By Michael Heron
Eversheds Sutherland FCB is the combination of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and FCB
Advogados, which merged in June 2021. Almost one year later, Iberian Lawyer spoke with the two co-managing partners, to assess the impact of this strategic decision. Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “Growth comes through analogy; through seeing how things connect, rather than only seeing how they might be different.” This seems rather apt for Eversheds Sutherland FCB. They join the small number of UK headquartered law firms in the Portuguese capital, connecting their international clients to other strategic jurisdictions. Despite this recent integration, our interview uncovers historic international roots. Founded in 1989 as F. Castelo Branco, in 1992 they became the first international project in the legal sector in Portugal, Grupo Legal Português, with Garrigues, Simmons & Simmons and Pinheiro Neto. The integration with Eversheds in 2021, after a period of being independent, could be described as an international re-birth. One thing is for certain, this is a firm on the rise.
Congratulations on the integration with Eversheds Sutherland in 2021! It has been nearly one year since the news was announced. Can you explain the reasons behind this decision? What impact has the integration had on the firm during the last year?
Rodrigo Almeida Dias:
Thank you very much! We had already been working with various offices of Eversheds for a number of years and were their “go to” firm in Portugal. We knew the firm very well, felt there was a cultural fit and that it was time to move forward and take our project to the next level. We have always been cautious in the past to remain independent but this “marriage” of sorts, felt like a natural progression in our relationship.
Gonçalo da Cunha:
I have been at this firm for over thirty years. Some of your readers and indeed the market, may remember that we were actually the first Portuguese law firm to officially form an international component. The firm was founded in 1989 as F. Castelo Branco, but shortly afterwards in 1992, it became Grupo Legal Português (European Economic Interest Grouping) with Garrigues, Simmons & Simmons and Pinheiro Neto. This was truly innovative at the time in Portugal. Despite reverting to an independent firm in the early 2000s, our international flavour, a spirit embodied by our Chairman Miguel Castelo Branco, has always remained an integral part of our D.N.A. Therefore this integration with Eversheds felt totally natural and as if we were going back to our roots from thirty years ago. It is still only less than one year since the integration, but we have already witnessed significant growth, more sophisticated matters and clients, as well as a stronger visibility in the domestic market. Things are moving beyond our expectations.