Madrid annual report 2017 Madrid_2017 - Page 6

Madrid annual report “ A high number of incoming law firm associates are women, but we’re losing them along the way. Michael J. Willisch Davis Polk & Wardwell in the door and show clients they can do work more profitably [than some competitors]”. One of the biggest challenges currently facing law firms is hiring and retaining lawyers, according to Segovia. “This is a profession of hard work, involving availability seven days a week – the difficulty is matching this requirement with the new concerns and interests of young generations of lawyers, such as work-life balance,” he adds. “Every year, the Spanish legal sector needs a greater number of professionals, and it is sometimes difficult to find a sufficient number of excellent lawyers to meet such a demand.” Ruiz-Cámara says, with regard to recruitment, law firms’ human resources priorities have changed: “Not everyone wants to be a partner and law firms have to adapt their structures.” Losing the ladies The retention of female lawyers, as well as lawyers from diverse backgrounds, is another key challenge facing law firms, according to Michael J. Willisch, head of Davis Polk & Wardwell’s Madrid office. He continues: “A high number of incoming law firm associates are women, but we’re losing them along the way. Law firms need to do better at retaining and promoting them – clients are more diverse than law firms are, the question is ‘how do we better reflect our clients?’” Franco says “winning loyal new clients” is one of the most challenging tasks currently facing law firms given that there is significant competition in the market. Dealing with increasing 30 • IBERIAN LAWYER • May / June 2017 ” globalisation and retaining talent are other key issues facing law firms, according to Bernad. He adds that “improving the experience of clients, as well as lawyers, is also a major challenge”. Bernad continues: “We have to make an attractive offer to young lawyers and get the share of junior women that we already have into the partnership.” Carlos Rueda says a key challenge for law firms is to “create value” for partners and keep them motivated. Firms have to focus on finding ways to differentiate themselves from their competition, according to Menéndez. She adds that there “is a need to provide outstanding How do you think the Madrid legal market will change in the next 12 months? “If the economic recovery is confirmed, companies will increase their international expansion, and the main challenge of law firms will be to accompany their clients in these processes. Global firms have a solid position, being accustomed to advising on multijurisdictional issues, and we must monitor where our clients go in order to advise them where necessary.” Lucas Osorio, Madrid managing partner, Hogan Lovells “Madrid is a key focus for large international investors in that it is a location that can open doors for businesses in booming regions, such as Latin America, due to the similarities in which Spain and Latin American countries do business. Meanwhile, sectors such as real estate also present growth opportunities – in this sense, projects linked to tourism, where Madrid has a huge offer, are attractive. In addition, there are strong construction, financial services and technology companies in the city.” Luis Fernando Guerra, managing partner, Deloitte Legal “The Spanish economy is recovering and this is reflected in the good results of Spanish companies, mainly those on the Ibex 35. This recovery implies a growth in legal activity in the Spanish market. Large corporate transactions are expected in the real estate sector – which attracts international funds – the financial sector, the energy sector and in telecommunications, while an increase in legal disputes in the banking sector is also anticipated.” Francisco Palá, managing partner, Ramón y Cajal Abogados “Brexit will have a major impact in the next 12 months. We are aware that Spain may not be the first option for many financial institutions in the City of London, however, there are a number of factors that make Spain a destination to be considered. First, it offers a gateway to the European Union market, Latin America and North Africa. Second, it is a highly skilled country with competitive legal, accounting and financial consulting rates. In terms of legal and financial consulting, fees and other related costs are as much as 50 per cent lower than in countries like the UK. Third, there are fluent and strong relationships with regulatory bodies.” Miguel Linares Polaino, partner, Linares Abogados “In the coming year, we will probably see more foreign investment in real estate, energy and technology companies. Tourism will also get more investment, and probably the presence of companies operating in the ‘collaborative economy’ will increase.” Begoña Redón, partner, Marimón Abogados