Political uncertainty caused by Brexit and the crisis in Catalonia has resulted in an increase in investment in Madrid, according to Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, senior partner of the Madrid-based firm Ruiz Gallardón Abogados.
“Brexit has meant not so much a relocation of corporate headquarters from London to Madrid, but it has led to multinationals entrusting their representatives in Madrid with the task of refocusing their activity in Europe and Latin America, a role that was previously reserved for London.”
Meanwhile, the Catalonian independence movement has led to companies shifting their focus to Madrid. “The second factor, although regrettable, is the situation of political uncertainty in Catalonia,” says Ruiz-Gallardón, formerly the Spanish Minister of Justice and mayor of Madrid between 2003 and 2011. “There are many companies that are moving not only their headquarters but also their operations to Madrid,” he adds. “This has no doubt resulted in an increased workload for law firms.”
The improving fortunes of Madrid and its legal market is not purely attributable to politics. A recovering real estate market has meant an increase in appetite for investment in the city’s infrastructure. “This has triggered a number of significant transactions that before had been dormant, such as the so-called ‘Operación Chamartín’ and the Barajas airport expansion project, which should bring about extraordinary economic activity during the next 20 years,” Ruiz-Gallardón says. The question for law firms is how they make the most of the improving market conditions. “As a result of the crisis, some firms had to reduce their number of associates,” he says. “Now we must remain vigilant to ensure that new business opportunities do not generate a bubble that forces the market to do the same in a few years.”