João Pateira Ferreira

João Pateira Ferreira

Antitrust & Foreign Investment Counsel, Lisbon

"Having specialized in Competition Law, in the past 15 years I have been involved in some of the largest antitrust cases and transactions in Portugal. Joining Linklaters in 2014 I became part of a great cross-border team dealing with highly complex State Aid cases, M&A transactions and antitrust investigations. I enjoy being a strategic advisor to my clients, always focusing on the best business and commercially strategic solutions"


Professional experience

Education and qualifications

Published works


João leads the Antitrust & Foreign Investment Group in the Lisbon office.

João began working in Competition Law in 2004. Before joining Linklaters in 2014, he worked as senior legal officer of the Portuguese Competition Authority for 7 years.

His work covers the full spectrum of Antitrust/Competition Law matters, including high-profile cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, multijurisdictional mergers and State Aid cases, as well as regulatory and compliance advisory. He is also well versed in the European regulatory framework for payment services.

João has significant experience in advising domestic and international corporates on antitrust issues in Portugal and the EU, as well as in Lusophone African countries, in particular Angola and Mozambique. His expertise spans the different sectors, from the financial to retailing, fast-moving consumer goods, pharmaceutical,  energy, infrastructure, heavy-industry and automotive industries.

João holds a PhD degree in Competition Law (summa cum laude) from the Lisbon University Law School (2018), where he graduated (2002) and completed his Master of Laws degree (2007). He also obtained a Diplôme d’Études Superiors Universitaire Professionnalisé en Études juridiques et économiques de l’Union européenne (2006) from the University of Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne).

Alongside his professional practice, João is editor of the Journal “Competition & Regulation” (published by the Portuguese Competition Authority), a visiting professor in renowned Portuguese law schools, and Executive Director of Lisbon University Law School’s Post-Graduate Course in Competition Law (since 2016).

In 2019 João represented the Association of Portuguese Competition Lawyers in the ad-hoc advisory group of the Portuguese Competition Authority set up to discuss the implementation of the “ECN+” Directive.

Work highlights
  • Advising Perfetti Van Melle on the merger control notification before the Portuguese Competition Authority and phase 1-clearance with commitments for the acquisition of exclusive control over the asset brands in Portugal, in the context of the $1.35bn acquisition of Mondelez' developed-market gum business in Europe, US and Canada.
  • Successfully represented Lusitania Companhia de Seguros and two former directors in the first cartel investigation by the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) in the financial sector and obtained an unprecedented decision from the Competition, Regulation and Supervision Court. This was the first time that a leniency case was fully annulled in Portugal.
  • Advising Novo Banco, the “good bank” resulting from the resolution of Banco Espirito Santo, S.A. in the first-ever bank resolution adopted in the EU, in setting up and managing a highly successful asset divestment programme compliant with State Aid rules;
  • Advising BP in an investigation by the Portuguese Competition Authority concerning the company’s distribution network, successfully securing the closing of the case without any charges or commitments being brought against the company;
  • Advising Rubis Energie in the merger filing related to the acquisition of Repsol’s LPG assets in the Azores and Madeira, where it led to a “3-to-2” reduction in number of players and a 50/50 market share split. The deal was approved by the Portuguese Competition Authority following behavioural and structural remedies offered by Rubis Energie;
  • Advising China Three Gorges on the EUR 9 billion public takeovers launched over EDP - Energias de Portugal, S.A. and EDP Renováveis, S.A., respectively the leading energy operator in Portugal (which is among the major European operators) and its subsidiary for renewable energy (the world's fourth largest renewable energy producer);
  • Advising the Turkish conglomerate OYAK on the acquisition of Cimpor Portugal, the largest cement group in Portugal and one of the largest in Europe.

Professional experience

In August 2014, João joined Linklaters’ Competition & Antitrust team in Lisbon as associate, becoming a managing associate in 2015 and counsel in 2020. He leads the firm’s Antitrust & Foreign Investment Group in Lisbon since 2023.

João started his legal career in 2002 as junior associate at the Corporate department of the local law firm Raposo Bernardo & Associados, becoming an associate in 2004, when he was admitted to the Portuguese Bar Association.

In 2007, João joined the Antitrust Department of the Portuguese Competition Authority as Senior Legal Officer. In his seven years at the Authority, João was mostly involved in cartel investigations and represented the Portuguese Competition Authority in advisory committees of the European Commission on cartels and the leniency programme, further integrating the International Competition Network working group on cartels. João also represented the Portuguese Authority in the EC’s advisory committees on payment services, insurance and automotive industry sectors.

Roles in academia

Between 2007 and 2015, João was Assistant Lecturer at Lisbon University’s Law School and maintains strong ties with academia, in particular with several research and scientific institutes connected with the Lisbon University: João is member of the Centre for Research in European, Economic, Financial and Tax Law (CIDEEFF), the research and development unit set up at the Lisbon University Law School, and member of the Institute for Economic, Financial and Tax Law (IDEFF) and of the European Institute of this same university.

In 2016 João was appointed Executive Director of Lisbon University Law School Post-Graduate Course in Competition Law, one of the most reputable in the country. He is also regularly invited to lecture on his fields of specialisation in post-graduate courses and as speaker at conferences on Competition Law and regulatory issues.

Since 2010, João is member of the Editorial Board of the Journal “Competition & Regulation”, which is published by the Portuguese Competition Authority.

Education and qualifications

In 2018 João obtained his PhD degree in Competition Law (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Lisbon Law School, and later published his doctoral thesis.

He graduated in Law (2002) and obtained his Master of Laws degree (2007) at Lisbon University Law School. In 2006, João obtained his Diplôme d’Études Superiors Universitaire Professionnalisé en Études juridiques et économiques de l’Union européenne (2006) from the University of Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne).

João is a member of the Circle of Portuguese Competition Lawyers.

João was admitted to the Portuguese Bar Association in 2004.

He speaks Portuguese, English, French and Spanish.

Published works

João is a published author and has published a range of articles in the fields of European Union Law, Competition Law, Public Finances and Monetary Union, a selection of which is shown here:

  • Pateira Ferreira, João, Old classics die hard. A few comments on vertical restraints as object infringements, Concorrência & Regulação, Year 10, no. 38, April-June 2019; 
  • Pateira Ferreira, João, A Aplicação da Lei da Concorrência às Decisões de Associações de Empresas na Jurisprudência do Tribunal do Comércio de Lisboa, Concorrência & Regulação, Year 2, no. 6, April-June 2011;
  • Pateira Ferreira, João, Práticas Concertadas entre Empresas, Troca de Informações e Infrações Concorrenciais por Objeto e/ou Efeito. Comentário ao Acórdão do Tribunal de Justiça de 4 de junho de 2009, Proc. C-8/08, T-Mobile, Concorrência & Regulação, Year 1, no. 2, April-June 2010.