Allocating work related to smaller transactions to younger associates is one of the ways law firms are structuring their teams in order to meet client demand, according to Pedro Guimarães, partner at FCB Sociedade de Advogados in Lisbon. “We still have the complex transactional work that requires creativity and some complex legal thinking and drafting – that is one type of work that the traditional M&A lawyer will continue to be needed for,” Guimarães says.
However, when it comes to standard or smaller acquisitions, it is younger or less experienced lawyers that are in demand from clients. Guimarães says that, though the firm has not experienced a big difference in terms of pricing, it is in this respect that they have noted a change in approach, particularly from international firms.
“Some international firms tell us the amount of years of experience they want the lawyer doing a certain piece of work to have,” Guimarães explains. “We are being asked that much detail in terms of who we allocate work to.” He adds: “Support teams which are not strictly speaking corporate need to provide their input – there’s a lot more teamwork.”