As General Counsel of Millennium BCP, one of Portugal’s leading banks, and President of the Company Lawyers Institute of Portugal, João Lourenço is well placed to assess the demands of both sides of the Portuguese legal market, and the increasing sophistication of the country’s in-house profession.
The key investment private equity houses can make is in people, says Juan Díaz-Laviada, Managing Director of Advent in Spain.
María Segimón de ManzanosOn moving from Clifford Chance to Ferrovial, where she is head of corporate law, María Segimón de Manzanos found herself in the legal team behind some of Spain’s major international transactions.
Thursday, 26 April 2007 07:24

PepsiCo Europe: The accidental counsel

The son of a Catalan father and an English mother, John Rigau, counsel for PepsiCo Europe, always wanted to work in a dynamic international business environment – he just wasn’t sure whether he would find that as a lawyer, let alone as an in-house lawyer.
Santiago del PinoAs head of legal at Sacyr-Vallehermoso, Santiago del Pino, believes that law firms should listen more carefully to the specific needs of each business before selling their services.
Tuesday, 31 October 2006 20:00

Agbar: A tower built on water

Miquel Griñó Tomás, head of legal at Agbar, explains that there is more to his globally expanding business than simply Aguas de Barcelona. 
Thursday, 31 August 2006 21:00

Galp Energia: Working with energy

Rui MayerFormed in 2000 as a result of the merger of a number of energy companies, Galp Energia has quickly become one of Portugal’s largest companies and sees itself as the driving force behind the reshaping of the country’s oil and gas sectors.

Iberian Lawyer met up with Rui Mayer, General Secretary for the group to find out more about his role in this dynamic company.

Manuel Álvarez Trongé For Manuel Álvarez Trongé, Company Secretary and General Counsel of Telefónica International, “Law is not about the ideas you read in a book, it is about the art of the possible.”
Monday, 01 May 2006 02:00

Vueling Airlines: Taking to the skies

Richard MundenVueling Airlines is one of Spain’s current business success stories. Iberian Lawyer spoke to Richard Munden, the Barcelona-based Head of Legal and Government Affairs, to learn how the airline is managing such dramatic growth.

Despite only taking off in February 2004 Spain’s budget airline Vueling, is already competing alongside Europe’s leading airlines.

From his 40th floor office in Madrid’s Torre Picasso, Joaquín Calderón can see the Real Madrid’s famous Bernabeu stadium. But his busy schedule as General Counsel at one of the world’s largest investment banks means that he has been unable to watch a game.

His office also gives him a bird’s eye view on the leading Madrid law firms situated in and around the Castellana, a group he knows much better than his local football team. Merrill-Lynch’s recent high-profile deals have placed Joaquín at the centre of recent Spanish M&A activity making him an important figure among the legal elite. 

Joaquín Calderón habla de su trabajo y de sus prioridades como asesor jurídico de Merrill-Lynch España. Entre otras tareas, es responsable de la selección de abogados con experiencia para cada caso y no considera que reducir costes sea lo más importante. Afirma que prefiere flexibilidad respecto a honorarios, alejándose del cobro por horas y animando a los despachos a que utilicen métodos que permitan compartir parte del riesgo de la operación. Joaquín Calderón utiliza despachos de abogados anglosajones cuando requiere una cobertura internacional pero advierte que ya no queda mucho espacio libre en el mercado español para otras firmas británicas o norteamericanas

The Role

As a Board Member Joaquín has a senior position with wideranging responsibilities including company secretarial, compliance and the coordination of all legal matters, with the exception of employment which is handled by Human Resources. As the sole local lawyer, he works closely with other specialists around the organisation including the investment banking, trading, and capital markets legal teams in London.

“My role is very wide and is changing with the business as we tailor our services to changing client needs,” he says. Most recently this has meant an emphasis on securitisations, IPOs and other capital markets transactions with the marked increase in Spanish M&A activity.

Properties

illustrationWith Spain’s current emphasis on financial regulation, it is not surprising that compliance is at the top of his agenda. “The regulatory regime in Spain is changing quite significantly, as the role of the regulator is maturing. Our senior management is pro-compliance and we have an excellent team on the operational risk side, which is less of a concern.”

Joaquín stresses the need to identify potential areas of risk: “Risk is our main concern as it impacts upon the business as a whole. Any risk to our reputation could affect our position with the regulators. Reputation is the most difficult asset to acquire and also most easy to lose.” Increasing the profitability of the business within adequate risk parameters is an important priority. “There is a team spirit, we work together to build the franchise.”

Selecting Legal Advisers

Joaquín uses a variety of law firms, selecting firms with the specific expertise required for each individual task. Foremost is the existing relationship with an individual or a firm: “We work with certain law firms a lot. It is like having a doctor who knows you well and whom you trust.”

The level of legal expertise and knowledge of the financial industry is also a key criterion. For crossborder transactions he will often work with law firms with an international network.

Because Joaquín chooses different firms for their specific expertise, a firm’s full-service capability is not always a priority, although the majority of firms he uses are full-service. For litigation, in particular, he may instruct leading individuals who practice alone.

Legal Costs

Interestingly for law firms - who often perceive a downward pressure on legal fees - reducing his overall legal bill is not high on the Joaquín’s agenda. “Costs are of course an important criteria but, as these costs are primarily deal related, they increase or decrease as required by the business. Our annual legal spend is not fixed and we accommodate new needs as they arise.”

Client Satisfaction

Joaquín is “very satisfied” with the level of service he receives from law firms:

“As you would expect, the law firms I use most often are those I am most satisfied with. They know the pressures we work under and understand we may need to call them at home on a Saturday. They are very dynamic and proactive. They are commercial and understand our business. For example, if costs are getting high they will call me and warn we so together we can manage the situation properly.”

Of the pool of law firms he uses, he says: “Some firms are more sensitive to in-house needs but in general they are all very good lawyers.“ If things do not work out well, he will take action as required: “We do not formally appraise firms but we will ask for a post mortem when things have not gone as well as I would have expected. There have been firms who have failed to provide the service I wanted, so I do not use them any more.”

Anglo-Saxon Law Firms

Joaquín works with the major Anglo-Saxon law firms as his business requires. “The nature of our business – in particular our international exposure - means that we do need to instruct Anglo-Saxon firms. I do not see any difference in the level of service provided by domestic Spanish and their Anglo-Saxon counterparts. If I needed a purely domestic advice, there are local firms that are excellent. But sometimes we need international coverage and the reporting line to the London or New York offices of the Anglo-Saxon firms can be an added advantage”.

But he warns that the market place for legal services is nearing saturation. “There is now much more competition in the market, and I do not see much need for any new Anglo-Saxon entrants while activity levels remain as they are.”

Enhancements

Although satisfied with service levels, Joaquín is critical of the traditional approach taken by law firms on costs. He would welcome more flexibility, away from billing on an hourly basis, and would like more law firms to consider sharing some of the risks of a transaction. This might include charging less, or even nothing at all, for transactions which do not get off the ground. “I would like the law firms to assume more risk. How much would depend on the amount of work they have done and would need to be decided on a case-by-case basis. But I do believe that people should get paid what they deserve. We are in the same situation with our clients.“

Finally, he says he would also welcome more interest from law firms in providing junior lawyers on secondment programmes: “Sometimes it is good for them to work inside a corporate and to get a better understanding of our needs. At Merrill-Lynch they can learn how an investment bank works and what they really do want from their lawyers.”


Prev123...56789...Next
Page 9 of 10
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1
2
3
4
5
6
13
14
15
16
17
19
20
21
22
23
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
    latam sept18 cover

Click image

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