Portugal – A New Hope

Portugal’s European bailout is over and its privatisation programme is winding down. Legal Business asks the country’s lawyers what happens next.

While the instances in which Europe’s ailing economies have been talking up their prospects have been as frequent as rain storms this past year, Portugal has more reason than most to be bullish. It exited the European Union (EU)/International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme at the end of last month; activity levels and employment figures are exceeding expectations; and the government aims to reduce the budget gap further in 2015.

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Outward Bound – Portugal lawyers turn to global opportunities

Portugal continues to navigate a deep recession, aided by its legal profession. But while the sale of state assets is providing some relief, firms are looking to their international practices to provide a bailout of their own.

The normally sedate setting of the Ritz Hotel in Lisbon became the focal point of Portugal’s malaise in April. A flash mob of angry protestors gathered outside the hotel urging the Portuguese government to `screw the troika’ in response to the severe austerity plans tabled to meet the demands of Portugal’s 2011 €78bn bailout by the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and the European Commission.

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Portugal – Getting Away

In response to a struggling domestic market, Portugal’s leading law firms are increasingly seeking opportunities in former Portuguese colonies. LB assesses the different international strategies being employed by the country’s top legal practices

Aside from a spate of short-term privatisation work (see ‘Going private’), Portugal’s transactional lawyers continue to bemoan the demise of their national M&A pipelines. In order to bolster growth, the country’s major law firms are venturing to Portuguese-speaking jurisdictions where the legal systems are similar and investment is flowing.

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Portugal – Going Private

Despite its worst recession in decades, Portugal’s recent privatisation programme has sparked renewed investment interest. LB asks whether selling off the country’s prized assets can cure the woes of its legal market

With Portugal’s GDP expected to fall by 4.5% in 2012 and a series of hikes on VAT, corporate and individual income tax included in the 2012 Portuguese state budget, the country’s economy hardly appears inviting. Following its 2011 €78bn bailout (the Troika Memorandum) by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Portugal has been forced to introduce a comprehensive privatisation programme that includes the energy and airports sectors, as well as the insurance and media industries.

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Portugal – Shifting sands

With Portugal’s recession expected to continue for at least another two years, the country’s law firms have no option but to go abroad. LB assesses whether their international strategies are paying dividends

As any schoolboy will tell you, Portugal has a proud tradition as one of Europe’s foremost explorers. The era of Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama was a golden age of European discovery, in which a tiny nation spread its tentacles throughout the world and, for a period, became one of its greatest powers. Continue reading “Portugal – Shifting sands”

Portugal – Out of the ruins

As Portugal considers the implications of its recent €78bn bailout, LB assesses the impact it will have on the legal market and how Portuguese law firms can survive in an economy stuck in limbo

By the time that this issue of Legal Business hits desks, Portugal will be on the brink of electing its new government. What form that government takes remains to be seen, although a majority coalition involving one of the two largest parties (the Socialist Party and the Social Democratic Party) looks almost certain. Continue reading “Portugal – Out of the ruins”

Voyage of discovery: Portugal

The downturn in Portugal’s economy means that overseas markets, including Africa and Brazil, have become an even more valuable source of work for the country’s law firms

Since Portuguese sailors began exploring the West Coast of Africa almost 600 years ago, the country has forged a reputation for venturing into new, overseas territories. Today, the countries of lusophone Africa and Brazil provide manifold investment opportunities for Portugal’s major corporates and their advisers.

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