Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira grows by 2.9% in 2014 and, for the first time, exceeds the €250 million threshold

March 4, 2015

 

·         All practice areas yielded positive results, with particular growth in the Corporate and Commercial, and Tax Practices

·         The firm's international expansion continues, with the scheduled opening of a new office in Beijing in 2015

·         International billing represents 19.5% of the firm's total billing

Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, a leading law firm in Spain and Portugal, which represents listed companies in both countries, has obtained sound financial results, driven by the good performance of the transactions in its main practices. The firm has also restated its commitment to people's development and value creation, promoting the presence of women on its management boards.

The billing for the business year that has just ended is €255.4 million, compared to last year’s €248 million. This confirms the gradual reactivation of the financial and corporate transactions market, in line with the recovery of the Spanish economy.

The Corporate and Commercial Practice contributed most to the turnover, with 35.4% of the billing. It was closely followed by the TaxPractice, which is responsible for 32.1% of the total billing, and the Litigation and Labor and EmploymentPractices, with 22.6% and 9.9%, respectively.

In the words of Rafael Fontana, the firm’s Chairman and Managing Partner, "the economic situation in Spain has whetted the appetite of foreign investors, both investment funds and companies from sectors such as energy, infrastructures, real estate, telecommunications, and distribution, as proven by the good performance of our Corporate and Commercial Practice.”

International expansion

The firm has expanded its international presence in strategic markets, particularly in Europe, where deferred business has continued to grow as a result of the consolidation of the European network the firm has established with three leading law firms in France, Germany and Italy.

The firm's inbound activity grew by 5% compared to 2013, and international billing represents 19.5% of the firm's total billing. 

Together with Europe, Latin America is one of the priority markets for the firm. In 2014, it has worked on strengthening its agreements with leading firms in each jurisdiction. It continues to be active in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia, as these are the markets with the most potential.

 

Awards and main transactions

In 2014, Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira joined the prestigious GAR30 club, which recognizes the 30 top global law firms for their international arbitration practice. The Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence have recognized the firm as the top Spanish law firm in 2014. In addition, according to the MergerMarket and Thomson Reutersrankings, Cuatrecasascontinues to lead the Iberian market for volume of M&A transactions.

 

The main transactions in which the firm was involved in 2014 are as follows:

SAREB– Advising on several senior bond issues for a total of €29.83 billion.

AENA– Advising on the modification of its debt before privatization. Value: €12 billion.

Banco Santander, BBVA, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan– Advising the global coordinators on the IPO of 22% of Endesa. Value: €3.132 billion.

pemex– Advising on selling its stake in Repsol, representing 7.86% of its share capital. Value: €2.091 billion.

APPlus – Advising on the IPO, subscription of shares, and admission to trading on the Spanish stock exchange markets. Value: €1.2 billion.

PRISA – Advising on selling 56% of DTS (Digital +) to Telefónica. Value: €750 million.

 

 

Seeking value creation

In 2014, the firm has restated its commitment to people's development and value creation. Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereiraclosed 2014 with hardly any changes in its staff of 1,472, of which 957 are lawyers and 206 partners.

It has also continued to favor transparency and prove its responsibility toward society. It is the first law firm to become a member of Forética, an association enabling businesses to share best practices on corporate social responsibility.

In November, it signed an agreement with the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality to increase the number of women in management positions and on its management boards. It is the first and only Spanish law firm that, together with eight other large Spanish companies, has committed to improving gender balance on its board of directors and aims to have a minimum female participation of at least 25% in 2020 and 33% in 2024.

Finally, the law firm continues to support innovation as a key factor in its development. In 2014, itsigned an agreement with the publishing group Thomson Reuters Aranzadi, under which it made available to all its lawyers a unique digital library in the Spanish market.

 

Prospects for 2015

In the words of Rafael Fontana, the firm’s Chairman and Managing Partner, "2015 will continue to be a difficult year, as the Spanish legal market is mature and highly competitive. However, based on (i) the movements in the last months of 2014; (ii) and the IMF forecasts reviewing the expected Spanish GDP upward, up to a 2% estimated growth, we can be optimistic and envisage a clear recovery, particularly in M&A and capital markets. In the same way, we believe that foreign investment in Spain in 2015 will continue to increase, as it did in 2014."

Given this economic context, the firm has set a 4.5% expansion target for 2015 and expects to recruit 80 new lawyers in 2015 in all practice areas.

Some of the firm’s large projects for 2015 include the progress of the works for its new Barcelona headquarters in the 22@ district, which will be completed in 2016, and the opening of a new office in Beijing.

For years, Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira has advised Spanish and Portuguese companies with interests in China, and Chinese companies with interests in the Iberian Peninsula. In 2007, it established an office in Shanghai, expanding the scope of its services to provide advisory services to Chinese companies with global interests in Europe, Latin America and Africa, and to European and Latin American companies with interests in China.

Considering the good performance of the China Desk and the local office, the firm has decided to take a new step in its expansion strategy in China by opening a new office in Beijing in 2015.

 

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