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Monday, 13 May 2019 09:40

Renaissance Man

One of the seven drafters of the Spanish constitution, José Pedro Pérez-Llorca’s professional achievements were renowned, but what was he like as a person? We spoke to those colleagues who knew him well to find out.
 

 The funeral of José Pedro Pérez-Llorca (pictured) earlier this year marked the death of one of the seven fathers of the Spanish constitution. It was an occasion that won the attention of an international audience. At the funeral, which was attended by the King and Queen of Spain, José Pedro’s son Pedro Pérez-Llorca spoke of a proud man and a fighter. Born in Cádiz in 1940, José Pedro’s achievements were as numerous as they were impressive – in addition to being one of the seven drafters of the constitution, he was the founding partner of the law firm Pérez-Llorca, and he also played a prominent role in Spanish politics. His career included spells as minister responsible for the Prime Minister’s Office (Ministro de la Presidencia del Gobierno), minister of parliamentary relations, minister of territorial administration and foreign minister. In the latter role, he began the negotiations on Spain’s accession to the European Union. In addition, he played a key role in the signing of a new treaty with the US and was the driving force behind Spain’s accession to NATO.In December 1982, Pérez-Llorca retired from political life and founded the firm Pérez-Llorca, where he specialised in arbitration. However, behind the awe-inspiring professional accomplishments, those that knew him well also spoke of a humourous, warm and caring person who was always willing to provide guidance and advice, particularly to those who were down on their luck. Iberian Lawyer spoke to a number of lawyers who knew him better than most and asked them to describe him in their own words.

MIQUEL ROCA JUN YENT, senior partner and president, Roca Junyent one of the seven drafters of the Spanish constitution"Simply splendid. A discreet person who was correct, ironic, close, affectionate and, above all, very intelligent. He had a deep intellect that made him practically unbeatable in a debate. Our friendship began at the same time as the constitution and a strong relationship of respect was established. We were able to reach agreements that, as has been demonstrated, have remained relevant and valid for more than 40 years. A good friend is one that impacts on all aspects of your life. In this case, at the political, professional, and family level. He was a great friend, a better lawyer and a constant, tenacious and faithful servant of the interests of Spain.”

LUIS DE CARLOS, senior partner, Uría Menéndez“He had an intellectual capacity that was bomb-proof. He was a true man of the Renaissance. He was elegant, serious and rigorous, but he had the sense of humour and finesse of an authentic Cadiz statesman. His vocation was to serve his country.”

LUIS FERNANDO GUERRA, managing partner, Deloitte Legal Spain“Spain, and in particular the legal sector, have a lot to thank José Pedro for. The mark he left on the profession can be seen on a day-to-day basis, as the legal framework in which we operate is part of his legacy. The great lawyers are always an inspiration for those of us who practice this profession and, without a doubt, he is one of the reference points.”

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