for the development of senior residencies throughout Portugal, including the town planning assessment of the projects.
  • Advising HI Partners on the acquisition of a 5-star hotel in Algarve, which included important licensing and town planning issues.
  • Advising RIVA Group on the town planning matters related to the development of a built to rent project in Lisbon, with a total investment of €100M.

Gómez-Acebo & Pombo

Of counsel Sofia Rodrigues Nunes spearheads the planning practice at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo. Particularly strong in urban renewal projects, Nunes and the team support local and foreign investors in planning and licensing matters for residential and touristic purposes.

Practice head(s):

Sofia Rodrigues Nunes

Other key lawyers:

José Manuel Silva Nunes

Testimonials

The office has been a continuous partner in many common projects, always providing value and constituting a factor of comfort and safety in urban operations.’

‘The availability, objectivity, professionalism and quick response of the professionals we work with.’

‘We highlight Sofia Nunes and José Manuel Silva Nunes. The qualities that we highlight in both are precisely their availability, the speed in responding to the requests we make to them, as well as their respective effectiveness.’

‘Sofia Nunes: Her availability and experience have been very important in managing common projects. Her urban management background in local administration has proven to be a very important experience.’

‘Competence, integrity, flexibility and availability of the team are the main characteristics that distinguish Gómez-Acebo & Pombo.’

‘Sofia Nunes stands out for her commitment and capacity in the legal resolution of the processes under analysis. Great interpersonal skills and teamwork. The availability to clarify the legal aspects involved is also highlighted, presenting in a clear and concise manner the various possible approaches to the subject in question.’

‘What distinguishes the GA_P team, and which leads us to recurrently work with this firm, is the knowledge and ability to develop work on territorial issues. A team always ready to find a solution and not just confront us with problems and barriers. In our collaboration, the GA_P team was always able to find solutions and implement them.’

‘Our relationship and contact has always been through Sofia Nunes, with whom we have collaborated for many years in different types of work. The directness with which she always presented the adversities that we will have to face and the constructive way in which she faced them is without a doubt her best quality.’

Key clients

Galaxy Support (Stone Capital Group)

Paralelabrangente (Stone Capital Group)

RIVA Investments (Inversiones Inmobiliárias)

Lotusolhar

UPI Tavira (UPI Group)

UPI Lisbon 9 (UPI Group)

Junerastior

Enigma Solene

Destakalicerce

Investmad

Fortune Margin

Abraços Andantes

Odeon Properties

UPI Lisbon 12 (UPI Group)

Novo Banco

Work highlights

  • Advised Galaxy Support regarding an urban development project in the Municipality of Oeiras.
  • Advised Paralelabrangente in connection with the acquisition of a company owning several properties in Lisbon.
  • Advised UPI Tavira regarding an Urban development Project in the historic area of Tavira (Algarve).

SRS Advogados

Alexandre Roque leads SRS Advogados' planning practice, which regularly advises well-known domestic companies and public institutes on urban planning and land use matters. The team also advises on energy planning-related matters, namely large-scale photovoltaic power plants.

Practice head(s):

Alexandre Roque

Other key lawyers:

José Luís Moreira da Silva

Testimonials

‘Alexandre Roque is very knowledgeable about the subjects he follows, very hardworking, very serious and dedicated, conveys enormous confidence in the opinions he issues and in the work carried out.’

‘We emphasize the quality and efficiency of the services provided, the deep theoretical and practical knowledge and the involvement and availability of lawyers in the client’s matters. The implemented innovation, virtual meetings and electronic billing, demonstrated the team’s ability to work, maintaining the provision of an excellent service.’

‘We highlight the team with whom we work, José Luís Moreira da Silva and Alexandre Roque, whose technical competence and availability and involvement in the processes deserves the greatest appreciation and trust.’

Key clients

Port of Lisbon

Sumol+Compal, S.A.

Repsol Portugal, S.A.

Ventinveste, S.A.

IHRU – Instituto de Habitação Urbana, I.P.

Regional Government of Madeira

GALP Energia, S.A.

KKR IMO, S.A.

Oceano Fresco, S.A.

VentientEnergy, S.A.

MTX Solar, Lda.

Finerge, S.A.

Gesto Energia, S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised Sumol + Compal on the construction of new logistic storage facilities in Almeirim, Portugal.
  • Advised the Port of Lisbon on the Marina de Pedrouços Project.
  • Advised various clients on the planning approval of large-scale photovoltaic power plants.

Uría Menéndez – Proença Carvalho

Uría Menéndez – Proença Carvalho‘s planning practice is led by the well regarded Gonçalo Reino Pires. The team’s expertise covers a wide range of planning matters, including licensing procedures and environmental assessments. Pires’ advice is sought out by developers and investors for touristic and logistical projects.

Practice head(s):

Gonçalo Reino Pires

Other key lawyers:

Pedro Teixeira de Sousa

Testimonials

‘Good quality of work, personal relationships, and competence.’

‘Good ability to integrate with multidisciplinary teams; diverse team covering various legal areas.’

‘Gonçalo Reino Pires has a high capacity for work, very in-depth legal knowledge, good command of the files, cordiality and customer service.’

‘Professionals with the best knowledge of the legal field.’

‘Despite being a large firm, Uria’s planning department has a very local feel. The relationships they have with local planning officials and other stakeholders make a difficult process more manageable and their knowledge, certainly of our project, meant that we have ben able to short circuit and number of potentially lengthy processes.’

‘Goncalo Reino Pires has guided us expertly through the planning maze and his advice on how to approach certain aspects of the process and how to present our plans in the best possible light has been invaluable and we very much look forward to working with him and his team over the coming years.’

Key clients

Bain Capital

Qantara Capital

IMP BV

Fibeira Group

Grand Bay Residences

Ikos Resorts

Accor Group

Rivercrown

Multi Development

Planbelas

Explorer Investments

HipoGes Iberia

Habitat Invest

Allianz

ECS Capital

Iberdrola

Tishman Speyer

Work highlights

  • Advising Goldman Sachs on the development of the Antas Atrium project in Porto, which has more than 1,000 apartments occupying 177,000 m2.
  • Advising Capital Real I on a development in Loures with a buildable area of 300,000 m2.
  • Advising Qantara Capital on the development of the Grândola Logistic Platform, which occupies about 130 ha.

VdA

VdA‘s planning practice covers a range of urban development projects related to environmental project planning and litigation. The practice is notable for its presence and expertise in African jurisdictions, particularly in São Tomé and Príncipe, for zoning, land use and urban planning instructions. Raul Mota Cerveira leads the team and is a key contact for public contracts and regulatory work.

Practice head(s):

Raul Mota Cerveira

Key clients

EDP Renováveis

Malanza Development, S.A.

EllaLink

Neptune Charisma, Lda.

Vanguard Properties (Group Claude Berda)

IFRRU – Instrumento Financeiro da Reabilitação e Revitalização Urbanas 2020

MEO – Serviços de Comunicações e Multimédia, S.A.

ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, S.A.

HBD – São Tomé and Príncipe

Municipality of Figueira da Foz

STP INVESTMENTS

Fundbox

Quinta da Ombria

Odebrecht Ambiental, S.A.

Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão (ISEG)

Biocom

Google

Millennium BCP – Banco Comercial Português, S.A.

CAVIBEL

Douro Marina Hotel, S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advising EllaLink and its affiliate CSEB in all licencing and planning matters regarding the installation of a sea communication cable linking Brazil, Madeira and Portugal.
  • Advising Google with licensing and planning matters regarding the installation and landing of a sea communication cable.
  • Assisting Neptune Charisma with several planning, licensing and litigation matters regarding the development of tourism infrastructure in Praia do Pintadinho, Lagoa, Algarve.