Headcount at joint-biggest firm VdA grows by more than a fifth, while Cuatrecasas reports biggest increase in lawyer numbers as ranks grow by 28 per cent
Increases in M&A, banking and real estate activity in Portugal resulted in Lisbon's leading law firms boosting their headcount in the last year to meet growing client demand. In addition, firms also recruited more lawyers to strengthen their technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practices and dispute resolution teams.
Vieira de Almeida (VdA) and PLMJ are the joint-largest law firms in the country by headcount, each with 271 lawyers - consisting of partners, associates, counsel and trainees - in their respective Portuguese offices. Growth at VdA in the last year was substantial: headcount increased by 16 per cent overall, with the most dramatic rise in lawyer numbers in the firm's TMT practice, where staffing levels grew by 22 per cent. The firm says its TMT lawyers are becoming increasingly in demand around the world, with the firm recently partnering with a US firm on a project in the Pacific region, for example. Among the firm's areas of speciality in the area of TMT is space law, particularly the negotiation of contracts for the construction and launch of satellites. VdA has also been advising national governments on the drafting of space-related legislation.
The real estate practice at VdA also experienced significant growth with headcount increasing by 16 per cent. The firm says there has been an increase in the number of institutional investors interested in acquiring Portuguese real estate assets, particularly in the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors, but also in the residential sector. In addition, demand for office buildings in Portugal is also high, with a significant number of foreign investors looking to establish back-office operations in the country. Meanwhile, headcount in VdA's banking and finance practice grew by 11 per cent. Significant matters handled by the firm's banking team recently included advising the Bank of...