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Europe Guide

Real Estate — Portugal

Overview

Another year has passed and we are pleased to say that there is nothing but good news to report on the Portuguese real estate market.

Portugal’s economy has followed a continually positive trajectory over recent years, and this year has been no exception. In the first half of 2017 the Portuguese economy grew considerably more than the European average, and all data that has already been made available on the economic indicators for 2017, including by the Bank of Portugal, indicates real growth in our economy, which is estimated to reach 2.5% by the end of the financial year. The forecasts for 2018 are also encouraging.

The Portuguese economy’s continuous regeneration, the country's climate and its general sense of safety continue to contribute to Portugal’s international momentum and the arrival of new investors and tourists, from anonymous individuals to international stars and, of course, corporate investors. Domestic investors have also increased their activity, looking at this favourable economic environment as a chance to complete interesting deals and renew their portfolios.

Throughout 2017, the real estate market has been booming with residential, retail and tourism transactions. Once again, the numbers for the first half of the year are outstanding. It is still too early to have the final statistics for the year, but if we look at the numbers for the first quarters and the ongoing transactions that may be closed by the end of the year, this might well be confirmed as the best of the last few years for the real estate market, both in terms of number of transactions and amounts invested.

The residential sector is the most active segment of the real estate market and is enjoying high levels of demand from international investors, with Brazilian, French, Chinese and British citizens leading the list.

The political measures to incentivise foreign investment in real estate keep on attracting investors. The Portuguese Non-Habitual Residency tax scheme is now the most appealing to foreign investors, with the Golden Visa Programme gradually losing its lead. Nonetheless, further to the political programmes specifically implemented to promote international investment in real estate, the market has progressed and “gained a life of its own”. It focuses on offering investors other attractions such as prices that remain competitive, very good construction quality, and a safe investment due to Portugal’s unique natural and political characteristics. Portuguese consumers are also more confident and, this year, a higher number of Portuguese citizens has invested in real estate. Notwithstanding a rise in prices, there is confidence enough to invest, and the considerably easier access to bank loans and decreasing interest rates help consumers make the decision to invest.

A side effect of new investments and the continuous demand for renovated or new high-quality properties is a very significant growth in the construction sector. New projects keep popping up all over the main cities and other prime areas. They are keeping construction companies very busy and, consequently, allowing the regeneration of cities. Multiple, multi-coloured cranes are now part of the skyline of Portugal’s main cities.

Portugal has undoubtedly become a fashionable destination and this is reflected in the continuous and solid growth of the tourism sector. Awards have been won (more than 500), many pages have been written and the feeling is that we are just at the beginning of a very prosperous journey. The number of tourists visiting Portugal keeps rising steadily, and this year’s numbers are very likely to confirm the most optimistic estimates. In this context, investors are obviously alert to this market. New projects have opened to the public throughout Portugal and other projects are still being negotiated and developed. These include the new (first) “W” hotel, which is expected to open in the Algarve.

Apart from the opening of new hotels, this year we have continued to witness to the renovation of buildings in the most central and iconic areas of Lisbon and Oporto for new local lodging establishment units, which have taken on a significant role in the tourism market.

Another new growth area for investment in Portugal is student accommodation. The very good offering of international-quality universities, alongside the international acknowledgement of Portugal as a safe, modern, educated and developed country, is contributing to the arrival of many international students, opening the doors to new business opportunities. The first need of these international students is a place to stay. Focusing on providing international-standard quality accommodation and services, international investors are gradually arriving and investing in the creation of purpose-built student accommodation. Lisbon, Oporto and Coimbra are the main targets for investments, with important projects already under construction expected to open soon.

As a result of the increasing number of tourists and of foreigners setting up home permanently or temporarily in Portugal, the streets of the main cities have become a multilingual and multicultural melting pot. The consequence has been the need to create infrastructure and services, and to renovate existing spaces to meet the demands of an increasing number of clients and the increasing demand for good-quality, international-standard services and properties.

Lisbon’s new cruise terminal opened this year and the city continues to undergo extensive renovation, with new leisure areas being created, new museums being opened and general urban amenities being updated. The old city is undergoing a profound and ongoing modernisation, while still respecting its history and Portuguese identity.

In 2017, new luxury restaurants and retail shops have opened and new ones are expected for 2018. The main luxury areas, such as Avenida da Liberdade and Chiado in Lisbon, continue to be the principal focus for luxury brands to open their stores. Nonetheless, other areas of the city have also seen new places opening. New concept stores selling alternative brands and new restaurants are now popping up all over the city, and they offer different concepts and environments to meet the wide-ranging needs and preferences of their new clients.

The shopping centre segment has also been active throughout 2017. Two new shopping centres have opened, one in the Algarve (Mar Shopping, promoted by IKEA Centres) and another in Alentejo (Évora Plaza), despite the main trend being the renovation and development of existing properties. Many shopping centres have been adapted and renovated during 2017, and new projects are already on schedule for 2018, including the expansion of Centro Glicínias in Aveiro.

The contribution of the real estate and tourism sectors to the steady growth of the Portuguese economy is undeniable. It also guarantees that these areas are receiving appropriate attention at a political level. On many occasions during 2017, members of the Portuguese Government announced that new measures to facilitate investment in real estate are being studied, such as the creation of new corporate structures in line with existing international models. Further news is expected in 2018.

2017 has been an exceptional year and, considering the forecasts, 2018 is expected to continue keeping real estate players very busy.

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PLMJ Lawyers - Real Estate Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Large department experienced across all aspects of real estate. Stands out for work on behalf of leading international retailers looking to expand their Portuguese presence either through the construction of new premises or the signing of lease agreements. Advises on student accommodation and hotel developments on behalf of domestic and international investors. Also advises on the sell side of portfolio transactions. Offices across Lisbon, Porto and Faro are well placed to assist high-profile clients.

Strengths One source highlights the lawyers' "great negotiation skills and their proactivity in finding solutions."

"I can phone anytime, any day of the week, and they will get on with things," states one interviewee, adding: "They explain things in a way that I can understand."

Work highlights Represented the SIL Group in the sale of a portfolio of 14 properties. The firm advised on due diligence and the negotiation and drafting of the sale and purchase contract.

Advised the Alfredo de Sousa Foundation on the construction of a new university campus in Cascais. The firm negotiated lease agreements, managed the tender process and assisted with the creation of security interests in relation to the loan facilities.

Notable practitioners

Pedro Sáragga Leal is a well-regarded figure among peers. He earns praise for his activity in significant real estate transactions. Sources highlight his "technical knowledge, effectiveness and client service," adding: "He is an amazing negotiator and problem solver."

Rita Alarcão Júdice stands out for her work on the acquisition, development, lease and sale of offices and shopping centres. One interviewee highlights "her legal knowledge and excellent soft skills," while another praises "her reputation in the market and her attention to detail."

Head of department Tiago Mendonça de Castro is well known among peers for his experience in shopping centre transactions. He advises on the construction of new retail premises and on the tenant side of lease agreements. Clients note his skill in co-ordinating cross-departmental teams and praise his "technical skills and commercial awareness."

About the Team (content provided by PLMJ Lawyers)

Department profile not yet provided by PLMJ Lawyers. Please see their firm profile.

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Uría Menéndez - Proença de Carvalho - Real Estate Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Highly regarded corporate real estate practice that targets high-value transactional mandates. Frequently acts on behalf of international institutional investors on the sale or acquisition of individual assets or real estate portfolios. Stands out for activity in the office sector, including the negotiation of office developments. Co-ordinates with local counsel abroad to advise domestic hotel owners on outbound investments. Practice covers sale and leaseback transactions and the establishment of real estate funds. Further bolstered by the support of the tax department.

Strengths The team's high work rate is highlighted by clients. One source praises the lawyers' ability to "get tough tasks done in short timeframes," while another states: "I can ask something and have an answer the next morning."

Another interviewee states: "They have experience in all types of real estate deals, even the most uncommon ones."

Work highlights Advised Lone Star on the sale of a portfolio of ten buildings to Square Asset Management. The group assisted with all stages of the transaction, including legal due diligence and negotiating and drafting the transaction agreement.

Represented Olimpo Real Estate SOCIMI in its acquisition of Portimão Retail Center in Algarve. The transaction was structured as a share deal.

Notable practitioners

Duarte Garin enjoys a superb reputation among peers for his work on many of the market's most substantial transactions. "He has been working with top clients on the largest transactions in the market for many years," states one peer, going on to say: "Everyone in the real estate market knows him and regards him as one of the leading lawyers in the sector." Sources further state that "he makes things clear and easy for his client," adding: "He is rigorous, business-oriented and really knowledgeable."

João Torroaes Valente is best known for his handling of hotel and leisure sector investments carried out by international and domestic funds. He also leads office and retail sector transactions. "He has a deep knowledge of the market," reports one client, adding: "He is available and provides quick and effective responses."

Rita Xavier de Brito enters the rankings owing to strong praise from peers and clients alike for her handling of real estate transactions. She advises on the sale, purchase and development of shopping centres, hotels, offices and other assets.

About the Team (content provided by Uría Menéndez - Proença de Carvalho)

With a solid reputation in the Portuguese real estate and construction markets, the lawyers in our Real Estate Practice Area have been involved in many of the most important transactions in the Iberian market. Our advice covers all areas related to the construction, promotion, financing of and investment in residential buildings, offices, business parks, logistics warehouses, hotels, tourist complexes, commercial centres and leisure centres in Portugal.

Promotion, investment and financing of real estate projects

  •       Designing legal and tax structures for the purchase, sale, investment and management of real estate projects
  •       Advising real estate promoters throughout the promotion and construction process, the preparation and negotiation of contracts for sale, lease and hotel management, and the purchase of real estate projects:        
    •                Due diligence reviews
    •                Sale and purchase of land
    •                Sale and purchase of real estate projects
    •                Planning and environmental issues
    •                Construction, architectural, and project design contracts
    •                Liability of building agents
    •                Financing
    •                Ownership, lease and management of assets
  •       Sale of real estate projects to institutional and private investors, real estate funds and individuals
  •       Financing contracts for the promotion and sale and purchase of real estate projects
  •       Monitoring, refinancing, restructuring and enforcement of guarantees

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Cuatrecasas - Real Estate Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Solid real estate practice that provides a multidisciplinary approach, often acting for institutional investors on complex purchase and sale transactions, as well as project developments. Regularly assists retailers with the signing of lease agreements, the acquisition of logistics or industrial assets and the negotiation of sale and leaseback transactions. Also advises on hotel management contracts.

Strengths Clients applaud the group's abilities in a range of areas, stating: "The overall level of service is outstanding in terms of know-how, response time, value for money and business acumen."

Interviewees further praise the lawyers' "flexibility and attention to the client's needs," saying: "The team goes the extra mile to support the company."

Work highlights Advised CBRE Global Investors on the sale of the Fórum Coimbra and Fórum Viseu shopping centres to Greenbay Properties and Resilient REIT.

Assisted Zurich with the acquisition of Ageas' headquarters in Lisbon.

Notable practitioners

Department head Nuno Sá Carvalho is highlighted by clients for his "insight, experience and availability both by e-mail and mobile phone." "He is very thorough in his answers to questions," states another source. He plays a leading role in diverse transactional mandates on behalf of investors, construction companies and private companies. Market commentators note his additional experience in planning law and in asset management mandates on behalf of clients in the retail and hotel sectors.

About the Team (content provided by Cuatrecasas)

Please visit our website to find out more about how we work in this field: http://www.cuatrecasas.com/practice_areas/real_estate.html  

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Garrigues - Real Estate Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Benefits from a strong international network and the established reputation of the new practice head to attract major real estate investment mandates on behalf of key institutional investors. Active in transactions in several major sectors, including offices, logistics and retail. Has demonstrable experience in the acquisition of development projects and in related planning and licensing issues.

Strengths Clients highlight the lawyers' experience in working on cross-border transactions, saying: "They are able to point out the differences between the legal frameworks that we might miss or take for granted."

Further sources emphasise that the firm is a "large organisation that offers support on all matters," going on to praise the lawyers' "knowledge of the key points of transactions."

Work highlights Represented Merlin Properties in its acquisition of a site in Vila Franca de Xira for the development of a logistics park. The firm also advised on licensing and planning matters relating to the project.

Assisted Iberia Shopping Centre Venture Coöperatief with its acquisition of Albufeira Retail Park in the Algarve.

Notable practitioners

Jorge Salvador Gonçalves elicits high praise from interviewees, one of whom says: "His knowledge of real estate plus his great customer focus make him one of the top lawyers in Portugal. He is flexible, proactive and has excellent technical knowledge." "He's always clear with his recommendations and clearly understands what we want and need," states another impressed client. He heads the firm's real estate department and leads major transactions involving acquisitions of office buildings, logistic parks and shopping centres.

About the Team (content provided by Garrigues)

Department profile not yet provided by Garrigues. Please see their firm profile.

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VdA - Real Estate Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Comprehensive real estate practice that assists clients with real estate transactions and urban rehabilitation. Solid presence on the acquisition and divestment of hotel, residential and office buildings, often on behalf of international developers or funds. Prominent expertise in environmental issues, including licensing and compliance. Has strengthened team at both partner and associate level through important lateral hires.

Strengths Sources highlight the senior partners' "involvement and effort; they are very hands-on and are willing to work night after night for the client."

Clients further praise the lawyers' "knowledge of Portuguese real estate and their ability to analyse and draft legal agreements that cover the relevant aspects of a transaction."

Notable practitioners

Miguel Marques dos Santos handles real estate and urban planning matters flowing from the purchase, sale and lease of property. He is spotlighted by clients for his technical skills and for his detail-oriented approach. "He approaches any situation like it is totally new; he covers all of the points, asks himself all of the relevant questions and will not miss anything important," says one interviewee. "He is practical and sharp," states another market commentator, adding: "He has a thorough knowledge of both real estate and corporate matters."

Clients say that department head Pedro Ferreirinha is "proactive, rigorous on documents and timely in getting back to us. He doesn't wait for us to ask but instead autonomously and diligently provides feedback when appropriate." Peers note his particular activity in the acquisition of development projects. He acts for developers and investors on transactions in the office, residential and hotels sector.

Pedro Pereira Coutinho has substantial experience in transactional work on behalf of developers and international investors. He is a popular figure among peers for his handling of significant mandates, while clients value his "technical knowledge, commercial awareness and pragmatism."

Pedro Corrêa d'Oliveira enters the rankings as a result of strong praise from peers and clients for his contributions to the firm's key real estate development mandates. Sources highlight his "investment of time and effort on behalf of clients" and say that "he is a great support for the team, with a clear client focus."

About the Team (content provided by VdA)

Deeply experienced in providing advice to private and public entities, our team of experts joins together technical expertise with a profound knowledge of the clients' business sector. We provide clients with a one stop shop for property services – be it commercial or residential - ranging from the acquisition and planning stages, through to construction, disposal and asset management. We provide clients with multi-disciplinary and global approach to real estate matters, bringing together experts in environmental law, tax, M&A, planning or litigation and arbitration. We are experts at a wide array of legal work, from structuring Investment Funds, company or asset-based restructurings, funding and creation of guaranteed packages, share-deals and stone-deals, to negotiating sale and lease-back transactions.
For a comprehensive list of the services we provide both internationally and in the Portugal, visit the VdA website for more details: http://vda.pt/en

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Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados, SP, RL. - Real Estate Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Experienced team specialised in real estate matters that often have a key corporate law component. Advises on the due diligence and transactional aspects of M&A operations or portfolio sales. Acts on both the lender and borrower sides of real estate finance or refinancing transactions. Assists with the acquisition of land plots for hotel, student residence and industrial developments. Also negotiates construction contracts on behalf of developers.

Strengths "In terms of due diligence they ensure that it is a swift process and help us to get to the bottom of the main risks and considerations," states one client, going on to say: "On the transaction side they are detail-oriented and focused on meeting our objectives."

Another client note the firm's suitability to handle "any kind of big transaction that requires a team that covers several areas," noting: "They have the team to support this kind of transaction and can ensure that the project is performed without any interruption."

Work highlights Acted for Nomura on a EUR97 million loan used to finance the acquisition of 14 Portuguese office and retail properties, which had been held by SILCOGE.

Assisted Borgstena with due diligence in relation to the sale of Portuguese companies within the group.

Notable practitioners

Clients say that Filipa Arantes Pedroso offers "outstanding technical knowledge combined with commercial awareness." "She is happy to connect us to people we need and is great at managing processes," states another source, adding: "She is efficient, effective and direct." She has a strong reputation among peers for her experience in real estate transactions that are structured as share deals.

Rita Ferreira Vicente assists both domestic and international clients with real estate acquisitions and developments. "She is focused and pays a lot of attention to detail," says one client, adding: "She knows every detail of our project by heart and offers an immediate response." Peers note her increasing importance in the firm's real estate department and highlight her particular experience in real estate finance mandates.

About the Team (content provided by Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados, SP, RL.)

Department profile not yet provided by Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados, SP, RL.. Please see their firm profile.

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pbbr - Sociedade de Advogados, RL - Real Estate Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well-regarded department covering a range of real estate matters for major financial institutions, developers and investors. Assists with investment projects involving the purchase and sale of real estate assets. Advises on the development of offices, shopping centres, residential properties and tourist resorts. Also adept at urban planning, licensing and construction and handles the environmental aspects of real estate transactions.

Strengths One source says that the lawyers are "reliable, reactive and pragmatic," while another says: "They understand the commercial aspects of our situation."

"The firm can advise on all of the specialised areas around real estate; they know about licensing and planning law and know how to negotiate with counterparties," states another interviewee.

Notable practitioners

Pedro Pinto assists financial institutions, developers and investors with a range of projects. He earns praise from peers for his long-standing presence in the market and for his success in building a strong portfolio of key clients. One interviewee describes him as "very direct" and "very accurate."

Teresa Freire makes her debut in the table this year having gained significant plaudits from peers and clients. Market commentators note her negotiation skills and describe her as "proactive and pragmatic." "She’s effective, doesn’t complicate deals and has a good understanding of real estate transactions," states another impressed peer. Freire often leads real estate development mandates on behalf of investors.

About the Team (content provided by pbbr - Sociedade de Advogados, RL)

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DLA Piper ABBC - Real Estate Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Stands out for activity on the due diligence or sale of Portuguese real estate assets on behalf of international financial services clients. Advises on real estate acquisitions and sales carried out by foreign investors. Assists domestic and international corporate clients with the negotiation of lease agreements. Varied client list included companies that have a significant presence in Portuguese-speaking parts of Africa.

Strengths Clients appreciate the practice's "prompt and proactive assistance" and its "focus on resolving problems."

Work highlights Advised Vector Mais on a number of refurbishment works and other real estate projects, drafting all agreements and legal documents.

Notable practitioners

Luís Filipe Carvalho is viewed by clients as "experienced, specialised, sharp and efficient." He attracts particular attention for his work on asset management, real estate development and disputes mandates in Angola. He also advises on lease agreements and refurbishment works on behalf of energy, automotive and financial sector companies.

About the Team (content provided by DLA Piper ABBC)

DLA Piper ABBC Real Estate team has a longstanding and vast experience in the areas of real estate and urban development and covers all services related to real estate, advising all kinds of players, from real estate consultancy firms to real estate fund managers.

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Sofia Galvão Advogados - Real Estate Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Boutique firm that regularly assists with the planning, licensing and transactional aspects of complex real estate development mandates. Provides an integrated and comprehensive service to investors, developers and corporate clients. Has demonstrable experience in urban renewal, development and related contentious mandates on behalf of domestic retailers and public bodies.

Strengths Sources recognise the group as "a well-equipped boutique real estate law firm in Portugal that can deal with the idiosyncrasies and problems in projects." Another source notes: "The team excels in terms of research and creativity and is able to find solutions."

A satisfied client emphasises the team's "rigour, compliance with deadlines and proactivity."

Work highlights Advised Prowinko on negotiations with Portuguese planning authorities for the refurbishment of a 19th century manor on Lisbon's Avenida da Liberdade. The building was to be used as the flagship store of an international clothing company.

Assisted ECS Capital with its redevelopment of a tower in Lisbon for use as an office building. The firm advised on construction and leasing contracts, the licensing procedure and the formulation of a defence strategy against an administrative claim.

Notable practitioners

Sofia Galvão attracts particular praise for her advice on the planning law aspects of major real estate development mandates. One client describes her as "a thorough lawyer who knows the processes of local government and central government well." "She has a lot of experience, so when we have questions or problems to solve she is always able to put them into perspective and compare with problems she has had in previous projects," states another interviewee.

Hugo Nunes is known for his work on planning, construction and litigation issues within the real estate sector. His top strengths are recounted by one client as his negotiation skills and attention to detail. Sources also note his creative approach and his ability to "think out of the box."

About the Team (content provided by Sofia Galvão Advogados)

Department profile not yet provided by Sofia Galvão Advogados. Please see their firm profile.

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SRS Advogados - Real Estate Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well-regarded team acting primarily on behalf of asset managers and investors, with a strong domestic and international real estate practice. Increasingly active in the tourism and leisure sectors. Assists construction or architecture companies with the negotiation of contracts for residential, hotels or other real estate projects. Also advises on planning law and ongoing asset management topics.

Strengths Clients appreciate that the lawyers are "always available," going on to say: "They are practical, know the issues and always provide advice in line with the company's interests."

"The firm is very well established in the Portuguese real estate market and has a full knowledge of the key players," reports another interviewee.

Work highlights Assisted KKR IMO with the design, construction and management of 300 student housing units in Lisbon. The firm also advised on the acquisition of a plot in Carcavelos for the development of another 60 residential units.

Advised IKEA on real estate due diligence in support of its acquisition of Parque Eólico do Pisco.

Notable practitioners

Neuza Pereira de Campos receives considerable praise for her supporting role in many of the firm's key mandates. She advises on the due diligence of corporate or real estate transactions and handles asset management mandates. Interviewees praise her ability to "moderate between parties in negotiations," saying: "She finds out the main issues and is able to negotiate in a way that benefits the client."

About the Team (content provided by SRS Advogados)

SRS Advogados’ real estate team has an extensive understanding of the real estate sector and extensive technical expertise, advising on all types of operations, irrespective of size, complexity or geographical location.

Our team has decades of experience in providing legal support to a wide range of entities operating in the different segments of the real estate sector.

The team is organised so as to give a rapid and integrated response to clients’ requests, providing a multidisciplinary approach and giving personalised solutions in line with the characteristics of each case.

We regularly advise clients in relation to investment or disinvestment in real estate, construction, redevelopment, distribution, tourism and related services.

We assist our clients throughout the life-cycle of their real estate projects, providing the right advice at all stages of a transaction in a timely manner.

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Overview

Another year has passed and we are pleased to say that there is nothing but good news to report on the Portuguese real estate market.

Portugal’s economy has followed a continually positive trajectory over recent years, and this year has been no exception. In the first half of 2017 the Portuguese economy grew considerably more than the European average, and all data that has already been made available on the economic indicators for 2017, including by the Bank of Portugal, indicates real growth in our economy, which is estimated to reach 2.5% by the end of the financial year. The forecasts for 2018 are also encouraging.

The Portuguese economy’s continuous regeneration, the country's climate and its general sense of safety continue to contribute to Portugal’s international momentum and the arrival of new investors and tourists, from anonymous individuals to international stars and, of course, corporate investors. Domestic investors have also increased their activity, looking at this favourable economic environment as a chance to complete interesting deals and renew their portfolios.

Throughout 2017, the real estate market has been booming with residential, retail and tourism transactions. Once again, the numbers for the first half of the year are outstanding. It is still too early to have the final statistics for the year, but if we look at the numbers for the first quarters and the ongoing transactions that may be closed by the end of the year, this might well be confirmed as the best of the last few years for the real estate market, both in terms of number of transactions and amounts invested.

The residential sector is the most active segment of the real estate market and is enjoying high levels of demand from international investors, with Brazilian, French, Chinese and British citizens leading the list.

The political measures to incentivise foreign investment in real estate keep on attracting investors. The Portuguese Non-Habitual Residency tax scheme is now the most appealing to foreign investors, with the Golden Visa Programme gradually losing its lead. Nonetheless, further to the political programmes specifically implemented to promote international investment in real estate, the market has progressed and “gained a life of its own”. It focuses on offering investors other attractions such as prices that remain competitive, very good construction quality, and a safe investment due to Portugal’s unique natural and political characteristics. Portuguese consumers are also more confident and, this year, a higher number of Portuguese citizens has invested in real estate. Notwithstanding a rise in prices, there is confidence enough to invest, and the considerably easier access to bank loans and decreasing interest rates help consumers make the decision to invest.

A side effect of new investments and the continuous demand for renovated or new high-quality properties is a very significant growth in the construction sector. New projects keep popping up all over the main cities and other prime areas. They are keeping construction companies very busy and, consequently, allowing the regeneration of cities. Multiple, multi-coloured cranes are now part of the skyline of Portugal’s main cities.

Portugal has undoubtedly become a fashionable destination and this is reflected in the continuous and solid growth of the tourism sector. Awards have been won (more than 500), many pages have been written and the feeling is that we are just at the beginning of a very prosperous journey. The number of tourists visiting Portugal keeps rising steadily, and this year’s numbers are very likely to confirm the most optimistic estimates. In this context, investors are obviously alert to this market. New projects have opened to the public throughout Portugal and other projects are still being negotiated and developed. These include the new (first) “W” hotel, which is expected to open in the Algarve.

Apart from the opening of new hotels, this year we have continued to witness to the renovation of buildings in the most central and iconic areas of Lisbon and Oporto for new local lodging establishment units, which have taken on a significant role in the tourism market.

Another new growth area for investment in Portugal is student accommodation. The very good offering of international-quality universities, alongside the international acknowledgement of Portugal as a safe, modern, educated and developed country, is contributing to the arrival of many international students, opening the doors to new business opportunities. The first need of these international students is a place to stay. Focusing on providing international-standard quality accommodation and services, international investors are gradually arriving and investing in the creation of purpose-built student accommodation. Lisbon, Oporto and Coimbra are the main targets for investments, with important projects already under construction expected to open soon.

As a result of the increasing number of tourists and of foreigners setting up home permanently or temporarily in Portugal, the streets of the main cities have become a multilingual and multicultural melting pot. The consequence has been the need to create infrastructure and services, and to renovate existing spaces to meet the demands of an increasing number of clients and the increasing demand for good-quality, international-standard services and properties.

Lisbon’s new cruise terminal opened this year and the city continues to undergo extensive renovation, with new leisure areas being created, new museums being opened and general urban amenities being updated. The old city is undergoing a profound and ongoing modernisation, while still respecting its history and Portuguese identity.

In 2017, new luxury restaurants and retail shops have opened and new ones are expected for 2018. The main luxury areas, such as Avenida da Liberdade and Chiado in Lisbon, continue to be the principal focus for luxury brands to open their stores. Nonetheless, other areas of the city have also seen new places opening. New concept stores selling alternative brands and new restaurants are now popping up all over the city, and they offer different concepts and environments to meet the wide-ranging needs and preferences of their new clients.

The shopping centre segment has also been active throughout 2017. Two new shopping centres have opened, one in the Algarve (Mar Shopping, promoted by IKEA Centres) and another in Alentejo (Évora Plaza), despite the main trend being the renovation and development of existing properties. Many shopping centres have been adapted and renovated during 2017, and new projects are already on schedule for 2018, including the expansion of Centro Glicínias in Aveiro.

The contribution of the real estate and tourism sectors to the steady growth of the Portuguese economy is undeniable. It also guarantees that these areas are receiving appropriate attention at a political level. On many occasions during 2017, members of the Portuguese Government announced that new measures to facilitate investment in real estate are being studied, such as the creation of new corporate structures in line with existing international models. Further news is expected in 2018.

2017 has been an exceptional year and, considering the forecasts, 2018 is expected to continue keeping real estate players very busy.

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Senior Statesmen

Pedro Sáragga Leal

PLMJ Lawyers

From the Chambers Europe guide

Pedro Sáragga Leal is a well-regarded figure among peers. He earns praise for his activity in significant real estate transactions. Sources highlight his "technical knowledge, effectiveness and client service," adding: "He is an amazing negotiator and problem solver."

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Star Individuals

Uría Menéndez - Proença de Carvalho

From the Chambers Europe guide

Duarte Garin enjoys a superb reputation among peers for his work on many of the market's most substantial transactions. "He has been working with top clients on the largest transactions in the market for many years," states one peer, going on to say: "Everyone in the real estate market knows him and regards him as one of the leading lawyers in the sector." Sources further state that "he makes things clear and easy for his client," adding: "He is rigorous, business-oriented and really knowledgeable."

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Band 1

Jorge Salvador Gonçalves

Garrigues

From the Chambers Europe guide

Jorge Salvador Gonçalves elicits high praise from interviewees, one of whom says: "His knowledge of real estate plus his great customer focus make him one of the top lawyers in Portugal. He is flexible, proactive and has excellent technical knowledge." "He's always clear with his recommendations and clearly understands what we want and need," states another impressed client. He heads the firm's real estate department and leads major transactions involving acquisitions of office buildings, logistic parks and shopping centres.

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Band 1

Miguel Marques dos Santos

VdA

From the Chambers Europe guide

Miguel Marques dos Santos handles real estate and urban planning matters flowing from the purchase, sale and lease of property. He is spotlighted by clients for his technical skills and for his detail-oriented approach. "He approaches any situation like it is totally new; he covers all of the points, asks himself all of the relevant questions and will not miss anything important," says one interviewee. "He is practical and sharp," states another market commentator, adding: "He has a thorough knowledge of both real estate and corporate matters."

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Band 2

Rita Alarcão Júdice

PLMJ Lawyers

From the Chambers Europe guide

Rita Alarcão Júdice stands out for her work on the acquisition, development, lease and sale of offices and shopping centres. One interviewee highlights "her legal knowledge and excellent soft skills," while another praises "her reputation in the market and her attention to detail."

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Band 2

Pedro Ferreirinha

VdA

From the Chambers Europe guide

Clients say that department head Pedro Ferreirinha is "proactive, rigorous on documents and timely in getting back to us. He doesn't wait for us to ask but instead autonomously and diligently provides feedback when appropriate." Peers note his particular activity in the acquisition of development projects. He acts for developers and investors on transactions in the office, residential and hotels sector.

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Band 2

pbbr - Sociedade de Advogados, RL

From the Chambers Europe guide

Pedro Pinto assists financial institutions, developers and investors with a range of projects. He earns praise from peers for his long-standing presence in the market and for his success in building a strong portfolio of key clients. One interviewee describes him as "very direct" and "very accurate."

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Band 2

Nuno Sá Carvalho

Cuatrecasas

From the Chambers Europe guide

Department head Nuno Sá Carvalho is highlighted by clients for his "insight, experience and availability both by e-mail and mobile phone." "He is very thorough in his answers to questions," states another source. He plays a leading role in diverse transactional mandates on behalf of investors, construction companies and private companies. Market commentators note his additional experience in planning law and in asset management mandates on behalf of clients in the retail and hotel sectors.

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Band 2

João Torroaes Valente

Uría Menéndez - Proença de Carvalho

From the Chambers Europe guide

João Torroaes Valente is best known for his handling of hotel and leisure sector investments carried out by international and domestic funds. He also leads office and retail sector transactions. "He has a deep knowledge of the market," reports one client, adding: "He is available and provides quick and effective responses."

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Band 3

Filipa Arantes Pedroso

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados, SP, RL.

From the Chambers Europe guide

Clients say that Filipa Arantes Pedroso offers "outstanding technical knowledge combined with commercial awareness." "She is happy to connect us to people we need and is great at managing processes," states another source, adding: "She is efficient, effective and direct." She has a strong reputation among peers for her experience in real estate transactions that are structured as share deals.

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Band 3

Luís Filipe Carvalho

DLA Piper ABBC

From the Chambers Europe guide

Luís Filipe Carvalho is viewed by clients as "experienced, specialised, sharp and efficient." He attracts particular attention for his work on asset management, real estate development and disputes mandates in Angola. He also advises on lease agreements and refurbishment works on behalf of energy, automotive and financial sector companies.

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Band 3

Sofia Galvão Advogados

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sofia Galvão attracts particular praise for her advice on the planning law aspects of major real estate development mandates. One client describes her as "a thorough lawyer who knows the processes of local government and central government well." "She has a lot of experience, so when we have questions or problems to solve she is always able to put them into perspective and compare with problems she has had in previous projects," states another interviewee.

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Band 3

Tiago Mendonça de Castro

PLMJ Lawyers

From the Chambers Europe guide

Head of department Tiago Mendonça de Castro is well known among peers for his experience in shopping centre transactions. He advises on the construction of new retail premises and on the tenant side of lease agreements. Clients note his skill in co-ordinating cross-departmental teams and praise his "technical skills and commercial awareness."

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Band 4

Rita Ferreira Vicente

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados, SP, RL.

From the Chambers Europe guide

Rita Ferreira Vicente assists both domestic and international clients with real estate acquisitions and developments. "She is focused and pays a lot of attention to detail," says one client, adding: "She knows every detail of our project by heart and offers an immediate response." Peers note her increasing importance in the firm's real estate department and highlight her particular experience in real estate finance mandates.

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Band 4

Sofia Galvão Advogados

From the Chambers Europe guide

Hugo Nunes is known for his work on planning, construction and litigation issues within the real estate sector. His top strengths are recounted by one client as his negotiation skills and attention to detail. Sources also note his creative approach and his ability to "think out of the box."

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Band 4

António Raposo Subtil

Raposo Subtil e Associados-Sociedade de Advogados

From the Chambers Europe guide

António Raposo Subtil of Raposo Subtil e Associados-Sociedade de Advogados is highly regarded by peers in the Portuguese real estate sector. Interviewees highlight his technical skills and assert that "he is very well known for work on behalf of real estate investment funds."

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Up and Coming

pbbr - Sociedade de Advogados, RL

From the Chambers Europe guide

Teresa Freire makes her debut in the table this year having gained significant plaudits from peers and clients. Market commentators note her negotiation skills and describe her as "proactive and pragmatic." "She’s effective, doesn’t complicate deals and has a good understanding of real estate transactions," states another impressed peer. Freire often leads real estate development mandates on behalf of investors.

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Star Associate

Pedro Pereira Coutinho

VdA

From the Chambers Europe guide

Pedro Pereira Coutinho has substantial experience in transactional work on behalf of developers and international investors. He is a popular figure among peers for his handling of significant mandates, while clients value his "technical knowledge, commercial awareness and pragmatism."

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Associates to watch

Pedro Corrêa d'Oliveira

VdA

From the Chambers Europe guide

Pedro Corrêa d'Oliveira enters the rankings as a result of strong praise from peers and clients for his contributions to the firm's key real estate development mandates. Sources highlight his "investment of time and effort on behalf of clients" and say that "he is a great support for the team, with a clear client focus."

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Associates to watch

Neuza Pereira de Campos

SRS Advogados

From the Chambers Europe guide

Neuza Pereira de Campos receives considerable praise for her supporting role in many of the firm's key mandates. She advises on the due diligence of corporate or real estate transactions and handles asset management mandates. Interviewees praise her ability to "moderate between parties in negotiations," saying: "She finds out the main issues and is able to negotiate in a way that benefits the client."

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Associates to watch

Rita Xavier de Brito

Uría Menéndez - Proença de Carvalho

From the Chambers Europe guide

Rita Xavier de Brito enters the rankings owing to strong praise from peers and clients alike for her handling of real estate transactions. She advises on the sale, purchase and development of shopping centres, hotels, offices and other assets.

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