Renewable energy clients demanding more specialisation from legal advisers – SRS Advogados
A growing need for regulatory advice, as well as increasing uncertainty regarding the tax framework for Portugal’s renewable energy sector, is driving demand for legal advice
As Portugal’s renewable energy market becomes more sophisticated, clients are demanding a much greater degree of specialisation from their legal advisers, according to Gonçalo Anastácio, partner at SRS Advogados.
“Increased specialisation in a number of areas within the field of energy law is required to provide added value to clients and stay ahead of the competition, as energy practices mature in the Portuguese market,” says Anastácio. “It has become a more transparent market, and thus clients increasingly tend to choose firms less on the generic brand and corporate strengths of the firm, and more on the merits, track record and reputation in the specific specialised field.”
This trend could benefit law firms with dedicated teams as the demand for transactional and regulatory advice grows. “Divestments in the area of renewables portfolios seem to be big opportunities in 2018,” says Anastácio. “There is certainly a great match between supply and demand in the marketplace for these sorts of deals, and investors are coming out of Asia and northern Europe – also significant is the level of demand for compliance programmes, given the significant number of regulatory requirements that need to be met within the European Economic Area.”
The growing need for regulatory advice, as well as increasing uncertainty surrounding the tax framework for Portugal’s renewable energy sector, has proven to be a boon for legal advisers, if not their clients. Anastácio adds: “There is also uncertainty regarding the ongoing proposals from the EU Commission on non-EU countries control of, and minority shareholdings in, European strategic energy assets. It will be interesting to see the extent to which the EU will react to the waves of protectionism from the other side of the Atlantic, and whether such proposals will contribute to an escalation in commercial retaliation.”