José Ruiz-Gallardón

Many opportunities for M&A lawyers, but they must continue to add value for clients – Ruiz Gallardón Abogados

High demand for legal services is anticipated in the technology sector, with large corporations investing in start-ups to provide more innovative services to customers

Due to the large amount of liquidity available, there are currently many opportunities for M&A lawyers in Spain, but they must ensure they continue to find ways to add value to the service they provide, says José Ruiz-Gallardón, managing partner of Ruiz Gallardón Abogados in Madrid.
“The year 2017 was very intense in terms of the M&A activity in Spain,” he says. “Access to, and availability of, liquidity as well as low interest rates in a context of economic growth created a favourable environment for investment.” In addition, banks’ appetite for investment returned, while private equity funds became increasingly active in their search for good investment opportunities, while the presence of other debt providers such as non-sponsored funds, have increased appetite for the acquisition of new assets and the financing of such transactions. Furthermore, Ruiz-Gallardón expects significant activity in the financial sector as banks continue to transform their business and make continued efforts to try and improve efficiency.
Ruiz-Gallardón also anticipates high demand for legal services from the technology sector, with large corporations in a wide range of industries – including large department stores and hotels – investing in start-ups as a means of providing more innovative services to their customers. In addition, Ruiz-Gallardón expects significant activity in the real estate sector, particularly in relation to real estate investment trusts (known as SOCIMIs in Spain). “With this in mind, there is considerable interest among large international investors, which are making direct investments as well as entering into joint ventures with already established companies,” he says. “Private equity funds will continue to be one of the main players in the transactional market in 2018, since all the funds raised in recent years have not yet been invested.”
M&A lawyers have to add value to transactions by offering a timely, pragmatic and commercial approach to problem solving, says Ruiz-Gallardón.