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 Pateira Ferreira is Counsel in the Antitrust & Foreign Investment Group of the Lisbon office.

João began working in Competition Law in 2004, and he is a highly experienced and recognised expert in Portuguese and European Competition Law, having worked as senior legal officer of the Portuguese Competition Authority for 7 years before joining Linklaters in 2014. His work covers the full spectrum of Antitrust/Competition Law matters, including highly complex cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, multijurisdictional mergers and State Aid cases. He is also an expert in the European regulatory framework for payment services. 

João has strong experience credentials across a wide spectrum of clients, advising domestic and international corporate clients on national and cross-border transactions. Since joining Linklaters, João has advised clients from retailing, fast-moving consumer goods, banking and finance, insurance, heavy-industry, infrastructure, auto, energy and pharma industries, on antitrust issues in Portugal, the European Union and Lusophone African countries, such as Angola or Mozambique.

João holds a PhD degree in Competition Law (summa cum laude) from Lisbon University (2018), where he also graduated (2002) and obtained his Master of Laws degree (2007). He also studied European Union Law and Economics at the University of Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne), in 2006. 
In addition to his legal practice, João is a visiting professor in several Portuguese universities, editor of the Journal “Competition & Regulation” (published by the Portuguese Competition Authority) and Executive Director of Lisbon Law School’s Post-Graduate course in Competition Law, currently in its 14th edition.

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 NovoBanco – the “good bank” resulting from the resolution of Banco Espirito Santo, the first ever bank resolution measure adopted in the European Union – 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 Lusitania Companhia de Seguros in the first ever cartel investigated by the Portuguese Competition Authority in the financial sector;
  • Advising China Three Gorges in the EUR 9 billion bid to acquire control of EDP – Eletricidade de Portugal, and its renewables division (EDPR);
  • Advising Turkish conglomerate OYAK in the acquisition of CIMPOR, Portugal’s largest cement producer.

Professional experience

In August 2014, João joined Linklaters as Associate in the Competition & Antitrust team of Linklaters’ Lisbon Office, and is Managing Associate since May 2015.

João started his legal career in 2002 as Junior Associate at the corporate department of local law firm Raposo Bernardo & Associados, and as associate in 2004, after being admitted to the Portuguese Bar Association.

In 2007, João joined the Antitrust Department of the Portuguese Competition Authority as Senior Legal Officer. In his 7 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 and was also a member of 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 auto industry. 

Roles in academia

Between 2007 and 2015 João was Teaching Assistant at Lisbon University’s Law School, and he still maintains strong links with Academia, with connections to several research and scientific institutes connected with Lisbon University: João is a 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’s Law School, and member of the Institute for Economic, Financial and Tax Law (IDEFF) and of the European Institute of this University.

Since 2016, João was appointed Executive Director of Lisbon University’s Law School Post-Graduate Course in Competition Law, one of the most reputable in the country currently in its 14th edition. João is also regularly invited to teach at post-graduated courses and speak at conferences on regulatory issues and Competition Law.

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

Education and qualifications

In 2018 João obtained his PhD (Summa Cum Laude) in Competition Law, at the University of Lisbon, and he is currently preparing the publication of his doctoral thesis. He graduated in Law (2002) and obtained his Master of Laws degree (2007) at Lisbon University Law School.

In 2006, he obtained a post-graduation degree in European legal and economic studies at 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.