The Directive (EU) 2020/1828 on class actions, litigation funding and the impacts on international arbitration

1.      Introduction

In Portugal’s legal scene, there’s a noticeable rise in class actions across different areas, to which third-party funders are contributing in a significant manner. Not surprisingly, this contribution has raised questions about the legitimacy of those class actions, including one distinguished scholar who went so far as to consider the phenomenon of third-party funding as “unconstitutional” in the class actions’ domain.

Coincidentally, the Portuguese Government enacted Law Decree nr. 114-A/2023 (of 5 December 2023), which implemented in Portugal the Directive (EU) 2020/1828 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2020. This European Directive and the Portuguese legislation aim at regulating a number of aspects related to so called “representative actions” for the protection of the collective interests of consumers. In a word, it sets forth a regulation of “class actions” related to consumers’ protection.

One of the most interesting topics subject to this regulation is the regime related to the funding of these class actions by third parties (third-party litigation funding). The Portuguese legal regime established several requirements that are worth mentioning and questioning whether they will pave the way to apply in the international arbitration realm.

2.      Third-Party Funding under EU Directive 2020/1828 and its Implementation in Portugal

According to EU Directive 2020/1828, the funding of class actions is subject to the following requirements (Arts. 4 and 10):

–          Independence of the funded party towards the funding provider: Member States shall ensure that “conflicts of interests are prevented” in the sense that third-party funders holding an economic interest in the “bringing or outcome” of the “class action” do not divert such class action from the protection of the collective interests of consumers: In this regard, third-party funders may not “unduly influence” the decisions of the entity carrying out “class actions”, in particular those decisions related to the settlement, in a manner that would be detrimental to the collective interests of the consumers. In addition, the representative entities must have in place “procedures to prevent such influence as well as to prevent conflicts of interest between itself, its funding providers and the interests of consumers”.

–          Transparency and non-competition: The representative action is not brought against a defendant that is a competitor of the funding provider or against a defendant on which the funding provider is dependent.

–          Transparency and disclosure: The entities that are allowed to bring class actions are obliged to “disclose to the court or administrative authority a financial overview that lists sources of funds used to support the representative action”. To this end, the representative entities shall make available on their website “information about the sources of its funding in general”.

–          Intervention of courts and administrative authorities, which “are empowered to take appropriate measures, such as requiring the qualified entity to refuse or make changes in respect of the relevant funding”.

By contrast, Art. 10 of Law Decree nr. 114-A/2023 provides for a much broader reach, as can be seen by the following requirements:

–          Disclosure: the plaintiff shall present to the court a certified copy of the funding agreement, which must be drafted “clearly” and “understandably” in Portuguese language and must include a financial summary of the sources of funding and a list of costs and expenses that will be borne by the litigation funder.

–          Approval of amendments: any amendments to the funding agreement must be subject to the approval of the court judge.

–          Independence: the agreement must ensure the independence of the plaintiff and the absence of conflicts of interest. A plaintiff is considered to be “independent” if it is the sole responsible for making all the decisions regarding the lawsuit and is guided by the principle of defending the interests at stake. These decisions include the choice of the counsel, definition of the procedural strategy, and also those related to the initiation, pursuit, withdrawal, settlement, appeals and the taking of any procedural step. The funder is impeded from prevent, influence in any way the decisions of the plaintiff and is not allowed to have vetting influence (such as authorize or be consulted before making those decisions and may not impose any negative consequence for the plaintiff in making any of these decisions.

–          Remuneration: the funding agreement cannot provide for a remuneration to the funder which is beyond a fair and proportionate amount, assessed in light of the characteristics and risk factors of the lawsuit and of the market price of such funding.

–          Non-competition: the lawsuit brought by a plaintiff who has entered into a funding agreement is inadmissible when at least one of the defendants in the action is a competitor of the funder or is an entity on which the funder depends.

–          Intervention and supervision of the court: The court holds the power to impose that these conditions are inserted in the funding agreement and remove the plaintiff’s standing if the latter does not comply with those conditions.

3.      The scope of the existing regulations in Portugal

While the EU Directive emphasizes preventing conflicts of interest and ensuring transparency, the Portuguese law takes a broader approach, requiring disclosure of funding agreements and court approval for any amendments. Notably, it mandates independence for plaintiffs and “fair remuneration” for funders, with courts empowered to enforce compliance.

One of the most interesting points of the Portuguese law is the provision related to “fair remuneration” for funders, which refers to ensuring that the compensation received by third-party litigation funders is reasonable and proportionate in relation to the services provided and the risks assumed. This principle aims to strike a balance between incentivizing funders to invest in legal claims while also preventing excessive or disproportionate returns that could undermine the integrity of the legal process.

In the context of the Portuguese legislation, fair remuneration provisions seek to prevent funders from exploiting class actions for excessive financial gain. Funders should be compensated for the capital invested, the risk taken on, and the expertise provided in evaluating and managing litigation. However, remuneration should not be set at a level that is unreasonably high or disproportionate to the value contributed, the risks involved, and prevailing market standards.

4.      Possible impacts on international arbitration

There is a growing trend in investment tribunals to order claimants to disclose the existence of third-party funding and the identity of the funder. Some tribunals have also ordered the disclosure of the details of the funding agreement. This trend seems to have no significant echo in commercial arbitration.

But international tribunals (even commercial tribunals) may be called upon to analyze and decide on the funding agreements when allocating costs, particularly when deciding which portion of the funding roll-out should be compensated by the losing party.

In this context, many questions may be posed. The first that comes to mind is whether tribunals are entitled to use similar powers as to those that the Portuguese courts have?

More specifically, are tribunals empowered to deny a claim for compensation of the funding costs (including the uplift) for being “unfair”, “disproportionate,” and apart from market price conditions?

And what are the criteria to assess the “market price” of litigation funding? Which is the “market” where the price for funding should be assessed? When should it be considered as out of proportion or unreasonable?

5.      Conclusions

In conclusion, the regulatory landscape surrounding third-party funding in Portugal, particularly in the realm of class actions, is undergoing significant development with the implementation of EU Directive 2020/1828 and its corresponding national legislation. While the Directive emphasizes conflict prevention and transparency, Portuguese law takes a more comprehensive approach, incorporating stringent requirements such as court approval for funding agreements and ensuring independence and fair remuneration for plaintiffs and funders alike.

The concept of “fair remuneration” for funders introduced by Portuguese law is particularly noteworthy, aiming to prevent exploitation of class actions for excessive financial gain while incentivizing investment in legal claims. However, this principle raises questions about its potential implications on international arbitration, where tribunals may be tasked with scrutinizing funding agreements and determining their fairness and proportionality.

As international tribunals increasingly confront issues related to third-party funding, there arises a need for clarity on whether they possess similar powers to those of Portuguese courts in assessing funding agreements. Moreover, defining criteria for evaluating the “market price” of litigation funding and determining when it becomes unreasonable or disproportionate presents a complex challenge for tribunals.

Addressing these questions requires careful consideration of legal principles, market dynamics, and the overarching goals of ensuring access to justice while maintaining the integrity of dispute resolution mechanisms. As the legal landscape continues to evolve, collaborative efforts among stakeholders and international cooperation will be essential in navigating the complexities surrounding third-party funding in both domestic and international contexts.

The Evolving Landscape of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in Portugal

Over the years, Portugal has witnessed significant developments in its approach to Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), reflecting broader global trends and policy shifts. This evolving landscape is crucial to understand how the country navigates the delicate balance between attracting foreign investment and safeguarding its regulatory autonomy. Here, we delve into a few key aspects of this evolution, exploring recent developments, ongoing challenges, and the implications for both investors and the Portuguese government.


1. Termination of BITs and the European Union’s influence

One of the most notable shifts in Portugal’s ISDS landscape has been the termination of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) between the European Union (EU) Member States – this is in line with the EU’s broader policy position to reform ISDS. As of July 2022, Portugal ratified the termination of such BITs, emphasizing a unified EU approach to investment protection. Such decision reflects a move towards a more integrated and standardized system, where intra-EU investment disputes are resolved within the EU framework.


2. European Union’s push for Investment Court System

Portugal’s alignment with the EU’s broader strategy can be seen in its potential support for the Investment Court System (ICS). The ICS represents a departure from traditional ISDS mechanisms, aiming to establish a permanent international investment court with appointed judges and an appeal procedure. By endorsing this approach, Portugal will likely be able to signal its commitment to a more transparent, accountable, and institutionalized system for resolving investment disputes. This new paradigm is consistent with the EU’s efforts to address criticisms of traditional ISDS mechanisms, such as a lack of transparency and potential conflicts of interest.


3. Flexibility in Dispute Resolution Mechanisms

Portuguese investment treaties still demonstrate a certain degree of flexibility in dispute resolution mechanisms. Including options such as local courts, ICSID Arbitration, and ad hoc arbitration under UNCITRAL rules offers investors with choices. However, some treaties limit recourse to local remedies, emphasizing a balance between encouraging diplomatic resolution through negotiation and providing international arbitration channels available.


4. Ongoing challenges and concerns

The termination of BITs and the shift towards the ICS model are not without challenges. Critics argue that the ICS might introduce complexities and delays into the dispute resolution process, potentially deterring investments. Additionally, the reliance on local courts in some treaties raises concerns about impartiality and the effectiveness of domestic judicial systems. Finding the right balance between investor protection and preserving regulatory autonomy remains a key challenge for Portugal.


5. Implications for investors and the Portuguese government

The evolving ISDS landscape in Portugal has significant implications for both investors and the government. Investors benefit from a clearer and more standardized framework for dispute resolution, promoting confidence and predictability. At the same time, the Portuguese government gains greater control over its regulatory processes thereby decreasing the exposure to external arbitration. The emphasis on diplomatic negotiations as a precursor to arbitration indicates a commitment to settling disputes amicably whenever possible.


6. Future directions and international cooperation

Looking ahead, the Portuguese approach to ISDS is expected to further develop in response to global trends and challenges and Portugal could play a key role in shaping EU debates on investment protection. International cooperation to improve the ICS model and address concerns is indeed vital and, in this sense, Portuguese diplomatic and legal experience could contribute to the ongoing dialogue on the creation of a sound and fair international mechanism for resolving investment disputes.

All in all, the ISDS landscape in Portugal is changing, mirroring the dynamic nature of international investment law. The termination of BITs, the alignment with the EU’s ICS model and the focus on the flexibility of dispute resolution mechanisms highlight Portugal’s willingness to adopt a balanced and adaptable approach. Implications for investors and government underline the importance of navigating this evolving landscape with caution and foresight.


To learn more, please read the Portuguese chapter of the GAR Investment Treaty Arbitration, submitted by the Portuguese team of Victoria Associates, available here.

Victoria Associates has successfully represented clients in disputes related to international investment arbitration and welcomes any question that may arise in this context (

Victoria Associates Sponsored the 24th Annual IBA Arbitration Day

Victoria Associates Sponsored the 24th Annual IBA Arbitration Day
Victoria Associates Sponsored the 24th IBA Arbitration Day

Victoria Associates sponsored the 24th Annual IBA Arbitration Day, that took place last 13 and 14 April, in Lisbon.

More than 500 people and a host of excellent speakers gathered in the Lisbon Congress Centre to discuss issues related to the topic “International arbitration in a divided world: a challenge to the system’s legitimacy”.

The program included panels that discussed:

• The impact of third party funding on investment arbitration
• The implications of sanctions for international arbitration
• Duty of disclosure: self-regulation vs statutory regulation
• Dealing with corruption in international arbitration

The IBA Arbitration Day also included a keynote speech dedicated to the subject “The perils and promise of transparency”.

Check the Program HERE

Victoria Associates sponsored the event, which made us extremely happy and proud, as the photo illustrates (from left to right Ricardo Vigário, Duarte G Henriques, Rita de Carvalho and João Frazão). It speaks loads about the positioning and relevance of Victoria Associates in the arena of international arbitration, as we will explain in a future post.

Please go to our WEBSITE or send us a message ( to learn more.


Mondaq – International Arbitration Comparative Guide – Portugal

Victoria Associates is pleased to announce that Duarte Henriques and João Frazão wrote the Portuguese report for Mondaq’s International Arbitration Comparative Guide.

The International Arbitration Comparative Guide is edited by Herbert Smith Freehills partner Craig Tevendale and also Vanessa Naish (HSF).

The Guide is a collection of country reports from around 40 jurisdictions, in a Q&A style, and is available online here:–arbitration/1293856/international-arbitration-comparative-guide

The Portuguese Comparative Guide will help you in:

1. Understanding the local context: A country report on Portugal can offer valuable insight into the local context, including the legal system, culture, and business practices. This understanding can help parties involved in international arbitration to navigate the process more effectively.

2. Insight into arbitration procedures: The report can provide insight into the local arbitration procedures used in Portugal. Understanding the legal framework for arbitration in Portugal can help parties involved in international arbitration to better understand the process and to anticipate any potential issues that may arise.

3. Availability of resources: The report can also provide information on the availability of resources. This information can help parties involved in international arbitration to identify and engage the most appropriate resources for their needs.

Overall, reading a country report for Portugal on international arbitration can offer valuable insight into the legal, cultural, and economic context in which international arbitration takes place in the country.

Please feel free to write to us if you have any additional questions: and .

Duarte G Henriques on the SVAMC Tech List 2023

We are pleased to announce that Duarte G Henriques has rejoined the List of the World’s Leading Technology Neutrals of the Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center, being the only Portuguese lawyer on the list (check it HERE).

The 2023 List of the World’s Leading Technology Neutrals promotes efficient and effective technology dispute resolution, including the use of arbitration and mediation to resolve business disputes among companies of the tech sector or involving technological matters.

For more information, please visit the SVAMC website HERE.  

Setting up distribution contractual relationships in Portugal

1. Context

Setting up a business in Portugal, including any distribution contractual relationships, usually begins with choosing the business entity that best suits specific cases. To this effect, the most common and best suited types of business for an importer owned by a foreign supplier are: (a) public limited liability company; (b) private limited liability company (Lda.); and (c) single shareholder limited liability company.

In the case (a) of public limited liability companies, the basic (mandatory) elements for its incorporation are: (1) minimum of five shareholders; (2) minimum share capital of € 50,000; (3) articles of association; (4) commercial name; (5) board of directors and supervision board, which must be composed of at least one public certified auditor.

For (b) private limited companies, the basic elements for incorporation are: (1) minimum of two shareholders; (2) minimum hare capital of € 2,00 (€ 1,00 per shareholders); (3) articles of association; and (4) commercial name.

Unlike both previous options, (c) single shareholder limited liability companies are based on individual investment, and the basic elements are similar to private limited liability companies with minor exceptions: in addition to the sole shareholder, the minimum share capital is € 1,00.

Bearing this in mind, any distribution relationship (producer-distributor-final consumer) is available in Portugal, including the following and best known:

  • Agency – by which an agent (an individual or a company) undertakes the obligation to promote contracts on behalf of the principal, with autonomy and stability;
  • Concession – by which one of the parties undertakes to sell its products to the other party who the undertakes to buy them and sell them to the third parties, on its own account and on a stable basis, in a given constituency;
  • Franchising – by which one party grants another the right to exploit its trademark, company name or patents or any other licenses of intellectual property rights for certain consideration, often committing to provide its assistance and knowledge of the market, as well as its know-how.

2. Key Legislation

In the case of suppliers’ internal personnel, the rules of the Portuguese Labour Code apply, which regulate employment contracts. Regarding other distribution relationships, when the distributor is independent, the rules for service contracts mentioned in the Portuguese Civil Code apply. This is without prejudice to the agency law regime set forth in Decree Law nº 178/86 of 3 July 1986 (DL 178/86), which may be applicable to certain distribution contractual relationships.

The basic legal aspects to consider when assessing the contractual relationship between suppliers and distributors are the following:

  • Agency contracts – are subject to the legal regime laid down in DL 178/86. In line with the case law and legal commentary, the provisions of this regime may apply to other contracts that present similarities, although they do not operate automatically, but rather on a case-by-case basis.
  • Concession contracts – are not subject to a specific legal regime. In general, they follow the principle of contractual freedom, as well as the general rules of contracts. When admissible, the agency regime may be applicable by analogy.
  • Franchise contracts – are not subject to a specific legal regime either. Like concession contracts, franchise contracts are common. Such contracts are also governed by the principle of contractual freedom and other general rules of contracts.

It is important to mention that certain industry regulatory constraints exist, generally adopted in the form of codes of conduct, (e.g., in the context of the automobile industry, alcoholic drinks and publicity).

To learn more, please read the Portuguese chapter of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through’ guide “Distribution & Agency 2022”, submitted by the Portuguese team of Victoria Associates (available here).

Victoria Associates has successfully represented clients in disputes related to distribution contractual relationships and welcomes any question that may arise in this context (

Victoria Associates

New Office in Lisbon

We are pleased to announce the opening of our new Lisbon office on January 17. You can find our new office at Av. Duque de Ávila, no. 23 – 3 Dto., 1000-138 Lisbon, Portugal and opening time 09:00 AM.

This is a necessary but truly delightful step since we are growing on a steady pace: more and bigger cases to handle by a growing team of talented and enthusiastic people. Onwards and upwards, doing what we like and liking what we do.

We would like to thank you for your consistent support and look forward to assisting you in our areas of expertise.

If you have any questions regarding the new location, you can contact us at +351 213530560 or send us an email to

Portuguese International Arbitration – Chapter of the International Comparative Legal Guides

A practical cross-border insight into international arbitration work.

Victoria Associates’ members Duarte Henriques, João Frazão and Teresa Roldão (trainee), in collaboration with International Comparative Legal Guides (, have written the International Arbitration Portuguese Guide*.

This Guide provides an overview of the most important aspects of the Portuguese International Arbitration legal framework and practice related to arbitration.

The Guide provides answers to questions such as:

  • What has been the approach of the national courts to the enforcement of arbitration agreements?
  • Are there any subject matters that may not be referred to arbitration under the governing law of your jurisdiction? What is the general approach used in determining whether or not a dispute is “arbitrable”?
  • Are there any limits to the parties’ autonomy to select arbitrators?

Read the full Guide HERE and contact us if you have any question (

About Victoria Associates

Victoria Associates is international and knows no borders. 

We are qualified to practice in France, Arizona, California, D.C., Massachusetts, New York, England & Wales, Portugal,  Spain, Greece, Frankfurt, Brazil and Venezuela.  

We work in English, Greek,  French, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

We advise and represent our clients in international commercial arbitration, investment arbitration and sports arbitration. Our team has vast experience in representing clients in arbitral proceedings under the rules of the main international arbitration institutions, including the Court of Arbitration for Sport – CAS, the International Chamber of Commerce – ICC, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes – ICSID, the London Court of International Arbitration – LCIA, the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and its international arm (ICDR), as well as in “ad hoc” arbitrations under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. While Victoria Associates covers disputes in a wide range of business and commercial areas, our team has strong expertise in disputes related to Banking & Finance Law, Oil & Gas, Insurance & Reinsurance, Shipping, Energy, Public International Law and Human Rights, Construction, Engineering & Real Estate, Distribution, Business & Commercial Law, Intellectual Property and Internet Gaming, Mergers & Acquisitions and International Frauds and tracing assets.

* First published in the ICLG – International Arbitration –

Resolving Disputes in International Distribution Agreements in Portugal


This post addresses very briefly the mechanisms to solve international disputes, in Portugal, in the context of international distribution and agency agreements.

In order to solve disputes, suppliers and distributors have at their disposal all means of dispute resolution, including judicial litigation and other alternative means of resolution (e.g., arbitration, mediation or negotiation). Other remedies may include notifications to the Portuguese Competition Authority or to the Economic and Food Safety Authority.


Under European Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, foreign companies may bring a judicial proceeding before the Portuguese courts if an agreement conferring jurisdiction has been concluded (according to article 25).

Such agreement attributing jurisdiction must be concluded: (a) in writing or verbally with written confirmation; (b) in a form which accords with practices which the parties have established between themselves; or (c) in international trade or commerce, in accordance with a usage of which the parties are or ought to have been aware and which in such trade or commerce is widely known to, and regularly observed by, parties to contracts of the same type in the particular trade or commerce concerned.

However, this Regulation applies only to member state and to civil and commercial matters, in this sense points out Article 6 of the European Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012.


As mentioned, it is possible to resort to alternative means of dispute resolution, requiring the existence of an arbitration agreement for this purpose. As to this specific scenario, parties may agree to submit to arbitration, thus requiring the intervention of an impartial decision maker.

The arbitration agreement should adopt written form, as the requirement being deemed to be met when the agreement is contained in a written document signed by the parties. A typical advantage of arbitration is that the award is enforceable in far more countries than court judgments considering the New York Convention of 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. When settling their disputes through arbitration in Portugal, parties are granted full confidentiality and, in general, such proceedings are faster than judicial proceedings; plus, the experience and expertise of arbitrators may contribute to a more suitable decision.

Learn more

To know more, please read the Portuguese chapter of the Lexology “Getting the Deal Through” guide “Distribution & Agency 2021”, submitted by the Portuguese team of Victoria Associates (available here).

Victoria Associates has successfully represented clients in disputes related to distribution contractual relationships and welcomes any question that may arise in this context (

Victoria Associates


Duarte G Henriques –

João Nuno Frazão –

Maria Teresa Silva –

Onwards to the Future…

Movies from the last century looked up to the year 2000 as the beginning of a futuristic era in which high technology is a central element of human life. Drones, smart phones, tablets, mobile payment technology, biometric devices, wearable technology, video calls, and time travel are some examples among the rich variety of frontier technology that we could only imagine through the media back in the day. And while traveling in time remains quite improbable today, the rest of the items in the list became a reality—one that outshines the most sophisticated movie props. But what’s puzzling about these (otherwise accurate) accounts about the “future” is that by and large 20th-century pop culture failed to tell a story about the major forces that give life to all modern tangible manifestations of tech: software and the internet.

This failure, however, was also our own in that we didn’t seem to anticipate the many implications that a pervasive reliance on technology would entail for our societies. Confronted with the current technological revolution, our governments and legal systems have only been able to react to the new realities, oftentimes with tardy and insufficient regulation. Thankfully, the pressure that the civil society (including the independent legal and technological communities) and academia has exerted has also informed—and to a certain extent influenced—Big Tech’s corporate social responsibility and self-regulatory efforts. Nevertheless, as a result of the lack of a more adequate legal regulatory framework, personal rights of all sorts still appear vulnerable to the unintended consequences of an industry that remains largely underregulated.

To focus on the missing narrative on software and the internet is of course an oversimplification of the problems that today lie at the intersection of law, technology, and ethics. After decades of widespread internet use (i.e., social media, e-commerce, streaming, etc.) Big Tech, service providers, and almost anyone who cares about predicting future consumer behavior didn’t miss out on the opportunity to store huge amounts of behavioral and personal data drawn from online interactions of all sorts. These stakeholders are now using the resulting body of data—Big Data—in conjunction with complex algorithms to design and train software that is capable of performing activities typically associated with humans. The result is the so-called Artificial Intelligence (AI), part of a true technological revolution in which other cutting-edge technology such as Blockchain (BC) and the Internet of Things (IoT) converge, and which have been used to disrupt entire industries and to change our lives for good… or bad.

This AI-BC-IoT triumvirate is associated with the Big Tech’s market dominance and evokes the coolest side of technology. One aspect, however, that is less often discussed is the application of these technologies to the governmental activity, the law, and the judiciary. To name a few examples, government agencies are now adapting AI solutions relying on vast databases to efficiently manage risks associated with the maintenance and upgrade of all sorts of hardware (from buildings to aircraft) and software programs (for example, firewall programs). Likewise, business parties can enter into self-enforceable “smart-contracts” on the Blockchain that can include some type collateralization (i.e., escrow) as well as blockchain-based dispute resolution clauses that provide for the efficient adjudication of amounts at stake in case of contractual breach. Finally, a handful—but growing—number of courts are employing these new technologies to classify incoming filings, extract relevant information resulting in automatic docketing of documents and a significant reduction on the average life cycle of a case.

But not everything is cool about tech. There are more than a handful of notorious examples of use cases where AI and the other technologies have gone wrong. One such example involves the use by courts of certain algorithms to determine recidivism rates among criminals in order to inform judicial decisions about whether to grant bail in specific cases. Because AI is only as good as the data it’s built upon, and because nothing really has prevented humans from transferring their old biases to the machines, AI-based systems used in the bail-setting example have discriminated among groups group of past offenders, labeling the members of certain race as more prone to recidivism than members of other groups.

The lawyers at Victoria Associates are conscious that a convergence of law and technology will soon encompass most aspects of the law and our practice. Given the inevitable dangers of this convergence for the legal system, lawyers have a double duty to embrace the tech revolution and also to influence how it is implemented in the legal field. This duty exceeds the matters that we handle and requires an interdisciplinary involvement of each of us in the current debate about the use of the new technologies in the legal system. 

In this spirit, Duarte Henriques and Luis Bergolla serve, respectively as co-chair and member, on the Task Force on Tech Disputes, Tech Companies & International Arbitration of the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center. This task force seeks to explore the reasons for the apparent under-use of arbitration by global technology companies and to offer solutions and to offer a bundle of tools that could help the arbitration community better serve technology companies.

Miguel Salas is also leading a similar and perhaps more ambitious project in Spain. Recently launched in the middle of a global pandemic, the Foundation for the Legal Artificial Intelligence—FIAL—is an advanced tech think-tank that seeks to generate knowledge for the implementation of AI-based decision-making processes in existing judicial, administrative and conflict resolution systems. Since its inception, Duarte Henriques and Luis Bergolla both serve on FIAL’s academic advisory board.

Matheus Puppe Magalhāes and Luis Bergolla are also active independent researchers in the field of law and tech and their work focuses on disruptive technologies, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain-based arbitration.

Contact us at to learn more about our industry-specific know-how and dispute resolution philosophy.