Claudia Santos Cruz

International Consultant

Claudia Santos Cruz is an international consultant at VPQ Advogados, the exclusive member in Cape Verde of the Morais Leitão Legal Circle network. She advises clients on international and cross-border aspects of their investments in Lusophone Africa and is a recognised specialist in the oil & gas (including mining) and shipping sectors. She also frequently works on foreign investment issues and banking and finance law.
Claudia has close links with Africa and the UK. She was born in Mozambique, grew up in South Africa and has dual Portuguese and Mozambican nationality. She trained and worked as an English solicitor between 1994 and 2005 at DLA Piper and Watson Farley & Williams in London. Claudia has been registered with the Portuguese Bar since 2005 and is also qualified to practice in Mozambique, with registration with the respective Bar Association, since 2018.
She was also nominated a Maritime Arbitrator / Expert by the CONCÒRDIA Maritime Arbitration, Conciliation and Conflict Mediation Centre.
She regularly participates in articles in international publications and is a frequent speaker at international conferences in the areas of investment in emerging markets, oil and gas, corporate and banking law, corporate restructuring, maritime law and also on general commercial law issues, particularly on foreign investment.
She won the first edition of the "40 under Forty Awards", an award annually by Iberian Lawyer magazine to highlight the 40 best Iberian lawyers under the age of 40. She is also recognised by the most prestigious international legal directories such as Chambers & Partners and IFLR.
Claudia is also a frequent speaker at Africa Regional Forum conferences organised by the IBA (International Bar Association).

Portuguese and English.


Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales (since 1996) (non-practicing). Portuguese Bar Association (2005). Mozambique Bar Association (2018). IBA African Regional Forum. International Bar Association positions held: Officer European Regional Forum 2009; Vice Chair European Regional Forum; 2010 and 2011; Senior Vice Chair European Regional Forum 2012 and 2013; IBA Oil & Gas Committee Officer, 2021; African Regional Forum Officer, 2024. Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA), 2023.


Law Degree (University of Southampton, England, 1993). Legal Practice Course – LPC (College of Law Guildford, England, 1994). Post graduate training courses in Banking & Finance; Corporate / Commercial law, Restructuring & Insolvency (Central Law Training, London, England). Oil & Gas Specialisation (Central Law Training, London, England, 2013 & 2014). International Petroleum Transactions module of the LLM (Católica Lisbon School of Law, 2017).


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