Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics

History & Identity

ABREU ADVOGADOS was founded on 15th June 1993 and has established itself as a leading and innovative law firm. From the outset, ABREU made an absolute commitment to the excellence of the legal services provided to clients, to the quality of its professional management and organization and to the human quality of its projects.

ABREU ADVOGADOS was the first law firm to obtain ISO 9001:2008 certification, and since September 2001,  ABREU has held the Quality Management System certification, which has allowed it to adapt to its activity the principles of business management that have always guided its organizational model.

Since its foundation, ABREU ADVOGADOS has realized that it could only grow and establish itself as an innovative project in the Portuguese legal profession if it started from an institutional mindset. This institutional thinking involved the creation of its own DNA – an individuality distinct from that of each partner, based on values that could be easily identified by each of its partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees.

Therefore, in 2011, a ABREU ADVOGADOS approved a Style Book so that each partner, lawyer, solicitor and employee could, in their work, imbibe these values and then, with their knowledge, humility, solidarity and humanity, contribute to perfecting ABREU ADVOGADOS’ DNA every day.

In 2012, ABREU ADVOGADOS created the Abreu Advogados Knowledge Institute.

In 2019, ABREU ADVOGADOS was the first law firm to publish a Sustainability Report and the only Portuguese law firm to publish its accounts.

ABREU ADVOGADOS carries out its activity in a transparent manner, offering its clients a legal service committed to the highest ethical and quality standards, with respect for people, the environment and future generations.



Because the world improves when a law firm opens up to society, is the mission of ABREU ADVOGADOS:

  • Bringing the practice of law closer to the world by breaking down barriers, borders and preconceptions.
  • To be a benchmark in the legal profession, combining the valorization of the firm’s resources with the well-being of the community in general and of clients and each of the partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees, in particular.
  • To provide a service of excellence and added value to our clients, with respect for ethics, independence and the environment, ensuring our commitment to our partners, lawyers, solicitors and staff, clients, suppliers, partners and other interested parties (Stakeholders[1]).

Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this Code is to affirm and publicize the principles and values of ABREU ADVOGADOS, as well as to define a set of rules of conduct applicable to partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees, members of the governing bodies and other decision-making bodies, regardless of the nature of the relationship.

Whenever partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees act on behalf of ABREU ADVOGADOS, they must respect the rules contained in this Code, as well as comply with the provisions of the legal, national, community and/or international and ethical rules to which ABREU ADVOGADOS is bound, and other regulations implemented at ABREU ADVOGADOS.



ABREU ADVOGADOS defends human, technical and organisational values and guides its culture by the 3 Q’sof Quality:

  • Human Quality – based on the recognition that each person should be fulfilled in all aspects of life and that this firm is responsible for providing the balance that makes each of the people who work at ABREU ADVOGADOS more complete and more fulfilled, both professionally and personally;
  • Technical Quality – based on a clear commitment to the training of each individual and the sustained development of new areas of law;
  • Organizational Quality – based on an audited and certified management system (ISO 9001 standard), using an increasingly professionalized vision of management and a clear conviction of the need to create solid structures to support a business law practice.

ABREU ADVOGADOS promotes respect for the individual and is committed to non-discrimination in all its forms, namely on the basis of age, gender, education, sexual orientation, religion and disability, which was also expressed in its commitment in 2008 to the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact.

ABREU ADVOGADOS believes that it must make its contribution to building a generalized culture of disseminating and promoting the values of social responsibility, so that it is possible to create a firm based on sustainable development, accounting for its performance – economic, social and environmental – through the publication of regular Sustainability Reports.

ABREU ADVOGADOS has an active sense of social responsibility, seeking to contribute to the improvement of the community in which it operates, namely by providing pro bono legal services in favour of the community in general in situations of economic insufficiency and by promoting legal literacy.

Since 2015, it has been a certified B Corp that uses the power of its business as a force for good. Its main objective is to help redefine business success based on sustainable ideas.

With respect for the world we live in and as a way of contributing to a better future, ABREU ADVOGADOS promotes a set of environmentally sustainable practices, maintaining a balance between the demands of its activity and economic growth, on the one hand, and respect and defence of the environment, on the other, namely through policies such as paper@less and carbon neutral.

Our values are embodied in our daily activities, in our ethical behavior, economic, social and environmental sustainability, with the aim of achieving excellence in the services we provide.



ABREU ADVOGADOS is subject to the principles of Legality, Confidentiality, Independence, Efficiency, Urbanity, Integrity, Good Faith, Transparency and Impartiality.

Within the scope of its activity, ABREU ADVOGADOS:

  • Selects partners with transparency and impartiality;
  • lays down clear rules delimiting responsibilities in the documents that recognise partnerships;
  • Shares the appropriate information to optimise the partnership’s objectives;
  • The relationship with clients and other interested parties is guided by the highest standards of respect and ethics;
  • Adopts a cooperative attitude towards public and private entities while respecting the rules of transparency and independence.

Each of the partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees of ABREU ADVOGADOS, within the scope of their duties and with a view to promoting a good working environment and relationships between people, must:

  • Contribute to team spirit by sharing knowledge and information;
  • Carry out their duties with professional rigour, seeking to keep up to date in the areas relevant to their work, namely through training courses organized by ABREU ADVOGADOS;
  • Observe objective criteria in the performance assessment processes implemented at ABREU ADVOGADOS;
  • Comply with the applicable legislation and internal rules.

Rules of Conduct

  • Conflict of Interest

For ABREU ADVOGADOS, it is essential that the activities of its partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees do not generate a conflict between their private interests and those of the firm.

For this reason, any partner, lawyer, solicitor or employee who, within the scope of their duties or as a result of them, has to intervene in proceedings in which their own interests or those of persons related to them are or may be at stake, must inform the Firm Management Body of the existence of these relationships and refrain from participating in these proceedings.

One of the risks of legal activity, and consequently of ABREU ADVOGADOS, is related to the possible existence of conflicts of interest between the parties, namely in the following situations:

  • In which ABREU ADVOGADOS is called upon to act against an existing client or to represent someone who is a counterparty in some matter of an existing client;
  • In which the intervention of the partner, lawyer, solicitor or employee may jeopardize the violation of professional secrecy or the reduction of their independence;
  • Where knowledge of the affairs of previous clients could result in illegitimate or unjustified advantages for the new client.

For this reason, partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees must comply with the deontological rules underlying the practice of law and the internal rules regarding the prior verification of conflicts of interest with the Conflict-of-Interest Committee, before accepting new clients and/or matters.

  • Fighting Corruption and Related Offences

In the development of ABREU ADVOGADOS’ activity, we consider the prevention of corruption and related offences from two angles – legal and ethical:

  • All partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees must scrupulously comply with the legal, ethical, regulatory and internal provisions on the prevention of corruption and related offences.
  • None of the partners, lawyers, solicitors or employees may request, accept, promise or offer an undue pecuniary or non-pecuniary advantage.
  • Money Laundering

ABREU ADVOGADOS, as an obliged entity under the terms of the Law that establishes the Measures to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, is aware of the importance of preventing and repressing money laundering and terrorist financing, and reflects this in the exercise of its functions, with particular care and diligence in matters and operations that may constitute a risk, as defined in the Law.

The partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees of ABREU ADVOGADOS are, therefore, subject to the provisions of the Regulations implemented at the Firm and to the applicable legal and regulatory rules, observing the preventive duties imposed by the Law when they intervene or assist on behalf of a client or in other circumstances that may constitute situations of money laundering and terrorist financing.

  • Information & Confidentiality

Information obtained at the service of ABREU ADVOGADOS is privileged information and therefore subject to the duty of confidentiality and may only be used by partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees in the performance of their duties.

Confidentiality includes, in particular, business secrets, client data and information, databases, lists of Clients and Suppliers, costs and prices of services, information on IT structures, any past, present or future information related to ABREU ADVOGADOS’ business/activity, commercial strategies and financial data.

The duty of confidentiality does not cover information that (i) is the property of the receiving party, (ii) is available to the general public, (iii) the parties agree in writing on the possibility of its disclosure, provided that it is not a matter covered by professional or legal secrecy or (iv) the parties have been legally or judicially obliged to disclose, on the assumption that all procedures established by law have been observed.

  • Data Protection

In compliance with the applicable legislation, ABREU ADVOGADOS collects, processes and uses personal data only to the extent that it is necessary for the exercise of its activity.

All partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees who process personal data are obliged to exercise the utmost prudence in the use of such data, to ensure its confidentiality, and must refrain from any disclosure to unauthorized persons, complying, in addition to the other applicable legal and regulatory provisions, with the terms of the General Data Protection Regulation and the Privacy Policy in effect.

  • Use of Work Tools

Partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees must ensure the protection and good conservation of ABREU ADVOGADOS’ work instruments placed at their disposal for the performance of their duties, using them diligently and efficiently. The use of these instruments for private purposes requires the express prior authorization of ABREU ADVOGADOS and, if authorized, must be guided by criteria of indispensability, common sense, reasonableness, responsibility and keep in mind the image of the firm and its partners, lawyers, solicitors and staff.

  • Equality and Prohibition of Harassment

Under the terms of the legislation in force, ABREU ADVOGADOS prohibits any behaviour that may negatively affect the dignity of partners, lawyers, solicitors, employees and other Stakeholders, namely through harassment and discrimination.

  • Meritocracy

Partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees must comply with and respect the human resources policies established by ABREU ADVOGADOS, namely those of selection, performance assessment, remuneration and professional progression, which are based exclusively on individual merit, and none of whom, by virtue of their relationships, family or otherwise, could be favoured or disadvantaged in relation to any other.

  • Health & Safety at Work

ABREU ADVOGADOS provides a healthy, safe working environment that promotes the well-being and productivity of partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees, adopting all the necessary preventive measures to this end.

Partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees must contribute to improving their health by observing the legislation applicable to the firm and the internal rules on hygiene and safety at work.

  • No-competition

In their relations with third parties, partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees must be loyal to ABREU ADVOGADOS and look after its interests, refraining from engaging in activities that compete, directly or indirectly, with those pursued by the firm.

  • Fair Competition

All partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees must observe and comply with good market rules and criteria, promoting fair competition and avoiding the adoption of any practices that restrict competition.

  • Training

ABREU ADVOGADOS promotes the continuous training of its partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees as a way of enhancing their skills, performance and motivation. In turn, they undertake to update their knowledge and skills by attending the training courses made available to them and recommended by the firm.

  • External Communication

Partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees must refrain from making any contact on behalf of ABREU ADVOGADOS, except when authorized to do so, and must comply with the internal Communication and Brand Policy.

ABREU ADVOGADOS adopts an external communication policy based on standards of ethics, integrity and transparency towards the media, safeguarding secrecy and confidential information and ensuring compliance with the applicable legislation.

  • Presentation

The presentation of partners, lawyers, solicitors and staff, as an extension of ABREU ADVOGADOS’ image, must respect appropriate social standards.

All partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees must comply with the internal rules in force at ABREU ADVOGADOS, namely those relating to presentation and clothing.

Reporting Irregularities

Any irregularity or suspected violation of the law, of the applicable regulations or the rules of conduct established in this Code must be reported immediately to the ABREU ADVOGADOS Supervision and Compliance Committee, under the terms of the Whistleblowing Channel Regulation, through the e-mail: [email protected]



Failure by partners, lawyers, solicitors and employees of ABREU ADVOGADOS to comply with the rules contained in this Code constitutes an offence with disciplinary consequences, which may result in the imposition of sanctions and the termination of the contractual or employment relationship, and, if applicable, with consequences in terms of civil, criminal or administrative liability, which may result in the imposition of penalties, fines, penalties, compensation, as well as the imposition of accessory sanctions.

Application & Promotion

The Compliance Committee, in a independent and impartial manner, is responsible for the following:

  • Promote the dissemination of this Code to all those to whom it is addressed, as well as promoting appropriate and periodic training in order to consolidate the application of its values, principles and rules of conduct;
  • Analyze and issue an opinion on situations of alleged infringement of the present Code;
  • Receive reports of alleged breaches of this Code, carrying out the respective preliminary enquiries and forwarding them to the executive body;
  • Verify the existence of internal mechanisms for reporting infractions, ensuring that these comply with the applicable legislation, particularly concerning confidentiality, the processing of information and the absence of reprisals against participants;
  • Issue clarifications on the interpretation of the rules set out in this Code.


Implementation and Update

Date of implementation: 1st October 2017

Date of the last update approved by the Management Board of Abreu Advogados: 13th December 2023

[1] Interested Parties or Stakeholders – entities that interact directly or indirectly with Abreu Advogados in the pursuit of its activity, namely Partners, Lawyers, Solicitors and Collaborators, Clients, Partners, Providers, Bar Association/other Regulatory Entities, Courts/other legal and para-legal institutions and other Institutions and Society in general.