by ilaria iaquinta
At the end of 2016, after more than ten years at the helm of the Spanish law firm Bird & Bird (which he opened in 2005 when he was only 34 years old) Javier Fernández-Samaniego decided to open Samaniego Law. At that time, the lawyer already had 20 years of experience gained precisely in the dispute resolution and new technologies team at Bird & Bird, at Linklaters as head of the new technologies and communications law department and as an associate in the Litigation area and head of the Technology and Data Protection law department at the Spanish law firm Cuatrecasas.
The idea of entering the market with a new proposal, an alternative legal service provider (ALSP) that could offer clients an alternative to traditional legal services, had been in the making for many years, Fernández-Samaniego tells Iberian Lawyer. But the trigger was his involvement in the DXC Technology deal, the result of the merger of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Enterprise Services and the outsourcing of its legal advice to UnitedLex. “It was inspiring because this transaction involved the outsourcing of the legal function with hundreds of lawyers to UnitedLex and the digital transformation of a law firm.” In founding Samaniego Law, “What I did was to apply techniques that were already invented by technology consultancy, which was my natural client, to the legal profession,” the lawyer recalls.
And so it is how, in January 2017, the offices of Samaniego Law open their doors simultaneously in Madrid and Miami. Alongside Fernández-Samaniego there are not only some of his close collaborators lawyers but also other profiles: Manuel Esteban, mathematician and expert in artificial intelligence and digital transformation (now head of the legal tech and management services solutions department), Silvia Pérez-Navarro, founder and former managing partner of the head-hunting firm Iterlegis Legal Staffing Solutions (now special counsel and director of projects and lawyer) and María Meshcherskaya, former head of marketing and business development at the Madrid office of Bird & Bird (now director of corporate development).