Samsung, BBVA and SEAT among winners at Iberian Lawyer Golden Awards

Lawyers from Hewlett-Packard, Telefónica, and Pentair among others honored at Madrid ceremony recognising excellence of in-house legal teams and compliance officers

Spain’s leading in-house lawyers were honoured this month at the prestigious Iberian Lawyer Golden Awards (Premios Oro). The awards attracted many nominations across the eight categories with a panel of leading industry experts carefully considering each submission, with Samsung Electronics leading the way after winning the award for ´Team of the Year – Legal´.
Samsung’s legal department – which is led by general counsel and former Simmons & Simmons and Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira lawyer Guillermo Damiá – won the award following a string of successes. In particular, judges commended the team for the effective way in which it created new policies and compliance processes that have helped place the legal department at the heart of Samsung´s business strategy – this included enhancing co-ordination with the company’s headquarters in South Korea and other European offices.
The winner of the ´Team of the Year – Internationalisation´ award was Hewlett-Packard (HP), whose team is led by Javier Ramírez. HP has more than 1,000 legal professionals across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions. The team’s global approach to litigation was especially impressive to the judges because it is coordinated out of Madrid by general counsel Javier Ramirez, which gives the Spanish counsel a genuinely international outlook.
SEAT, meanwhile, secured the ´Team of the Year – Corporate Compliance´ award for its imaginative approach to compliance training. The company´s compliance department, led by Sandra Olivera, has put in place reporting processes – such as a “risk map” and a centralised data system – to minimise risk while also using role-playing workshops, videos and interactive presentations to raise awareness among employees.
The Awards also included recognition for individual in-house lawyers who made outstanding contributions to their specialist areas.
The ´Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year´ went to Luisa Forcada, head of legal communication & sponsorship at BBVA. Forcada is responsible for legal advice regarding BBVA’s corporate communication matters, including marketing and sponsorship – she played a key role in the bank´s deals involving the US National Basketball Association and La Liga, the Spanish professional football league.
Carlos Lacleta, head of legal for Europe and portfolio management at Globalvia Infrastructuras, won the ´Projects & Infrastructure Lawyer of the Year´ trophy. Lacleta was praised for his involvement in establishing a development plan to attract financial investors, as well as undertaking a due diligence programme that helped the company achieve greater liquidity and shareholder returns.
The ´Corporate Compliance Professional of the Year´ accolade went to María Hernández, chief compliance counsel for Europe and legal director for Southern Europe at Pentair. Hernández was responsible for creating and implementing a new European compliance department following Pentair’s merger with Tyco International.
Oscar Casado Oliva, general counsel and public policy officer at Tuenti, was named ´New Technologies Lawyer of the Year´. Casado Oliva was praised for his internal and external legal management, notably helping the technology company adapt its legal, regulatory and compliance processes to a social network business model.
Finally, the ´Corporate Lawyer of the Year´ title went to Miguel Garrido de las Heras, who leads the in-house M&A, financing and advisory function at Telefónica. Judges were impressed by his role in leading a ten-strong team in high-profile transactions that have helped the company strategically strengthen its international reach – deals included the purchases of Vivendi, DTS and E-Plus and the disposals of Telefónica Czech Republic, Telefónica Ireland and Rumbo.
Congratulations to all the winners.