The dynamics of the legal market are shifting with the result that there is now a greater convergence between commercial law and public law, according to Jordi Casas, a partner at Roca Junyent in Barcelona.
Casas says business is not just about what you do but how you do it – the wealth of additional regulatory and public law provisions means companies have to fuse business acumen with adherence to best practice.
“Law firms must offer traditional legal services but also need to cater for individual sectors,” Casas says. “One of our main priorities is explaining to clients how best to comply with these increasing demands.”
Casas cites the example of life sciences firms that spin-off from universities or hospitals, and which are suddenly exposed to many new regulatory burdens. “These start-up businesses are facing all sorts of legal questions relating to M&A, intellectual property protections, tax and compliance,” Casas says. “They need great lawyers but specifically great lawyers who know about life sciences.” As another example, Casas highlights the food industry, which he says faces new regulatory challenges related to the characteristics of food products, traceability – “from farm to fork” – and food security.
To meet client demands, Roca Junyent adopted an integrated approach to commercial and compliance advice by forming a regulated industries team. “We have many lawyers that specialise in certain sectors and have held senior positions in public authorities,” Casas says. They include Manuel Silva, a state attorney and state councillor, state attorney Rosa Sanz, Yolanda Puiggros, former director of legal services and administrative procurement at the Consorci de Salut i Social de Catalunya, and Joan Mier, who worked for more than 15 years at the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union.