Madrid annual report 2017 Madrid_2017 - Page 3

Madrid annual report Another partner at a ‘Magic Circle’ your number of lawyers? We firm in Madrid comments that, are recruiting more and we are though his firm has a “special working more hours.” Eversheds group” for project management Sutherland Nicea managing tasks, partners often “react badly” partner Juan E. Díaz Hidalgo says to having to deal with them, that his firm’s revenue grew in the last year despite the fact Spain has a very competitive market The challenge for law with many “very firms is how to cope with good law firms”. He identifies banking more work. and insurance-related Pedro Rueda work as potential Araoz & Rueda growth areas in future. “ Rueda managing partner Pedro Rueda. “The challenge [for law firms] is how to cope with more work, for example, do you increase Reacting badly As law firms strive to increase efficiency, law firms “might need different lawyers in future”, argues one Madrid-based managing partner. He adds: “We are becoming more efficient and are acting as project managers in some transactions.” What are currently the biggest opportunities for law firms in Madrid? “We expect European M&A to increase in value from $319bn to $459bn this year. There will be significant activity in the healthcare, banking and high tech sectors. In the aftermath of the crisis, Spanish companies have an outstanding global footprint and international investors are strongly targeting our country.” José María Alonso, Madrid managing partner, Baker McKenzie “The number of transactions has risen considerably in recent months and that upward trend is expected to conti nue throughout 2017. Increased activity has been felt primarily in the real estate, energy and infrastructure sectors - there is increased appetite among financial buyers to acquire assets and platforms in those sectors in Spain. We are also seeing a significant increase in investment by large Spanish companies abroad.” Miguel Riaño, managing partner, Herbert Smith Freehills “During the last few months, we have perceived a significant increase in M&A activity in Spain, probably as a consequence of improvement in political stability in both Spain and continental Europe. The real estate, energy and retail sectors seem to be the most attractive for foreign investors that have an appetite for assets in Spain. At the same time, the parties involved in bidding processes are remaining quite cautious and, even if there is significant competition, the bidders are being quite conservative from a valuation point of view.” Roberto Pomares, partner, King & Wood Mallesons ” though clients are very supportive of the concept of project managers. Another partner remarks that clients appreciate the high level of information and feedback they get from project managers. “In the domestic arena, I believe the recovery of the Spanish economy is a great opportunity for law firms. It seems that we have left the crisis behind and the economy is more dynamic. This should lead to more work and, hopefully, an increase in legal fees. In the international sphere, Brexit might impact on legal market talent, particularly young European lawyers who previously may have crossed the Channel for training. Further, the fear of the supranational in the United Kingdom might translate into suspicion towards international arbitration, preparing the ground for the rise of alternative pro-European and pro-international jurisdictions such as Madrid.” David Arias, partner, Arias SLP “In the criminal law field, regulations related to the criminal liability of legal persons, as well as ensuring corporate compliance has become a brand-new scope of activity. Meanwhile, the Spanish tax authorities’ continuous pursuit of taxpayers is a key source of business.” Miguel Ángel Garrido Riosalido, managing partner, Garrido Abogados “The recovery of the real estate market and an entrepreneurial environment that favours the development of new businesses and companies. The big question is what impact Brexit will have – if, and how, Madrid will benefit from the search for ‘continental platforms’ by companies operating in the UK, will most certainly have an impact on the development of Madrid’s legal market. If the number of companies operating in the EU market from Spain, and specifically Madrid, increases, it will drive demand for legal consultancy services.” Manuel Esteves de Albuquerque, senior associate, Raposo Bernardo May / June 2017 • IBERIAN LAWYER • 27 >>