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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Portugal > Tax > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Tax
  2. Leading individuals
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Next Generation Partners

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Who Represents Who

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Cuatrecasas' 'versatile' team provides ‘very precise tax advice’ on large and complex matters relating to corporate and M&A, real estate, funds and trusts, insurance and restructuring. Also strong in litigation, it successfully represented Allianz in a dispute regarding corporate income tax withheld by a Portuguese bank upon dividend distributions, reversing a previous decision by the tax courts that was in breach of EU Treaty non-discrimination provisions. The ‘brilliant’ Pedro Vidal Matos is the contact on this front. Practice head Diogo Ortigão Ramos provides ‘essential guidance’. Gonçalo Bastos Lopes ‘makes sure that the client understands the legal impact of each action’. Of counsel Tânia de Almeida Ferreira is also recommended.

Garrigues Portugal's team is noted for its ‘deep analysis and longstanding experience’. Pedro Miguel Braz focuses on contentious work and is representing several banks in the contestation against the 2011 extraordinary bank levy. ‘Internationally-minded’ Tiago Cassiano Neves, who handles transactional and international taxation, ‘really closes an issue for good’. He and practice head Fernando Castro Silva assisted Banco Santander with the acquisition and restructuring of Banco Popular.

The ‘fantastic’ team at Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados provides advice to high-profile clients such as EDP, Galp and Sonae on the entire gamut of tax issues, including corporate and M&A, concessions, and pertaining to the banking and energy sectors. It also handles tax planning and restructuring, disputes and international taxation. Francisco de Sousa da Câmara is a ‘wizard of tax law’; António Lobo Xavier displays ‘a lot of common sense’; António Pedro Braga is also recommended. All three jointly lead the practice, with the latter two being based in Oporto.

Portuguese powerhouse PLMJ assists financial sector, energy and corporate clients with domestic and international tax matters, M&A, tax restructuring and disputes and is involved in complex and controversial matters, such as its successful representation of Meag Munich Ergo Asset Management before the ECJ and the Portuguese Arbitration Tribunal in a case regarding VAT assessments from 2011 to 2013 filed by the Portuguese Tax Authority, which the firm argued was illegal under EU law; Serena Cabrita Neto was involved in this matter. Other work included assisting the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) with drafting a multilateral convention to avoid double taxation and prevent tax evasion. João Magalhães Ramalho joined Telles de Abreu | Advogados in July 2019. Nuno da Cunha Barnabé left to join Abreu Advogados.

Extremely client-centric’ tax boutique Rogério Fernandes Ferreira & Associados, SP, RL has been handling several disputes, including contesting the Energy Sector’s Extraordinary Contribution (CESE), withholding tax on payments to non-Portuguese entities, and the repeal of the non-taxation regime applicable to capital gains. It also advised on non-contentious tax matters. Founding partner Rogério Fernandes Ferreira is the name to note.

Abreu Advogados covers direct and indirect tax, tax disputes, planning and restructuring. Cepsa is a client that instructs the team on some of these issues, including the energy sector extraordinary contribution (ESEC), which is work handled by Oporto-based Maria Dulce Soares; Miguel Teixeira de Abreu who, as of February 2019, is no longer an equity partner, is frequently singled out; Alexandra Courela and Pedro Pais de Almeida jointly lead the team. Nuno da Cunha Barnabé was a new arrival PLMJ.

Espanha e Associados is led by ‘great lawyer’ João Espanha. It handles, among other things, international tax, VAT, corporate income tax (CIT) and tax planning. Clients include Portugália - Administração de Patrimónios, Associação da Hotelaria de Portugal and Tecnoplano Tecnologia e Planeamento. Elsa Rodrigues and senior associate Ricardo Peão are the other names to note.

Technically strong’, Ricardo da Palma Borges & Associados advised several private clients and high-net-worth individuals on inheritance tax, domestic tax compliance and implementation of tax-efficient structures. Respected name partner Ricardo Palma Borges is the name to note.

Transactional work - especially in the real estate sector - and wealth management are cornerstones of Uría Menéndez – Proença Carvalho’s practice, and the team also handles contentious work. It advised BNP Paribas Real Estate on the tax aspects of the joint venture (and related share acquisition and sale) with Silcoge to develop office and residential projects in the Alcântara neighbourhood of Lisbon. Filipe Romao and of counsel Cláudia Reis Duarte are highly recommended.

Strong know-how, a 360 degree vision and efficiency’ is what makes VDA's team stand out. It covers direct and indirect tax, litigation and arbitration, and continues to develop its reach in lusophone Africa and East Timor. Advising high-profile domestic and international clients, it has particular expertise in financial tax, recently assisting Banco de Portugal in relation to transactions emerging from the fallout of the financial crisis. Tiago Marreiros Moreira and Joaquim Pedro Lampreia are recommended, as are managing associates Ricardo Seabra Moura, Francisco Cabral Matos and Conceição Gamito. Samuel Fernandes de Almeida is another name to note.

While traditionally assisting on the tax side of transactional work, Campos Ferreira, Sá Carneiro & Associados has been growing its wealth management practice and investing in its tax disputes expertise. The ‘dedicated’ and ‘practicalAntónio Rocha Mendes heads the team.

CMS' team ‘works well together’ and advises clients on all tax aspects, including contentious matters; most recently it successfully represented Generis in a dispute before the arbitral court concerning transfer pricing rules following corporate income tax assessments issued by the tax authorities. Practice head Patrick Dewerbe is highly recommended, and senior associate Raquel Montes Fernandes is another name to note.

DLA Piper ABBC possesses ‘exceptional legal knowledge that helps clients perform better’. It focuses on tax litigation, with niche expertise in the online gambling, tobacco, transport and energy sectors. Clients include JTI – Japan Tobacco International, EasyJet, Finerge and Trustwind. Practice head and tax and regulatory specialist António Moura Portugal is ‘an excellent communicator and leader’.

Diogo Bernardo Monteiro heads the practice at FCB Sociedade de Advogados, which assisted with obtaining non-habitual resident tax status for high-net-worth individuals, and advised Nacala Holdings on the tax aspects of the acquisitions of Elevo, Opway, and Ramos Catarino.

While still largely focused on transactional work, Linklaters has been broadening its practice to include tax structuring as well as disputes work. Clients include China Three Gorges, Eni and Cerberus. The group also benefits from the firm’s international network. Rui Camacho Palma heads the team.

SRS Advogados handled transactional and corporate tax work, including in the real estate, construction and energy sectors. Contentious matters included social security and corporate income tax cases. João Maricoto Monteiro heads the practice.

Tax boutique AFDO-adv is especially strong in tax disputes - including arbitration - in which it represents high-profile domestic clients. António Fernandes De Oliveira is the name partner.

Caiado Guerreiro's practice possesses strong wealth management expertise, and handles tax work related to transactions, planning and disputes. Tiago Caiado Guerreiro heads the team; Ana Castro Gonçalves impresses with ‘the ease with which she understands new, unusual subjects’.

Macedo Vitorino & Associados acted for a number of clients in the finance sector on tax matters related to their activities. André Vasques Dias is the name to note.

MGRA SP RL is noted for its ‘careful and reflective thinking and commercially-oriented advice’ on a wide range of matters, including contentious work, to clients such as Coca-Cola, Sporting, Dahlman Renewable Technology and Hotusa Hotels. Mário da Rosa Amaral heads the practice.

Oporto tax boutique Ramos Pereira e Sampaio - Sociedade de Advogados handles the entire gamut of contentious and non-contentious tax work for high-profile local business clients. Carlos Ramos Pereira and Rui Sampaio are the names to note.

The ‘innovative’ Ricardo Reigada Pereira has infused RRP Advogados ‘with a culture of thinking outside the box’. The team offers an ‘exceptionally personalised approach to clients’ needs’ in disputes, structuring, and transactional work. It regularly acts for EDP, Secil, Acciona, Ferrovial, The Navigator Company and Abanca, among others. The firm is part of the EY Global Law network.

Sérvulo & Associados' team is ‘committed’, ‘open-minded’ and ‘able to adapt to different scenarios’. The outfit covers contentious and non-contentious work, in the latter case acting for Abbott Laboratories and NAMA. Practice head Diogo Feio renders ‘very good strategic advice’; principal associate Ana Moutinho Nascimento and senior associate Teresa Pala Schwalbach are also singled out.

The highly regarded Nuno de Oliveira Garcia heads the practice at Andersen Tax and Legal | NGMS – Sociedade de Advogados, which is ’very hands-on, proactive and comes up with solutions instead of only assessments’; it represented The Navigator Company, Galp and REN in tax disputes. The firm signed a collaboration agreement with Oporto firm CNA – Curado, Nogueira & Associados in February 2018.

Relatively new to the market, tax boutique BELIM has a particular VAT focus and ‘a genuine enthusiasm to serve the client’. ‘Astute, quick-eyed and intelligent’ name partner Catarina Belim ‘thinks outside the box’.

Raposo Bernardo is ‘accurate and effective in providing solutions’. It advised Iberostar on the incorporation of companies and tax vehicles as part of starting the client’s activities in Portugal. The ‘confident’ Mafalda Baptista heads the practice.

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Legal Developments in Portugal for Tax

  • Tax incentives in the 2011 Budget

    As in past years, the 2011 Budget of the Macao Special Administrative Region (OR/2011) provided for various Tax exemptions, including for industrial tax and stamp duty, and deductions for professional tax (on work related income), urban property tax and complimentary income (on industrial and commercial income).
    - Miranda Correia Amendoeira & Associados

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