The first Portuguese association for the promotion and analysis of the use of technology within the legal profession has been formed, led by a board of directors comprised of IT directors and partners from leading Portuguese firms. IT4Legal is a spinoff of an informal LinkedIn group of the same name, which, according to the organisers, “soon called the attention of IT directors, lawyers and district attorneys and universities.”

IT4Legal, formed as a not-for-profit association at the start of March 2016, will welcome all Portuguese and foreign legal professionals to become associates and “share and divulge” information and best practices on IT, including document management systems; time recording systems; e-mail; mobile devices; information security; and interaction with the courts. The group is not open to IT providers.

The association’s president is Ricardo Negrao, IT director of leading Portuguese law firm PLMJ. Vice president is David Coelho, a partner at PRA – Raposo, Sá Miranda, while the other four board directors are Vasco Caeiro, IT director at Abreu & Associados; Joao Ferreira Pinto, senior partner of Joao Ferreira Pinto & Associados, who advises on areas including digital law and cloud computing; José Rodrigues de Almeida, IT director at SRS Advogados; Nuno de Brito Lopes, corporate of counsel at PBBR; and Rodrigo Silva, IT manager at CARDIGOS.     

The association also has an audit board and general meeting board comprised of lawyers and IT directors (see below).

IT4Legal will organise events addressing current IT topics for the legal professions, with speakers “from all quadrants”, including the Ministry of Justice, the Portuguese Bar Association and the Association of Law Firms of Portugal.

“This group was born from the realization that there are specific needs of [IT], needs that are common to all Portuguese law firms and simultaneously that information about the solutions and most appropriate methods to address these needs is not readily available,” the IT4Legal website says.

Corporate Bodies in full:

Board of Directors

President: Ricardo Negrao (PLMJ)

Vice-President: David Coelho (PRA – Raposo, Sá Miranda)

Vasco Caeiro (Abreu & Associados)

Joao Ferreira Pinto (Joao Ferreira Pinto & Associados)

José Rodrigues de Almeida (SRS)

Nuno de Brito Lopes (pbbr)

Rodrigo Silva (CARDIGOS)      

Audit Board

President: Rui Vaz (ABBC)

Members:

Hélder Santos (CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut)

João Quintela Cavaleiro (Quintela Cavaleiro)

General Meeting Board

President: Association of Law Firms of Portugal (Associação das Sociedades de Advogados de Portugal – ASAP), represented by its president, Joao Afonso Fialho

Vice-President: Rui Maurício (Lawyer)

Secretary: Luís Ferreira (IT director of the Portuguese Bar Association – General Council)