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Spain’s Garrigues is set to open a practice in Portugal through the integration of local firm Leonidas Matos y Associados (LMA).
Though a spokesperson for Garrigues denied that the move was a merger or a takeover, all of LMA’s 36 lawyers will be absorbed into the Spanish firm as part of its Iberian expansion drive. The firm is expecting to add another 10 "professionals" in September.
The Portuguese Bar Association backed the move on Friday (16 July) and the plan is expected to be finalised within the next few days.
The authorisation comes on the back of a partner meeting held in Lisbon last week, and underlines the significance of last year’s Latin American Alliance, which united a string of firms from Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.
Garrigues first gained a footing in the Portuguese market in 1991 with the inception of the Portuguese Legal Group which included Simmons & Simmons, Brazil’s Pinheiro Neto and Portugal’s Castelo Branco, Nobre Guedes & Associados.