CV

Arbitrations & Legal Opinions

Sofia Vale is an arbitrator and law professor based in Luanda, Angola. She has been acting both as arbitrator and legal expert for foreign and Angolan counsel in several arbitrations that took place in various jurisdictions.

Sofia Vale has been chairing the Commercial Law subject at the Faculty of Law of Agostinho Neto University since 2014, and she developed expertise in company law, commercial law, corporate governance, PPP/PFI, banking and finance, dealing with disputes in the just mentioned fields. As of counsel for MG Advogados, Sofia also provides services related to domestic and international arbitrations, and regularly works with other international law firms in dispute resolution.

As consultant for the Centre for Out-of-court Dispute Settlement of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of the Republic of Angola, where she worked since its creation in 2014 up to 2021, she was engaged in the promotion and development of private arbitration centres in Angola. She has been appointed as a member of the Commission for the Reform of the Angolan Arbitration Law, created by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of the Republic of Angola. She is also in charge of the Arbitration Module inserted in the professional course for attorneys provided by the Angolan Bar Association. Sofia is currently the Angola Representative of IBA (International Bar Association) Africa Arbitration Network.

Sofia Vale has organized with the ICC- International Chamber of Commerce two conferences (in 2015 and in 2017) for the promotion of international arbitration in Angola. She is an often speaker at the Luanda Internacional Arbitration Conference, that occurs every November in Luanda (since 2011), as well as of several other conferences that take place in various countries.

Professor Vale authors several works regarding arbitration, namely the Angolan Arbitration Law- Commented. She is an enthusiastic of new technologies, fostering an innovative approach to the dispute resolution process.

Among the various arbitrations in which as acted as arbitrator, the following shall be highlighted:
  • Ad hoc arbitration between a construction company and a private company, both Angolan, seat in Luanda, Angolan law, Portuguese language. Acted a President.
  • Ad hoc arbitration between two Angolan private companies, regarding the execution of two construction contracts, seat in Luanda, Angolan law, Portuguese language. Acted as Co-Arbitrator.
  • Ad hoc arbitration between two Angolan companies, regarding a construction agreement with bank financing, seat in Luanda, Angolan law, Portuguese language. Acted as President.
  • Ad hoc arbitration between an Angolan private company and an Angolan public entity, related to the execution of two concession agreements under the PPP/PFI rules for the transport sector, seat in Luanda, Angolan law, Portuguese language. Acted as Co-Arbitrator.
  • Ad hoc arbitration between an Angolan company and a French company, regarding a supply agreement in the hospitality industry, seat in Luanda, Angolan law, Portuguese language. Acted as President.
  • Ad hoc arbitration between two Angolan private companies, regarding a contract for fuel management and exploration, seat in Luanda, Angolan law, Portuguese language. Acted as Co-Arbitrator.
  • Ad hoc arbitration between an Angolan company and a Kenyan company, related to an agency agreement, seat in Luanda, Angolan law, Portuguese language. Acted as President.
  • Ad hoc arbitration between an Israeli company and an Angolan company, regarding four services agreements in the telecommunications field, seat in Luanda, Angolan law, English and Portuguese languages. Acted as Sole Arbitrator.
  • CREL Arbitration (this was the first institutional arbitration carried out in Angola, in 2020) between an Angolan private company and an Angolan public entity, regarding the transfer of real estate and construction, seat in Luanda, Angolan law, Portuguese language. Acted as President.
  • Ad hoc arbitration between an Angolan company and an English company, regarding a shareholders’ agreement, including the services supply from a shareholder to the company that has been incorporated under the private investment legal framework, seat in Luanda, Angolan law, Portuguese language. Acted as Sole Arbitrator.
  • Ad hoc arbitration between various companies and individuals who are shareholders of a bank, regarding the execution of a shareholders’ agreement, facility agreements and shares sale and purchase agreements, seat in Luanda, Angolan law, Portuguese language. Acted as Co-Arbitrator.
While working as a legal expert, Sofia Vale has been issuing legal opinions to support judicial court and arbitration actions (brought before Angolan and foreign courts) in the various fields of law in which she acts. The most relevant legal opinions are the following:
  • Legal opinion on conflicts of interests, duties of report and disclosure of information of a Committee of the Board of Directors to the said Board of Directors;
  • Legal opinion on the validity and the constraints faced by the agreements executed between an Angolan and a Dutch company regarding telecommunication towers;
  • Legal opinion on the legal classification of an Angolan company, which share capital is partially held by public companies, at the light of the Public Companies’ Base Law, and width of the supervisory powers of the Audit Court;
  • Legal opinion on the appointment and compensation due to the Directors of a company under the supervision of the Angolan National Bank, whose sole shareholder is an Angolan company;
  • Legal opinion on the binding effects of a decision of the Board of Directors regarding the disclosure of personal data and its consequences on the acts of directors and employees of the company;
  • Legal opinion on the conflicts of interests arising inside the Board of Directors of an Angolan company, indicating how the Board of Directors shall act in view to mitigate such conflicts whenever they begin;
  • Legal opinion on the validity and effects of a renewal decision of the Board of Directors regarding the creation of a commission that acts under delegated powers from the Board of Directors, as well as the acts of that commission before third parties;
  • Legal opinion on the legitimacy to bring up actions of contractual liability against former and current Directors of a company;
  • Legal opinion on the validity of telematic meetings of the General Assembly of Angolan companies;
  • Legal opinion on the legality of a decision of the Angolan National Bank to revoke the authorization and to ask the bankruptcy of an Angolan bank;
  • Legal opinion on the termination of a goal-oriented management agreement by an Angolan public entity, highlighting the rights of the private party in view of the fact the termination does not have a just cause;
  • Legal opinion on the object of an agreement for the settlement of debts, executed between an Angolan public entity and a private company, indicating the compensation due for the unilateral termination of the former agreement between the parties;
  • Legal opinion on the payment of the remainder of the price of the shares acquired by a Dutch company in another Dutch company, by using loans of one of its shareholder (an Angolan company);
  • Legal opinion on the settlement of a debt by an Angolan company to foreign companies belonging to the same group of companies, in view of the liquidation and dissolution of the former;
  • Legal opinion on the right of access to civil proceedings (before judicial or arbitration courts) and to compensation due to contractual and tort liability, regarding various types of damages allegedly caused by an American company to an Angolan company;
  • Additional Legal opinion on the prescription of rights and the issuance of rogatory letters by Angolan judicial courts, in a contractual and tort liability law suite, regarding various types of damages allegedly caused by an American company to an Angolan company;
  • Legal opinion on the price and payment of the price clauses included in 14 construction agreements, aiming at determining the payment currency and the applicable exchange rate;
  • Legal note on the classification of a construction agreement executed by a Spanish company and an Angolan public entity as a public works contract, determining the legal framework applicable to its tender, content and implementation;
  • Legal opinion on the liability of an Executive Director under a bankruptcy judicial process of an Angolan bank;
  • Legal opinion on the adequacy and sufficiency of a General Assembly decision for an Angolan company to request loans to its shareholders;
  • Legal opinion on the contractual liability of the Directors of an Angolan company;
  • Legal opinion on the consequences of a Director to approve the management report and the company’s accounts with reservations;
  • Legal opinion on a bankruptcy process law suit brought against an Angolan bank;
  • Legal opinion on the rights of a Portuguese shareholder in an Angolan bank, under Angolan law;
  • Legal opinion on the possibility of a limited liability company by quotas to sell its assets under given conditions;
  • Legal opinion on the procedure to be followed in order to ensure the proper activity of the Board of Directors of an Angolan company, whose President of the Board of Directors has been appointed as Executive Director of an Angolan public company;
  • Legal opinion on the validity of the conclusions of a legal expert’s opinion regarding a shareholders’ agreement governed by Angolan law, taking into account the comparative law approach between Portuguese and Angolan legal systems with the Angolan law in force;
  • Legal opinion on the procedure to be implemented in order to ensure that the pension fund of an Angolan public company complies with the applicable Angolan legal framework;
  • Legal opinion on the legality of the appointment of a Non-executive Director and President of the Board of Directors of an Angolan public company, under the aegis of the Public Directors Statute and the Public Probity Law;
  • Legal opinion regarding the payment of dividends by an Angolan company to its foreign shareholder, in view of a payment agreement that establishes the payment to be made in foreign currency and the requirements to execute bank transfers to a foreign country;
  • Legal opinion on the merger of two Angolan companies and how such merger shall comply with the Private Investment Law in force;
  • Legal opinion on the conformity of the decision of the General Assembly of a bank with the Angolan legal framework related to an increase of share capital that has not been totally subscribed by its shareholders.

Testimonials

Recognition & Appreciation

Sofia is a world class arbitrator, both in terms of knowledge and professional attitude. Solid and attentive to detail, she has a strong legal culture that allows her to address any legal issue in her areas of expertise. Its inherent intellectual integrity is the best guarantee of impartiality and independence. And her multicultural life experience enables her to understand the subtleties of international commercial disputes, revealing a patent impartiality and neutrality.

Agostinho Miranda

Lawyer and Arbitrator

I have the great pleasure of working with Sofia Vale in several arbitrations in which she intervenes as President or Co-Arbitrator. She is a proactive person, a talented jurist and an exceptional professional.

Lino Diamvutu

Lawyer and Assistant Professor at Fac. of law

Sofia Vale has an international mindset, but at the same time a strong knowledge of the specifics of the legal framework in her adopted country, Angola, not to mention being one of the main academic figures in national law.

José Miguel Júdice

Independent Arbitrator

Sofia's most impressive traits are: solid academic curriculum, intelligence, ability to work, inner independence and sense of humour.

Paula Costa e Silva

Arbitrator and Professor of Law at the Faculty of Lisbon
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