06 Oct 2021

Top tier Portuguese boutique CS Associados prepares for 'generational change' as co-founders bow out

Francisco Sá Carneiro and Fernando Campos Ferreira to leave CS Associados at the end of the year

View of Lisbon, Portugal

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Two of Portugal’s most high-profile corporate lawyers – Fernando Campos Ferreira and Francisco Sá Carneiro – are set to depart the top tier boutique Campos Ferreira Sá Carneiro & Associados (CS Associados), which they founded twelve years ago.

Campos Ferreira, former managing partner of Portuguese ‘Magic Triangle’ firm PLMJ, will leave CS Associados at the end of the year to retire after more than four decades as a lawyer while Sá Carneiro, former co-head of the Portuguese arm of Spanish leader Uría Menéndez, is departing for an undisclosed destination.

CS Associados’ third founding partner, Maria Castelos, will remain at the firm. A spokesperson told Advocatus that it was "natural for us to reach this moment of generational change" and that it would remain “faithful to its founding principles”.

The Lisbon-based firm is currently home to 54 lawyers, including 14 partners, with banking and finance, corporate, M&A and capital markets as core areas. It punches well above its weight in Portugal in terms of M&A deal value, ranking only behind the country’s Magic Triangle firms PLMJ, VdA and Morais Leitão for Q2 2020 despite comparatively modest headcount and revenue.

Sá Carneiro has been practising for more than 35 years and specialises in M&A finance-related transactions, regularly advising banks on large acquisitions of share capital. Ranked as an ‘eminent practitioner’ by Chambers, he is expected either to join another prominent law firm or move to a top in-house role.

Campos Ferreira practices in the areas of banking and finance, capital markets, corporate law, M&A and private equity, with a particular focus on advising clients on corporate transactions and acquisitions. Prior to founding CS Associados he spent 29 years at PLMJ, four of them as managing partner. 

CS Associados told Advocatus it was ‘grateful for the legacy’ the departing founding partners had created, adding that the firm is ‘prepared for this new cycle and confident in the talent and cohesion of our team to continue to grow and respond to the increasingly demanding challenges of our customers’.

Iberian Lawyer ranked CS Associados 16th among Portuguese law firms in terms of revenue for 2020 with turnover of €11m, an increase of 5.8% over the previous year.

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