Pbbr: A stalwart of the Portuguese market

Pbbr were the law firm in Portugal that promoted the most of its own to the partnership in 2023, no less than five lawyers. In this interview we here from their founding partner, Pedro Pinto

by michael heron

Pedro Pinto has never been afraid to be honest and give his opinion to the media. In an interview with Iberian Lawyer in 2011, Pinto spoke about the political crisis back in 2011 and that, “projects, especially government projects, will be put on hold for the short term. They will probably be reassessed before continuing and law firms will suffer. This is not a brilliant scenario but I think it’s realistic”. He went on to say that law firms would see more work from financial restructurings and corporate M&A and that foreign investors would start to arrive in Portugal in their numbers. This is one of the reasons why Pinto is so respected in the market, as his transparent predictions are often proven right. For the readership, perhaps slightly unfamiliar with the term, a stalwart is used to describe someone or something as loyal, reliable, and hard-working. If one had to choose a firm historically in the Portuguese market to describe in this way, Pbbr would perhaps spring to mind. However, their ambitions are greater and they are clearly a firm on the rise.

Pbbr appointed a record number of new partners in 2023 (five). What can you tell us about this new strategy?

The promotion of these five new partners does not constitute a new strategy of the firm, although the number of promotions in a single year may impress. It is the natural development of a consistent strategy very much focused on talent retention and organic growth. The majority of these new partners have been with pbbr for a long time, within the same age average, and their promotion is the recognition of their talent and performance, as well as their commitment to the firm’s values and mission.

I understand there has also been a senior promotion within the partnership?

Yes, on January 1st 2024, Tânia Osório has also been promoted to equity partner (“sócia de capital”) and a member of the board of pbbr. Tânia has been with pbbr since the firm´s beginning and this is another development that demonstrates what I have just said. Of course, this also shows that within pbbr we are very much aware that creating the conditions for the generational transition in roles of top management is a key issue for the firm´s future.   

What are the new challenges the legal market faces in Portugal in 2024?

It has become almost a cliché to answer talent recruitment and retention, alongside with AI. In fact it is not, and I guess this could be the answer of a managing partner of a firm in Madrid, Paris, London or another geography.

Tell us about your firm’s international strategy. Your employment practice for example, is highly recognised by being part of the network lus Laboris.

Julia Gil