Firm Profile > VCA - Valadas Coriel & Associados > Lisbon, Portugal

VCA - Valadas Coriel & Associados
Rua Tierno Galvan, 10, Torre 3, 16th floor
1070-274 Lisbon

Dispute resolution Tier 4

VCA - Valadas Coriel & Associados excels in dispute resolution matters involving commercial, real estate, debt collection, bankruptcy and employment law. The team demonstrates in-depth technical knowledge of the international legal framework, evidenced by regular cross-border mandates and close collaboration with international law firms. Multi-jurisdictional disputes are a notable area of activity for co-leader João Valadas Coriel, who possesses more than 20 years of experience in the field of litigation and arbitration. Hugo Martins Braz focuses on commercial and labour litigation. Tax litigation is an additional strength for the group.

Practice head(s):

João Valadas Coriel; Hugo Martins Braz


‘Valadas Coriel differs largely from other law firms in Portugal, due to its very well correlated business structure and organisation. As a client we have been working with Hugo Martins Braz and João Valadas Coriel. A legal team with a very rounded, diverse and broad skill set.’

‘Key capabilities include strong internal communication, cross client commitment and an honest, goal orientated, practical problem solving approach. Every lawyer in the firm is multi faceted in all areas of law, able to conduct business remotely even now in times of Covid-19 without any glitches or mishaps. The team takes a leading role in accomplishing and helping to achieve strategic objectives of our organisation and of its lines of business. As a client we feel we can turn to any team member, at any given point in time and receive a competent straightforward support to our most important strategic business decisions, in a manner that is proactive, accessible, responsive, creative and quick.’

‘VCA Law Firm has provided support services in lawsuits in the US. In addition, João Coriel made some statements as a legal expert in Portuguese Law.  We couldn’t find any other law firm with these capabilities.’

‘I’ve been working with VCA since 2012, mainly in Dispute Resolution. What makes them unique is the ability to develop team work in a cost-effective and efficient way, the constant supervision of the founder and senior partner João Valadas Coriel, and the fact that they are constantly updated on new legislation. The firm always choose the best way to solve our cases, avoiding excessive and expensive litigation.’

‘João Valadas Coriel is a highly skilled and resourceful lawyer. He’s an excellent team leader and always present in our most important dossiers.’

‘VCA is an extremely impressive outfit and they are my “go-to” firm for any legal issues arising in Portugal. João Valadas is an outstanding lawyer with a commercial acumen that is second to none. His English is perfect and he is a seasoned litigator himself which makes him an ideal expert witness on matters of Portuguese law.’

‘We particularly appreciated their pro-activity, pragmatic and solution driven approach.’

‘Valadas Coriel & Asssociados, and in particular Mr. João Coriel, were particularly well informed on the Portuguese markets and its participants, and about the background of the situation at stake, which was helpful. The members of the team we had the pleasure working with deployed remarkable responsiveness and availability.’

Key clients

EDP – Energias de Portugal, S.A.

EDP Foundation

Hotéis Roma Group

STILL – Sociedade de Tratamento de Imagem Lusitana

The firm: VCA – Valadas Coriel & Associados started its journey in 2001 in Chiado, the heart of old Lisbon, with four lawyers and is celebrating this year its 20th anniversary.

VCA has become a firm of polymath lawyers, specialized in dispute resolution, private wealth, real estate, and immigration. The firm also caters to other areas of law such as labor, corporate, tax, projects, energy and mining, maritime, art law, and copyrights, which are intersectional with our areas of specialization.
VCA’s 24 lawyers team combines experience, anticipation, creativity, and determination, offering their clients a range of skills and resources for a variety of projects both local and international.

A dynamic yet informal work environment at VCA has attracted talent from bigger law and audit firms longing to strike a balance between personal and professional life, such balance being actively promoted at VCA, one of our contributions for the sustainability of a profession that needs to reinvent itself. Parity and diversity are encouraged at VCA, the majority of partners and associates being women.

VCA is an active member of established international networks, the Grimaldi Alliance and IR Global which give them access and resources across Europe and the Americas, in the Middle east, in Portuguese and French speaking Africa and in the most important Asian markets.

The Grimaldi Alliance was established by Italian Grimaldi Studio Legale and is present in 42 jurisdictions. It is dedicated to cross border transactions and has a great focus in European Affairs, with an office in Brussels exclusively to deal with the EU institutions.

VCA activism in IR Global, a network that spans 158 jurisdictions has earned them the distinction of their peers as “member of the year” in 2018.

VCA seeks an immersion in the client’s business. They want to become their trusted advisors; they want to be considered not solely as lawyers but also as reliable partners. Each client has a close connection to his assigned lawyer. You shall never feel like a number at VCA.

VCA focus is problem solving, even the most intricated, through creative solutions. VCA embrace challenges. VCA are resilient by principle, mostly conciliators, always determined, VCA has a fighting spirit whenever necessary.

Specialized areas of practice
Dispute resolution:
Our very experienced team is led by partners with over 25+ years’ experience. We act in a broad range of disputes, from civil actions, corporate and commercial litigation, to maritime, labour, tax, and white-collar crime.

Private wealth: VCA has a wealth management department for private clients. VCA offers assistance akin to a legal concierge service. Whether you wish to redomicile in Portugal, buy, rent, or sell a property, set up or sell a business, prepare a prenup or deal with the legal, tax and property aspects of a divorce and/or inheritance, VCA covers all the needs of a family and its family office.

Real estate: From the initial project to sales, going through all the procedural issues, licensing, construction, VCA covers all stages of any real estate project. VCA assists its clients in the purchases, sales and leases of property ensuring maximum legal security for the parties involved. Specialists in tourism and leisure projects.

Immigration: VCA has a deep knowledge in Immigration Law and extensive experience and know-how to advise its clients on any Visa application process, providing legal and practical advice on the best route for investment in each specific case. We also deal with the popular NHR program.

Other areas of practice:

  • Labour, HR management, disputes.
  • Corporate, company incorporation, shareholder disputes.
  • Tax, personal income tax and corporate tax. NHR regime.
  • Transnational projects, transports, energy and mining.
  • Maritime, ship arrests and further litigation.
  • Art law, copyrights, provenance, tax, import and export.
  • Specialized and alternative investment funds. Fund management.
Department Name Email Telephone
Litigation and Civil Law Ana Santos Fontes
Litigation and Criminal Law António Cayolla
Immigration Cláudia Cardoso
Litigation and Labour Law Hugo Martins Braz
All Departments João Valadas Coriel
Litigation and Civil Law Marta Valadas Coriel
Immigration Patrícia Valadas Coriel
Tax Law and Arbitration Paulino Brilhante Santos
Corporate and Real estate Rita Tigeleiro Afonso
Immigration Sandra Jardim Fernandes
Tax Law and Arbitration Sofia Quental
Litigation and Maritime Law Sónia Antunes Dias
Real Estate and Urban Planning Susana Varela Gaiato
Litigation and Arbitration Vera Chalaça
Photo Name Position Profile
 Sónia Antunes Dias  photo Sónia Antunes Dias Senior Associate in the Litigation Department.
 Paulino Brilhante Santos  photo Paulino Brilhante Santos Of Counsel and equity partner of the Tax, Energy, Oil & Gas,…
 Cláudia Cardoso  photo Cláudia Cardoso Associate Lawyer in Valadas Coriel & Associados in the Corporate and Immigration…
 António Cayolla  photo António Cayolla Of Counsel in the Litigation Department.
 Vera Chalaça photo Vera Chalaça Partner in the Litigation and Arbitration practices of VCA.
 Sandra Jardim Fernandes  photo Sandra Jardim Fernandes Head of the Immigration Department.
 Hugo Martins Braz  photo Hugo Martins Braz Partner. Coordinates the Litigation and Labour Departments.
 Sofia Quental  photo Sofia Quental Managing Associate of the Tax Department.
 Ana Santos Fontes  photo Ana Santos Fontes Senior Associate Lawyer in the Litigation Department.
 Rita Tigeleiro Afonso  photo Rita Tigeleiro Afonso Partner in the Tax and Corporate Department.
 João Valadas Coriel photo João Valadas Coriel Managing Partner of VCA. Leads and coordinates all VCA departments.
 Marta Valadas Coriel  photo Marta Valadas Coriel Associate of the Civil and Commercial Litigation Department.
 Patrícia Valadas Coriel  photo Patrícia Valadas Coriel Managing Associate of the Immigration Department.
 Susana Varela Gaiato  photo Susana Varela Gaiato Senior Associate.
Partners : 6
Managing Associates : 3
Senior Associates : 5
Associates : 6
Of Councels : 4
Trainees : 3
Jurists : 1
Paralegals : 4
Administratives : 7
OA Portugal – Portuguese Bar Association
Portuguese Fiscal Association
IBA (International Bar Association)
International Fiscal Association
Other Offices : Funchal, Madeira


VCA- Valadas Coriel & Associados, since its foundation 17 years ago, has cultivated diversity in line with the best of Portuguese culture, a country which brought new worlds to Europe since the XIV century. VCA has 5 partners and 20 lawyers and most are women. We are proud to have people from all ages, social perspectives, faith, spiritual and religious beliefs, sexual orientation, social backgrounds, ethnic origins, abilities and cultures, even being a small firm.

VCA-Valadas Coriel & Associados has a professional career plan with objective evaluation with remuneration and incentives based on merit, regardless of the characteristics of its lawyers and workers based on equal pay for equal outcomes.

For VCA, living and working without diversity would be not just unfair and against ethic and the law: it would be like offering to our clients a service using half of our brains. Diversity at VCA is our guarantee of a service of excellence of this specialized business law firm.

VCA-Valadas Coriel & Associados works in or for several countries other than Portugal and its partners integrate and in some cases co-ordinate multinational teams of lawyers and other business experts of several European, African and Latin American countries with diverse cultures, languages and religions. Lisbon, our head office location is a multicultural hub where many people from different origins live together in peace in one of the safest cities in the world. This is so entrenched in the Firm’s DNA that for us diversity is just a way of living and working.

Pro Bono/CRS

VCA-Valadas Coriel & Associados has an organized Pro Bono/CRS department.

One of João Valadas Coriel’s passions, managing partner of VCA, is pro-bono work in criminal cases, something that comes from a desire to help people who have made mistakes.

We assist civil society organizations from children protection charities to social intervention associations and VCA partners work for rehabilitation and social development organizations.

VCA Pro Bono work has also involved the legal representation of destitute clients, some in complex legal issues, including litigation cases. For VCA- Valadas Coriel & Associados, a lawyers’ job is to pursue Justice, that sometimes elusive notion amidst the pressure and the stress of business legal practice.

Pro bono and CRS works remind to all lawyers at VCA-Valadas Coriel & Associados that our communities not only in Portugal but also in other countries where we work have given to us. It is also a constant reminder that destitute people also seek Justice and do have some technically complex legal issues to be sorted out and solved with the same high level of professionalism as paying clients.