The full-service information, communication and technology practice at VdA balances a busy workload, featuring transactions, projects and regulatory mandates across media and entertainment, aerospace, telecoms, communications and postal services, emerging technologies, cybersecurity and digital businesses. Demonstrating a ‘unique knowledge of the sector', the team not only possesses strong credentials in the local market, but has an ever-increasing international presence, with a particular focus on Portuguese-speaking jurisdictions. Technology is an area of particular focus for Fernando Resina da Silva, while Margarida Couto focuses on the telecoms segment, often taking part in sector-related public tenders and cross-border transactions. Magda Cocco, whose expertise touches on every TMT sub-area, often acts on behalf of governments, regulatory agencies and international organisations on legislative matters; she also leads the firm’s newly established digital frontiers practice. Recently promoted partner Tiago Bessa ‘stands out as a professional combining a deep knowledge of the postal services and communications market with a solid academic background'. Marília Frias is also highlighted for telecoms and technology-related mandates. In early 2022, information technology and privacy expert Inês Antas de Barros was promoted to partner.
TMT in Portugal
Other key lawyers:
Marília Frias; Isabel Ornelas; Helena Correia Mendonça
‘VdA has provided us with legal advice for several years, handling a very considerable number of matters. It stands out for its availability and responsiveness, in addition to its vast knowledge of the matters in which it provides assistance, whether from a strictly legal point of view or from a practical and market point of view.’
‘We greatly appreciate the contribution of Fernando Resina da Silva, Helena Correia Mendonça, Inês Antas de Barros, and Isabel Ornelas.’
‘VdA gathers a unique knowledge of the sector and a very solid practice of Regulatory and Administrative Law. The Competition and Public Law practices are also vey strong, providing a comprehensive approach to the complex issues brought to their attention.’
‘Tiago Bessa stands out as a professional combining a deep knowledge of the postal services and communications market with a solid academic background, providing solid advice and creative solutions. He delivers documents of an excellent quality revealing a profound legal analysis and attention to detail. He is also extremely accessible and dedicated.’
‘Marília Frias is an exceptional professional. Always goes straight to the point, which is really appreciated.’
‘What makes this law firm somewhat special, particularly with regard to the telecoms sector, is the high level of expertise and experience in legal advice in this field. This depth of sectorial expertise and experience extends to most Portuguese-speaking African countries.’
‘Magda Cocco and Tiago Bessa are both partners with extensive experience and expertise in legal consultancy in the telecoms sector. They have the particularity of being a very natural part of multi-disciplinary consulting teams.’
‘The VDA team is knowledgeable about the technology trends that impact our current business. We can rely on them for solid advice and problem solving collaboration. The team regularly updates us on changes that might impact our reporting requirements or how we offer services. I am particularly pleased with the responsiveness and thoroughness of the team when there is a specific issue.’
Vodafone Portugal – Comunicações Pessoais, S.A.
The Walt Disney Company
Timor Telecom, S.A.
CTT – Correios de Portugal, S.A.
MEO – Serviços de Comunicações e Multimédia, S.A.
CST – Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicações
Kaizen Gaming International Limited
DSPA – Data Science Portuguese Association
Portuguese Government – Secretary of State for Digital Transition, Ministry of Economy and Digital Transition
ESA (European Space Agency)
Thales Alenia Space
Air Center – Atlantic International Research Center
ARME – Multisectorial Regulatory Agency Cabo Verde
- Assisted two major electronic communications operators in Portugal (MEO and Vodafone) in their 5G auction, which included assistance on the public and regulatory law debate.
- Advised EllaLink – the submarine cable project linking South America and Europe – on all cornerstone matters (contractual and regulatory) for the laying down and operation of the submarine cable.
- Assisted the Portuguese Government in the preparation of a new legal and regulatory framework implementing and promoting Technological Free Zones (ZLTs”– Zonas Livres Tecnológicas).
The cross-practice TMT group at Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is well placed to advise large companies in these sectors in relation to significant corporate transactions, projects, antitrust cases, cybersecurity issues and regulatory developments. The team – which comprises lawyers specialised in public law, competition, litigation and corporate law – is perhaps best known for its in-depth knowledge of telecoms regulatory and contentious matters pursuant to its longstanding relationship with major operator NOS. Practice head Gonçalo Machado Borges frequently assists clients in regulatory, transactional and contentious matters involving telecoms and media companies. Nuno Peres Alves is also noted for his track record in sector-related administrative litigation and public tender procedures.
Other key lawyers:
‘ML’s Team is distinguished by its knowledge of the sector and applicable national and European legislation, the collaborative and close way in which it provides legal support, and its communication skills. The work is guided by a great relational dynamic, as if it were an in-house team, contributing with a vision that goes beyond strict legal analysis, contributing in a holistic way to the processes in which they participate. The team’s work is of high quality, always based on extensive investigation of international cases and relevant jurisprudence. The ability to communicate, translating complex concepts into simple and non-technical terms, is one of the strengths of the team.’
‘ML has been developing tools together with leading companies in the Artificial Intelligence sector. Throughout the COVID-19 period, the entire ML team in the ICT area demonstrated an unexpected ability to use remote work tools in their various dimensions of collaborative work, to facilitate collaborative work with clients, mimicking physical proximity that was not possible to ensure.’
‘Gonçalo Machado Borges is the person I would like to highlight. His combative, energetic spirit, with deep knowledge and experience of the market and of national and European TMT legislation, combined with his robust background in competition, give him the a special ability to find innovative solutions for the challenges we face. At the same time, he has a great ability to deconstruct complex themes/concepts, greatly facilitating the discussion of different themes at any level of the organisation.’
‘Availability and professionalism.’
‘Gonçalo Machado Borges- proximity and high professionalism.’
- Advised NOS on a network sharing agreement with Vodafone Portugal seeking to optimise certain segments of both operators’ passive and active mobile communications network infrastructure.
- Legal advisors to NOS in the setting up and running business of Dualgrid – Gestão de Redes Partilhadas, a joint venture incorporated between NOS and Vodafone Portugal.
- Advised multiple clients in several cybercrime cases, including the first ever money laundering case in Portugal involving the use if bitcoin on the Dark Web and several fraud, ransomware and phishing cases.
SRS Advogados is highly regarded for its depth of expertise in the technology, media and telecoms sectors, encompassing regulatory and contractual matters. Typical mandates range from advising on licensing issues, market access and network infrastructure to assisting with the regulation of new digital services. The team is under the joint leadership of two commercial and regulatory experts: Octávio Castelo Paulo, who ‘has a great understanding of both the technology and what is going on in the sector’, and Luís Neto Galvão, whose areas of focus include IT, telecoms and data protection.
‘Luís Neto Galvão is responsive and practical and has supported us with a number of telecom regulatory matters. This has included general regulatory compliance advice and transactional support as well as telecoms registrations. He has also been proactive in flagging key developments.’
‘SRS Advogados has an excellent knowledge of the telecoms market. They understand very well the sector’s commercial issues and play an important role in solving our problems. The SRS team has longstanding experience and has been working with us for many years. Availability is high and the quality of service is very good.’
‘The person who stands out the most is Octávio Castelo Paulo. He has known the sector for many years, he knows the players, he has mastered the regulatory and commercial issues that are important to us. He always offers us a good legal solution and is quick to respond. I also highlight Luís Neto Galvão, who also works in TMT matters.’
‘Excellent service, very professional and pragmatic.’
‘A very good understanding of the technical aspects of the services provided by the client and the capability to suggest solutions addressed to meet legal and business requirements.’
‘Octávio Castelo Paulo stands out for his extensive knowledge of the telecoms market.’
‘SRS is our go-to firm when it comes to technology and privacy matters in Portugal. They have a deep specialism in these areas which is accompanied by a pragmatic approach.’
‘Octávio Castelo Paulo is immersed in the TMT sector and has a great understanding of both the technology and what is going on in the sector. He has a calm, reassuring manner. Luís Neto Galvão is both a technology and privacy expert. His advice is invariably on point and practical.’
BT Portugal -Telecomunicações Unipessoal Lda.
SAS Apostas Sociais, Jogos e Apostas Online, S.A.
EID – Empresa de Investigação e Desenvolvimento de Electrónica, S.A.
ZOOM Voice Communications Inc.
- Continued to represent NOS in a lawsuit filed on its behalf against MEO/PR in connection with their refusal to port numbers to NOS (then ZON) between 2008 and 2009.
- Represented SAS in the negotiation of two key agreements with Playtech, a multinational provider of online gambling platforms, regarding the outsourcing of its gaming platform and the launch of a casino service.
- Acted for Cellnex, together with another firm, on the acquisition of telecom towers and other infrastructure from Altice Portugal.
With a range of domestic and multinational companies across the spectrum of TMT, Abreu Advogados is well placed to provide advice on the full array of matters, with a particular focus on IT, media, advertising and data privacy. The team has been especially active assisting clients on regulatory issues pertaining to electronic communications, emerging technologies and new product launches. Ricardo Henriques excels in technology-related matters, including e-commerce issues, compliance projects and transactions. He oversees the department, which also includes José Maria Alves Pereira, whose areas of expertise cover software development agreements, cybersecurity and advertising issues.
Other key lawyers:
Martim Menezes; José Maria Alves Pereira
‘Abreu is one of the top firms in Portugal to do business with if coming from Spain and/or having business in both countries. Their knowledge of our maket and laws is a plus. Always proactive, with excellent and feasible alternatives if anything does not go as expected.’
‘Ricardo Henriques: easy to speak with and down to earth. Very well versed in TMT matters and always with a solution at hand.’
‘Abreu Advogados is a reference firm in the TMT sector. The team is experienced and provides pragmatic and effective legal assistance, understanding each client’s needs and arranging innovative solutions.’
‘Abreu has a team with significant experience and extensive know-how and expertise capable of providing a 360º high quality service to its clients.’
‘Ricardo Henriques is terrific. He is very responsive and practical. My go-to in Portugal.’
‘Abreu has unique expertise in the advertising field. As a member of the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA) they are very well connected internationally. Therefore they are well equiped to provide cross-border services.’
‘Ricardo Hendriques is fun to work with. He combines deep knowledge on all things advertising with a practical, no-nonsense approach.’
‘Day to day contact at Abreu is really good, we always received responses to our queries by the end of the working day, even if it was just an acknowledgement. This was really important given the tight turnaround for the advice that we required. José Maria Alves Pereira was our main contact, and we received responses from Ricardo Henriques in José’s absence.’
The Walt Disney Company
Radically Digital Limited
EDGE Network Services Limited
- Assisted The Walt Disney Group in the integration of the Fox Networks and Disney operations.
- Advised Coca-Cola on a number of promotions and sweepstakes, reviewing and preparing the terms and conditions of promotions, and assisting in reviewing advertising materials and data protection policies.
- Assisted COLT with regulatory compliance and litigation matters.
CCA Law Firm possesses strong credentials in the technology sector, standing out for its second-to-none knowledge of the gambling and e-sports sectors in Portugal. Media and advertising law are core strengths for the department, which is often sought by clients in relation to the licensing of content, regulatory matters, contractual issues and marketing campaigns. Co-head Filipe Mayer is counsel of choice for several advertising agencies and media and entertainment companies. Fellow co-leader Martim Bouza Serrano oversees privacy and technology-related mandates. Gambling law is among Alcina De Oliveira Alves' areas of expertise.
Other key lawyers:
Alcina de Oliveira Alves
‘We love their practical approach to legal issues, always finding an efficient way to solve problems while optimising time and resources. They have shown a creative point of view for all cases. Since 20th century laws don’t always solve 21st century problems, our in-house legal team team needs to get advised and take innovative approaches for tackling some of the toughest legal challenges of the information age. Advising on cutting-edge technology is not an easy task and CCA has earned our trust and respect.’
‘Martim Bouza Serrano is a very solid litigator, with extensive experience in privacy, data protection or intermediary liability. He represented my organisation in several successful proceedings before courts and regulators. Alcina de Oliveira Alves is always ready to help! From the beginning, she seemed like a natural in-house lawyer. You don’t need to ask her twice. She always manages to sort everything out and provide good solid advice.’
‘Ability to adapt to the constant evolution of this area, well-prepared and experienced professionals.’
‘Filipe Mayer, Martim Bouza Serrano and Alcina Oliveira Alves are recommended.’
‘Pragmatism, result-oriented, and technical know-how.’
Procter & Gamble
- Provided legal assistance to COFINA with the launch of its International TV channel CMTV INTERNACIONAL.
- Assisted ZAP, a television operator which provides Portuguese language channels to Angola and Mozambique, with the drafting of licensing contracts for its international operation.
- Assisted the HAVAS GROUP, an advertising, marketing and communication agency, in an advertising agreement with Santa Casa da Misericórdia the Lisboa.
The TMT practice at DLA Piper ABBC has significant experience acting for international clients in matters relating to media and advertising, new technologies, telecoms and e-commerce. João Costa Quinta, who specialises in transactional work, including in the technology and communications sectors, jointly leads the team with Daniel Reis. Reis is noted for his wealth of experience in technology transactions, software licensing, telecoms and cybersecurity matters. Margarida Leitão Nogueira is another key practitioner, who is dedicated to data protection, advertising, gaming and technology-related matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Daniel Reis is a very experienced professional in this area and very knowledgeable about our business, as he has been working with us for about 15 years.’
‘In my opinion, Daniel Reis is the biggest reference in telecoms and personal data in Portugal.’
Offering contractual, regulatory and transactional advice, PLMJ is a popular choice for Portuguese and international companies in the technology, internet, telecoms and media sectors. Headed by Pedro Lomba, the group is well equipped to handle matters concerning technology regulations and IT contracts, including software licensing and cloud computing agreements, as well as digital mobility apps, broadcasting and OTT services. Lomba has a solid background in the media sector, bringing to the table significant expertise in media, communications and advertising law. The team was further strengthened by the arrival of Marta Salgado Areias from Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados in January 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Rita Sousa Costa; Marta Salgado Areias
‘Exceptional quality, technical knowledge and quick responses to clients.’
‘Focus on the client and an integrated vision of the sector.’
‘PLMJ has several teams that manage to provide a multidisciplinary response. This responsiveness makes the work more rigorous and conveys security.’
‘Pedro Lomba and Rita Sousa Costa have an enormous knowledge of the area and great availability. Rita Costa has a high level of knowledge of the most varied subjects.’
‘Responsive and client friendly – a go to firm for communications and competition law advice in Portugal.’
Associação Nacional de Farmácias
The Digital Animation School
- Advising Startcampus on the Sines 4.0 Project, which involves an investment of up to €3.5bn to create a data centre in Portugal.
- Advising the tech platform Flixbus on the Portuguese long-distance mobility market.
- Assisting Galp in all matters relating to technology, licensing agreements, online services, IT services, digital applications, consumer law and product compliance matters.
Cuatrecasas fields a team of specialised lawyers whose expertise cuts across media, telecoms, IT and data protection. Its recent highlights demonstrate the team’s strong capabilities in the areas of marketing and advertising, including licensing and commercial issues, as well as in the audiovisual sphere. Sónia Queiróz Vaz, who was recently welcomed to the partnership, is remarkably active in matters involving new technologies and data protection. She jointly heads the practice with recent joiner Joana Mota Agostinho, whose notable areas of practice include IT, electronic communications, and TMT-driven M&A transactions. She joined from CTSU – Sociedade de Advogados, S.P., R.L., S.A. in March 2021, where she was the global leader of the digital business unit.
Other key lawyers:
Nuno Lima da Luz
‘The Cuatrecasas TMT Team reveals a very high degree of experience, agility and resilience, providing complete solutions in a timeframe compatible with the requirements of a multinational organisation in the digital age. The fusion of a quality technical-legal component into effective and pragmatic solutions that are easy to implement by the business proves to be extremely fruitful in mitigating legal risks without disabling management initiatives.’
‘Ability to understand the issues from a technical perspective, not just a legal one. This is the characteristic that a technology company most values in a 21st century TMT team.’
‘Joana Agostinho is extremely innovative in the approaches she prepares for the complex problems that a technology company presents, namely in a sector such as artificial intelligence. Nuno Lima da Luz uses his technical knowledge, obtained by attending an engineering course, which brings an enormous added value to interactions with companies in this sector.’
‘Cuatrecasas has an extraordinary team in matters related to technology. The assistance is complete and precise, knowing how to communicate perfectly with all internal stakeholders, whether legal or not.’
BMW Financial Services
Samsung Electrónica Portuguesa
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Infraestruturas de Portugal
- Assisted Banco Inter in the implementation in Portugal of a marketplace, involving cashback and discounts.
- Provides ongoing legal assistance regarding management and licensing of a portfolio regarding specific technological products and apps developed and customised for Outsystems’ clients.
- Advising VOLUP on the implementation and expansion, namely to the USA, of a platform for premium food delivery.
pbbr – Sociedade de Advogados RL has established itself as a go-to firm for technology and IT matters, encompassing AI and Big Data solutions, software licensing, regulatory matters and compliance issues. Other areas of activity also include M&A transactions in the TMT sector and data privacy. Practice leader Carina Branco is recommended by clients and peers alike for her wide-ranging expertise covering start-ups, robotics and blockchain.
Other key lawyers:
Maria Abreu Ferreira
‘We resorted to the firm because of Carina Branco’s vast experience in the sector.’
‘Carina Branco – probably the Portuguese lawyer with the greatest knowledge of the industry. The fact she has worked in-house in one of the largest Portuguese technology companies makes her really aware of the business risks and what is pragmatically acceptable to implement to mitigate these risks.’
‘The entire team is very available, extremely professional, adapted and informed.’
‘Pragmatism in monitoring issues. Specialised knowledge.’
‘Carina Branco is a specialist in the legal area for the protection and sale of software.’
‘Firm with a team dedicated to TMT with great experience and knowledge, both in the legal and business aspects. The team is deeply involved in the client’s needs in order to fully understand what is intended, given the specific reality and context of the companies. This involvement goes beyond the legal component, there is even a business and commercial support in order to ensure that the result for the client is the best possible.’
‘Carina Branco: active, proactive and combative, she is the main point of contact at PBBR. She takes the issues and challenges presented as her own and is always able to suggest various business scenarios, with legal and commercial pros and cons, given her extensive experience.’
‘PBBR is unique in the way it relates to me as a client, compared to other firms. The fees presented seem fair and I never felt that the hours were inflated. It is a firm that is willing to bet on clients who are growing, knowing that its return will come in the medium term.’
Galp Energia S.A.
Banco Português de Gestão
Innowave Technologies S.A.
Group 4 Solutions (B4C)
Code4All Lda (“Academia de Código”)
Trust Esport (Apicap)
Led by Ana Rita Paínho, Sérvulo & Associados' team is well known for its experience in the advertising and marketing sector, but is active across the whole spectrum of TMT matters. On the technology front, the group is skilled in advising on IT contracts, software agreements, internet law and e-commerce. Department head Paínho provides assistance to Portuguese and international clients from the technology and telecoms sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Constança Ferreira Nunes
‘The quality of the service provided is the best I have found, whether from the point of view of relationships, or from the point of view of knowledge and support. The ongoing relationship was not affected by the pandemic, and the use of collaborative tools was constant and effective.’
‘Ana Rita Paínho is the person we interact with in this area and with whom we have a team relationship. There is a focus on resolution always in the Client’s best interests. There is strong know-how of the area and specific particularities of TMT and new ways of contracting.’
‘I consider the service provided by this firm of high quality and rigour, distinguished by its simplicity and disruptive spirit. Other qualities that I cannot fail to mention and which I consider distinctive are availability, and the existence of above-average knowledge of this area in particular, which gives the client extreme confidence and security.’
‘I would definitely recommend Ana Rita Paínho. Ana Rita is always available to help with all issues and always presents practical and concrete solutions. Always tries to simplify the themes, demonstrating a high knowledge in this area.’
‘Ana Rita Painho – very available, extraordinary ability to manage meetings and negotiations, total availability and a lot of experience in the area.’
‘Ana Rita Paínho – partner responsible for the TMT area, due to her experience in the area of technology and assertive and careful advice, always defending the client’s interests and creating important consensus between the various intervening parties. Always available and extremely efficient.’
‘Sérvulo have helped us to find the most adequate solution for one of our key projects. They understand perfectly our business. In addition, they have offered an attractive fee structure that takes into consideration the stage of our company.’
EDP Energias de Portugal, S.A.
Starlink Internet Services Limited
Echostar Mobile Services Limited
Verizon Connect Portugal
Leaseplan Portugal Lda.
Monster Beverage Co.
Banco Credibom, S.A.
Sequra Worlwide, S.A.
- Assisted EDP in the negotiation of a cloud agreement for IT infrastructure with AWS.
- Provides continuous legal assistance to Senseidata in the roll out of full autonomous store projects.
- Assisting Starlink in the launch of internet services in the country.
With a particular focus on the media and advertising sector, APTS – Alves Pereira & Teixeira de Sousa, S.P., R.L. advises a variety of clients on day-to-day matters. The team, which is led by João Pedro Alves Pereira, is adept in handling a range of transactional, regulatory and contentious issues.
Avery Tico S.R.L.
Iniciativas de Meios
The Interpublic Group of Companies
- Advised Docaposte on the applicable rules of Portuguese law on dematerialisation and electronic storage.
- Advising Cvmaker on the legal implications of implementing a CV database tool in its app/website.
- Assisting Iniciativas de Meios in respect of a joint venture project with e-commerce platform Shopkit.
CMS handles a range of transactional and regulatory matters related to the media, advertising and technology sectors. The team is typically instructed in matters involving the development and launch of new apps, software licensing agreements, M&A deals and advertising campaigns. José Luís Arnaut heads up the technology, media and communications team, which also features João Leitão Figueiredo, who has assisted private and public sector clients in various technology-related matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Our primary contact is João Figueiredo, who has supported us in the implementation of our GDPR program in a manner consistent with the international program and adapted to the national reality.’
‘The legal advice provided by the team was accurate, comprehensive, rich content-oriented, but also very practical. It gave my company comfort that the topic was carefully analysed and individual needs taken into consideration.’
AWS – AMAZON WEB SERVICES (AWS)
INFOR GLOBAL SOLUTIONS
DAVIDSON KEMPNER EUROPEAN PARTNERS LLP
SUPER BOCK GROUP
- Assisting Essilor Portugal in the development and launch of the international versions of its app and software in France, Poland and Brazil.
- Assisted Infor Group in several cases concerning software licensing and software licensing litigation in Portugal.
Raposo Bernardo is engaged by telecoms companies and technology-based businesses in an array of transactional and regulatory matters. The TMT practice is jointly led by Maria Sirec and Mafalda Contumélias Baptista, the latter of whom has more than twenty years of experience in this field.
‘At Raposo Bernardo & Associados we find a unique type of law practice in Portugal, in a very modern way, putting a lot of knowledge in everything they do, at the level of the best that is found in the international market of legal consultancy in telecoms. We really like the approach of the lawyers, creating a relationship of closeness and complicity in the development of the work, which greatly benefits communication and the quality of services. For me and for all colleagues here at the company, they are essential for our projects of greater dimension and complexity, but also for the day-to-day.’
‘Mafalda Batista stands out. She is original in finding solutions, fully committed to our goals, profoundly knowledgeable in our area of activity, diligent and very quick to react.’
‘Deep knowledge of the TMT sector, namely in electronic communications regulation, information society, electronic commerce, software, privacy and data protection. It is also very common to have the involvement of other departments of the firm for certain projects, namely privacy and data protection, intellectual property, competition, and litigation. And to that extent Raposo Bernardo is able to offer us integrated solutions that correspond exactly to what we are looking for in legal support.’
‘Mafalda has unique know-how in technology law and TMT in general.’
‘They have great know-how in our sector, speak the same language as us, which makes it easy.’
‘We work with Mafalda Batista, who is very available, quick to respond with enormous precision.’
‘I highlight the ability to respond within deadlines, the rigour, and attention to detail.’
‘Mafalda is a lawyer who has an extraordinary command of the areas in which she works, has a lot of experience and, above all, a natural ability to understand our sector of activity and our language.’
- Provides ongoing advice to a client, including on technology and communications matters.
- Advising a client on regulatory issues, contracts and telecoms transactions.
- Assisted a company in the development of a group-wide platform.