Last month, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton did something that it has only done once before – open two non-US offices in the same year. Seoul became the firm’s sixteenth office, launching just a month after Cleary opened its fifteenth office in Abu Dhabi. The only time the firm has previously opened two offices in a year was 1991 when it launched in Frankfurt and Moscow.
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.
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.