Portugal GV Lawyers for investment option

Hi all,

I am new to this site and have been reading up on this forum all morning and attempting to absorb as much info as I can. Many thanks to all of you for openly sharing so much information as well as to the folks who started putting together and contributing to the spreadsheet about the funds as well as the lawyers.

I have a question about picking the laywer for you - how are yall going about that and making that choice? I have also tried to search the various topics and this is one where I havent found as much information on.
I did reach out to Thomas’ recommendation Margarida Torres.

Many thanks in advance for the help.

Cheers,
Harish

Good question. I’m struggling with that one myself. Esp with visas. On the one hand I want to say “get the best lawyer possible” but … how much work is it, really? And how difficult is it, really? After all, the GV process seems straightforward, especially if you use the fund route. What’s involved?

  • Double-checking bank account paperwork - do you even need that really?
  • Fund due diligence - besides making sure the English translation is accurate and the documents are correct… what’s a lawyer have to say about a fund really?
  • Making sure government paperwork is correct - seems straightforward
  • Escort for the SEF visits / knowing the right people to talk to in the right way - well that’s worth something, but again seems straightforward
  • knowing who to call for various things - worth something, but how much?

(I can see where it matters more for buying property, maybe.)

I’m not trying to diminish the role of a lawyer here, and there is certainly value-add on top of “the base legal things” - I’m simply trying to understand all the pieces parts. I think I understand them, but.

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Thanks @jb4222. The obvious question that jumps out to me is why isnt everyone on this site using the same lawyer? Isnt that the safe way to go about this? Might even work out a reduced fee schedule based on the volume of interested parties on this site…

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Because it never works that way. Because I’ll like Jane and you’ll like Fred, because Fred’s better with real estate but Jane knows about capital funds. Or you really need handholding and want everything explained three times, and Anna’s really a super people person and has lots of assistants to take care of every detail and book your flight and everything… but Fred works for a big law firm that can’t do all that, and Jane’s a no-nonsense type-A who doesn’t work well with nervous nellies.

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:grinning:

True… :slight_smile:

Hi @tier0605 -

I totally get your line of thinking and wish everyone was using the same lawyer too! That’s why I started the GV Fund Comparison sheet because I figured one fund would bubble to the top as superior. However, I don’t have much more clarity now than I did a few months ago. :thinking:

In any case, I enlisted the legal services of @guifig for a few reasons:

  • he has experience in wealth management in Portugal and abroad (e.g. low interest Swiss bank loans to help leverage investments)
  • he is excellent at communication, thorough, and detail oriented
  • his fees seemed fair and he is flexible for varying legal needs which may evolve over time

Hope that helps. I’m sure there are other great lawyers too. To be clear I’m not compensated for referring Gui. Just sharing my experience in case it helps.

Warmly,
Faizal

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Hi Faizal,

Thanks for your info. I am looking for a lawyer who is experienced on dealing with fund option rather than RE sector. The reality is many advisory/consultants of PT have been heavily involving in RE. How’s going with your engaged lawyer?

It would be grateful if you can share any comments. Thanks lot!

Thanks Faizal! lol on fund clarity - I totally get your point there as well!

Can you expand a bit on the low interest Swiss bank loans to leverage investments? what exactly did you have in mind, if you dont mind my asking please?

Cheers,
Harish

Harish, I just created another thread re this:

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How’s going with your engaged lawyer?

Hey @pigletjulia - so far so good. I recommend reaching out to @guifig or any other lawyer you’re considering for an introductory chat. I felt much more comfortable after doing so.

Warmly,
Faizal

Thanks for your quick reply. Sure, Will liaise with Gui for further info. Thanks lot!

Hi Faizal - I just joined the group and was more interested in applying through the fund route vs real estate. It seems you have compiled a list of funds and done some analysis. If you can share the same maybe we can work together to do some more analysis or research on the same. You can reach me via private message.

Hi @ngupta160singapore, my list of funds is here and you can see a lot of discussion about it here.

In the end I got overwhelmed and unsure about all the funds so I decided to invest directly in real estate.

Warmly,
Faizal

I think a lawyer is absolutely necessary. There are a lot of bureaucracies in Portugal. It’s almost impossible to get things done here without a lawyer. I hired a lawyer myself to get my residency, and it’s thru family reunification, not even GV, and no investments involve, very straight forward. But without a lawyer, it’s hard to even get an appointment.

You need to:

  • advise on the documents you need, some documents need to be in validity of 3 months
  • advise on which items apostilled and then translated and then certified
  • accompany you to the SEF - they won’t speak English to you
  • help to get documents from Portugal’s dept - financas, and so on.

I understand your thought, but it’s the reality, the whole process can be straight-forward, but the SEF likes to make it complicated and its like they want to make it complicated to give businesses to local lawyers. That’s life here. Even for a simple thing - no capital gain tax for non tax residents. The law is very clear, but the ppl here are so dubious, they want to tax you anyways. It’s no use even if one goes there in person to argue (he is a local portuguese, not a foreigner), at the end he needed to hire a lawyer to issue letters to get things resolve here. It’s insane.

And if you want to get your residence asap, a good lawyer and a bad lawyer makes a lot of difference in terms of how accommodating they are and if they are willing to go the extra mile for you. I had a terrible experience of a lawyer that didn’t know what she was doing, didn’t make any appointment for me for 6 months, and then finally got an appointment that is another 6 month later. I got another lawyer, scheduled an appointment that’s 3 months quicker than the original one. That was pre COVID.

What I am trying to say is, a lawyer is essential. It’s money worth paying. For peace of mind, for speed, for getting things done. Just pick a decent and reliable company/ lawyer.

You can contact me if you need help on this. We are (The Golden Portugal) a one stop solution provider for golden visa investment (funds, real estates, company set up), and GV application.

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No disagreement. This is much like Costa Rica; you CAN do it yourself, if you must avoid the costs; many people do so successfully. But you will pay in pain and frustration and time as you learn how to work the system, and for most people most of the time, it won’t be worth that really. There is a cottage industry there to serve the immigrants, and you’re expected to pay into it. It’s part of the implicit Faustian bargain you make with the country - you are there to help the economy, after all.

I am still hung up on this two months later. I have a whole list of lawyers with various attributes. I feel somewhat like I could probably choose any and it’d be fine… unless it’s not. And you can’t know. They can talk a good game up front, but then as you discovered they turn out to not be very good, and you’ve dumped a bunch of money and time down the drain. (like you’re going to get it back?) It does not help that this is all a new market; many of these firms are 2-4yr old and thus don’t have a huge long track record.

I know which one I’d prefer, but of course she’s more expensive (because she’s been around a really long time). But is it worth quibbling over 2-4k? probably not, but it’s still 2-4k and I hate wasting money. And this is the sort of decision that I’m just not very good at. Meh.

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Hi @faizal ,

Did you go through any common for investment in real estate, can you please share more details on that . I am in the same boat right now, overwhelmed by funds and would be much happy with real estate investment .

Thanks,
Harish

Hi @anuharitravel15 - I’m working with a Portuguese startup called 11 Pier. The Founder/CEO spent a considerable amount of time in New York and has a familiar way of doing business. I like that they take care of everything:

  • tax ID
  • bank account
  • finding & inspecting properties
  • negotiating & acquiring properties
  • renting out & managing properties

They also have a favorable commission-based structure that ensures incentives are aligned.

Warmly,
Faizal

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You did well. It’s important to do your research and find a trusted lawyer. It’s not easy. Some exaggerate their experiences when they know little, and some drag and drag. Overall, Portuguese work at their own pace, not at the client’s pace, and they don’t have a concept of customer service. And they can’t take harsh / direct / constructive comments, they will abruptly walk away.

But the price range of 2k - 4k is quite reasonable. I had someone quoted me (thinking I was a golden visa prospect) 40,000 euro for a lawyer for two people family. It’s unbelievable. Just because I have a Chinese-like name, that makes me rich and stupid?

Anyways, if you need help in any ways, you can get in touch with us. We are a one-stop solution provider that takes you thru all the steps, from account opening, to NIF application, tax representative, to providing investment options/ sourcing (funds, property), visa application. We are not here just to sell the product and leave. We would like to talk you thru the whole journey, to renewal, and then getting the citizenship. Along the way, we provide property management, or other concierge services and advise (school enrolment, dirver license exchange) if needed be.

We don’t do quick sell and walk away. We dont’ charge any agent fee on buying property (seller pays the commission here in Portugal); you don’t pay any extra subscription fee on funds (the fund house has a marketing fee for us); you pay the lawyer directly as well and we partnered with a few, all very reasonably priced, and one is especially a good deal (the benefit of client paying directly to the lawyer is that you save 23% of the VAT). We charge a small consulting fee with services on account opening, NIF application, tax rep, liaising with lawyers and so on.

When you hear crazy quote, or extra fees you have to pay (I saw somewhere on the forum about someone charging a fund validation fee of 10,000), you should walk away.

Thanks @faizal for the info. I will touch base with 11Pier

Hi Susanayang, would you be able to recommend a local reputable lawyer in Portugal to help the application process for GV through investment fund, i.e. tax id, opening a bank account, SEF application, etc. Thanks!