Awards and Rankings | Rankings

Chambers Global

Leading law firm with an expansive bench and an impressive reputation, VdA has a solid client roster which includes major domestic and international banks and other financial institutions. The team advises on the full scope of transactional and regulatory matters, with outstanding expertise in debt restructurings and securitisation mandates. The firm handles applications to the Portuguese financial services regulator for the authorisation of new securitisation and venture capital companies. It also offers strong cross-border capabilities involving Lusophone Africa.


Notable practitioners

Benedita Aires is skilled in advising lenders on real estate financing and refinancing mandates. She has further experience in handling debt refinancings.

Francisco Sá Carneiro specialises in retail finance-related transactions. He is also adept at handling refinancings.

Paula Gomes Freire is the managing partner at VdA. She is best recognised for her expert handling of securitisation matters. "Paula Gomes Freire is a strong leader and commercial lawyer."

Pedro Cassiano Santos leads VdA's banking practice and handles the full range of banking and finance matters. He is frequently seen advising prominent domestic and international clients on financial restructurings. "Pedro Cassiano Santos is a great lawyer, very knowledgeable and easy to interact with."; "Pedro has a deep knowledge of the Portuguese market."

Tiago Correia Moreira advises originator banks, issuers and investors on all transactional and regulatory matters arising in relation to securitisations.

"Tiago Correia Moreira has a great level of legal knowledge and experience. Tiago is a lawyer who embraces the client challenges every step of the way."

  • Benedita Aires | Band 4
  • Francisco Sá Carneiro | Band 2
  • Paula Gomes Freire | Eminent Practitioner
  • Pedro Cassiano Santos | Star Individual
  • Tiago Correia Moreira | Band 4

VdA offers a highly regarded capital markets practice praised for its first-rate expertise in DCM. The team regularly assists international investment banks with their role as managers and underwriters of Portuguese bond issuances, including retail and green bonds. The lawyers also have extensive experience acting on the underwriter side of capital increases carried out by major Portuguese energy or construction companies. The law firm advises on securitisations, acting for an impressive list of originator banks, issuers and investors.



"The lawyers are very assertive. They are always working ahead and anticipating the bottlenecks."
Capital Markets client

"The VdA team offers very prompt responsiveness and good commercial thinking."
Capital Markets client


Notable practitioners

Hugo Moredo Santos plays a leading role in many of the firm's major equity and debt capital market mandates. He acts for international banks and Portuguese corporate issuers, including sports clubs. "Hugo Moredo Santos is a very solid lawyer, strongly committed to the client and the project. He is focused on the delivery of the expected results."

José Pedro Fazenda Martins is experienced in equity capital markets and bond issuance matters. He also provides regulatory advice.

Paula Gomes Freire is best known for her advice on securitisation transactions. She routinely advises originator banks on the STS-compliant securitisation of auto-loan portfolios.

Pedro Cassiano Santos assists a range of high-profile international and domestic clients with the full range of capital market matters. His expertise covers securitisations and a variety of debt and equity capital market deals.

Orlando Vogler Guiné plays a key supporting role in many of the firm's debt and equity capital matters. He assists with green bond issuances, securitisation and derivatives transactions. "Orlando is very good technically."

  • Hugo Moredo Santos | Band 2
  • José Pedro Fazenda Martins | Band 2
  • Paula Gomes Freire | Eminent Practitioner
  • Pedro Cassiano Santos | Band 1
  • Orlando Vogler Guiné | Band 4

VdA is a well-reputed outfit tackling complex and high-profile M&A transactions, as well as corporate governance and restructuring operations in the energy, telecommunications and manufacturing industries. The team leverages expertise in tax, capital markets and labour to offer comprehensive assistance to clients. Its clients often include financial groups, multinational entities and asset management companies. The law firm also boasts extensive international capabilities, particularly in Angola and Cabo Verde.


Work Highlights VdA assisted Schwarz Group with its EUR1.13 billion acquisition of Ferrovial's Environmental Services business in Spain and Portugal.



"The team is experienced, has profound knowledge of the matters, and responds in a timely manner, whilst being able to hold an excellent relationship with the client."
Corporate/M&A client

"The lawyers at VdA go an extra mile by drawing attention to things that clients are not normally focused on."
Corporate/M&A client

"They are a top-tier firm in terms of client service and provide great help, the type of lawyers you would want by your side."
Corporate/M&A client


Notable practitioners

Cláudia Cruz Almeida frequently assists prominent domestic and international clients with a broad range of complex M&A. She also assists shareholders with reinvestment deals. "Cláudia Cruz Almeida is a very experienced M&A legal counsel."; "She is the most complete lawyer and I have good references of her."

Francisco Sá Carneiro demonstrates longstanding expertise in corporate and M&A matters.

João Vieira de Almeida is an experienced lawyer in the corporate sphere, frequently acting on joint ventures and cross-border transactions.

Jorge Bleck provides expert advice on a variety of corporate matters, including restructuring and cross-border M&A deals. He also offers advice on shareholder mandates.

Paulo Trindade Costa joins the rankings this year following market recognition. He is experienced at handling variety of corporate and M&A matters. He also regularly advises on foreign investment in Angola. "Paulo Trindade Costa is extremely knowledgeable, masters his industry and leads the negotiations." "You want Paulo on your side when negotiating with the counterparty and you rest assured that your interests are strongly protected."

  • Cláudia Cruz Almeida | Band 2
  • Francisco Sá Carneiro | Band 3
  • João Vieira de Almeida | Senior Statespeople
  • Jorge M Bleck | Senior Statespeople
  • Paulo Trindade Costa | Band 5


Corporate M&A Foreign Expertise

  • José Miguel Oliveira | Foreign Expert for Angola 
  • Raul Mota Cerveira | Foreign Expert for São Tomé e Principe

VdA has a sizeable and multidisciplinary practice with the capacity to handle varied commercial disputes, including international arbitration. The team advises on debt recovery proceedings, corporate disputes and claims arising from termination of distribution agreements. It has further experience in the enforcement of arbitral awards in Portugal. The lawyers provide support across Portuguese-speaking jurisdictions including Angola, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe, assisting with diverse matters ranging from environmental claims to investor-state arbitration. The team also offers impressive expertise in white-collar crime, advising clients on corruption, tax fraud and money laundering mandates.


Work Highlights VdA team assisted MEO with proceedings against NOS and pertaining to the payment delay for mobile interconnection services provided by MEO.



"VdA has a team of sophisticated lawyers who are used to working on transnational complex matters. They create a good work environment, and they are able to work in a team with firms from other jurisdictions."
Dispute Resolution client

"VdA team has strong capacity to take several matters on board simultaneously, still providing a very sophisticated analysis and high-quality documents.
Dispute Resolution client


Notable practitioners

Carla Gonçalves Borges often advises on commercial disputes arising for clients in the financial services sector. She has proven experience in litigation and arbitration proceedings. "Carla Gonçalves Borges is an amazing lawyer."

Frederico Gonçalves Pereira has a strong track record of handling disputes within the banking, telecommunications, transportation and pharmaceutical sectors. His extensive recent case load includes commercial litigations, enforcement proceedings and class actions.

Miguel Pinto Cardoso has standout experience in complex cross-border arbitrations, including ICC commercial arbitration and investment treaty cases brought against African states. He acts for construction companies and for clients operating in the banking and energy sectors.

  • Carla Gonçalves Borges | Band 4
  • Frederico Gonçalves Pereira | Band 1
  • Miguel Pinto Cardoso | Band 1

VdA's first-class department is active in the energy and infrastructure sectors. The law firm is experienced in the corporate and financial aspects of various road concessions, renewables, waste and water projects. It also boasts further expertise in the healthcare sector. The team benefits from a strong domestic-side practice as well as strengths in international work owing to an extensive network of offices across lusophone Africa, including in Mozambique. The lawyers advise an impressive roster of clients including major financial institutions as well as Portuguese construction companies.


Work Highlights VdA team acted for Auto-Estradas do Baixo Tejo on the complex renegotiation of a road sub-concession agreement.



"VdA has a very dynamic team, cohesive and very varied in legal matters."
Projects client

"The lawyers always have the time and spirit to go deep on each issue."
Projects client

"The team is very knowledgeable and experienced in the specific business sector which is of considerable complexity."
Projects client


Notable practitioners

Ana Luís de Sousa demonstrates solid knowledge of renewable energy projects, including those regarding wind, hydro and solar energy. She has experience in both national as well as cross-border mandates.

Manuel Protásio boasts a long-standing reputation and outstanding market knowledge. He represents banks and international companies in a variety of energy and infrastructure-related mandates. "Manuel Protásio's vast legal knowledge and commercial knowledge are only surpassed by his fantastic personality."

João Afonso Fialho has extensive experience in handling projects with cross-border elements, often involving Angola. He regularly advises clients in the energy as well as oil and gas sectors.

Paulo de Barros Baptista stands out for his extensive knowledge of significant road infrastructure projects. He has additional experience in project financings and sub-concession agreements.

Teresa Empis Falcão is proficient at handling both financing and refinancing for projects arising in the renewables and infrastructure sectors. She frequently represents eminent energy players and financial institutions, often advising on international deals. "Teresa Empis Falcão is very experienced and aware of current market practices, which adds significant value to deals."

Vanda Cascão is frequently seen advising on the setting up of energy and water supply projects. She regularly assists with cross-border projects often involving lusophone Africa. "Vanda Cascão demonstrates a good capacity of work, knowledge level and availability."

  • Ana Luís de Sousa | Band 3
  • Manuel Protásio | Eminent Practicioner
  • Paulo de Barros Baptista | Band 2
  • Teresa Empis Falcão | Band 2
  • Vanda Cascão | Band 4


Projects Foreign Expertise

  • João Afonso Fialho | Foreign Expert for Angola 

VdA is a market-leading independent law firm with a formidable reputation in the cross-border transactional space. The Lisbon-based practice has a burgeoning international profile with teams covering 13 jurisdictions, including integrated services in lusophone Africa, francophone Africa and Timor-Leste. The firm is particularly highlighted for its strong presence in Angola. For multi-jurisdictional work which extends beyond the firm's footprint, it engages with trusted co-counsel, drawing upon its non-exclusive list of partnership firms across Europe, America and Africa. VdA frequently collaborates with highly rated firms from the UK and USA, which also includes the regular secondment of lawyers.

Its superb transactional offering, with leading expertise in M&A, private equity and capital markets, is much sought after by multinational corporations and asset managers. It also houses a top-ranked banking team that is regularly instructed by international financial institutions on the complete range of transactional and regulatory matters. The law firm also boasts an impressive disputes practice covering cross-border commercial litigation, international arbitration and white-collar crime cases. The team is further singled out for its strong international capabilities in outbound project finance, particularly within the oil and gas sector.



"VdA has a team of sophisticated lawyers who are used to working on complex trans-national matters. They create a good work environment and are able to work in a team with firms from other jurisdictions."
International & Cross-Border Capabilities client

VdA is a well-known Portuguese law firm with considerable resources dedicated to transactions across lusophone Africa, particularly Angola and Mozambique, and also Equatorial Guinea. The firm is noted for its experience advising on the privatisation of state-owned entities, as well as investments into infrastructure development. The team possesses deep experience in a number of key industries, including the energy and power sectors, as well as financial services and manufacturing. It is increasingly active working for major international investors, including DFIs.


Work highlights  VdA acted for Sacyr on the approximately EUR33 million disposal of various subsidiaries in Angola, Mozambique and Cabo Verde

Notable practitioners

Lisbon-based partners Cláudia Cruz de Almeida and Paulo Trindade Costa act as key contacts for clients.

Lisbon-based Rui Andrade is an accomplished and well-respected disputes lawyer with a notable footprint in lusophone Africa. He is sought out by corporate clients, particularly those from Portugal and other lusophone countries, for his counsel in litigation, arbitration and investigations. The energy and oil and gas sectors are two notable areas of activity.


  • Rui Andrade | Band 4


VdA is a well-established Portuguese law firm that possesses considerable expertise in lusophone Africa, most significantly in Angola and Mozambique, including with regard to large cross-continental projects. It also has further strength advising on matters arising in francophone jurisdictions. The group possesses a significant presence in the oil and gas sector, where it represents major international companies and development banks. In addition to providing counsel on development and financing mandates, the group handles corporate issues such as restructurings, and transactions across the mining and infrastructure spaces.

Work highlights  A VdA team assisted the Cabo Verdean government with the process, funded by the World Bank, of its privatisation of national utility company ELECTRA.

Notable practitioners

Manuel Protásio, Ana Luís de Sousa and João Afonso Fialho are key contacts within the practice.

VdA is a well-respected Portuguese law firm with considerable experience and activity operating in lusophone Africa, in addition to francophone Africa. The team is well positioned to assist with regulatory concerns, as well as the development of legislation in this space. It has further expertise in the financing and construction of communications infrastructure, with notable dispute resolution capabilities. In addition to representing private companies in the telecoms and technology sectors, the firm possesses extensive experience acting for public sector bodies and associations.

Work highlights VdA advised Agence française de développement on various data protection and privacy issues relating to its involvement in the #Data4COVID19 Africa Challenge initiative.


Notable practitioners

Magda Cocco is a key contact for clients.

VdA is a well-regarded international law firm that is highlighted for its work on behalf of companies from the energy and natural resources space. The Lisbon-headquartered team is adept at handling corporate, tax and finance mandates for clients with interests in Angola, notably for those involved in the oil and gas sector. Clients also benefit from its on-the-ground presence via its association with local firm ASP - Sociedade de Advogados R.L.

Work highlights VdA advised Trafigura and Puma Energy on the sale of Sonangol's shareholding in Puma Energy.

Notable practitioners

  • João Afonso Fialho | Expertise based abroad in Portugal
  • José Miguel Oliveira | Expertise based abroad in Portugal

VdA is a Lisbon-headquartered law firm that is recognised as a leading expert in the energy and oil and gas sectors. Its team also has capabilities in labour law, litigation and arbitration, including in regional matters, and frequently advises global clients on transactional due diligence. It also actively advises on local regulatory frameworks, including matters concerning foreign exchange rules and banking.


Notable Practitioner

Key contacts include João Afonso Fialho.

Foreign desks

VdA is a well-regarded Lisbon-based law firm that advises clients on sophisticated mandates arising within the natural resources sector in Guinea-Bissau. Clients also benefit from its experience handling regulatory and finance mandates.

Notable Practitioner

  • João Afonso Fialho 

VdA houses an admired team handling both contentious and non-contentious matters in Mozambique. The Lisbon-based group is skilled in assisting with complex public law, project finance, corporate and real estate mandates. The firm's lawyers are also recognised for their presence on significant cases arising from the energy and natural resources sector. Its clients benefit from the firm's local presence through its partnership with Guilherme Daniel & Associados


Work highlights  VdA advised Portucel Moçambique on the development of an integrated forestry project.


Notable Practitioner

Teresa Empis Falcão continues to earn recognition for her dynamic presence in the Mozambican market. Her experience includes acting on high-level energy and public law mandates.

Teresa Empis Falcão – Expertise based abroad in Portugal

VdA is an esteemed Portuguese law firm that is often retained by major corporations from the aviation, beverage and energy sectors to assist with a plethora of mandates. The team is noted for its expertise in public law and regulations in São Tomé e Príncipe. The group is experienced at handling corporate, litigation and real estate matters. It is associated with local law firm VNA Advogados.

"The team is fast and efficient."

"They have people with very goods skills in all areas."

"I always have very good feedback for the work done with the VdA team."

Notable practitioner

Raul Mota Cerveira is recognised for his knowledge of public law issues and experience in complex transactions and litigation mandates. Based in Lisbon, he is further well equipped to act on corporate and regulatory matters in São Tomé e Príncipe.

"He provides a very good service."

  •  Raul Mota Cerveira | Expertise Based Abroad in Portugal

VdA maintains a respected practice in Dili, supported by its offices in 11 other lusophone or francophone jurisdictions. It principally handles oil and gas and telecoms mandates, and also offers expertise in banking, M&A and tax, among other areas. The firm acts for a number of government entities as well as private sector clients, including banks and oil and gas companies.


Work Highlights VdA advised the Timor-Leste National Petroleum and Minerals Authority on the negotiation with the Government of Australia and Greater Sunrise joint venture of the legal and contractual framework for the development of the Greater Sunrise fields. 


Notable practitioners

Lisbon-based Catarina Pinto Correia is a key contact for clients.

Please note, your browser is out of date.
For a good browsing experience we recommend using the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.