Spanish infrastructure companies’ expertise is in demand around the world, which represents a major opportunity for law firms capable of managing multinational projects, says Rafael Alonso, managing partner of Squire Patton Boggs’ Madrid office.
Spain is home to some of the biggest infrastructure companies in the world, “many of which are handling international projects”, explains Alonso (pictured). He adds that Spanish law firms’ expertise in the field grew, and they gained more experience in the sector, when infrastructure development was a significant source of work in Spain. However, domestic infrastructure work has been scarce in recent times, with the result that Spanish companies have taken the opportunity to export their expertise.
Spanish companies are particularly sought-after for their expertise in road, solar, as well as conventional energy projects, in addition to construction and engineering projects. “Niche expertise in areas such as underground high-speed railway construction puts Spanish firms on the top of an international infrastructure project developer’s list”, Alonso says.
International companies working on multinational projects often require the services of law firms in different jurisdictions. Squire Patton Boggs has offices in 20 countries, but if a client needs legal services in a jurisdiction where it does not have an office, the firm will seek out “trusted local partners”. The key consideration when selecting such a partner is their international capability, says Alonso. “The most important quality is the ability to handle international projects,” he explains. However, he adds that clients’ primary concern is often legal costs, which law firms should take into consideration when coordinating a project in partnership with other law firms in various jurisdictions.