In a highly competitive environment, the ‘American dream’ of great and rapid promotion in exchange for hard work and hours of work is a reality. American law firms with offices in Spain apply this philosophy but adapt it to the Spanish legal market.
According to the latest research from Signium, the average annual salary of lawyers in the USA in 2021 was 178,000 euros, compared to the average of 102,000 euros for a senior lawyer with nine years of experience in Spain, according to data from the private portal Salary Explorer. .
Professional careers at these companies are “usually shorter and more transparent, rewarding only technical excellence, business vision and the work capacity of professionals,” says Teresa Zueco, managing partner of Squire Patton Boggs’ Madrid office.
Javier Benavides, professor of International Law at Villanueva University, agrees that the legal profession and medicine are the most reputable and best-paying professions in the United States, but for lawyers, “the level of billing demand, acquiring new clients, and quality work are essential requirements for advancing your career.
In addition to the salary gap, the U.S. legal market is so vast that the professional gaps between downtown lawyers and the rest are dire. Lawyers at large law firms are “mainly with companies or family officesin small law firms to which they are committed chasing ambulance and the American free legal aid system is much more limited than the Spanish legal aid system and exists only in the criminal field”, according to Benavides.
In Spain, these large law firms are “those that have a global and integrated character and are located in a complex legal market like North America, not only adding value to our clients with their global presence, but also predominantly operating in Spain,” Logan Lovells’ affirms. Jose Luis Vázquez, managing partner in Madrid.
Compared to Anglo-Saxon law firms, American law firms are characterized by encouraging the development of a greater commercial commitment among their lawyers. At Andersen, they have both a national and an international level, with a well-studied training program. education Its managing partner in Spain, José Vicente Morote, guarantees “a special dedication to developing the commercial culture of all the professionals of the firm”.
Juan Manuel de Remedios, managing partner of White & Case in Madrid, is committed to educating their lawyers from a very young age so that they “have a strategic vision for the business and we encourage them to learn about different sectors and industries”.
Also customer satisfaction is essential and for this they maintain a permanent dialogue to assess their needs.
“We trust that our clients see us as trusted business partners and advisors as well as legal advisers,” says Ignacio Gómez-Sancha, managing partner of Latham & Watkins’ Madrid office.
To compensate for the brutal competition and freedom in the advertising and deontological issues of the legal profession in the United States, American lawyers have so internalized the practice of free payment, displaying the classic American catchphrase of “don’t think what you want,” according to Benavides. The country can do it for you, you. if you can’t do it for your country”.
“Collaboration and teamwork culture is in our DNA”
JOSE LUIS VÁZQUEZ, MANAGEMENT PARTNER OF HOGAN LOVELLS IN MADRID
Managing partner of Hogan Lovells’ Madrid office has been involved in major infrastructure finance operations in Spain in recent years, such as advising an international infrastructure fund on the purchase of €1,000 million worth of debt from a Spanish firm. Specializing in all types of financing transactions, this attorney gives a Spanish lawyer at Hogan Lovells access to any document produced in his New York office within seconds, “which allows us to import innovative solutions and new trends produced anywhere into the local market.” and particularly in the USA”. This partner in Banking and Finance also advised BBVA on financing for the acquisition of an international target by a Spanish listed company.
“Legal advice goes beyond what is strictly legal”
JOSÉ VICENTE MOROTE, ANDERSEN’S EXECUTIVE PARTNER IN SPAIN
José Vicente Morote is also Andersen Global’s European Legal Coordinator. Bologna University with a PhD in Law and more than 20 years of professional experience, specializing in public and regulatory law, assuring that we transfer “quality standards and a very strong culture that we advise international clients” from the USA. teamwork and commitment to human value; but we are not an American law firm to be used”. Morote has advised on administrative law matters to a number of Public Administrations and companies involved in issues with major economic and social impact in different sectors such as infrastructure, real estate and the public sector. Academically, he has been dean of the Faculty of Law at the Catholic University of Valencia San Vicente Mártir and is the author of several books on Administrative Law and public regulation.
“For an American law firm, it is very important to be a good partner to their clients”
TERESA ZUECO, EXECUTIVE PARTNER OF MADRID SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS
The managing partner manages Commercial, M&A and Venture Capital at the Squire Patton Boggs office in Madrid. Teresa Zueco works in the areas of general corporate law, national and cross-border mergers and acquisitions of industrial companies and venture capital funds. She has extensive experience in M&A and corporate restructuring consulting, particularly in the infrastructure and energy, transportation, healthcare and hospitality sectors. This lawyer, who practices Spanish and French law, points out that American law firms were “the first to recognize the value of diversity, not only as a reflection of society, but also as a mechanism for recruiting the best talent.” Zueco-led Squire Patton Boggs advised Globant on dealing with LaLiga Tech on several acquisitions with Sherpa, a new global technology firm and venture capital firm.
“Our approach is guided by a commitment to quality and a culture of cooperation”
IGNACIO GÓMEZ-SANCHA, EXECUTIVE PARTNER OF LATHAM & WATKINS IN MADRID
Ignacio Gómez-Sancha provides corporate investors, investment banks and publicly traded companies with capital markets, M&A and private equityas well as restructuring. The head of the Madrid office of Lataham & Watkins states that this law firm “focuses on complex and cross-border issues and operates as a single global and integrated platform without office silos.” His recent experience includes advising CVC on IPOs of Enerside and Opdenergy, as well as its $2,000 million investment in LaLiga. It was also general counsel Member of the Advisory Committee of Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) and the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV). He is also a member of the European Commission’s Legal Security Projects Experts Group. He is currently the secretary of the Board of the CFA Society Spain.
“An American law firm’s philosophy is essentially practical and client oriented”
JUAN MANUEL DE REMEDIOS, EXECUTIVE PARTNER OF MADRID OF WHITE & CASE LLP
Responsible for the M&A/Corporate implementation in Spain. As a lawyer in Madrid and New York, he has worked in some of the most important cross-border operations in mergers and acquisitions and key mergers and acquisitions in the Spanish market, representing companies and investment funds. private equity. De Remedios assures the firm’s commitment to “lawyers who adapt to the needs of their clients, while never losing sight of the importance of reconciling the well-being of their professionals and the office with their personal lives.” Participated in JP Morgan Asset Management’s operation to acquire Naturgas Energía Distribución or advised Ebro Foods on the sale of its Panzani division and exclusive negotiations with CVC Capital Partners VIII for the sale of its pasta divisions, Cusco, semolina and cereals. sauces.
Abdón Pedrajas’ alliance with the American law firm Littler Mendelson
In January 2021, the Spanish firm became part of Littler Global, the international structure of Littler Mendelson, the world’s largest business law firm. Antonio Pedrajas, managing partner of Abdón Pedrajas Littler, acknowledges that although the company “has retained the independence, values and operating philosophy that has characterized us over the past half century, we now also have the ability to operate as a global company.” . Since then, Abdón Pedrajas Littler has acted as exclusive partner in Spain, assisting the North American law firm in a highly engaged manner in Europe and Latin America, where Littler has offices in more than twenty countries. Partners Antonio Pedrajas and Sonia Cortés have joined Littler Global’s world council, maintaining their institutional and organizational independence as well as their autonomy in decision-making. Following this alliance, the firm opened a new office in Valencia with a team of six professionals from Cuatrecasas. This new office joins the firm’s other two in Madrid and Barcelona, and the Lisbon office, in addition to the more than 100 Littler Globals operating in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Partners Antonio Pedrajas and Sonia Cortés join Littler Global’s world council.
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