Top-tier Portuguese firm opens doors in East Timor

One of Portugal’s biggest law firms is to launch an office in the Asia-Pacific island of East Timor at the end of this month.

Vieira de Almeida – a 138-partner Lisbon-based practice – is sending two lawyers to plant a flag in the capital, where they will link with a locally-recruited practitioner who is joining the firm.

Moving east from Lisbon are Hugo Nogueira Campaniço, the senior associate head of the firm’s East Timor business practice, and project finance associate Filipa Serra.

The firm says it will target telecoms, infrastructure and oil work in the region from the Dili outpost. Nuno Castelão, the senior associate head of the firm’s international relations department, told The Lawyer that VdA “will throw everything at projects and infrastructure work”.

The office will become part of the 38-year-old firm’s international structure known as VdAtlas. East Timor represents the firm’s first office-opening outside of Portugal. However, it has affiliations with local firms in three other former Portuguese colonies – Angola, Brazil and Mozambique.

East Timor’s $4bn GDP economy is driven by oil and gas exports. The country has a population of slightly fewer than 1.2 million and became independent from Portugal in 1974.