“Staying close to your clients” goes without saying; as they go global, if you can’t be in every jurisdiction on your own, then you should join forces, as Roca Junyent´s strategy demonstrates
Para la firma Roca Junyent la proximidad con el cliente siempre ha sido clave, pero cuando el cliente se internacionaliza es crucial buscar alianzas internacionales que ofrezcan las garantías necesarias para mantener su confianza.
As clients are internationalising more and more to mitigate the crisis and the lack of movement in their domestic jurisdictions, law firms are having no choice but to follow. For some, it’s a whole new world; for others, it’s an already established part of their long-term strategy, like at Roca Junyent.
Founded in 1996, Roca Junyent represents multinationals and SMEs operating in Spain and worldwide in the industrial, financial and services sectors. It now has offices in Barcelona, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Lleida, Girona and Shanghai – and it shows no sign of stopping there.
In 2006, the firm further widened its global reach by joining international network TerraLex, an association of 160 independent firms in more than 100 jurisdictions worldwide.
Earlier this year, Roca Junyent completed the integration of law firm Vía Abogados, integrating 12 professionals into the team of the Madrid office and reinforcing the firm’s labour and litigation areas, particularly the corporate law and restructuring & insolvency practices.
More recently, Roca Junyent joined the Nabarro Alliance, made up of Nabarro (UK), August & Debouzy (France), GSK Stockmann + Kollegen (Germany) and Nunziante Magrone (Italy), spanning 23 offices and nine jurisdictions worldwide.
“Our international strategy is, and has always been, to try to be able to provide our clients with all the legal services that they need, and access to the Nabarro Alliance increases our ability to do so,” says Joan Roca, Managing Partner at Roca Junyent in Barcelona. “This integration complements our participation in the worldwide network Terralex and we now have five additional firms with similar working ethos to our own that have long-term relationships with each other, in-depth local knowledge and are used to working together.” This gives them the ability to assure their clients that wherever they go, their needs will be met at a local level and the service will be consistent with what they are used to on home ground – something that is a big part of the “trusted lawyer” role clients are coming to expect and demand.
For the Nabarro Alliance, the Spanish market is extremely important, says Roca. They wanted to be able to offer their clients the same level of service they were used to within the Alliance but in Spain, however, they were lacking a Spanish presence – “and our firm fit the criteria they were looking for”. The Nabarro Alliance had been without a Spanish presence since Rodes y Sala left in 2009 and merged with Gómez-Acebo & Pombo.
The Nabarro Alliance also gives Roca Junyent further access to Europe’s largest economies. This allows them to enter into even more Pan-European transactions as it’s a market that they felt they needed to be very strong in, as, when their clients go international, says Roca, “these are the first jurisdictions they approach”.
While members of the Alliance do cooperate on pitches when it comes to marketing, communications and training, the Alliance is non-exclusive, Roca stresses. This gives both the firm and its clients a level of freedom to go with the best option dependent on their needs and given jurisdiction, rather than being tied into any obligations.
Roca Junyent´s early ties with the Asian market are also showing their worth. The first Spanish law firm to establish in China in 2002, Roca Junyent´s Shanghai office was also something that attracted the Nabarro Alliance as it helps extend their presence in Asia, which consisted of GSK and Nabarro offices in Singapore.
More and more Spanish companies are looking to invest in Asia, and they have noticed a marked increase in clients in need of advice there. Roca Junyent is actively involved in the process of promoting this market, including participating at the recent Casa Asia session to discuss boosting Catalan trade relations and economic relations with Asian markets (attended by representatives of different economic sectors together and representatives of the Catalan administration).
Internationalisation is becoming the new norm, and whether you go it alone or with others, it is something that firms need to do if they intend to survive the current climate. “There are those jurisdictions where you just need to have a presence as they are seeing increased investment from the Spanish markets,” says Roca, “and you need to have the coverage and therefore capacity to provide necessary services to those markets.”