Pérez-Llorca adds 17 lawyers from rivals for Lisbon launch

Six partners and their teams join from firms including Portugal’s RRP Advogados as Spanish heavyweight continues international expansion

(l-r) Rodrigo Falcão Nogueira, Carlos Vaz de Almeida, Manuel Cordeiro Ferreira and Inês Palma Ramalho Image courtesy of Pérez-Llorca

Leading Spanish firm Pérez-Llorca has hired 17 lawyers from rival firms including Portugal’s RRP Advogados to open an office in Lisbon. 

Partner Rodrigo Falcão Nogueira has joined from RRP, where he led the corporate and M&A practice, alongside banking and finance partner duo Carlos Vaz de Almeida and Manuel Cordeiro Ferreira. Vaz de Almeida and Cordeiro Ferreira also led practices at RRP, heading up the finance, energy and infrastructure and capital markets and financial services team respectively. 

The firm has hired a further three partners for the launch from other Portuguese firms, adding Inês Palma Ramalho to its banking and finance team from Sérvulo & Associados, Inês Arruda from Vasconcelos Arruda & Associados, where she led the employment practice, and competition specialist Rita Leandro Vasconcelos from Cruz Vilaça Advogados. 

Pérez-Llorca said it had also hired a counsel and a group of 10 lawyers of varying specialisms to open in Lisbon, adding that it planned to add further talent to the team. 

The new office will be led by Gonçalo Godinho, who joined the firm in June from Lefosse Advogados. He has more than 20 years of experience in the Brazilian, Portuguese, British and US markets and specialises in M&A, particularly in energy and infrastructure and private equity. 

In a statement issued in September, when it first announced its plans to open in Portugal, the firm said: “The Lisbon office, which will practise Portuguese law, will increase the work the firm has already been doing in this market in order to cover the entire Iberian Peninsula and build on the synergies that arise in both countries to be able to offer clients and potential clients comprehensive advice on their transactions and disputes.

“Likewise, this office will also serve as a bridge to strengthen the firm’s relationship with the Brazilian market and other Portuguese-speaking jurisdictions.”

The launch furthers Pérez-Llorca’s international expansion, which kickstarted back in 2014 with the opening of an office in London and has since seen the firm set up shop in New York, Brussels and Singapore. 

The vast majority of the firm’s more than 300 lawyers are based in its two Madrid offices, while a team of around 30 also work out of its Barcelona arm.

Its launch of an office in Singapore earlier this year, led by newly-minted corporate partner Pablo Hontoria – who helped establish the firm’s New York office in 2015 – saw it become what it claimed to be the first Spanish law firm to have a base in the Asian city state.

Meantime, Barcelona-based rival Cuatrecasas has also been making moves in Portugal, absorbing local firm Serra Lopes Cortes Martins & Associado into its Lisbon office late last year in a move that saw it add 250 professionals. 

Madrid-based firm Garrigues also said in September that it had hired partner João Lima Cluny in Lisbon from Portuguese firm Morais Leitão to lead its criminal law and internal investigations offering in Portugal. 

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