Portuguese Golden Visa Application -- Henley & Partners

How is peoples’ experience with Henley & Partners for Portugal Golden Visa? Thanks.

I am sure they will provide attentive service for you ---- and you will pay for that service.

We are quite happy with Henley. They kept us informed and calm through all of the SEF delays last year. Their guidance and referrals are very helpful in keeping us from making legal or tax mistakes.

Our recent biometrics appointments really displayed the benefit of a good attorney. It was obvious that he was well known and respected by SEF staff. None of us love paying attorneys fees, until they show their expertise. Seeing him in action left us with the sense that we made the right choice.

What are Henleys fees for the GV service?

After speaking with many large and small attorney firms, we found that the sales person at Henley was quite good at his job and almost went with them till we saw their pricing and the requirement to pay in full before any services were provided. We would never accept those terms.

We chose a different firm, then followed “our” lawyer when she started her own firm, and have been exceedingly happy with her work in the ensuing years. As an added bonus, the cost was also much less than what was quoted to us by H&P, at the time.

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Hi there, Would you mind sharing her contact information, please? Thanks in advance, Milva

Certainly. Her name is Vanessa Lima and her firm is Prime Legal in Lisbon (formerly VRL Legal). She just recently updated her firm name when she took on a partner and her website is currently being switched over.


Thank you so much for replying.

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I messaged Vanessa Lima to do a consult to see if she would be a good fit for what I need and she wanted €150 just for an intro meeting so I could learn about her services! Considering I wasn’t looking for legal advice, just some questions about her experience and track record, I thought that was a bit excessive.

Electricians here charge 100-150 just to show up to give you a quote. Showing up to give you a quote is a truck roll that may or may not result in revenue, and when you’ve got a queue of paying clients to service already that’s longer than you can imagine and at least some people desperate enough to pay it…

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I understand that there are cultural and regional differences in these sorts of things, but all the Portuguese law firms I spoke with never tried to charge me for a initial consult. Granted, I hired mine a few years ago, so that may be part of it.

With electricians and other tradespeople, at least where I am from, some charge for showing up, some do not. A lot of it depends on the scope of work. If you are repairing my broken outlet, I have found they will charge a show up fee, if they rewiring my entire house, that quote is free.

At you imply, perhaps this law firm does not really want or need the work and is trying to limit new clients.

Just received following reply to my initial legal service enquiry:

“Our fees are usually charged at the hourly rate of € 120,00 plus VAT. An initial meeting will have a cost of € 120,00 plus VAT and our Private Client Department is available to meet you on …”

It seems that charging for first consultation becomes common nowadays, which was not the case 2 yrs ago for me.

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I think that hourly rates were also pretty uncommon a few years ago. For me, I got full schedules of fees for various services and things not listed on an extensive list were hourly. But I have yet to need any services not on that list.


Dear Jae1012, thank you for your comments. Kindly note that is our practice to schedule introduction meetings without charging the legal consultation fees. Nevertheless, from the initial communication received, when we conclude that the Potential Client expects to receive legal counseling rather than information about our practice and firm, we do propose a legal consultation. If we misinterpreted your initial request, I apologize and I put myself available to schedule a zoom meeting so we can e-meet and discuss this further. Thank you for your understanding and wish you all the best. Kind regards, Vanessa Lima.

Dear Vanessa
Thank you for the information. My initial question for you was whether or not you were capable of doing what I was asking for I didn’t want to pay €150 to find out if you could do it or not. So maybe sending the explanation you sent me might have helped clarify.

Regardless, I have found another attorney who has already confirmed with SEF that they can do what I need and I am moving forward with her.

Best of luck to you.

Thank you for your reply, Julie. I appreciate your comments and shall take it into consideration. Once again we apologize for the misunderstanding. In the meantime, I wish you all the best! Kind regards, Vanessa.

In my experience, talking to immigration lawyers in 3 different EU countries (PT and two others), €150 gets you 30 to 60 minutes of very solid, tailored advice as to what you and your family can, could, or absolutely cannot do to immigrate to that country, what services the lawyer provides, and what the lawyer could do, if anything, to make the local laws/rules work for you.

It’s worth the money, in other words. It gives you the information you need to get a sense of (1) whether that country would be a fit for what you want to do, (2) whether the lawyer seems to know what they’re doing, and (3) whether you and the lawyer are a fit, personalitywise. You can’t get answers to (1) and (2) from a random phone call to get info about a lawyer’s “experience and track record.”

And most or all good lawyers charge about the same for the kind of solid, tailored conversation I’m talking about. If lawyers were willing to have random free phone calls with every potential client who wanted to “not ask for legal advice” I don’t know how much time they’d even have left to get work done.

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I do not think it is a fair assumption to make that people who charge for a consult are better than those that do not.

I’ve hired good lawyers and accountants all around the world and some do charge for a consult others do not. I have hired both sets.

But all else being equal, I’m going to hire someone who does not charge for a consult because I’m not going to spend 600-700 euros to compare a few lawyers. And I’m not going to want to just hire the first one I call either even if we are a good fit.

If they are providing legal advice, sure, I’d expect to pay for that at the first meeting. But a consult to see if someone is a good fit or to find out if they can help you at all? Not very common in my experience.

That sounded like what Ms. Lima was stating as well in her message on this thread.