Transformative Legal Experts


We are driven by our values


Our performance in 2022 | Our commitment for the future

Transparency and consistency:

Our approach to reporting

We want to ensure that everyone we work with chooses PLMJ based on an informed decision. To this end, we have produced our Sustainability Report every year since 2020. Our aim is to create not just a document, but a window that shows our commitment and performance in sustainability and gives our stakeholders, from colleagues to clients, partners and suppliers, a clear vision of PLMJ's impact on the world.

This report tells a story that began with the 2020 edition and continued with the 2021 edition, both available here. This is the third Sustainability Report based on the materiality analysis that underpins the three-year 2020-22 Sustainability Strategy.

Continuing the story, the key topics remain unchanged: (i) mental health and well-being, (ii) diversity and inclusion, and (iii) responsible business.

The symbiotic relationship between these three priority areas has created an ecosystem where diverse voices and the promotion of mental health and well-being drive ethical decision-making, innovation and responsible action. This report explains how.

Based on these three areas, we have made commitments, each with their own targets, and these commitments are monitored and reported in in this document. We publish our performance in the economic, social and environmental dimensions based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) methodology and indicators. In this edition, we show the progress we have made year on year against the key indicators for our operations, and identify those that stand out, either positively or negatively. We also continue to monitor the commitments we have made, adding information on the initiatives associated with each commitment where relevant.

We recognise that sustainability is a journey, and we still have a long way to go. We are committed to sharing our work publicly, year after year, always with the same honesty and ambition to report more and better.

We are coming to the end of this 2020-22 strategic cycle, and next year we will again consult our stakeholders on their vision of our role in sustainability. The outcome of this process will be a new strategy with a focus on the priority areas identified and a new set of commitments for the 2023-25 cycle.

This Sustainability Report covers the period from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please do not hesitate to share them with us.

We’re building the future we want to see

Diversity and inclusion, mental health and well-being, and responsible business are the three inseparable pillars of our sustainability strategy. Our focus on these three areas is driven by the key concerns of our stakeholders, combined with our business priorities.

At the end of 2022, we completed our first strategic sustainability cycle, which lasted three years. It was a period in which we learned a lot.

Firstly, we realised the power of taking a strategic approach to sustainability, rather than a reactive one. A strategic approach allowed us to launch specific initiatives with defined objectives and then monitor our progress. We know what went well, what we need to improve and what action we can take for the future.

We have learnt how important it is to involve our stakeholders in this journey, including employees, clients, suppliers, civil society and other partners. Our goal is to embed sustainability into our organisational DNA so that it is reflected in all our business and support areas. We are committed to this journey, and it is our priority.

During this time, it has become clear that we have a responsibility to empower current and future generations of our colleagues to contribute their skills to the transition to an inclusive and sustainable society. It is a privilege to advise companies, industries and decision-makers. Through our work, we anticipate trends and identify what is good practice today, but potentially imperative tomorrow. To honour this privilege, we work with our clients and partners to help them respond to the most pressing social and environmental challenges.

I am very confident about the new cycle that lies ahead. The great changes we see in history happen gradually over long periods of time, and then suddenly. The transition we are witnessing in sustainability is one such example.

For us at PLMJ, the coming year represents a new cycle in which we will have the opportunity to listen to our stakeholders, reflect on our priorities and continue on the path of integrating sustainability into everything we do, both internally and externally.

We face this challenge with our values in mind: we have the courage to face complexity, we are non-conformists in our approach, we empathise with those around us, we see strength in diversity, and we are aware of our impact. Most importantly, we continue to work with a deep sense of gratitude for all those with whom we are privileged to work in partnership every day.

We face this challenge with our values in mind: we have the courage to face complexity, we are non-conformists in our approach, we empathise with those around us, we see strength in diversity, and we are aware of our impact. Most importantly, we continue to work with a deep sense of gratitude for all those with whom we are privileged to work in partnership every day.

Bruno Ferreira, Managing Partner
Bruno Ferreira, Managing Partner
Our focus
The next three chapters describe what each of these three key priority areas means to us, the work we have done on them and where we are falling short. For each area, we have defined commitments for which we can be held accountable in the years to come.
Our focus
Mental health and
Mental health and
Promoting a culture of balance

In a profession as dynamic and demanding as ours, the pursuit of excellence can quickly upset the balance between professional and personal priorities. At PLMJ, we see the well-being of our people as a corporate responsibility and a fundamental requirement for their ability to provide the best possible service to our clients.

Our commitment to raising awareness of the importance of mental health and ensuring well-being in the workplace includes providing our people with the resources, support and safe environment to manage stress and maintain balance in the different dimensions of their personal and professional lives, and to achieve their full potential.

The impact of these efforts goes beyond the well-being of our people. A team that is mentally and emotionally healthy is more likely to embrace differences, engage in dialogue and foster a culture of empathy and understanding, where well-being becomes a shared responsibility. And it ensures our integrity in the practice of responsible business. We advise our clients on responsible business practices, so it is our duty to present ourselves as an example of precisely those practices, particularly in terms of our team's satisfaction and productivity.

It is no longer enough to promote well-being and mental health through one-off, piecemeal initiatives.

At PLMJ, we have an integrated strategy with long-term projects within the teams to promote a working environment in which people and the firm can thrive in a sustainable way. 2022 has been a year of consolidation of this approach, highlighting the in-depth review of our internal parental and flexibility policies, in which we have increased the benefits for our employees.

Carolina Cassapo
Coordinator of the Human Resources Department
We are proud of the implementation of our People Advocates programme, which was launched in 2022 because of a suggestion made in one of our Conversas Soltas (Open Conversations).

We have created a new role that is separate from the department heads. For this role, we have carefully selected the right people to have the necessary proximity, while removing hierarchical barriers and creating a space for unfiltered sharing. This new role is the People Advocate.

Our People Advocates have been specially trained to better recognise signs of burnout, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. To date, their main tasks have included analysing the teams' monthly working time reports, working on the creation or revision of internal policies, and processing the anonymous feedback collected in informal interviews. This feedback is shared internally with decision-makers who can act on it.

We are committed to developing complementary mechanisms that allow us to continuously measure the organisational climate.

The People Advocates are a new communication channel that has proved crucial in identifying and addressing our teams’ concerns early on, preventing them from developing into larger issues.

However, we continue to look for alternative ways to listen to our people continuously, on a greater scale, and with even greater discretion.

In 2023, a monthly survey has been sent to all employees to measure various aspects of the organisational climate, including work volume and management, and its impact on the well-being of the teams.

Well-being in numbers
In 2022, we offered everyone at PLMJ:
counselling appointments
medical appointments
and events
We also ran 10 health and well-being initiatives and events with over 808 registrations. These included blood donation, eye screening, workshops on anxiety management, food and emotions, saving and investing, stress management and cognitive biases, and habit (re)design. We also ran a parenting and family well-being programme, an anti-smoking awareness campaign and organised runs.
initiatives and events
with over 808 registrations.
Mental health and
Our commitment
Monitor the practice and impact of our flexible working policies and adjust them as necessary.
Maintain and develop our Pulse, the annual survey focusing on mental health and well-being issues, to identify common needs and establish actions in this direction.
Hold a conference to discuss mental health in the legal sector with colleagues and clients.
Promote the Mindful Business Charter in Portugal.
Structure a package of well-being support services for all our employees, in which PLMJ can be both a provider and a facilitator/encourager.
Extend the pilot with Mystery Minds, a high impact start-up whose product creates an informal support network between work colleagues.
Diversity and
Diversity and inclusion
Empowering teams by embracing differences

By fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels not only welcome but valued, we create a workplace where we can all grow and thrive. By also making certain that everyone feels respected, listened to and supported, with all their individual characteristics and circumstances, we have the key to ensuring everyone’s well-being and mental health.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is also a cornerstone of our responsible business practices. Considering different perspectives and experiences leads to better decision-making and innovative solutions for our clients. This makes our business more competitive and sustainable.

We are vigilant and committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in its many forms. However, our circumstances require us to prioritise gender balance: by 2022, 30% of our partners were women. We are proud of the journey we have made, but the work is not yet done.

We remain committed to removing barriers to D&I.

Among other initiatives, we've organised Conversas Soltas (Open Conversations), where we've shared experiences that have helped to look at difficulties from a different perspective, and we've created the role of People Advocate, for issues relating to well-being and health, working conditions or others. We've come a long way and may even consider broader initiatives focusing on mental and physical/motor disabilities. After all, "we are made of transformations". That's our signature.

Rita Aleixo Gregório
Partner in the EU and Competition Law practice
We are proud of the results of the Conversas Soltas (Open Conversations) initiative launched in 2022.

We set out to find new ways to create a strong culture that unites us, enhances the well-being of our everyone at PLMJ and recognises that their circumstances and characteristics affect their working lives in different ways.

Only an informal approach would create a safe space for our people to speak freely about issues such as being a mum, a dad, a woman, living alone, being part of the LGBTQ+ community, having a chronic illness or having a large family. We decided to try something very simple that would allow everyone to take part. In open conversations, a PLMJ partner agreed to listen to opinions on different topics.

The ideas have been put into practice – we have implemented several changes based on our colleagues’ feedback. For example, one of the conversations, led to a new bonus policy which ensures that those who take parental leave will receive an annual bonus equal to or greater than the previous year's, and will be paid in full.

of employees participated
in at least one
We are committed to broadening and deepening our commitment to the various aspects of diversity and inclusion.

We have come a long way in terms of gender equality, although we still have some way to go. However, we recognise that diversity is much more than gender – it extends to religion, belief, ethnicity, age, physical and mental condition, socio-economic background and sexual orientation.

We are aware that we lack the mechanisms to approach the diversity that already exists in our organisation in an informed and structured way. One example is the age diversity within our teams. To ensure that this diversity adds value, we need to create an inclusive and collaborative culture that values the different experiences and perspectives of each age group.

We also know that other under-represented groups in society do not have easy access to our recruitment processes. In these cases, it is up to us to look for alternatives to traditional recruitment channels, as we have already started to do in partnership with the Portuguese Asperger’s Syndrome Association (APSA) in the recruitment of two people with Asperger’s Syndrome. This is a practice that we can develop internally.

Key figures 2021
gender equality

In 2022, gender equality in the representation of women at the most senior levels slipped slightly back to the 2020 figures.

The figures clearly show a very significant representation of women at the bottom, which is reversed at the top of the pyramid. We continue to work to address this trend.

68% in 2021 | 70% in 2020
32% in 2021 | 30% in 2020
40% in 2021 | 42% in 2020
60% in 2021 | 58% in 2020
Trainee lawyers
38% in 2021 | 38% in 2020
62% in 2021 | 62% in 2020
Management team
28% in 2021 | 30% in 2020
72% in 2021 | 70% in 2020
Diversity and
Our commitment
As the first major corporate organisation to support the HeForShe movement in Portugal, we aim to help spread the initiative to other companies in the country.
Analyse and monitor our remuneration structure.
Monitor the growth and impact of our policies to remove barriers to inclusion, such as increased parental leave and flexible working.
Implement support and mentoring initiatives to encourage career progression.
Ongoing In 2022, we started to design a comprehensive mentoring programme, which we began to implement in 2023.
Implement gender diversity in interview panels and audit gender balance in recruitment.
Report diversity metrics on multiple dimensions in addition to gender.
At an early stage We continue to work on mechanisms to collect and report these metrics.
Monitor and mitigate unconscious bias and stigma related to gender and develop training for employees on gender equality issues.
Ongoing This training was not provided in 2022, so we cannot say that 100 per cent of our employees had access to them.
Support Leading Together, an INSEAD alumni association that promotes gender equality in leadership.
Participate in the second edition of Target Gender Equality, a UN Global Compact gender equality accelerator programme.
Responsible business
From the inside out

Doing business responsibly is a commitment that cuts across all areas of an organisation. At PLMJ, our focus starts in house. Some of our current concerns include a supplier selection process based on ESG1 criteria, a leadership team that is representative of gender equality, fair and transparent performance evaluation processes, opportunities for training and personal and professional development, an organisational culture that promotes well-being, and an active role in mitigating climate change. The responsible business focus reinforces our commitment to diversity and inclusion and contributes to the mental health and well-being of our people as we create a holistic approach to sustainability.

At the same time, on the external front, we recognise that we are in a privileged position to have a positive impact on our clients. Doing business responsibly also includes the use of our resources, internal expertise and recognition in the industry to accelerate our contribution to a sustainable economy.

We do this in four ways: (i) through our work with social organisations providing pro bono legal advice, volunteering and philanthropic support; (ii) by sharing our experience with other companies in key forums; (iii) by offering workshops in schools and information sessions on access to justice and legal literacy; and (iv) through our Responsible Business practice, which advises companies on ESG issues.

In 2022, we consolidated the foundations of our future work, with a clear definition of the areas in which we intend to act to add value to our community, both internally and externally.

With a clear definition of the areas in which we intend to act to add value to our community, both internally and externally. We highlight pro bono consulting, where there is growing support for social economy organisations developing high-impact projects "in and out of house", but also internally for our employees. The goal for 2023 is to consolidate this activity in all our offices, from Porto to Luanda, especially in the areas of volunteering and promoting legal literacy.

Tiago Guerreiro
Associate in the Social Economy practice
We are proud of the high level of participation of our colleagues in providing pro bono legal services.

The enthusiasm and motivation of our teams to participate in pro bono work has grown.

Several measures have contributed to this, including the inclusion of quantitative and qualitative responsible business objectives in employee performance reviews and the involvement of partners in pro bono projects wherever possible.

These were only catalysts for an uptake that already stemmed from our colleagues’ natural interest in using their time and skills to contribute to causes such as social mobility, financial inclusion, gender equality and intercultural dialogue in communities in Portugal, Angola, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe.

We are committed to extending the initiatives already piloted in Lisbon to all PLMJ offices.

As the social impact area is centralised in the Lisbon office, additional efforts are needed to involve all employees in our other offices in the initiatives that are being created.

One of the measures already adopted to this end is the identification of a focal point in each office responsible for promoting initiatives at local level and mobilising employees.

However, this action still needs to be consolidated in the Porto, Faro and Luanda offices. This will be one of the main focuses of our work in 2023.

Responsible business in figures
hours of pro bono and volunteer work.
lawyers with pro bono and volunteer hours (42% of employees).
organisations supported by pro bono services.
legal literacy workshop for over 40 children attended by 20 lawyers.
+ hours
increased number of hours dedicated to responsible business issues such as green bonds, corporate governance and clean energy.
Our commitment
Continue to develop our responsible business practice area.
Implement APlanet's Community and Sustainability modules, an integrated solution for monitoring and managing ESG performance indicators.
Become a B Corporation.
At an early stage The process is underway. It is taking longer than expected, but we hope to complete it during 2023.
Include ESG criteria in supplier selection.
Ongoing During 2022, a new purchasing and supplier selection and management policy was created that now includes ESG criteria. It will be fully implemented in 2023.
Include quantitative and qualitative responsible business objectives in our employees' annual performance reviews.
Implement internal and external whistleblowing channels.
Ongoing The internal channel is operational, and the external channel will be implemented in 2023.
Publish our Code of Conduct on our website.
Ensure that 10% of our revenue comes from our responsible business practice area by 2025.
Ongoing Based on current figures, we expect to meet this commitment within the timeframe set.
Net zero target: achieve carbon neutrality in our operations by 2030 through a combination of measures to reduce, remove and offset emissions.
Ongoing The initiatives implemented and planned indicate that the commitment will be met by 2030.
We are part of the change

There are good phrases that unfortunately fall into disuse because they are so overused. We are the choices we make is certainly one of them. But the truth is that we really are the choices we make.

Not long ago, we were finishing our studies and one of the most important decisions we had to make was which organisation to start our careers with. We chose PLMJ for two main reasons: its reputation and the opportunity to learn and grow in an innovative environment.

Reputation is not static – it can change over time, and we are prepared to take on that responsibility by doing our best to continue to make a positive contribution to that legacy. The opportunity to learn is what motivates us, because we want to be drivers of active citizenship along the way.

We believe that our generation is non-conformist and committed to acting in accordance with the values we so strongly advocate on the various platforms on which our lives move. Our choices have the potential to change the world – for the better, we hope – and we want to do so through our work in a genuine connection between our profession and the progress of society and the planet. Contributing to a better world is not an after-hours activity.

We were asked what kind of legacy we wanted to have at PLMJ, and our response was clear.

We answered the call and made it very clear that we want to continue along the path of creating a working environment where the mental health and well-being of employees is a priority that is discussed at all levels of the organisation. We will contribute to solutions in this area that change the prevailing model. We want to leave a legacy of social justice by honouring the skills we have developed throughout our university careers, developing the area of responsible business within PLMJ, and supporting clients and partners in embedding impact and sustainability in their businesses.

As a group, you can count on our dedication and commitment to move forward on these fronts. We are committed to a future in which our collective passion, skills and shared sense of responsibility create positive ripples that transform the legal landscape and society at large. This is the choice we are making.

André Félix
António Delgado da Cruz
Bernardo Mendonça Rodrigues
Bernardo Sá Ferronha
Carolina Rosa
Duarte Codinha
Dussu Djabula
Helena Lanova
Henrique Colaço Canário
Inês Martins Brandão
Joana Oliveira de Carvalho
Jorge Maria Montenegro
Leonor Urbano Guiomar
Luís Afonso Cruz
Luís Calle y Bonaccorso
Maria Francisca Pereira
Mariana Casimiro Santos
Marta Spínola de Freitas
Martinho Paour
Melissa Castanho
Raquel Burgoa Dias
Sofia Salgueiro Venturinha
Teresa Proença Varão
Tiago Belinha
Tiago Morgado Jorge
Tiago Salem
Tiago Vidal
Vânia Cortes Arsénio
GRI Metrics
Our economic, social, environmental and governance performance

At PLMJ, we are committed to communicating our ESG performance in a transparent and responsible manner. As part of this commitment, we have been inspired by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework, which is recognised as one of the main standards for sustainability reporting. While we have used the GRI as a guiding reference, it is important to note that we have not sought to be fully compliant with the standards, but rather to report on the indicators that are most relevant to our business and size.

We have tailored our approach to reporting to our specific priorities, allowing us to focus on the aspects of sustainability that are most important to us and our stakeholders.

GRI Disclosure