Spanish law firms, pioneers in internationalisation
Spanish companies started going international in the 1970s, and the internationalisation process has sped up since Spain joined the European Union. Law firms have crossed Spanish borders too.
Garrigues paved the way, opening an office in New York in 1973 and another in Brussels in the 1980s. The establishment of the Lawyer’s Club, also in the 1980s, brought enormous benefits to the firm, which signed agreements to open offices in South America, Europe and Asia (Japan). After a while, Garrigues set foot on emerging countries, establishing branches in Shanghai, São Paulo, Casablanca and Warsaw, and subsequently in stronger markets (London, Lisbon, Porto).
Garrigues is the largest Spanish law firm by revenue (350 million euro in 2016) and by number of branches worldwide. Currently, it has offices in 13 countries in four continents and clients from 86 countries, and it stands opposite the world’s most important law firms.
Cuatrecasas, founded 100 years ago, is the second largest Spanish law firm by revenue (270 million euro), operating in more than ten countries. It has 16 offices in the Iberian Peninsula and nine in Brussels, Casablanca, Mexico City, London, Luanda, Maputo, New York, São Paulo and Shanghai.
Uría Menéndez, which is turning 70 this year, comes third (210 million euro). It started the internationalisation process a long time ago, opening offices in South America, where it entered the major leagues when it partnered with PPU.
Specialising in all areas of corporate and commercial law, Uría Menéndez is well-established in Europe, America (it opened an office in New York in 1990) and Asia, where it has 17 branches (the Beijing office opened in 2009).
Founded in 1971, Gómez Acebo & Pombo opened offices in Brussels in 1985, London in 2007 and Lisbon in 2010, and even crossed the pond settling in New York.
Pérez Llorca, established more than 30 years ago, has offices in New York and London, and close ties with other law firms in Europe and the Americas.
Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo, founded in 1994, has gone international too. It has offices in Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, China, Israel and Colombia. A few days ago, it opened a branch in Casablanca, which shows expansion continues to be steady for them.
The firms from Spain mentioned above are not the only ones that have set eyes on foreign markets. Other companies include Ontier, which currently has offices in 13 countries (UK, USA, Portugal, China, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia and Italy) and Lupicinio Abogados, which has signed contracts with international law firms and established Lupicinio International Law Firm, operating in South America, Asia, Europe, North America, the Caspian Region and the Middle East. Also, there is Roca Junyent, which has an office in Shanghai.
RLD is the first law firm from Spain with a permanent presence in the Middle East and a reference in the region, where it has operated since 2012. With offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, RLD is a leading consultancy firm for Spanish-speaking companies in the energy, industry, construction, transport, and travel sectors.
Lastly, Almansa & Asociados, founded in 1981, has chosen to focus on countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Ukraine, Armenia or Kazakhstan, and is the leading law firm in the area of Spain-Russia relations.