How can we design the future?

> future of law society generations knowledge discussion

WhatNext.Law is a research centre that brings together law practitioners, academia, and private and public stakeholders to explore the key legal topics of the future.

Created in 2021 by NOVA School of Law and Vieira de Almeida, the centre intends to shape the discussion, research, capacity development, and disseminate knowledge on the pressing current and upcoming challenges of law, economy, and society.


The centre seeks the highest levels of excellence by combining the powerful knowledge of experienced professors and researchers with the insightful expertise of leading lawyers and professionals from different industries. The goal is to anticipate legal trends, new and emerging challenges and contribute to shaping the legal solutions that will underpin future societies.


The centre focuses on an array of different topics, including, amongst others the legal challenges of emerging technologies, environment and sustainability, mobility, automation, digital economy, space, biotechnology, and smart cities. These areas are driving transformational and innovative products and services and new business models across sectors bringing manifold opportunities. However, their potentail due to their complexity and interdependency cannot be grasped fully without adequate stakeholders' support.

Core Values

The centre draws on the long lasting core values of NOVA School of Law and Vieira de Almeida, notably the quality and excellency of our work; the continuous culture of questioning and innovation and the solid teamwork. The centre also reinforces the pivotal relationship between academia and lawyers, in order to devote to society, the amassed knowledge and expertise in different areas.


WhatNext.Law is a joint initiative of NOVA School of Law and Vieira de Almeida.

Part of the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, NOVA School of Law was created to innovate the way the law is taught, studied, and investigated in Portugal. NOVA School of Law is open to society, to new branches of law and to other disciplines, with specific focus on contemporary changes to public life and its inherent problems. More information about NOVA School of Law can be found on its website – www.novalaw.unl.pt


VdA is a leading international law firm with more than 40 years of history, recognized for its impressive track record and innovative approach in corporate legal services. Currently, VdA has over 440 people with 300 lawyers in 13 jurisdictions. More information about VdA can be found on its website – www.vda.pt

Directive Commission

The activities of the centre are overseen by the Directive Commission, which is responsible for approving the annual activities and budget, provide general guidance and follow closely the activities undertaken. The members of the Directive Commission are:

Vieira de Almeida
João Vieira de Almeida
Vieira de Almeida
Magda Cocco
NOVA School of Law
Margarida Lima Rego

Executive Commission

The daily activities of the centre are coordinated by the Executive Commission, which is responsible, among others, for the preparation and implementation of the annual plan and the definition of the main research topics of the centre, in articulation with the Directive Commission and the Scientific Commission. Currently, the members of the Executive Commission are:

NOVA School of Law
Fabrizio Esposito
NOVA School of Law
Vera Lúcia Raposo
Vieira de Almeida
Hugo Moredo Santos
Vieira de Almeida
Muriel Faden da Silva
Vieira de Almeida
Tiago Bessa

Scientific Commission

The centre has a Scientific Commission, which is responsible for ensuring the quality and excellence of the activities developed. Currently, the members of the Scientific Commission are the following: 

NOVA School of Law
Athina Sachoulidou
NOVA School of Law
Claire Bright
Vieira de Almeida
Filipe Vasconcelos Fernandes
Vieira de Almeida
Marco Caldeira
NOVA School of Law
Miguel de Azevedo Moura
Vieira de Almeida
Rodrigo Esteves Oliveira
NOVA School of Law
Guilia Priora
NOVA School of Law
Graça Canto Moniz

The everyday activities of the centre are also supported by an operational team (professors, lawyers, technicians and administrative staff) composed of people from NOVA School of Law and Vieira de Almeida. Together, they work as a Team.