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News and Publications


VC Associados moves to a new office

A VC Associados has moved its main office in the city of Porto to the next door building and is now settled at Rua Dominguez Alvarez n.º 44, 3.8, 4150-801 Porto. It’s costumers and friends may continue to use the public car park in the Passeio da Boavista building.

VCAssociados on the highest Portuguese mountain

VCAssociados has climbed to the Pico Mountain, Azores, being represented at an altitude of 2351 meters.

João Paulo Pimenta has been re-elected to the High Council of the Portuguese Bar

João Paulo Pimenta, partner of CAssociados, head of the Coimbra office, has been re-elected to the High Council of the Portuguese Bar Association for a three year term.

ECHR found that access to employee’s Messenger account by its employer may be reasonable

In its judgment rendered in the case of B?rbulescu v. Romania (application no. 61496/08) the European Court of Human Rights held, by six votes to one, that there had been: no violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life, the home and correspondence) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned Mr B?rbulescu’s dismissal by his employer, a private company, for having used the company’s Internet for personal purposes during working hours in breach of internal regulations. Mr B?rbulescu used Yahoo Messenger on the company’s computer and he had done so during working hours. The Court found, in particular, that Mr B?rbulescu’s private life and correspondence had been engaged. However his employer’s monitoring of his communications had been reasonable and legitimate in the context of disciplinary proceedings as it had accessed the Yahoo Messenger account on the assumption that the information in question had been related to professional activities and that no particular weight has been attached to the actual content of the employee’s communications . In its dissenting opinion Judge Pinto de Albuquerque considered that «the novel features of this case concern the non-existence of an Internet surveillance policy, duly implemented and enforced by the employer, the personal and sensitive nature of the employee’s communications that were accessed by the employer, and the wide scope of disclosure of these communications during the disciplinary proceedings brought against the employee. These facts should have impacted on the manner in which the validity of the disciplinary proceedings and the penalty was assessed.»

VCAssociados integrates João Paulo Pimenta and has an office in Coimbra

With the integration of João Paulo Pimenta as partner, VCAssociados has now an office in Coimbra, increasing it’s ability to provide a prompt and effective answer to the serious challenges posed by its clients. João Paulo Pimenta has a solid professional experience, guided by the highest standards in rigour and quality in consonance with VCAssociados practices.

Acesso ao subsídio de desemprego por gerentes de sociedades comerciais

Pronunciando-se sobre a possibilidade de os gerentes de uma sociedade comercial terem acesso ao subsídio de desemprego, o Supremo Tribunal Administrativo fixou jurisprudência no seguinte sentido: «A condição de sócio gerente de uma sociedade comercial, sem direito a qualquer remuneração, de um trabalhador por conta de outrem, cujo contrato de trabalho cessou, não obsta à caracterização da respetiva situação como de desemprego, nos termos e para os efeitos do disposto nos artigos 6, número 1, do DL 119/99, de 14 de Abril, e 2, número 1, do DL 220/2006, de 3 de Novembro, respetivamente.» (Acórdão do Supremo Tribunal Administrativo n.º 4/2013. D.R. n.º 93, Série I de 2013-05-15) [15-06-2013]

New amendments to the Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure

The Criminal Code passed by Decree Law no. 400/82 of 23 September has undergone its 29th amendment, introducing changes involving the description and classification of the new crime of making false statements before public entities. This amendment is found in Law no. 19/2013 of 21 February, and will enter into force on 23 March 2013. This same law also amends Law no. 112/2009 of 16 September, which establishes the legal scheme applicable to the prevention of domestic violence, and protecting and assisting its victims.

The Code of Criminal Procedure passed by Decree Law no. 78/87 of 17 February has also undergone a new amendment, in this case its 20th, which will enter into force on 23 March 2013. The amendments introduced are aimed at streamlining and expediting procedures, particularly involving the use and appraisal of statements made by defendants prior to the judgement phase, notices made in inquiries on unknown persons, the appeals scheme at the Supreme Court of Justice (reserved for more serious cases), and the submission of defendants caught in the act for immediate judgement. [05-03-2013]

VC Associados partner presents new legal scheme for athletic companies

VC Associados partner Nuno Coutinho Mateus was invited to present the new legal scheme for athletic companies to the General Meeting of Shareholders of the Tondela Athletic Club, which is currently fighting to advance to the “Primeira Liga”, Portugal’s top professional division. Nuno Coutinho Mateus’ presentation, highlighting the scheme’s most important changes and some of the problems arising from its application at the start of the 2013/2014 season, is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBiuERBt1KI. [05-03-2013]

New legal system for incorporated sports clubs

Decree Law no. 10/2013 of 25 January has been published with the new legal system for incorporated sports clubs, applicable to clubs wishing to take part in professional sporting competitions. This new legal system enters into force on 01 July 2013. Participation in professional sporting competitions will now be dependent on the establishment of a sports company; sports entities of an association nature may choose between establishing a limited liability sports company (SAD) or a single-member private limited company (SDUQ, Lda). Under this new system, clubs may no longer maintain their status as a non-profit legal entity. According to the legislator, this change is justified by the need to eliminate the inequalities between SADs and clubs maintaining their prior status, with a view to putting “all participants in these competitions at the same level, with comparable duties and obligations”. [05-03-2013]


VIGÁRIO, António - «A Privacidade na Sociedade Aberta» [Privacy in an Open Society], Ideias Perigosas para Portugal, Tinta da China, 2010

VIGÁRIO, António, Regime de Autorização para Implantação Comercial: Objectos e Sujeitos [Commercial Establishment Authorization System: Objects and Subjects], Maia Jurídica, 2006

VIGÁRIO, António, Autorização Administrativa para Implantação Comercial – Enquadramento no Direito das Implantações Comerciais ou Urbanismo Comercial e Novo Regime Jurídico [Administrative Authorization for Commercial Establishment: Framework under Commercial Establishments Law or Commercial Urban Development and New Legal System], Almedina, 2005