Solicitors governing body: Ordem dos Advogados de Angola
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
As with other lusophone countries, the former Portuguese colony of Angola historically had a legal system based on the civil law system of the colonial home country. Following its independence in 1975 the law was amended in a piecemeal fashion, yet similarities remain. Combined with linguistic and cultural ties, these similarities have seen the jurisdiction’s legal market develop with the significant influence of Portuguese firms.
Recent oil discoveries have seen a boom in the legal market in recent years, and while an attractive environment for investment, the market remains difficult for foreign firms to practice in. Regulations are in place that restrict foreign lawyers from practicing in Angola, and while foreign firms are permitted to form associations with local outfits - who tend to work under the auspices of their parent firms - they are not able to adopt their name or branding.
The domestic market is dominated by associate firms: Fátima Freitas Advogados is associated with Miranda, and FBL Advogados with Abreu Advogados. Other Portuguese firms with active associations include AVM, F Castelo Branco & Associados, PLMJ, Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados, ABBC and MC&A. The cross-border work is widely handled by Portuguese lawyers, while their domestic counterparts use local expertise to handle the day-to-day operations of larger projects. As a result of this, many local lawyers are trained and educated in Lisbon before taking up positions in Luanda.
The legal market in Angola is also closely tied with that of Mozambique, as well as other PALOP jurisdictions São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea and Cape Verde.
ALC Advogados (ALC) is an Angolan firm that is part of the Portuguese firm Morais Leitão’s Lusaphone network. Its office is in Luanda and is led by managing partner Catarina Levy Osório.
The firm advises on deals across the energy, foreign investment, gaming, infrastructure, mineral resource, oil and gas, and real estate industries. It engages in transactions in the banking, corporate, M&A, project development, and restructuring & insolvency (R&I).
During the research period the firm was active in M&A, project development, and R&I. In M&A it advised on acquisitions, with clients as buyers, and joint ventures. In project development it advised developers on projects within the oil and gas and power sectors. In R&I it advised on insolvency proceedings, with clients as creditors.
“Professional and responsive.”
“Diverse range of expertise in its resource pool, sound leadership, able to quickly understand client’s requirements, and on-the-ground experience in Angola.”
“We value her depth of knowledge, risk mitigation, great communication and responsiveness.”
“Hugely supportive and understanding of the various request for support we ask of them.”
“Good communication and ability to manage our requests to a conclusion.”
Catarina Levy Osorio
“Serious, competent and available.”
“A lawyer with a lot of experience, with a lot of knowledge of the country in particular, very versatile and practical and with a lot of focus on indicating the risk and finding solutions to meet client's will.”
Raposo Bernardo & Associados is a Portuguese firm with offices in two further European countries and five African nations. The firm has a full-service offering in Angola. Its team of fourteen lawyers based in Luanda are led by Ana Claudia Rangel.
The firm specialises in financial and corporate deals across a wide scope of industries. It also engages in project development transactions in the energy, infrastructure, and oil and gas industries. Much of the firm’s project work sees it advising international investors and corporations, especially from Portugal, Turkey, and Brazil.
During the research period the firm worked on a variety of financial and corporate work including M&A; advising on credit and loan facilities; and negotiating transport and leasing contracts. Its recent work in project development included advising on petroleum pipelines and exploration, joint ventures, renewable energy development, and the building of a power station.
“This is a firm that stands out for its correct posture, for its know-how, and for the reputation it has achieved in the market among our client companies. Undoubtedly, they add a great deal of value to the way we can do business and carry out financing operations from start to finish.”
Financial services regulatory
“Raposo Bernardo's work aims to deliver the highest standards of legal services to their clients and that you can tell by their commitment to knowing the details of your businesses. They also place a strong importance on advising in a commercial and pragmatic manner, which is to us very important. They understand our business and are creative in the most efficient way possible. In the Angolan market they have a team of experts that are top in every country of the world.”
“Raposo Bernardo’s lawyers are true experts in the capital markets’ environment. Working with them is a learning experience and they understand our sector. A unique partnership with outstanding lawyers with a bold mission to support their clients to overcome the countless difficulties in view of the good business opportunities that Angola offers. This is why they have been a key part of us since the beginning of our operation in Angola.”
“Raposo Bernardo was a revelation from the beginning that contributed very significantly to the success of our operations in Angola. They are much more than an excellent law firm, they are our legal partner.”
“They are the most competent lawyers we've ever worked with in Angola as they offer the right advice in the right timing, whatever the area or the country it concerns. They are a must-have for our business success.”
“People are all in the right place and know their work. They are attentive, available and have a deep knowledge of legal issues.”
“The firm stands out for being a very dedicated to its clients and up-to-date on the most important matters for the legal market of business transactions. It assumes a prominent place in Angola on its own merit. Our company would certainly not be competing in the Angolan market without the legal support of Raposo Bernardo, and I believe this says it all.”
“Raposo Bernardo is a sophisticated, very ethical and balanced law firm. With a team suitable for resolving any legal matter, it offers a full-service practice, and through its international office network and experience it is able to deliver high-quality legal work in the difficult context of the Angolan legal and business system.”
“Without Raposo Bernardo supporting, providing a local knowledge and how everything functions in Angola, it would be impossible to have projects here. We are very grateful to the firm for its excellent work, excellent lawyers and excellent added-value to our business.”