Francisca Seara Cardoso


Francisca Seara Cardoso is a Portuguese lawyer specialised in commercial law and arbitration.

Experience in Arbitration

In 2019, Francisca Seara Cardoso joined Armesto & Asociados to work in a team with the founding partner Juan Fernández-Armesto. Francisca acts as secretary and assistant to arbitral tribunals in arbitration proceedings, including international, ad hoc and administered arbitrations involving both commercial and investment disputes.

Most of the cases are administered by ICC, PCA and Spanish or Latin America arbitral institutions. As to ad hoc arbitrations, most of them are subject to the UNCITRAL Rules.

Before joining Armesto & Asociados, Francisca Seara Cardoso worked for five years as an associate at the Portuguese law firm Morais Leitão, where she gained extensive experience as counsel in domestic and international arbitrations (with a particular focus on Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Angola and Mozambique), in a variety of industry sectors, including energy, M&A, construction, corporate, among others.

Professional Memberships
  • Member of the Portuguese Bar
  • Member of the Associação Portuguesa de Arbitragem (APA)
  • Member of the ICC Young Arbitrators Forum

Professional Experience

In 2015, Francisca Seara Cardoso joined Morais Leitão, in Lisbon, Portugal, where she worked as counsel not only in domestic and international arbitrations, but also in commercial disputes before the Portuguese courts. She was also a member of Team Genesis – a specialized multi expert team within Morais Leitão, with a particular focus on entrepreneurship and innovation – and of the Social Responsibility Committee of the firm. During her internship, Francisca spent one year in the Banking and Finance practice group.

Additionally, Francisca Seara Cardoso was a lecturer of Business and Economic Law at Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics.

Previously, Francisca worked as an intern in the Mergers & Acquisitions team of the Portuguese law firm Vieira de Almeida & Associados. Prior to that, Francisca completed an internship in the Tax team of the Portuguese law firm Morais Leitão.


Francisca Seara Cardoso holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the Lisbon School of Law of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, where she was awarded a merit scholarship. During her undergrad, Francisca completed an exchange program at Fundação Getúlio Vargas, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Francisca Seara Cardoso also holds a Master’s degree (LL.M.) from the London School of Economics and Political Science (London, United Kingdom), with a specialisation in corporate and commercial law, obtained in 2014.

More recently, in 2018 Francisca Seara Cardoso completed a post-graduate program in Commercial Litigation, at Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.

  • Portuguese (mother tongue)
  • English (bilingual)
  • Spanish (bilingual)
  • “Portugal: charting a path towards a corporate arbitration-friendly jurisdiction” – Young Arbitration Review, 2018;
  • “P2P Lending” (en coautoría con Luís Roquette Geraldes y João Lima da Silva) – FinTech desafios da tecnologia financeira, Almedina, 2017 (Primera edición) y 2019 (Segunda edición);
  • “Uma revolução chamada crowdfunding” (en coautoría con Luís Roquette Geraldes) – IV Congresso de Direito das Sociedades em Revista, Almedina, 2016;
  • “Fifth International Arbitration Meeting of Coimbra” (en coautoría con Filipe Vaz Pinto) – Young Arbitration Review, 2015.