Porto: Leading commercial firms in Portugal
Garrigues's office in Porto fields a 20-strong team advising across corporate and M&A, litigation, employment and tax matters. Rui Valente is the firm's head of employment and social security practice and has seen a significant increase in collective dismissals and similar work as a result of the pandemic, for which the firm's corporate mobile app and existing home-office policy have both been valuable tools. Tomás Pessanha co-heads the office with Valente and is a corporate and M&A expert with over 20 years of experience, particularly in projects and energy deals. At the non-partner level, João Soares Almeida and André Oliveira Correia stand out in employment alongside Manuel Liberal Jerónimo on the corporate side.
Rui Valente; Tomás Pessanha
Other key lawyers:
João Soares Almeida; André Oliveira Correia; Manuel Liberal Jerónimo
‘Garrigues provides an excellent level of service, with a very close monitoring of the customer. The partner Tomás Pessanha, with whom we worked for about 15 years, is a magnificent lawyer. In addition to a high legal knowledge, he has a high capacity for work and has a totally client-oriented approach.’
‘The general level of service is excellent, as they have a team that shows; good knowledge and deep understanding of the legal framework; high technical competence; professionalism; great negotiation skills and a particular ability to reach consensus solutions, placing the client’s interest at the center of the analysis and resolution of each problem; an integrated view and analysis of topics, covering the different specialties of law; and the team is always available and able to give its opinion and work within demanding deadlines.’
‘We have been working mainly with Tomás Pessanha and Manuel Liberal Jerónimo. Both are experts in their practice, with deep knowledge of the general legal framework, thus ensuring that all issues are dealt with professionally and efficiently.’
‘Excellent service! In the various processes worked on, there was always a concern to understand the full fit of them in the company’s objectives, alerting to possible weaknesses and always suggesting alternative paths so that the objectives were achieved without any constraint.’
‘André Correia de Oliveira is concerned to understand everything involved before suggesting solutions; defence always very structured and aligned with the company’s objectives and legal issues. Rui Valente is a negotiator par excellence.’
‘The whole team is extremely committed to giving the best answer to the client’s needs, the availability shown in the resolution of cases is exceptional as well as in the presentation of several alternative solutions in the resolution of cases.’
‘Garrigues’ Corporate and M&A team provides a superior service. They are technically excellent, with a strong experience of monitoring their customers in a global and integrated perspective. From our experience, Tomás Pessanha and Manuel Liberal Jerónimo stand out. They are capable of real monitoring of highly complex operations and transactions.’
‘Manuel Liberal Jerónimo is technically excellent, pragmatic and with simple and linear dialogue.’
BNP Paribas Factor
Alain Afflelou Group
Klöckner Pentaplast Group
Atena Capital Partners
Vallis Capital Partners
Mystic Invest Group
Galro Resort Hotels
Alert Life Sciences Computing
Bimba & Lola
C. Santos Group
- Advised the private shareholders of Frulact SGPS in the sale of Frulact Group to Ardian.
- Assisted one of Vallis Capital Partners’ private equity funds (Vallis Sustainable Investments II FCR) in the purchase of Greenyard Logistics Portugal – Logística e Transportes.
- Acted for Mahle Group on a collective dismissal.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados
'Rigor, pragmatism and constant availability' are hallmarks of Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados' team of Porto-based lawyers, who cover the full range of legal services. Among a diverse set of matters, recent highlights have included a number of labour law issues for Paula Ponces Camanho, as well as advice to Gestifute Group on rights transfers in high-profile international football signings, led by Paulo Rendeiro. Carlos Osório de Castro is a capital markets expert; António Lobo Xavier is the go-to tax law contact; the office's managing partner Bernardo Lobo Xavier excels in M&A and real estate; and João Anacoreta Correia co-ordinates the disputes team.
Bernardo Lobo Xavier; António Lobo Xavier; Joaquim Vieira Peres; Luís Gagliardini Graça; António Pedro Braga; Nuno Peres Alves; João Anacoreta Correia
Other key lawyers:
Paula Ponces Camanho; Paulo Rendeiro; Carlos Osório de Castro; Gonçalo Fleming
‘We work with Morais Leitão on urbanism and real estate issues. They are one of the few companies in the north with this expertise, which has led them to be different in relation to projects that take place in the Porto region.’
‘Nuno Peres Alves is a partner with great experience in matters of real estate and uncomplicates complex matters, managing to explain the issues with ease for interlocutors who are not specialists or are even outside the legal area.’
‘Rigor, pragmatism, constant availability and commitment to the solution.’
‘Carlos Osório de Castro, António Lobo Xavier and Gonçalo Fleming are all extremely rigorous, oriented to solve the problem in a practical way and always very close and available to the customer.’
‘MLGTS has excellent technical skills. The team allocated to us has an excellent knowledge of the business.‘
- Acting for Mystic Invest Group on the sale of 40% of the share capital of MysticInvest Holding to Certares Management, including the prior group reorganization.
- Assisting Gestifute Group on the definitive transfer of the federative and economic rights of Portuguese professional football player Bruno Fernandes from Portuguese club Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol to Manchester United FC.
- Advised Solverde on the application of lay-off procedures and other governmental measures to tackle the pandemic crisis involving more than 2,200 employees.
PLMJ's full-service Porto office is headed by vastly experienced tax lawyer Miguel Reis, whose recent highlights have included work on renewable energy projects. The firm's diverse roster of international and major domestic companies grew this year, with new instructions from clients in the pulp and paper and communications sectors, among others. Labour law and arbitration expert Manuel Cavaleiro Brandão and corporate and M&A partner Filipe Avides Moreira are names to note. João Velez de Lima and Diogo Duarte Campos are key contacts in tax and public law, respectively.
Other key lawyers:
Manuel Cavaleiro Brandão; Filipe Avides Moreira; João Velez de Lima; Diogo Duarte Campos
‘The partners of the Porto office make a difference because they bring the know-how and knowledge of a large office and at the same time manage to maintain a very personalized involvement and monitoring of matters.‘
‘In all encounters I’ve had with them, PLMJ attorneys have been responsive, professional, and competent.’
‘Filipe Avides Moreira’s work product is exceptional.’
‘Experienced, effective, practical and result driven. Very pleased with their work on administrative and environmental law.’
‘I would like to highlight the partner Filipe Avides Moreira as he is the person with whom I have worked the most. I would like to highlight the intellectual rigor, competence and the honest and transparent way in which Filipe works in the search for solutions to problems. I think this combination is very difficult to find. The other aspect that I could not fail to mention is the speed of response (only possible due to the attributes I mentioned).’
‘The oversight and audit team at the Porto office integrates elements with a high degree of technical knowledge. They are dynamic, proactive, competent and focused on reaching solutions that allow them to anticipate problems and optimize solutions. They are quick and efficient in responding to the client and convey the legal certainty that clients need when carrying out operations.’
‘I particularly recommend João Velez de Lima and Diogo Duarte Campos. They have deep technical knowledge of the topics presented, excellent communication skills, are proactive, anticipate problems and present effective solutions. They genuinely care about the customer, are ethically correct and stand out for the sublime way of communicating with the customer.‘
‘Good quality of service provided by a very competent team. Speed in answering the questions presented.’
Fidelidade Companhia de Seguros
Instituto de Gestão de Fundos de Capitalização da Segurança Social, IP
Luso Finsa Group
OMTEL (former Altice’s telecommunication towers owner and currently Cellnex)
Porto Vivo SRU
Super Bock Group
Tofane Global, S.A.
- Advised Broadcom on its transfer of local business/assets from Symantec’s Portuguese branch, and drafted the relevant transaction documentation.
- Assisting the main institutional investors in a judicial challenge against several decisions of the Bank of Portugal regarding the resolution of BES – Banco Espírito Santo and the creation of Novo Banco.
- Acting for Violas Ferreira on a new retail project for offices (Porto Office Park).
Abreu Advogados' office in Porto has core strengths in energy project financing, complex tax assessments and corporate disputes, areas in which the team remained busy during 2020. Maria Dulce Soares co-ordinates the office's five-strong tax team, while the sizeable corporate practice is jointly led by dispute resolution-focused Paulo de Tarso Domingues and the 'experienced and very well connected' Rui Peixoto Duarte. Clients include both multinational and domestic heavyweights in a range of sectors, from oil and gas and automotive to tourism and retail.
Rui Peixoto Duarte; Maria Dulce Soares; Paulo de Tarso Domingues
Other key lawyers:
José Carlos Vasconcelos
‘The firm is one of the few firms in the Portuguese market with a great deal of knowledge of international / European tax law. The office works very professionally, but the contact is informal and pleasant. The service provided is very fast, adequate and tailor-made.‘
‘What I most appreciate about Abreu Advogados is its “independence”. For me it is the large Portuguese law firm that has significant importance in the country mainly due to its excellent lawyers, IT system and organizational structure.’
‘Rui Peixoto Duarte is an experienced and very well-connected lawyer, a good team coordinator.’
‘I highly recommend the lawyer we work with most directly in our daily lives, José Carlos Vasconcelos.’
Oldenburgische Landesbank Aktiengesellschaft
Genibet Biopharmaceuticals Sa
Anadarko (currently Total) (Oil & Gas)
Famaval -Criações Metálicas Adauta, S.A. Telecommunication
TMG Group (Automotive)
Barnar SGPS (Holding of a group operating in the plastics industry)
Iberdrola Generación (Energy Sector)
- Assisting Anadarko/Total on the development of the Offshore Area 1 LNG project in Mozambique.
- Assisted Yellowtel Hotelaria e Turismo on the promissory sale of several property units located at the touristic resort known as Clube Praia da Rocha, near Portimão beach (Algarve).
- Assisting Cepsa on various ongoing tax advice and litigation.
PRA-Raposo, Sá Miranda & Associados, Sociedade de Advogados SP RL
PRA-Raposo, Sá Miranda & Associados, Sociedade de Advogados SP RL's sizeable Porto office offers a full-service in business law and is instructed by a number of major domestic clients in the real estate, transport and pharmaceuticals industries, among others. Nine partners oversee 'highly specialised teams', with Pedro Sá being the main contact for corporate matters. Miguel Miranda heads the commercial contracts and competition teams and both he and Sá are praised as 'extremely experienced and knowledgeable'.
Other key lawyers:
Miguel Miranda; Noel Gomes; Nuno Oliveira Santos; Joana de Sá; Inês Santos
‘We highlight: ethics, transparency and internal communication between team members and their coordinator and the client (a factor that streamlines, simplifies communication): the fruitful interaction between teams / departments in multidisciplinary matters: and the language (formal, with necessary decorum and seriousness) used in formal and informal communication with the client.‘
‘Of the public law capabilities of the team: rigor and demand, technical and legal knowledge and a keen capacity for analyzing and solving problems, speed of action, availability, professionalism of communications with public entities, the rigor of the public procurement pieces, and the capacity to respond to the client’s purchasing needs.‘
‘We highlight PRA in terms of its competence, the agility and speed in presenting the proposal to the client and in writing the legal documents requested, the transparency of the work and billing, the fair and accessible billing for the work carried out, the total availability.’
‘We highlight Noel Gomes and the department he manages: public law. Of its most relevant qualities, we value its technical competence, up-to-date legislative knowledge, total availability, the ability to manage various subjects from different legal areas, the ability to manage different departments in multidisciplinary themes, attention to meeting deadlines for the client, the care of the legal solutions presented (in order to leave the client always safe and calm in strict compliance with the law), their human and ethical grandeur.‘
‘Highly specialized teams, very skilled and effective. They are organized in a way that ensures that each matter is exclusively dealt with by the lawyers that have specialized in the relevant field. They are, from my experience, very law and market-savvy and they work well in integrating all different legal areas.‘
‘Pedro Sá is the partner I deal with the most; he 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 (especially in the context of heavy negotiations) that I find to be unusual. They also pay attention to the details and that’s why I trust them the keys to my businesses.‘
‘Nuno Oliveira Santos and Inês Santos are highly experienced individuals and quite skillful in dealing with a range of complex matters, especially in dealing with the Portuguese tax authorities.‘
‘Good technical quality and a deep knowledge of society.’
The IT and automotive sectors were particularly rich sources of work in 2020 for the Porto office of VdA, whose work is co-ordinated by Isabel Gião Andrade, an expert in cross-border commercial activities. The team is praised for its 'thorough and thoughtful counsel' and from a deep pool of non-partner lawyers, managing associate Benedita Gonçalves stands out for her labour law advice, working on a number of restructurings and collective dismissals in 2020. Her fellow managing associate Inês Ribera is also a key contact and coordinates the corporate and governance team.
Isabel Gião de Andrade
Other key lawyers:
Benedita Gonçalves; Inês Ribera
‘VdA professionals are very experienced and responsive. Throughout the firm, they have experience in most of the subjects, and arrive to a good proposal within a short period of time.’
‘Their knowledge is of the best level I’ve seen, and their team covers a very wide range of topics. Their communication is superbly clear, focused, and pragmatic. They can indeed fit in our shoes and communicate the legal details in a way that we can easily grasp them.’
‘The capacity to deal with the client; showing empathy, politeness, and concern in solving their problems. The ability to express and defend arguments in the processes the team deals with, showing specialized knowledge, not only related to juridical matters but also to the reality of the markets that may be involved in the processes.’
‘Benedita Gonçalves is a great support in our organization in terms of support of HR activities. One of the best professionals we worked with.‘
‘In our company we always have matters that need the intervention of different specialties. VdA has professionals that tackle different aspects of law (labour, business, corporate, tax) and can offer a unique service.’
‘Inês Ribera is always available to explain any concerns we might have regarding law application. If it’s not within her knowledge, she will delegate in another partner, but never leaving the matter. She will close it with us.‘
‘Benedita Gonçalves is not only an excellent lawyer but also a fantastic human being. In the support provided to our company regarding labor issues I am always confident and secure with the information I receive. She also leads her team in a way that there is always someone available and with the best fit to solve any issue that arises.‘
‘Diverse expertise within the team from corporate affairs to technology subjects. Very quick in response.’
STCP – Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto, S.A.
Grupo Casais, Adriparte, S.A., José Moreira Fernandes & Filhos, Lda.
Alberto Couto Alves, S.A.
Schmidt Light Metal Group
Lusomedicamenta – Sociedade Técnica Farmacéutica, S.A.
Clutch Creator Inc.
HBM Fibersensing S.A.
SOS OXYGENE SAS
DAMAP GROUP, S.A.
Luís Simões Logística Integrada, S.A.
Eberspächer Exhaust Technology Portugal, Unipessoal, Lda.
Vodafone Portugal – Comunicações Pessoais, S.A.
Hostelworld Services Portugal, Lda.
CTT – Correios de Portugal, S.A.
MEO – Serviços de Comunicações e Multimédia, S.A.
CONDURIL – Engenharia, S.A.
MAAP – MA Automotive Portugal, S.A.
- Assisting Efacec Power Solutions on matters of public law, especially in relation to construction issues and public procurement procedures.
- Advising AAPICO Group on the refinancing of an investment loan previously made with a private equity investment firm, as well as in the reorganisation of the business activity and structure of the Portuguese companies of the group.
Boutique Porto-based firm Cavaleiro & Associados has 'a multi-disciplinary team, capable of answering questions from various areas of law'. The team particularly stands out in public law and energy, and has a strong business law component. João Quintela Cavaleiro comes highly recommended by a host of clients. Working alongside him, Pedro Seixas Silva concentrates on corporate, finance, labour and IP matters. The team has continued growing its base of international and domestic clients, as well as opening a new office in Viana do Castelo.
João Quintela Cavaleiro; Pedro Seixas Silva
Other key lawyers:
Tiago Rocha Matos
‘Excellent legal support, with listening skills and personalized assistance.’
‘I highlight João Cavaleiro’s way of being and working, due to the way he gets involved in the different projects and leads them to a much higher performance, contributing with value to the different areas where he operates.’
‘The strongest points are: fast response, good knowledge in the area, great work ethic and persistence in achieving positive results.’
‘João Quintela Cavaleiro has great work capacity, technical preparation, and practical sense.’
‘The company stands out for its partner João Quintela Cavaleiro, who has a very dynamic, very personalized and client-oriented approach.’
‘They have a multidisciplinary team, capable of answering questions from various areas of law applicable to the company’s activity.’
‘João Cavaleiro, Pedro Seixas Silva and Tiago Rocha Matos, are available 24 hours a day (via mobile phone) for the questions we raise. It becomes more visible when submitting purchase / sales procedures on platforms, out of hours.’
‘João Quintela Cavaleiro always shows excellent knowledge in the labor law area and achieves very positive results in all matters.‘
Cuatrecasas' Porto office focuses on five areas of law: corporate and M&A, public law, litigation, employment and tax. As director of the office, Paulo de Sá e Cunha oversees the work of several highly regarded non-partner lawyers: the 'very pragmatic and focused' Mónica Azevedo advises on civil law, criminal law and life sciences; Vasco Moura Ramos 'has deep knowledge in the area of public law'; and 'technically flawless professional' Samantha Cyrne leads all of the firm's matters related to Mozambique.
Paulo de Sá e Cunha
Other key lawyers:
Mónica Azevedo; Vasco Moura Ramos; Samantha Cyrne
‘The specialization of the teams in various branches of law, demonstrating an above-average quality in the services provided in the area of public procurement.’
‘Vasco Moura Ramos has deep knowledge in the area of public law. Qualities most valued: Availability, assertiveness and work method.’
‘The relationship and communication are excellent. Shows great interest in our activity.’
‘The multidisciplinary team allows for greater monitoring and security in case-by-case and preventive assessment. I highlight Vasco Moura Ramos, Marlene Nogueira and Samantha Cyrne.’
‘It is a highly experienced, responsible and proactive team, and they give us total confidence.’
‘Services provided are characterized by the high degree of professionalism and rigor with which all matters are treated. Multidisciplinary team of lawyers, maintaining the same qualities in any field of law.’
‘Samantha Cyrne is a technically flawless professional. Solid knowledge in many areas. Always has a friendly and professional approach. Our confidence in Samantha is very great.‘
‘Mónica Azevedo always reveals a correct and thoughtful approach. Very pragmatic and focused on the goal.’
IFD – DEVELOPMENT FINANCIAL INSTITUTION
BANCO COMERCIAL PORTUGUÊS (BCP)
CENTRO HOSPITALAR DE SÃO JOÃO
ÁGORA- CULTURA E DESPORTO DO PORTO EM
MUNICIPALITY OF OPORTO
CHTMAD – CENTRO HOSPITALAR DE TRÁS-OS-MONTES E ALTO DOURO, E.P.E, MADE UP OF FIVE HOSPITAL UNITS IN THE NORTH OF PORTUGAL.
BARATA & RAMILO (PARFOIS BRAND)
STRONGEAGLE MOZAMBIQUE FUND
ASSOCIAÇÃO DE TURISMO DO PORTO
ALANTRA PRIVATE EQUITY
GAW CAPITAL ADVISORS LIMITED
ATENA EQUITY PARTNERS
- Advising Banco Comercial Português on a special revitalisation procedure for more than €100m.
- Acting for IFD on the organisation of the competitive procedures regarding venture capital funds financing and business angel financing, for more than €100m.
- Assisting Correos Express on general corporate matters, corporate governance matters and authorised economic operator status.
JPAB - José Pedro Aguiar-Branco Advogados
Miranda & Associados
Key players in the country's construction, transport and services industries are among the clients of Miranda & Associados' Porto office, often instructing the team on complex cross-border commercial contracts, as well as litigation. Tiago Amorim is renowned for his public law expertise and is strong in dispute resolution in this area. He co-heads the office alongside João Coelho de Pinho, whose strengths lie in cross-border commercial transactions and disputes.
Tiago Amorim; João Coelho de Pinho
Other key lawyers:
Susana Rios de Oliveira; Eurico Monteiro Pereira
Rotas do Algarve Litoral
ACA – Alberto Couto Alves
BERD – Projecto, Investigação e Engenharia de Pontes
Conduril – Engenharia
Construgomes – Engenharia
MRG – Engineering & Solutions
SOCORPENA – Engenharia e Construção
Ferbar – Fernando Barros – Produtos Alimentares
Football Champions Tour
Metro Numbers – Comércio de Texteis
Auto Viação Landim
António da Silva Cruz & Filhos
Auto Viação Pacense
J. Espírito Santo & Irmãos
Moreira, Gomes & Costas
Empresa de Transporte Gondomarense
Resende – Actividades Turísticas
Nogueira da Cost
- Representing Rotas do Algarve Litoral concerning the concession of the highway of “Algarve Litoral”.
- Advised Polivouga on its acquisition of Poligal Portugal and of Poligal Polska.
- Acted for Figo & China on its sale of Sulsticio – Promoção Imobiliária.
TELLES's dispute resolution and corporate law teams are led from its Porto office, which is also a base for key partners in the real estate and tax teams. Carlos Lucena and Francisco Espregueira Mendes lead on corporate and commercial matters; André Navarro de Noronha is noted for disputes and João Luís Araújo for tax.
A boutique firm specialised in tax law and assisting private clients, Durham Agrellos fields a 'very efficient and competent team', which is led by Miguel Durham Agrellos. Instructions on wealth management, family governance and international tax and inheritance planning frequently come in from private clients, while companies also seek the team's advice on issues including corporate restructuring and tax disputes. Paulo da Rocha Pichel is a key contact for litigation and family governance planning.
Miguel Durham Agrellos
Other key lawyers:
Paulo da Rocha Pichel; Daniela Moreno de Costa
‘The partner responsible for the matter accompanies all the details of the process. We feel that monitoring is constant, which gives us great confidence. Excellent knowledge in tax legislation.’
‘I particularly recommend Paulo da Rocha Pichel for his ability and knowledge demonstrated in solving a complex tax procedure. His commitment to the analysis, formulation and presentation of duly substantiated solutions, contributed to a quick conclusion of the process. He does not lose sight of the real context in which his recommendations are applied, adapting them to the client’s situation.’
‘Proximity, personalization and availability for the client, combined with very strong legal technical knowledge make the company unique.’
‘Miguel Durham Agrellos has solid experience and legal knowledge, and also clear knowledge of the business environment. This was evident in the preparation and definition of legal action strategies. Also noteworthy is his total availability. Of note, as a member of the team, Daniela Moreno da Costa, for her proactivity.’
‘Very efficient and competent team headed by Miguel Durham. You know the staff in person and they know very well what they are doing. They have a lot of contacts who can help in solving the problems.’
‘The team is very stable and dedicated led by Miguel Durham including Daniela Moreno de Costa and Paulo Pichel .’
‘The Durham Agrellos practice stands out for its high involvement and focus on all the topics that we have asked for its involvement, striving for a high assertiveness in the solutions that are presented. I want to highlight the high level of knowledge demonstrated in the most varied questions addressed to them.‘
‘Paulo Pichel – I want to highlight the high degree of technical rigor of the solutions he presents and the high commitment, involvement and focus on the customer.’
RAR – Sociedade de Controle
Adalberto Fashion Group
Essência do Vinho
Place Gym Boutique Concept Group
Associação Comercial do Porto
Yves Rocher Group
- Advised Unilabs Group in a €300m restructuring operation, involving the sale and subsequent winding up of companies in different jurisdictions, altering the holding structure of the Portuguese business operations.
- Assisted RAR on the review, update, and redesign of the transfer pricing policy of the group.
- Represented Place Gym Concept Group in a dispute where, based on the EU VAT Directive and the CJEU Case Law, it was argued that physiotherapy and nutrition services are multiple independent supplies and not a single composite supply as defended by the Portuguese tax authorities.