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 assists with the sale of existing securitisation notes and handles applications to the Portuguese financial services regulator for the authorisation of new securitisation companies. It also offers strong cross-border capabilities involving other lusophone countries, having advised African banks on the financing of domestic public infrastructure projects.


Notable practitioners

Benedita Aires handles diverse finance mandates spanning real estate loans through to the securitisation of receivables arising under TV broadcasting contracts. Clients describe her as "a clear communicator who provides commercial and prompt advice."

Paula Gomes Freire is best known for her work on securitisation and derivatives matters. Highlight mandates include her advice to securitisation issuers on the replacement of third-party servicers.

Pedro Cassiano Santos receives significant praise from clients, who describe him as "very knowledgeable, engaging and experienced." He 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.

Tiago Correia Moreira advises originator banks, issuers and investors on all transactional and regulatory matters arising in relation to securitisations. He draws praise from clients for his leadership skills in complex transactions.

  • Benedita Aires | Band 4
  • Paula Gomes Freire | Band 3
  • Pedro Cassiano Santos | Star Individual
  • Tiago Correia Moreira | Up and Coming

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


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.

José Pedro Fazenda Martins is experienced in equity capital markets and bond issuance matters. He also provides regulatory advice. Clients value his ability to "bring many important insights to a deal.“

Paula Gomes Freire is best known for her advice on securitisation transactions. Standout mandates include her advice to originator banks on the STS-compliant securitisation of auto loans 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 equity capital market deals. Market commentators say that "he is very well known and respected."

Orlando Vogler Guiné plays a key supporting role in many of the firm's debt and equity capital matters. He is well known among market commentators as an important member of the team.

  • Hugo Moredo Santos | Band 2
  • José Pedro Fazenda Martins | Band 2
  • Paula Gomes Freire | Band 3
  • Pedro Cassiano Santos | Band 1
  • Orlando Vogler Guiné | Band 4

Well-reputed outfit tackling complex and high-profile M&A transactions, as well as corporate governance and restructuring operations in the energy, telecommunications and real estate 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.


Notable practitioners

Cláudia Cruz Almeida frequently assists prominent domestic and international clients on a broad range of complex M&A deals. One client enthuses that "she is one of the most dedicated lawyers I have worked with, she is hard-working and very well composed under pressure.“

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

Top lawyer Jorge Bleck is described as a true market reference by an interviewee who says that "clients fully trust his judgement due to his extensive experience." He provides expert advice on a variety of corporate matters including joint venture establishments and cross-border M&A deals.

  • Cláudia Cruz Almeida | Band 2
  • João Vieira de Almeida | Eminent Practitioner
  • Jorge M Bleck | Band 1

Corporate M&A Foreign Expertise

José Miguel Oliveira is proficient in advising on corporate matters in the energy sector, especially on oil and gas-related mandates. He is additionally dual-qualified in Angola and Portugal.

Paulo Trindade Costa focuses his work on advising on foreign investments in Angola. He frequently assists clients with corporate governance, restructuring and regulatory matters.

Raul Mota Cerveira has considerable experience handling corporate and regulatory mandates in São Tomé e Príncipe. He further acts on matters relating to the telecommunications and food and drink sectors.

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


Sizeable and multidisciplinary practice with the capacity to handle varied commercial disputes, including international arbitration. Advises on debt recovery actions, commercial claims against former distributors and litigation arising in the course of M&A transactions. Has experience in the enforcement of arbitral awards in Portugal. Provides 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. Offers impressive expertise in white-collar crime cases involving corruption, tax fraud and money laundering. Client list includes banks and companies active in the telecommunications, construction and insurance sectors.


Notable practitioners

Carla Gonçalves Borges is recognised among market commentators as a key partner within VdA's disputes practice. She often advises on commercial disputes arising for clients in the financial services sector. She has proven experience in litigation and arbitration mandates.

Frederico Gonçalves Pereira has a strong track record of handling disputes within the banking, telecommunications, transportation and pharmaceutical sectors. "Frederico is a strategist and is always five steps ahead. He understands the issues very quickly and anticipates the various scenarios," enthuses a client, adding: "His knowledge of the law and his court experience are outstanding."

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. He draws praise for his rigorous approach and for his strategic nous.

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

Market-leading independent 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 (...) 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 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.

Strengths  A source attests that the firm has "strong allies with international clients, regulators and key market players," adding: "They have a holistic approach which is key for clients. They are also very good technically.“

Clients appreciate that the team works seamlessly in an global context, noting: "They offered a reliable and adequate network with the best international law firms to cover all aspect of the matter." This source also praises the firm's "solid legal knowledge and court experience."

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 a number of sectors such as energy and healthcare. 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.


Notable practitioners

Ana Luís de Sousa  demonstrates solid knowledge of renewable energy-related 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.

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

Teresa Empis Falcão is proficient at handling both financing and refinancing for projects arising in the renewables sector. She frequently represents eminent energy players and financial institutions, with sources noting her experience in international 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.

  • Ana Luís de Sousa | Band 3
  • Manuel Protásio | Band 1
  • Paulo de Barros Baptista | Band 2
  • Teresa Empis Falcão | Band 2
  • Vanda Cascão | Band 4


Projects Foreign Expertise

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.

  • João Afonso Fialho | Foreign Expert for Angola 
  • Vanda Cascão | Foreign Expert for Angola 

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 particularly noted for its experience in 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. The department is increasingly active working for major international investors, including DFIs.


Work highlights  A team led by Paulo Trindade Costa was subcontracted by Standard Bank Angola to provide legal advice to the Angolan government on the privatisation of state-owned bank BCI Angola.

Notable practitioners

Lisbon-based partners Jorge Bleck 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, investigations and judicial review proceedings. The energy and oil and gas sectors are two notable areas of activity. 

"He is very well regarded in Angola and Mozambique." "He is a professional who prepares the best strategy but also considers the active participation of the client."

  • Rui Andrade | Band 4


VdA Legal Partners offers integrated legal services across its network of associated law offices, providing access to comprehensive local knowledge to allow its members to successfully navigate individual challenges across different markets. The network possesses considerable reach across lusophone Africa. In addition, its international office in Timor-Leste and its administrative head office in Lisbon, Vieira de Almeida, provide the network with support and capability beyond the African continent. Inter-office collaboration is employed to provide the best level of service for clients engaging the network on cross-border mandates. The network utilises employee rotation and training to strengthen inter-office relationships and shared knowledge. Lisbon-based managing partner João Vieira de Almeida is a key contact.

Well-established Portuguese law firm that possesses considerable expertise in lusophone Africa, most significantly in Angola and Mozambique, with 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 provided Mozambican law advice to Total in relation to the project financing of the offshore area 1 of the Rovuma Basin LNG project.

Notable practitioners

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

Well-respected Portuguese firm with considerable experience and activity operating in lusophone Africa. The team is well positioned to assist with regulatory concerns, as well as the development of legislation in the 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.

Strengths One client said: "These lawyers have a rather unique knowledge and expertise in all the digital economy legal regime topics in general, on the main trends and challenges, and specifically on the legal framework of all African countries where they work. They have a remarkable reputation in telecoms, media, technology, data protection and cybersecurity."

Another described VdA as "an excellent firm. They are eager, persistent and follow through. I enjoy working with them.“

Work highlights Advised Cabo Verde on the preparation of its National Space Strategy and the promotion of the country's development of space market and technologies.


Notable practitioners

Based in Lisbon and head of the firm's ICT practice, Magda Cocco is a key contact for clients.

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.

Strengths A client said: "They are very responsive, provide a personable service and are well connected in Angola."

Work highlights A VdA team led by Paulo Trindade Costa advised Standard Bank Angola as the financial adviser to the Angolan government on the privatisation process of Banco de Comércio e Indústria.

Notable practitioners

Lisbon-based João Afonso Fialho is regarded as a leading lawyer for his expertise in commercial matters in Angola. He is often singled out for his experience advising on issues concerning the energy and natural resource sector, with particular knowledge of the mining industry. He is often sought out by multinational companies to assist with sophisticated corporate matters. "I enjoy working with him - he is knowledgeable in Angolan law and responsive."

The up-and-coming José Miguel Oliveira is well regarded by market observers for his experience in the oil and gas sector, and is skilled at assisting clients with banking and foreign investment mandates in Angola from the firm's Lisbon office. "He is a good lawyer with a good commercial sense."

  • João Afonso Fialho | Band 1
  • José Miguel Oliveira | Up and Coming

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.

Expertise based abroad in Equatorial Guinea

Notable Practitioner

Maria Araújo is a managing associate of the firm based in Lisbon. She is recognised for her specialised practice within the oil and gas sector, and her wider M&A practice. Her Equatorial Guinea experience includes assisting oil services companies with several cross-border operations. She also advises on private investment, corporate and real estate law.

  • Maria Araújo | Associate to watch

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.


Strengths  A client observed: "The team has an excellent knowledge of business law and vast experience across multiple practice areas.“

Work highlights  A VdA team led by Lisbon-based partners Teresa Empis Falcão and Manuel Protásio and Maputo-based GDA partner Guilherme Daniel advised Total on the structuring and negotiation of the USD24 billion Area 1 LNG project.

Expertise based abroad in Mozambique

Notable Practitioner

Teresa Empis Falcão continues to earn recognition for her dynamic presence in the Mozambican market. She is highlighted by sources for her in-depth knowledge of the local legal framework. Her experience includes acting on high-level energy and public law mandates. "Teresa is a great lawyer."

  • Teresa Empis Falcão | Band 2 

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.

Expertise Based Abroad in São Tomé e Príncipe

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 aviation, corporate and commercial matters in São Tomé e Príncipe.

  •  Raul Mota Cerveira | Expertise Based Abroad in São Tomé e Príncipe

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


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.