Tough At The Top?

Author:Iberian Lawyer
Profession:Iberian Lawyer
 
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MLGTS is widely seen as the leading firm in Portugal with the most esteemed clients, but the firm says it won't become complacent because acting for the biggest companies means it is under huge pressure to perform

Though MLGTS managing partner Nuno Galvão Teles is confident that his firm has "probably the most impressive client base" of all of Portugal's law firms, he says there is no danger of this being taken for granted. "Our main clients are well recognised and they include a significant share of the Portuguese stock exchange - this forces us to be efficient as the principal banks and main utility companies, for example, are very demanding [in terms of what they want from their legal advisers]. According to legal directories, MLGTS' clients include big names such as Galp Energia, EDP - Energias de Portugal, Caixa - Banco de Investimento and Sonae Group. Galvão Teles says that, as a result, MLGTS is a firm that can never relax or lose focus. "There is no danger of complacency, it is more difficult to keep the leadership than be a challenger - leaders have tremendous pressure to stay on top."

MLGTS' client base has helped the firm to grow "steadily" in terms of revenue over the last ten years, according to Galvão Teles. He adds: "Since 2013, our profits have gone up, while our revenues have grown consistently in the same period due to a combination of alternative fee arrangements, greater efficiency, more work and reducing costs." Galvão Teles does not disclose how much revenues and profits have grown since 2013, but it is believed that profits went up 15 per cent, while revenues rose by 12 per cent during the period. MLGTS does not publicly disclose its revenue figures because the "tradition in the Portuguese legal market is not to do it", says Galvão Teles. He continues: "We would be prepared to disclose our revenue if everyone else did but it's never been done in the Portuguese market; we do it internally though, we are completely transparent with our people." Though MLGTS declines to officially disclose its revenue, its billing for 2015 totalled €45 million, according to some sources.

Simple strategy

Galvão Teles says the firm's approach is straightforward. "Our strategy is simple - we want to retain the leadership of the market, be more efficient and to always try to maintain high-quality services to our clients, but competition is great," he says. "We also want to consolidate our international practice and try to keep the same...

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