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. 

Cities of the future

For the triennial 2021-2023, WhatNext.Law will bring to the spotlight the opportunities and challenges of the cities of the future. The general topic “Cities of the Future” is divided in six different topics that represent the key areas where research, debate, and dissemination of knowledge will be most needed.

    • Regulatory Policies on Climate, Energy and Environmental Sustainability
    • Public Governance
    • Mobility
    • Automation & the City of the Future
    • Health & Wellbeing
    • Platforms, E-commerce & Digital Contracts

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:

João Vieira de Almeida

Magda Cocco

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:

Fabrizio Esposito

Vera Lúcia Raposo

Hugo Moredo Santos

Muriel Faden da Silva

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: 

Athina Sachoulidou

Claire Bright

Filipe Vasconcelos Fernandes

Marco Caldeira

Miguel de Azevedo Moura

Rodrigo Esteves Oliveira

Giulia Priora

Graça Canto Moniz

A project by: