Insolvency law in Portugal - a multidisciplinary analysis

In Portugal, mechanisms aimed at debtors in a difficult economic situation or in imminent insolvency (namely, the special proceedings for revitalization and the special proceedings for a payment agreement) have a marginal use when compared to insolvency proceedings and since 2016 there has been a sharp and steady decline in the number of special proceedings for revitalization issued. Furthermore, the average length of insolvency proceedings largely exceeds 2 years.

Given these elements, our research aims to address the following questions: (a) does the length of insolvency proceedings exceed what would be expected according to the law? (b) if so, what are the underlying causes? (c) how to explain the low use of pre-insolvency mechanisms? (d) what are the reasons for the steady decline in the number of special proceedings for revitalization issued in the last few years?

The project combines multiple perspectives as it includes legal, economic and sociological methods of analysis. This cross-cutting approach is intended to provide an overview of the causes that affect the length of insolvency proceedings and the use of pre-insolvency mechanisms. Such an analysis will be a major contribution to the prescriptive dimension of the project: the development of proposals aimed at promoting the use of pre-insolvency mechanisms (thus contributing to the recovery of viable debtors) and at reducing the length of insolvency proceedings, thereby mitigating its serious detrimental effects.


Mariana Machado França Gouveia Sande Nogueira (PI), CEDIS 

João Pedro Ramos de Almeida Pinto-Ferreira (Co-PI), CEDIS 

Guilherme Brandão Salazar Loureiro Gomes, CEDIS 

Higina Maria Almeida Orvalho da Silva Castelo, CEDIS 

Lua Ana Mota Santos, CEDIS and CIES-Iscte

Patrícia Andrea Rodrigues André, CEDIS and Dinâmia'CET-Iscte

Susana Alexandra Lopes da Costa Santos, CIES-Iscte

Teresa Cristina Nunes Violante Ferreira Nascimento, CEDIS 


Start Date
End Date
Project Funding
External Partners
CIES-Iscte - Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology
Centro de Estudos e investigação sobre Direito em Sociedade
Data from Ciência-IUL