PLMJ forges China link with one eye on Africa

Portugal’s largest law firm PLMJ has tied up with China’s Dacheng Law Offices to tap into Chinese investment in Portuguese-speaking African countries.

Manuel Santos Vitor
Manuel Santos Vitor

The two firms formalised their exclusive relationship in September but, according to PLMJ co-managing partner Manuel Santos Vítor, the firm has been in dialogue with Dacheng Law for some time, and has had its eye on China for even longer.

“Our ideas about China go back a long time because of Macau,” said Vítor, adding that the firm has an association with Macau firm DSL Lawyers. “We have several lawyers in Macau – it’s like the relationship between the UK and Hong Kong.

“The link [between China and Portugal] is twofold. On the one hand we think investment which originates in China into Portuguese-speaking African countries will develop.

“We also think opportunities could arise in South China, which originate from Portuguese or Brazilian investors. But mostly we’re focused on Africa.”

Dacheng is one of China’s largest law firms, with 27 regional offices. PLMJ has an associate, Susana Santos Vítor (no relation to Man-uel), based in Dacheng’s ­Beijing office.