By Michel Heron
Eversheds Sutherland FCB is the combination of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and FCB
Advogados, which merged in June 2021. Almost a year later, Iberian Lawyer spoke with the two co-managing partners to assess the impact of this strategic decision. Albert Einstein reportedly said:Growth comes by analogy; seeing how things connect, rather than just seeing how they might be different.” That seems rather fitting for Eversheds Sutherland FCB. They join the small number of UK-based law firms in the Portuguese capital, connecting their international clients to other strategic jurisdictions. Despite this recent integration, our interview reveals historical international roots. Founded in 1989 as F. Castelo Branco, in 1992 they became the first international legal sector project in Portugal, Grupo Legal Português, along with Garrigues, Simmons & Simmons and Pinheiro Neto. Integration with Eversheds in 2021, after a period of independence, could be called an international renaissance. One thing is certain, it is a booming business.
Congratulations on integrating with Eversheds Sutherland in 2021! It’s been almost a year since the news broke. Can you explain the reasons for this decision? What impact has the integration had on the business over the past year?
Rodrigo Almeida Dias:
Thanks very much! We had already worked with various Eversheds offices for several years and were their go-to company in Portugal. We knew the business very well, felt there was a cultural fit and it was time to move on and take our project to the next level. We’ve always been careful in the past to stay independent, but this “marriage” of sorts felt like a natural progression in our relationship.
Gonçalo da Cunha:
I have been in this business for over thirty years. Some of your readers and even the market may remember that we were in fact the first Portuguese law firm to officially form an international component. The firm was founded in 1989 under the name of F. Castelo Branco, but soon after, in 1992, it became Grupo Legal Português (European Economic Interest Grouping) with Garrigues, Simmons & Simmons and Pinheiro Neto. It was really innovative at the time in Portugal. Despite returning to an independent business in the early 2000s, our international flavor, a spirit embodied by our President Miguel Castelo Branco, has always remained part of our DNA. This integration with Eversheds therefore seemed completely natural to us and as if we were returning to our roots of thirty years ago. It’s still less than a year since the integration, but we’ve already seen significant growth, more sophisticated business and customers, and greater visibility in the home market. Things are going beyond our expectations.
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