28 November 23 | Lisboa
TOL NEWS 49, Multidisciplinary Companies
Multidisciplinary Companies

Law 12/2023, published on 28th March, amends the legal framework for the creation and operation of public professional associations (Law 2/2013)

Law 12/2023, published on 28th March, amends the legal framework for the creation and operation of public professional associations (Law 2/2013) and the legal framework for the creation and operation of professional companies that are subject to public professional associations (Law 53/2015).

This new Law on Public Professional Associations (LAPP) allows the creation of multidisciplinary professional companies for the exercise of professions organised in more than one public professional association.

Multidisciplinary companies are an association of several professions in the same company or partnership structure, which allows, for example, lawyers, consultants, auditors and solicitors to coexist in the same firm.

Multidisciplinary companies can therefore be set up if the following requirements are met:

  • The company ensures compliance with the applicable incompatibilities and impediments regime, as well as the prevention of conflicts of interest, and in the absence of measures to guarantee the non-existence of such conflicts, the provision of services must be refused or terminated
  • Those responsible for directing and carrying out tasks in the public interest are qualified professionals
  • Technical independence, the protection of client information and the ethical duties applicable to each professional activity carried out are guaranteed
  • The company is equipped with an internal system for safeguarding professional secrecy.

Additionally, these professional companies may be civil companies or take any legal form permitted by law for the exercise of commercial activities. 

The partners, managers or directors of these companies are not required to have the professional qualifications necessary for the exercise of the professions organised in the respective public professional association. Nevertheless, they are bound by the ethical duties applicable to the exercise of the professions covered, namely the duty of professional secrecy, when it exists.

The LAAP came into force on 27th April and took effect on 26th June. The legislative process was marked by strong opposition from various professional associations and, consequently, the law was sent to the Constitutional Court for preventive review. However, the Constitutional Court unanimously ruled that the provisions were not unconstitutional, and the law was thus enacted by the President of the Republic.

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