The Cathay Associates network member in Lisbon, Portugal:
Sérvulo & Associados

Established: 1999

Staff: 60+

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”

—Chris Grosser

Cathay Associates Sérvulo Lisbon brings together lawyers with a solid experience and a strong academic background in the areas of law that are fundamental to the success of business. As one of the leading law firms in Portugal, we advise clients from both the private and public sectors, be this at a national or international level, offering tailor-made solutions for Portuguese clients wanting to internationalize their business, and for foreign clients wanting to invest in Portugal or abroad, namely in other Lusophone countries.


Chambers Europe Leading Firm


Chambers Global Leading Firm


Chambers Europe Award for Excellence in Portugal: Client Service


Legal 500 EMEA Leading Firm


IFLR1000 Recommended Firm


Shortlisted for Chambers Europe Award


Managing Intellectual Property, IP Stars Handbook

Best Lawyers – “Law Firm of the Year” for Administrative Law and Arbitration and Mediation in Portugal


Media Law International

Tax Controversy Leader by International Tax Review




M&A / Corporate and Commercial

  • Legal advice to Saint-Gobain Weber on its disinvestment from one of its business units in Portugal.
  •  Legal assistance to the Abbott Laboratories in a restructuring operation of the Group to accommodate the worldwide purchase of the St. Jude Medical Group, a group specialised in cardiovascular products.
  •  General legal assistance to SATA SGPS, the holding for the Azorean air transportation company SATA, in several issues related to corporate and regulatory law, as well as relating to its partial privatisation.
  •  Legal advice to Scenic Tours, an Australian-based group of companies, operating in the luxury cruise sector, on all legal matters, namely on the negotiations and drafting of all legal agreements necessary to implement the activity, with public and private entities. Assistance regarding the Portugal 2020 programme.
  • General legal advice to Porsche on all corporate and commercial law matters relating to its operations in Portugal, including, but not limited to, regulatory matters of the industrial sector, data protection, consumer rights, and intermediation of insurance policies and financing of vehicles.

Capital Markets

  • Assistance to the Cape Verde Capital Markets Authority in the preparation and implementation of rules governing capital markets and in the internationalization of the Cape Verde Capital Markets, taking into account the future adhesion of the Cape Verde Capital Markets Authority to the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
  • Assistance to the Cape Verde Stock Exchange in respect to its internationalization and rule-drafting.
  • Assisting the Angolan Capital Markets Commission (CMC – Comissão do Mercado de Capitais de Angola) in the preparation and implementation of rules governing capital markets in Angola and general advice on matters concerning the promotion of the Angolan capital markets by CMC.

Intellectual Property

  • Successful representation of Tecmic and Frotcom in a litigation for invalidation of a patent granted to another Portuguese company in respect of GSM alarms.
  • Advising a number of banks and other companies on data protection matters.

Litigation and Arbitration

  • Representing Infraestruturas de Portugal as the Prosecution in a criminal trial involving 34 defendants accused, amongst other crimes, of fraud, corruption, forgery and theft. The main plaintiffs are State-owned companies or public capital corporations.
  • Representing the Bank of Portugal as the regulatory authority in a judicial procedure regarding financial offenses against the largest Portuguese private bank and several of its former board members.
  • Representing Bank Espirito Santo in an ICC Arbitration in Paris started against BEA (Bank Exterieur d’Algerie) and our client (€45 million).
  • Representation of the Portuguese Ministry of Defence in an arbitration case against the manufacturer GD Steyr following the delay to the supply of armoured 8×8 road vehicles for the Portuguese Army and the Navy (€226 million).

Media, Technology & Telecoms

  • Representing a number of clients on cases of non-compliance with the R&TTE Directive requirements.

Labor and Employment

  • Drafting of several legal opinions for clients in the pharmaceutical and tourist sectors on complex matters related to individual and collective employment law with impact on the structure of the company’s labour relations.
  • Employment and Social Security assistance in the cross-border merger of a French bank with its wholly owned Portuguese subsidiary and the subsequent incorporation of a branch in Portugal.
  •  Legal advice to a global manufacturing company on the employment law implications of its disinvestment from one of its business units in Portugal.
  • Regular legal assistance to a Portuguese investment bank in several complex issues related to the suspension and termination of employment contracts, social security, meetings with the works council, and assistance on drafting salaries and benefits.

Trusts, Estates & Wealth Management

  • Legal advice to banks and family offices on all legal, fiscal and regulatory aspects relating to the management of client portfolios.

Restructuring, Insolvency and Workouts

  • Advising BES – Bank Espirito Santo on the application of a resolution measure by the Bank of Portugal and the creation of a bridge bank following its insolvency.
  • Advising Banco Privado Português – em Liquidação on its insolvency and winding-up, including on the related insolvencies of companies owing money to BPP.
  • Assistance to NAMA – National Asset Management Agency on the special recovery processes of a number of real estate assets that the client owns in Portugal.
  • Advising Banif – Bank International of Funchal on the application of a resolution measure by the Bank of Portugal and on the creation of a bridge bank following its insolvency.
  • Assistance to Petro Gaz, a Romanian company operating in the areas of petroleum and gas, as creditor of one of the major Portuguese construction companies – Soares da Costa Construções – in the context of its Recovery Judicial Proceeding.


  • Analysis of corporate income tax in the Portuguese financial and banking sector.
  • Assessment and assistance in the relocation to Portugal of individuals in order to benefit from the Non Habitual Resident Regime
  • Legal advice on the tax optimisation of real estate operations
  • Preparation of legal opinions on various fiscal matters and of binding information requests.
  • Analysis, planning and support in the context of carrying out corporate restructuring programmes in a variety of sectors, mainly in the tourism, real estate, media, technology, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.
  • Representing clients (individuals and organisations) before the Tax Authority in terms of submitting binding requests for information, accompanying inspection procedures, and administrative and judicial procedures contesting taxation rates and the legality of payments, as well as in cases of administrative offences and tax enforcement.


Venture Capital and Startups & Emerging Companies

  • Legal advice to MNF Capital on the acquisition of part of the share capital of one of the participated companies of MNF Capital by the Fund managed by Oxy Capital – Sociedade de Capital de Risco and negotiation of the shareholders agreement.

Energy and Resource

  • Advising an international client operating in the energy sector on the amendment to a concession contract for a project in Mozambique.
  • Ongoing legal assistance to GALP Energia, a leading Portuguese energy company, on complex matters concerning Public Law, Regulatory, Environment and Administrative Litigation.
  • Ongoing legal assistance to Enercon, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wind turbines, on all legal matters related to its activities in Portugal.

Healthcare & Life Sciences

  • Legal advice to Abbott Laboratories on a number of other matters concerning public procurement and dispute resolution.
  • Legal advice to the Portuguese Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (Apifarma – Associação Portuguesa da Indústria Farmaêutica) on EU law matters, public procurement, administrative actions, and regulatory.

Infrastructure and Transportation

  • Advising Infraestruturas de Portugal – the largest Portuguese public company –, which manages the national road and railway networks and which is the result of the merger between EP – Estradas de Portugal and REFER, on the execution of the concession contract it has with the Portuguese State.
  • Legal advice to of the Group Águas de Portugal, the largest Portuguese water utility company, on its restructuring in view of its future privatization.
  • Legal advice to Estradas de Portugal on the conversion of road concessions with no cost to the user (SCUT – sem custos para o utilizador) to a system of real tolls, involving the renegotiation of contracts for nine toll roads.
  • Legal assistance to Altavia in the public tender for the concession of one of the tranches of the Lisbon high-velocity train.
  • Legal advice to Metro do Porto, a public passenger transport company holding a concession for the Light Rail System in the Porto Metropolitan Area, one of the largest light rail networks in Europe, on the definition and preparation of the public tender for the sub-concession of the operation and maintenance of the light rail in the Metropolitan Area of Porto.

Funds & Investment Management

  • Assistance to a leading real estate investment fund manager on day-to-day business and regulatory matters relating to several real estate closed-end investment funds.

Real Estate & Construction

  • Advice to RTP on the regularisation of the legal status of all real estate assets owned by the client, amounting to about 100 real estate assets.
  • Advice to Banco Privado Atlântico on acquisition of a real estate company in Angola.
  • Legal advice to several clients in the acquisition of real estate in Portugal within the context of the application process for obtaining a golden visa, a Portuguese residence permit granted to non-EU residents who invest in Portugal, including a minimum investment of €500,000 in real estate.

Consumer Industry

  • Legal advice to Jerónimo Martins, one of Portugal’s largest retailers, on all legal matters related to distribution, competition law and agro-commercial projects.
  • Legal advice to a number of companies operating in the healthcare sector on matters relating to pharmaceutical, EU and competition Law.

Banking & Finance

  • Assisting the Bank of Cape Verde in the preparation and implementation of rules governing the banking system, including a number of new provisions relating to the banking crisis, payment systems and governance and prudential regime of financial institutions.

Film & Entertainment

  • Legal assistance to the national Portuguese broadcaster, RTP – Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, in several procedures concerning the client’s broadcasting activities, namely honour crimes, electoral, advertising, copyright, and protection of personal data offenses, amongst others.


Paulo Câmara

Managing Partner

João Saúde



With a strong client portfolio including national and international clients from both the private and public sectors, Cathay Associates Sérvulo Lisbon offers a one-stop-shop for comprehensive legal services touching a wide-range of legal and business issues concerning Portugal and other Lusophone jurisdictions. Our Lisbon firm provides a key point of contact which is able to act with local knowledge while at the same time connecting to the Cathay Associates global network, giving the necessary know-how on both ends of the venture. A leading law firm advising on all those practice areas that are essential to a strategic approach to business, we have a wide and deep sector knowledge that combines with top-range legislative and academic experience, thereby providing seamless and always up-to-date business development in Portugal and further afield.

With our tailor-made client-focused approach, our Lisbon office has, since the very beginning, established itself as the go-to firm for solutions to the highly complex and relevant matters that national and international public and private entities face in their day-to-day business development or in extraordinary situations. We boast long-standing and broad experience and expertise in all those areas that are fundamental to helping clients achieve their goals, including in foreign investment, corporate and M&A, tax, banking and finance and capital markets, employment, European and competition law, intellectual property, restructuring and insolvency, real estate, corporate crime and litigation and arbitration, in all cases both in Portugal and abroad.


  • European and Competition

Our team has continuously grown in prestige and in size and is now being considered one of the best in the country for European and Competition matters. Our lawyers work on a national and an international level, and they are present on important cases as well as being involved in key developments in terms of legislation. In this area we have sound experience in many sectors such as distribution, commodities, education, health, security, structural funds and automotive industry.

  • Real Estate, Environmental and Urban Planning

We have broad experience spanning all areas of real estate, urban planning and environment law. We are particularly strong advising on real estate transactions and assisting clients with due diligence and the structuring of financial operations. Our lawyers are, likewise, adept in advising real estate investment funds and property development and tourism companies in regards to structuring and regulatory matters, and in providing them with day-to-day counsel.

  • Litigation and Arbitration

All the firm’s departments have specialized litigation lawyers, which means that they are already embedded in a case should it go wrong. In addition to this, we have lawyers focused on broad-ranging litigation and arbitration, as well as white-collar crime and other forms of corporate crime, regulatory compliance and administrative offences. Our litigation and arbitration lawyers have represented top-end clients in some of the most high-profile cases of the last years, before both national and international courts.

  • IT and Data Protection

We have been successfully advising clients in all areas of information technology. Our team prides itself on having deep and detailed sector-specific knowledge, allowing the firm to provide clients with value-added day-to-day counsel.On the data protection front, our lawyers are well-practised in advising clients at the preventive stage (identifying appropriate data protection solutions, providing the requisite notifications and issuing authorisation requests to the relevant bodies), as well as defending clients in inquiry and administrative law hearings.

  • Public Law and Project Finance

As one of the leading public law firms in Portugal, our lawyers have decades of experience of advising State and government entities on all matters concerning public law and administrative law, they have drafted framework public law legislation, and have advised both public and private entities on all manner of public procurement processes and on any related disputes.All this experience has been transferred to project finance, area in which our services are designed to support the launching, discussion and initial negotiation stages of projects, as well as the execution stage. We can provide our clients with solid experience in all major public sector infrastructure facilities, such as ports, hospitals, schools and high-profile road and rail projects undertaken in Portugal and in other jurisdictions, namely in sub-Saharan Africa.



Rua Garrett, 64 1200-204 Lisboa – Portugal

(+351) 210 933 000

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