Global arrivals showing renewed interest in Spanish market

White & Case fi nally launches in Madrid, ending years of speculation, and will shortly be followed by the UK’s Clyde & Co.

Despite local lawyers seeing diffi cult market conditions, White & Case, one of the world’s largest law fi rms, has
fi nally opened an offi ce in Madrid. While speculation has grown in recent years over the fi rm’s likely arrival, the
launch seems to have caught many in the market by surprise.
However, with offi ces in Berlin, Brussels, London, Milan and Paris, this fi lls an obvious gap in its European network.
White & Case takes on Juan Manuel De Remedios, former Corporate Head at Latham & Watkins, as Executive
Partner in Madrid, with fellow Latham M&A and Capital Markets Counsel Yoko Takagi and two Associates. The
initial focus of the Madrid offi ce will refl ect their areas of specialisation, and the fi rm’s core global M&A, capital
markets and fi nance expertise. The offi ce is expected to  remain initially small with a tight focus, albeit drawing on
Spanish-qualifi ed and other lawyers from elsewhere across the fi rm’s network.
The fi rm’s arrival in Spain has long been anticipated given the signifi cance of the Spanish economy and
its already well-established European network, but nonetheless comes as new fi rm openings have slowed in
recent years. The last major US arrival was in fact Latham & Watkins in 2007, set up by De Remedios initially from
London, although José Luis Blanco was recruited from Cuatrecasas to lead the offi ce. The only other major
entrants subsequently being UK-based Osborne Clarke, which opened in Madrid in February 2012 building on
its established Barcelona presence, Olswang in 2010 and Watson Farley & Williams and Herbert Smith in 2009.
Also set to open in Madrid is the UK’s Clyde & Co, which has recruited a nine-lawyer team from DAC
Beachcroft. The recruits include former DAC Madrid Head Ignacio Figuerol, joined by Partners Ricardo Garrido, Pablo
Guillen and Miguel Relano. The team represents one-third of DAC’s current practice, leaving DAC with eight partners
in Madrid.
For Clyde & Co, it is the latest expansionary move, which saw the fi rm merge with UK counterpart Barlow
Lyde & Gilbert in 2011 and recently establish other international presences in Indonesia, Sydney and Perth. The
Madrid focus will be on insurance, professional indemnity, product liability and construction, and exact details and
timings are still being negotiated.Where this leaves DAC remains to be seen. But one Madrid Managing Partner told
Iberian Lawyer off the record that losing a third of their Madrid offi ce has hit them where it hurts.
Few in the market predicted further major openings following White & Case, but, desite diffi cult market
conditions, Clyde & Co’s announcement demonstrates a continued interest in the Spanish market.