After several months of hard work by the 16 competing law students, Cuatrecasas has closed the second edition of the Cuatrecasas Challenge. Andrea Santamaría Martínez (Universidad Carlos III Madrid) and María del Mar García-Delgado Lastra (Universidad de Salamanca) are this year’s winning pair; and Natalia Gracía Gómez (ESADE Business & Law School, Barcelona) and Javier Muñoz Rodríguez (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid) have been selected as semifinalists. Both teams will receive financial support to study the Master for Admission to the Practice of Law or a dual master’s degree program with a specialization, and the opportunity to pursue a master’s internship in their preferred practice area at Cuatrecasas.
Selected from over 60 applications, the 16 candidates—coming from 12 different universities—first submitted a written defense in January. Assigned in random pairs, the eight finalist teams completed the competition on February 23 with an oral defense of the cases they had been working on since December.
The competitors produced excellent work; not only demonstrating their procedural skills with a preliminary explanation of the case and the main issues raised, but also subsequently responding to questions posed by a jury panel composed of four partners from the firm’s different practices: Fedra Valencia (Restructuring, Insolvency and Special Situations), Meritxell Yus (Indirect Taxation/Real Estate and Town Planning), Almudena Batista (Labor and Employment) and Miguel Sánchez Monjo (Financial Services and Insurance).
The defense in question focused on a multidisciplinary case, created and proposed by the firm’s Knowledge and Innovation Group, that addressed key issues of business law affecting tax, corporate, litigation, arbitration, and labor practice areas.
Referring to this second Cuatrecasas Challenge, Meritxell Yus notes “the great interest that this competition creates among law students. The competitors, from different universities in Spain, have worked intensively with a partner they did not previously know to prepare and defend a case study that encompassed different branches of law, and the result has been spectacular. As a member of the jury, I have witnessed the high level of the competitors, which proves that the new generations of lawyers are very well prepared and have a great professional vocation. Here at the firm we are convinced that the best service is provided by the best talent and the Cuatrecasas Challenge enables us to discover it.”
Fedra Valencia also notes that “Cuatrecasas Challenge is another commitment we make for the best talent. The competitors face both a legal challenge, as they have to address several issues relating to a case study, and a personal one, by collaborating with a partner they do not know, which involves having to adjust to working as a team. Once again, we are delighted with the level of the work and the oral presentations.”
For the second consecutive year, and thanks to the interest and work of all the competitors, Cuatrecasas Challenge closes this edition with a highly positive result. Cuatrecasas is already working on the third edition of the Challenge, giving new opportunities to the next generation of legal talent.