João Afonso Fialho > VdA > Lisbon, Portugal > Lawyer Profile

Rua Dom Luis I, 28
1200-151 Lisboa
João Afonso Fialho photo

Work Department

Oil & Gas


Partner, Head of Oil & Gas 


João Afonso Fialho joined VdA in 2015. Partner and Head of Practice Oil&Gas, João has been involved in the last 20 years in all sort of oil&gas projects and transactions in various jurisdictions, such as Timor-Leste, Angola, Portugal, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, DRC, Guinea Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe. He is mainly focused on the energy (oil&gas upstream/downstream and power projects) and mining industries.

Frequent speaker in international oil&gas upstream and downstream events, he has a detailed and comprehensive understanding of all typical projects and transactions of the industry, from production sharing agreements, participating agreements, JOAs, operating agreements, field unitisation agreements, the full range of service contracts, FPSO contracts, pipeline transportation agreements, storage, gathering and interconnection agreements, engineering, construction and procurement agreements, to distribution and sale and purchase agreements. In particular as concerns the oil&gas sector, he has been involved in the abovementioned jurisdictions on behalf of both operators and a wide-range of drilling and oilfield service companies.



English, French, Spanish


Admitted to the Portuguese Bar Association.
Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.
Board Member of World Initiative of Mining Lawyers (2014-2017).
Chairman of Portuguese Law Firms Association (2017-2019).


Law Degree, Lisbon University Law School.
Attended the curricular program of the Master degree in International Commercial Law by the Lisbon University Law School.

Lawyer Rankings

Mozambique > Foreign law firms

(Leading Individuals)

João Afonso Fialho  – VdA

João Afonso Fialho, Teresa Empis Falcão and Tiago Marreiros Moreira jointly lead VdA‘s Mozambique practice. In collaboration with GdA Advogados, the team focuses heavily on the energy, real estate, and banking and finance sectors. Fialho is an international oil and gas expert, with extensive upstream and downstream project experience from inception to completion. Falcão is also a project finance expert and has a strong capital markets practice. Moreira is a name to note for tax matters, while José Miguel Oliveira has an active oil and gas-focused practice. Guilherme Daniel is another key contact.

Angola > Foreign firms

VdA’s Angolan offering is provided on a multidisciplinary basis and is jointly led by Tiago Marreiros MoreiraJoão Afonso Fialho and Paulo Trindade Costa. The team continues to work on some of the region’s most high-profile transactions in the oil and gas, mining, agriculture and financial services sectors, offering transactional, operational, investigatory and regulatory expertise. Hugo Moredo Santos is a key player, whose practice primarily advises issuers, financial intermediaries and domestic and international investors in public offerings and securities. Fialho is notable for his work in oil and gas upstream, midstream and downstream power projects from project inception to completion.

Portugal > Energy and natural resources

Praised by clients for its ‘strong knowledge of the energy and natural resources sector‘, VdA is seen with great regularity acting for heavyweights in these sectors throughout all stages of investment, development, finance, construction, restructuring of projects and M&A deals. The firm is a popular destination for oil and gas companies, who seek assistance with regulatory matters, transactions, projects and contractual issues. João Afonso Fialho leads on these type of mandates, receiving key support from José Miguel OliveiraAna Luís De Sousa steers the energy and natural resources team in an array of domestic and cross-border projects and regulatory issues involving hydro, wind and solar energy. She has extensive experience in the energy sector, covering project finance, development, M&A and regulatory matters in Portugal and abroad. Vanda Cascão is a name to note for sustainable investments and financings in Portugal and Portuguese-speaking African countries; Manuel Protásio is another key contact for project finance. In early 2022, the firm hired former Minister for Agriculture Assunção Cristas to head its new environment practice and its ESG platform.

Portugal > Projects and project finance

Combining regulatory expertise with commercial strategic advice, VdA offers legal support to domestic and international clients in relation to large-scale project finance and development in the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors. Through the VdA Legal Partners network, the team is particularly well placed to handle cross-border matters, with a special emphasis on Portuguese- and French-speaking countries in Africa. Besides registering increased demand in refinancing and M&A in the energy sector, the team has also recently been active in renegotiations of PPP-like deals in the infrastructure and transport sectors. Manuel Protásio, who specialises in project finance in the energy, mining and infrastructure sectors, coordinates the team, which also features energy and natural resources department head Ana Luís de Sousa, and João Afonso Fialho, who chairs the oil and gas group. Paulo de Barros Baptista leads on project development matters pertaining to the infrastructure and road sectors, while Teresa Empis Falcão excels in the financing and development of energy projects. Another key contact for energy projects is Vanda Cascão, who is also active in cross-border investments and financings.