Tuesday, 29 January 2019 10:44

‘I like to monitor the market as this helps me to get lower legal fees’

Joao Fachana webFarfetch does not run formal tenders, unless it is for a big project, preferring instead to ask three or four law firms for a proposal, says Farfetch’s João Fachana

João Fachana, Porto-based principal in-house counsel at Farfetch, a London-based, NYSE-listed online luxury fashion retailer, is a firm believer in the value of shopping around for the best value legal services.
“I may use the same law firm again, but I don’t like to go to the same law firm just because we have worked with them in the past,” he says. “Instead, I like to look at the market and see the opportunities and find a better service, or the same service but at a better price.” Fachana adds: “It is always better to compare law firms, rather than just using one.”

He says there are two key reasons why Farfetch uses external counsel – “for very complex and specialised matters that require a more specialised service, and for matters where language barriers are an issue”.

Asking for quotes
The company’s legal department is divided between London and the local in-house legal team in Portugal, which is the company’s technology hub and its largest office. “However, we are a small in-house team in Portugal with three members, and so sometimes we need to outsource,” Fachana adds.

Farfetch’s approach to selecting external legal advisers involves asking law firms for a quote, Fachana says. He adds that there are benefits in monitoring the market in that it can help clients get the best price for legal services.

“We are better served if we keep an eye on the market, which helps to lower the fees and it helps to find law firms that are more focused on us,” he says.
“We don’t launch formal tenders unless it is a very big project; we ask three or four law firms for a proposal and we decide based on the expertise of the law firm.”

Consulting directories
Fachana says the company also seeks recommendations and also refers to legal directories. “We seek references from colleagues in other companies, and consult Legal 500, for example, as well as looking at track records, he explains. “If it relates to a specialised matter, we will look at law firms’ portfolios, but for recurring matters we will work with the same firms depending on the issue.”

Fachana says that he favours law firms that have “added value to the company, and have added an additional level of service”. He continues: “I don’t want to see that I could have done something better.”

‘Global reach’
When it comes to deciding on what type of law firm to hire, Fachana says that if the company is dealing with a global project, his team may use a firm with a global reach, but on local issues they are more likely to seek a local firm that has a better understanding of the local market and the culture.

“We will use local firms to navigate local legislation, to help us comply with national laws, such as those regarding data protection,” he says, adding that this is especially important for a global company such as Farfetch. “We have to keep a look out for many local laws,” Fachana remarks.

Quick responses
While there are many advantages of using a global law firm, given their expertise and presence in many markets, as well as the fact they have considerable resources and are able to respond more quickly and meet deadlines, according to Fachana, he adds that there are also very good smaller firms, which can have a high level of specialisation in particular areas.

IBL81 p23 box

Fachana says that Farfetch’s in-house team has an increasingly heavy workload as the company grows, and consequently, two counsels were added to the group in the last year.

He adds that the in-house team’s tasks include technology contract reviews, employment matters and data protection issues.

Fachana says: “Being a tech company, we want to be innovative, and that always brings legal challenges. We expect the legal work to increase.”The company has grown through acquisitions, most recently the $250 million purchase of sports footwear and streetwear brand Stadium Goods in December, and the acquisition in July of digital marketing platform CuriosityChina.

banner gold awards2019

banner latam awards2019

The Latin American Lawyer
N.8 • July 15, 2019

LAL8 20190715 EN

Iberian Lawyer
N.86 • July 02, 2019

IL86 Cover SP IL86 Cover EN
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

This website uses cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the IberianLawyer website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more

I agree

What do I need to know about cookies?

A cookie is a small text file that’s stored on your computer or mobile device when you visit a website. We use them to:

  • Remember your preferences
  • Tailor our sites to your interests.

There are different types of cookies

First party cookies

These are set by the website you’re visiting. And only that website can read them.  In addition, a website might use a separate company to analyse how people are using their site. And this separate company will set their own cookie to do this.

Third party cookies

These are set by someone other than the owner of the website you’re visiting. 

Some IberianLawyer web pages may also contain content from other sites like Vimeo or Flickr, which may set their own cookies. Also, if you Share a link to a IberianLawyer page, the service you share it on (e.g. Facebook) may set a cookie on your browser.

The IberianLawyer has no control over third party cookies.

Advertising cookies

Some websites use advertising networks to show you specially targeted adverts when you visit. These networks may also be able to track your browsing across different sites.

IberianLawyer site do use advertising cookies but they won’t track your browsing outside the IberianLawyer.

Session cookies

These are stored while you’re browsing. They get deleted from your device when you close your browser e.g. Internet Explorer or Safari.

Persistent cookies

These are saved on your computer. So they don’t get deleted when you close your browser.

We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.

Other tracking technologies

Some sites use things like web beacons, clear GIFs, page tags and web bugs to understand how people are using them and target advertising at people.

They usually take the form of a small, transparent image, which is embedded in a web page or email. They work with cookies and capture data like your IP address, when you viewed the page or email, what device you were using and where you were.

How does the Iberian Lawyer use cookies?

We use different types of cookies for different things, such as:

  • Analysing how you use the IberianLawyer
  • Giving you a better, more personalised experience
  • Recognising when you’ve signed in

Strictly Necessary cookies

These cookies let you use all the different parts of Iberian Lawyer. Without them services that you have asked for cannot be provided.

Some examples of how we use these cookies are:

  • Signing into the IberianLawyer
  • Remembering previous actions such as text entered into a registration form when navigating back to a page in the same session
  • Remembering security settings which restrict access to certain content.

Performance cookies

These help us understand how people are using the IberianLawyer online, so we can make it better. And they let us try out different ideas.
We sometimes get other companies to analyse how people are using the IberianLawyer online. These companies may set their own performance cookies You can opt out of these cookies here.Some examples of how we use these cookies are:

  • To collect information about which web pages visitors go to most often so we can improve the online experience
  • Error management to make sure that the website is working properly
  • Testing designs to help improve the look and feel of the website.
Cookie nameWhat it's for
Google DoubleClick The IberianLawyer uses Google DoubleClick to measure the effectiveness of its online marketing campaigns.Opt-out of DoubleClick cookies
Google Analytics From time to time some IberianLawyer online services, including mobile apps, use Google Analytics. This is a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. Google Analytics sets a cookie in order to evaluate use of those services and compile a report for us.Opt-out of Google Analytics cookies