Updated: May 6, 2024


Real estate investments in Portugal have become a popular option in recent years, particularly in hotspot cities like Lisbon. However, purchasing property can be complicated, even more so when buying abroad.

In this real estate lawyer Lisbon guide, we’ll provide an overview of the importance of working with a real estate lawyer and how to find the best real estate law services in Lisbon, Portugal.

The right law firm and real estate lawyers can assist with finding and securing the perfect house or commercial property to meet your needs, drawing up real estate contracts, and helping compile the necessary documents needed for property purchase in Portugal’s dynamic market.

Understanding the purchasing process and Portugal’s real estate laws become much easier to navigate when you are receiving expert legal services and advice from a professional in the field. From real estate litigation professionals to real estate companies and buyer’s agents with vast networks to multidisciplinary teams such as Goldcrest, there are many professional services to consider when purchasing property in Portugal, so let’s delve into the details.

Understanding the Role of a Real Estate Lawyer

Considering the language barrier and unfamiliar processes and requirements that you’ll face when buying property in a foreign country, working with a local law firm or private real estate lawyers in Lisbon, Portugal, will ensure that your property purchase journey is seamless. Even if their services will cost you extra money, their services can definitely save you money in the long run.

There are many law firms in Portugal, all of which specialize in various practice areas of law , including real estate law and business law. When purchasing property and dealing with the legal aspects of the real estate process, it is crucial to look for a law firm containing real estate lawyers with expert knowledge of the country’s real estate laws and practices.

What does a real estate lawyer do?

A residential property lawyer in Lisbon provides legal advice, prepares and reviews sale agreements with real estate agencies, assists with lease agreements, and ensures the legal compliance of real estate investments with their extensive industry knowledge.

A real estate law business can also assist clients with litigation in disputes, if necessary, seeking a profitable purchase and acting on your behalf.  For more information check out this  Portugal Real Estate Lawyer article offers more insights into working with a real estate lawyer in Portugal.

How can a Lisbon property law specialist lawyer help?

While not required, hiring a real estate lawyer is a good move when buying property in Lisbon, Portugal. Real estate law is complex, and various points during property transactions will require the expertise of a real estate lawyer.

From checking that the property’s construction meets Portuguese real estate law standards to drawing up contracts, service from a reputable law firm offers access to highly beneficial legal resources when dealing with all the legalities. If you are purchasing commercial property, corporate litigation that comes with investing in property in Lisbon, Portugal. In the table below, we explore a few more reasons for acquiring legal services for Lisbon property investment.

Why work with a real estate lawyer?

Legal expertise

Partnering with a lawyer focusing on Portuguese real estate becomes indispensable to safeguard against potential legal missteps and financial penalties.

Analysis and Assessment

With expertise and innovation, legal practitioners will ensure that your real estate investment remains uncompromised, helping private clients avoid potential issues, from existing mortgages to outstanding tax implications.

Promissory Contract of Purchase and Sale

Real estate lawyers can assist with the Promissory Contract, Contrato Promessa de Compra e Venda or CPCV, which is a legally binding preliminary agreement between a property buyer and seller in Portugal. It is advised to have this in place before the final deed of sale.

Public Deed of Purchase and Sale

A Portuguese lawyer can draw up and help understand the Public Deed of Purchase and Sale, or Escritura, which is the conclusive step in a property purchase. It officially transfers ownership from the seller to the buyer.

Conflict resolution

Property Lisbon lawyers can be an informed advocate, adeptly handling negotiations or courtroom representations if any disagreements arise during property transactions.

Cultural and local insight

Lawyers in Lisbon, Portugal, provide invaluable insights into local practices, ensuring effective communication and fostering mutual respect that goes beyond simple real estate matters.

Additional support

Legal firms typically house a multidisciplinary team with experience and innovation that can streamline your property acquisition process in Portugal.

Can Brits still buy property in Portugal?

An esteemed property law firm in Lisbon, Portugal will offer comprehensive legal services for real estate. Working with experienced real estate lawyers will prove immensely valuable as they adeptly manage the legal process, draw up and manage legal documents, and assist with navigating tax law intricacies.

Let’s take a look at the key services real estate lawyers from an experienced law firm can provide, ensuring you peace of mind when it comes to the legal processes involved in property acquisition in Lisbon, Portugal.

Key Services Real Estate Lawyers Can Provide

Here are some of the key legal services that real estate lawyers can provide in Lisbon. Note that this list is not exhaustive.

  • Oversight of property transactions from start to finish
  • Verification of property ownership and construction history
  • Drafting and reviewing contracts, including the Reservation Agreement, Promissory Contract, Escritura (Final Deed signing), and lease contracts
  • Ensuring compliance with Portugal’s legal and tax regulations
  • Act as a Power of Attorney in your absence
  • Assistance with joint ventures in commercial real estate
  • Ensuring legal compliance for construction initiatives
  • Due diligence on the property and the seller

Our Expert Guide on Buying Lisbon Real Estate offers more information on buying real estate in Lisbon and our article on how to Find a Property Manager in Lisbon offers advice if you’d like to learn about property management.

Choosing the Right Real Estate Lawyer in Lisbon, Portugal

Real estate lawyers provide many legal services that help to simplify the process. For international clients especially, hiring a real estate lawyer when purchasing property in Lisbon, Portugal, is a wise way to ensure you know what is required of you. Their expertise and natural innovation will also help you avoid costly issues, bad business decisions, and violations of Portuguese real estate laws.

Are you looking to purchase property and are unsure where to find the best lawyer in Lisbon? Our residency and citizenship division, Global Citizen Solutions, is a member of Global Law Experts (GLE) and can provide you with quality legal advice from experts registered with the Portuguese Bar Association.

Visit our ultimate guide to navigating the legal system with a property lawyer in Portugal

Click Here Arrow Icon

Essential factors to consider when selecting the best real estate lawyers in Lisbon

There are numerous intricacies involved in making a real estate investment in Portugal, and having a trusted real estate lawyer by your side can pay real dividends in simplifying the process. In this section, we will explore the details, focusing on the essential elements to bear in mind during your search.

  • Expertise: Law firms encompass various specializations. While evaluating a law firm, ensure they possess a dedicated real estate department or a specialized team well-versed in Portuguese real estate law.
  • Experience with international clients: Ascertain if they have worked with international investors before. Discuss the specific legal aspects you need guidance on, particularly as a foreigner investing in real estate. Inquire about their proficiency in managing real estate assets in the long term.
  • Referrals: if you know friends, family, or acquaintances who have worked with real estate lawyers in Portugal, this is perhaps the best way to shortlist law firms in Portugal.
  • Client Feedback: When perusing a law firm’s website, pay attention to comments and reviews left by previous clients.
  • Transparent pricing structure: Before committing, it’s crucial to comprehend the method by which a lawyer charges for their services. Whether it’s a fixed fee or an hourly rate, clarity on costs can aid effective budgeting and prevent unexpected expenses.
  • Adaptability: Real estate transactions often bring unforeseen challenges. Having a lawyer who can adapt swiftly and provide solutions when unexpected issues arise is advantageous.
  • Clear communication: Your chosen real estate lawyer should be adept at explaining complex legal terminology in simpler terms, especially if you’re unfamiliar with Portuguese law. Regular updates and an open line of communication ensure you remain well-informed throughout the process.

Essential questions to ask a lawyer in Portugal

From their professional expertise in property transactions to experience working with domestic and international clients, the table below provides you with the essential questions to ask potential property attorneys in Lisbon, Portugal.

Essential questions to ask a real estate lawyer

How They Help

What are your credentials?

Understanding the lawyer's qualifications, certifications, and education ensures competence and expertise in real estate law.

How long have you been practicing real estate law?

Experience often correlates with knowledge and familiarity with various real estate scenarios and complexities, which can benefit your case.

Do you have experience with international buyers?

Handling international transactions requires specific expertise due to varied laws and processes, ensuring the lawyer can navigate these complexities.

What are your service fees?

Knowing the cost structure and fees upfront helps in budgeting and understanding the financial commitment associated with their services.

What do your services include?

Understanding the scope of services provided ensures alignment with your needs and helps in assessing the lawyer's comprehensive assistance potential.

Before you acquire the services and advice of a legal professional, it is essential to ask about their service fees. Having an idea of the cost structure and fees upfront will help you understand what you can expect and budget for the services. As they do in any country, real estate attorney’s fees in Portugal will vary and depend on the services you require, and the value of the property purchased. In general, legal assistance costs range from €2,000 to €5,000.

Goldcrest: How We Can Help You

Here at Goldcrest, our focus is on you, the buyer. As a buyer’s agent, we tailor our services to your needs and interests, providing impartial expert advice. We manage the entire process, from research to sourcing and acquisition, to help you save time, money, and hassle.

For more information on real estate in Lisbon, head to our Expert Guide on Buying Lisbon Real Estate.

If you’d like to learn about property management, head to our article on How to Find a Property Manager in Lisbon.

Frequently Asked Questions about Working With a Real Estate Lawyer in Lisbon

The employment of an English-speaking property lawyer in Lisbon will cost you approximately €2000-€5000, depending on the type of property, the price, and the complexities of the purchase.

It is not mandatory to partner with lawyers for the buying process. However, we strongly advise collaborating with a proficient real estate attorney with substantial expertise to assist you in maneuvering through the intricate legal and administrative components of the transaction. A real estate lawyer can assess contracts, perform thorough due diligence, guarantee the property possesses an unambiguous title, safeguard your interests at every stage, and aid you in handling the legal aspects of your real estate holdings.

When purchasing property in Portugal’s capital city, real estate lawyers in Lisbon, Portugal, will assist you in managing the legal process, conducting due diligence on both the property and the seller, drawing up and managing legal documents, and navigating tax law intricacies.

Perhaps the best way to secure the best real estate lawyer in Lisbon is by checking their experience working with international clients. Referrals and testimonials can help you narrow down your search. Be sure that they have a transparent pricing structure and clear communication.

When choosing a law firm or private real estate lawyers in Lisbon, Portugal, there are a few things to keep in mind. The best lawyers for the job will have expertise in the real estate practice areas, experience working with foreign clients, transparency with the pricing for their full service, referrals, and reviews from past and current clients, and a clear communication strategy. They will also embrace feedback from their clients to see ways to improve their services.

An experienced real estate lawyer can provide several services when it comes to real estate investment in Lisbon, Portugal. These include: 

  • Oversight of property transactions from start to finish
  • Verification of property ownership and construction history
  • Drafting and reviewing contracts, including the Reservation Agreement, Promissory Contract, Escritura (Final Deed signing), and lease contracts
  • Ensuring compliance with Portugal’s legal and tax regulations
  • Act as a Power of Attorney in your absence
  • Assistance with joint ventures in commercial real estate
  • Ensuring legal compliance for construction initiatives
  • Due diligence on the property and the seller


The are many essential factors to bear in mind when choosing Portuguese real estate lawyers to assist you with the property buying process. These factors include taking the expertise and specialization of the law firm into consideration, asking whether the attorneys have experience working with international clients, and looking at and reviews from previous clients.

Lisbon real estate lawyers can assist by drawing up real estate contracts using their contract law expertise. A real property attorney in Portugal can also offer a full service pertaining to property sale and foreign ownership, help the buyer navigate legal issues, assist with understanding the Portuguese mortgage process if your need to finance your purchase, and, if needed connect you with immigration attorneys if you plan on relocating.