Dealing with legal issues in Portugal can often be frustrating. With a legal system very different to that which clients may be accustomed to in their home country, expectations of service and language barriers can raise additional and at times unforeseen issues.
At Judicare, we have been dealing with Portugal and Portuguese law for many years and as such are well versed in how the legal system works, particularly with those issues that British people for example may need assistance with. We have an established track record of successfully assisting clients with their legal issues.
Our English-speaking Portuguese lawyers can assist with a wide range of different legal issues which involve Portuguese law. These include, but are not limited to:
- Buying property in Portugal
- Selling property in Portugal
- Inheriting property in Portugal
- Making a Portuguese Will
- Recovering off-plan property investments
- Debt recovery in Portugal
- Timeshares in Portugal
- Setting up a small business in Portugal
- Finding a mortgage broker for Portuguese property
- Portuguese visa applications
We work very closely with our team on the ground in Portugal who are all highly experienced Portuguese lawyers. We cover the whole of Portugal including the mainland and the archipelagos of The Azores and Madeira.
Whilst our colleagues in Portugal speak English, the main day to day client contact is through our office in the UK. This removes the costs to our clients of international calls and working within Portuguese office hours; which do vary from those in the UK. Clients are able to have the advantage of dealing with a UK based firm of Solicitors whilst still having the benefits of having Portuguese lawyers on the ground in Portugal.
For tailored advice on dealing with Portuguese legal matters, including buying and selling Portuguese property, please get in touch with our friendly, expert Portuguese lawyers based in the UK.
How Judicare can help with Portuguese law
Whether you are buying for your own personal use as a holiday home or main residence, or are buying as an investment to rent out, our Portuguese property lawyers can help. We can guide you through the whole buying process, helping you to get the right property on the right terms, while keeping you and your money safe.
Selling property in Portugal
When the time comes to sell, our English-speaking Portuguese real estate lawyers can help you navigate the legal ins and outs of the sales process, including preparing contracts of sales and paying all relevant taxes.
We can assist you with inheritance property in Portugal where there was a Portuguese Will, a UK Will or even no Will at all. We can also work with your UK lawyers to make sure that the inheritance in both countries is co-ordinated.
Making a Portuguese Will
If you own a property in Portugal, it makes sense to have a Portuguese Will to make sure that your wishes are complied with in the easiest and most tax effective way possible for your family. We can assist with preparing a Portuguese Will and coordinating this with your UK inheritance planning.
Recovery of investments in off plan properties that were not completed
We have a long and successful track record of recovering money that was paid for property investments in Portugal, typically where the property was not completed and the purchaser wants to recover the money previously paid.
The recovery of debts due to you by people in Portugal
Where you are owed a debt by a person or business in Portugal, our Portuguese lawyers can help you with various options for recovering the money owed.
We can assist with cancelling a timeshare that you have just purchased or one that you have owned for many years.
Setting up a small business in Portugal
Our team regularly assists UK citizens and ex-pats with starting small businesses in Portugal, including advice on all of the legal issues you need to consider and the ways in which Portuguese business law differs from that in the UK.
Finding a mortgage broker for Portuguese property
Should you need a mortgage to buy abroad, we can recommend specialist overseas mortgage brokers who can assist you with finding the finance you need on favourable terms.
For more information, please take a look at how we can help with mortgages for overseas property.
We can assist with the various visa application routes for those looking to live and work in Portugal.
Our legal fees for Portuguese legal advice
Our Portuguese lawyers are committed to complete transparency with our fees, so will be happy to talk through exactly how our fees are calculated when you contact us.
Once we have agreed what support you need, we will provide a quote covering all of the expected costs involved, so you know exactly what to expect.
For more information, please take a look at our pricing.
A quick guide to the Portuguese legal system
The legal system in Portugal is Codified and is based on similar principals that you would see in Spain, Italy and France. In fact Portuguese law is based on the Roman and French legal systems but also has some influence from German law. As Portugal is part of the EU there is also heavy influences from EU law.
Portuguese Law is made up of a Constitution and a series of Codified Laws such as the Civil Code, the Penal Code, the Commercial Code and so on.
The Portuguese legal system has had an influence on other countries that have a strong history with Portugal including Brazil and Cape Verde.
In Portugal the Notarial system is used for certain transactions such as the purchase and sale of properties, making a Will, dealing with an Inheritance and so on. Notaries get involved at the end of the transaction and are not a substitute for having a lawyer as they don’t deal with the whole transaction. The role of a Notary is limited to making sure that you are who you are, to witnessing the signature of the Deed and to making sure that you are not being pressured into signing something that you don’t want to.
Helpful facts about Portuguese lawyers
- Portuguese lawyers are called “Advogados”.
- A large percentage of lawyers in Portugal are sole practitioners and operate as one single lawyer.
- Advogados must be a member of the Portuguese Bar Association (Ordem dos Advogados).
- In Portugal you’re qualified as an Advogado after you pass your degree and exams. In the UK you pass your degree and a further post graduate exam and then have to train as a lawyer at a law firm for 2 years before you are fully qualified. The thought process behind the system in the UK is that the training process at a firm teaches you how to act as a Solicitor rather than just what the law says and you learn about ethics, the Solicitors Accounts Rules, how to draft real life letters and documents and how to deal with clients rather than just the theoretical legal aspects of the law.
Why use Judicare’s Portuguese lawyers?
English-speaking Portuguese lawyers
Our team of Portuguese lawyers are fluent in both English and Portuguese. As such, we can ensure no detail is missed in any contracts or other important documents or conversations while being able to advise you in plain English with no unnecessary legal jargon.
UK-regulated solicitors. Real peace of mind.
As a UK based firm of solicitors, we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). You can therefore have confidence that we meet the highest legal and professional standard.
Complete understanding of Portuguese law and UK law
Because we understand both UK and Portuguese law, our solicitors know all of the issues you will need to navigate, including the difficulties that can rise when the two sets of laws meet. This is particularly important when it comes to issues involving ownership, taxation and inheritance – all of which we can expertly guide you through.
The Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) was set up to improve standards of professionalism in a largely unregulated overseas property market. As AIPP members, we have signed up to a Code of Conduct that assures we adhere to the highest standards of honesty and professional integrity.
Highly experienced expertise
Our Portuguese lawyers in the UK have many years of experience dealing with a whole range of legal issues in Portugal. This means we know all of the common problems you can run into (and the not so common ones) and what we can do to avoid the risk of any delays, additional costs or other unwanted issues.
Truly independent legal advice
We are truly independent legal experts. We are not tied with any Development Companies, Builders or Estate Agents. You can therefore have total confidence that we only ever have your best interests at heart and any advice we offer is trustworthy.
Need expert help with Portuguese law?
Our UK-based team of Portuguese lawyers are highly experienced in helping clients with buying and selling property in Portugal, as well as handling a whole range of related issues, such as advice on Wills and inheritance for Portuguese property.
With a thorough understanding of both Portuguese law and UK law, we can provide clear, reliable legal guidance in plain English, giving you the confidence to deal effectively with legal matters in Portugal.