‘Linklaters Three’ resurface at Portuguese independent Rui Pena

The infamous ‘Linklaters Three’, a team of Portuguese associates who were asked to leave Linklaters after their plan to quit the firm was found on a laptop, have resurfaced at Portuguese independent firm Rui Pena Arnaut & Associados.

Banking lawyer Antonio Payan Martins, tax lawyer Patrick Dewerbe and Francisco Almeida in capital markets join dispute resolution specialist and fellow Linklaters alumnus Antonio Andrade de Matos as equity partners at Rui Pena.

In May Linklaters caught Martins, Dewerbe and Almeida with a document called ‘Project Iberia’, which detailed how the associates would leave the firm to launch a new office with a “major international firm”. They had left it on the desktop of a Linklaters-owned laptop.

The document was said to have two words missing when referring to the international firm, leading some Linklaters partners to believe it referred to Clifford Chance.

The associates were given 24 hours to reaffirm their commitment to Linklaters, but they did not stay. Andrade de Matos had left earlier in the year.

The hires take Rui Pena up to 13 partners and 45 fee-earners. Earlier this year Rui Pena signed up Uría Menéndez projects partner Monica Carneiro Pacheco.