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Miranda Correia Amendoeira & Associados has become the first major Portuguese law firm to open an office in London, taking advantage of the growing interest from both UK and international investors in the African market.
The new base will assist clients with oil and gas, banking and finance, real estate, mining, tax, construction and infrastructure, insurance, TMT and maritime issues.
The focus of the London hub is not to provide advice on UK law, but to concentrate instead on advising investors on opportunities in Francophone, Spanish and Lusophone Africa and Asia. In this sense, the London base will operate in a similar way to Miranda’s Houston office, which it launched in 2006 (9 January 2006).
Of counsel Nuno Antunes, who is of Portuguese-Angolan descent, has relocated to London to manage the new office. While there are currently no immediate plans to relocate any other lawyers to London, the firm will bring in lawyers from other offices as and when required, a spokesperson told The Lawyer.
Miranda is one of Portugal’s largest firms and the founder member of the Miranda Alliance, an association of law firms spanning four continents and 14 countries. The firm has experience of working in Angola, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea- Bissau, Mozambique, Republic of the Congo and São Tomé and Príncipe (3 September 2012).
Nunes is a former adviser to the Government of Timor-Leste, where he helped write the country’s oil and gas laws and later helped Miranda set up its office in Timor-Leste in 2007.
Commenting on the new London office, which will officially launch on 28 November, managing partner Rui Amendoeira said: “Opening a London office continues our commitment to building greater proximity to our clients, be that across Africa, Asia, Europe or in Latin America.”
“What’s important for us is to develop dedicated local expertise, to understand the reality of doing business in often challenging markets, and to work in partnership with our clients and referral partners – to be their eyes and ears on the ground. London is unique as a legal and financial centre, and from where there’s a growing flow of business particularly into Africa.”
Antunes, who will manage the new office, added: “The establishment of a London office is further demonstration of the importance to Miranda and the Miranda Alliance of connecting directly with clients on the ground. Having set up the firm’s office in Timor-Leste, a relatively new country but which holds significant natural resources, and my experience in Portugal and Africa, I’m aware of the importance of being able to offer top-tier service and expertise in often challenging places in which to do business.”