April 28, 2022
PRA–20 Years of Sheer Adventure
PRA also celebrates 20 years of existence. It’s 20 years and not 50 or 70 or more, like other firms. So we have smaller story to tell. What I can safely say is that it was a very intense 20 years, full of adventure and a lot of creativity. It was 20 years of growth, of creating the PRA brand and preparing for the future. Honestly, we are much more committed to putting into perspective the challenges that the future will bring us than to taking stock of history so far. Anyway, in the face of ASAP’s challenge, and because you don’t say no to a childhood friend, here’s our attempt.
The PRA project began in 2001, at a time when the movement of aggregation of lawyers in corporate structures was beginning to gain expression in Portugal. It is an independent law project, which was born in Lisbon, where it still has its headquarters today.
Pedro Raposo, current Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Carlos Duque, current Chairman of the Board of the General Meeting, were the forerunners of the project which, since its beginning, under the firm Pedro Raposo & Associados, has distinguished itself by its assumed national call.
The first experiences of national expansion took place in 2007, with the opening of an office in the Azores, in Ponta Delgada, and in 2010 with the opening of an office in the Algarve, currently located in Faro.
In 2014, as a result of a close relationship and long-standing friendship, Almeida Correia sponsored a meeting at his office, which was attended by founding partners of three law firms: “Almeida Correia e Ney da Costa”, “Sá Miranda & Associados”, of which I was a part, both based in Porto, and “Pedro Raposo & Associados”.
That meeting marked the beginning of the work and reflections aimed at exploring the possibility of joining our offices and led to a merger between the three firms in 2015, giving rise to PRA-Raposo, Sá Miranda & Associates.
It was an extraordinary moment, highlighted by the will of 12 partners, who ventured into a common project, with a rigorous alignment of values, by a desire to contribute to the development of national law, based on a solid identity of ethical principles and responsibility. and attentive to the demands of the future that was expected to be digital, technological and demanding. As a result of this merger, PRA now has an office in Porto.
In 2017, PRA opened another office in Leiria and, in 2022, opened a new office in Évora, the sixth Portuguese city to have the PRA brand.
To this day, PRA has continued to grow in clients and talent.
The attractiveness of PRA led other Colleagues to identify and join us. Currently, we have a team of more than 160 people, including lawyers and management teams, who are our main pride, our main asset and what allows us to have the recognition of our clients. They All are fundamental pieces of the PRA puzzle and each one leaves its mark as the project progresses.
Currently, PRA has 21 partners, and three of these partners have made their professional careers within the firm since the internship phase, which reveals the stage of development we are at. But how was it possible to get here?
Quality. We chose quality as the fundamental pillar of PRA. Only by quality can you get recognition from clients. And the quality of the legal service is necessarily associated with the quality of the internal organization. It was vital for our structure to implement a Quality Management System, guided by the best European practices in terms of the development of the legal activity.
People. Having happy, healthy people and ensuring their well-being was, from the beginning, one of the main objectives of the PRA project. We are not afraid to say it: PRA is a project of people and for people. We have therefore developed a professional development plan, based on objective criteria of merit and performance, aimed at building, in an institutional and medium/long term logic, the professional careers of our people, the backbone of the firm. The orientation towards excellent client service in harmony with the well-being, health and joy of those who, on a day-to-day basis, participate in the life of PRA has been, since its foundation and is still today, our standard.
Involvement. At PRA, we never wanted to be just legal service providers. We are part of the Community and we do it because we are involved. We take social responsibility seriously, having protocols with entities in the social sector, with whom we establish support programs and make our services available pro bono. We are pioneers of Diversity. We are committed to Sustainability and ESG.
Observation. As the PRA project grew, we were lucky to be able to look around and learn from more experienced friends who shared knowledge in national forums, such as ASAP, and internationally. In this regard, the spirit of healthy openness and dialogue that exists within ASAP, allowed us to observe, learn and innovate, deserves to be noted.
Finally, with only 20 years of existence, I feel that we are still taking the first steps towards consolidating PRA, that we are still at the beginning and that, when we look ahead, there is still much to discover. We love challenges, we love to innovate, we love to ride change and unpredictability. This is the attitude that we identify as our DNA.