Dulce Franco

Portuguese clients’ expansion plans driving demand for M&A advice – AAA Advogados

The desire of Portuguese clients to grow their business in the improving economic climate is driving demand for corporate and M&A advice, says Dulce Franco, corporate partner at AAA Advogados in Lisbon.

“The current perception is that the Portuguese economy is improving, and this encourages entrepreneurs to expand their businesses, both locally and internationally,” says Franco. Consequently, law firms in Portugal are receiving instructions related to new investments and M&A, while distressed assets also remain a significant source of work for M&A, private equity, banking and capital markets lawyers. Compliance is another practice area that is buoyant, with clients regularly requesting both general advice as well as advice related to M&A transactions.
Franco says AAA Advogados receives a large proportion of its M&A and private equity work through referrals from clients as well as lawyers in other jurisdictions. Despite this, Franco says it is important lawyers are themselves aware of potential opportunities in foreign markets, adding that a proactive approach by law firms can pay dividends.
To ensure a steady flow of instructions from clients, Franco says law firms must have strong technical capabilities and provide business-oriented advice, particularly on complex deals. She continues: “Clients expect M&A and private equity lawyers to understand their businesses and their objectives – indeed, this is essential to best achieve the intended outcome.”
In addition to experience and knowledge of the relevant fields, lawyers are also expected to possess a number of other characteristics, including soft skills. According to Franco, the necessary traits also include pragmatism, a problem-solving approach and strong negotiation skills.