Technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) lawyers in Portugal are able to provide an effective range of legal services to foreign clients acting in other jurisdictions, says Magda Cocco, partner at Vieira de Almeida in Lisbon.
“It’s not very common for a Portuguese law firm to have clients without a global presence,” she says. “However, this specific sector is a niche one, and we advise clients in countries where we don’t have offices – in fact, recently we were invited by a Washington firm to participate in a project in a remote area of the Pacific; they told us they were amazed there was a firm in Portugal with this kind of TMT knowledge.”
Fellow Vieira de Almeida partner Fernando Resina da Silva adds: “We are well positioned as we have been working in TMT since the early nineties advising clients on a daily basis, both on the legal issues associated with their day-to-day operation and management, and in strategic and highly innovative projects.”
Cocco says lawyers have to understand technology in order to provide legal advice to clients in the TMT sector. “It is because of this combination of technical and commercial know how and in-depth legal expertise in the relevant fields of law that a Portuguese law firm like ours is in demand when it comes to advice in other jurisdictions,” says Cocco. Resina da Silva adds: “We understand the sector-specific principles, the rules and their impact, so we essentially need the support of the local lawyers in relation to non-sector-specific legal issues in the countries where we don’t have offices.” It is vital that technology is incorporated into the way in which law firms serve clients. “Many years ago, we learnt how to integrate technology and all related issues in the way we provide legal services,” he says. “It enables us to apply the same principles in different jurisdictions.”