Tax in Portugal

Cuatrecasas

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 ‘brilliantPedro 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

Garrigues' 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-mindedTiago 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.

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados

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.

PLMJ

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.

Rogério Fernandes Ferreira & Associados, SP, RL

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

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

Espanha e Associados is led by ‘great lawyerJoão 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.

Ricardo da Palma Borges & Associados

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.

Uría Menéndez – Proença Carvalho

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.

VdA

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 GamitoSamuel Fernandes de Almeida is another name to note.

Campos Ferreira, Sá Carneiro & Associados

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

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

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’.

FCB Sociedade de Advogados

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.

Linklaters

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

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.

AFDO-adv

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

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

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

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.

Ramos Pereira e Sampaio - Sociedade de Advogados

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.

RRP Advogados

The ‘innovativeRicardo 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

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.

Andersen Tax and Legal | NGMS – Sociedade de Advogados

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.

BELIM

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

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 ‘confidentMafalda Baptista heads the practice.