Cuatrecasas opens office in Beijing at a time when chinese investment in is growing fast

October 20, 2017

  • Firm continues to expand internationally, opening its second office in China after a decade offering services in Shanghai
  • Partner Pablo Cubel to manage new office
  • China's stabilizing economy and increasing investor appetite in Southern Europe are the basis for the opening of a new office


Cuatrecasas, a leading law firm in Spain and Portugal celebrating its centenary this year, continues to expand internationally and opens a new office in Beijing.

The Iberian firm’s presence in the Chinese capital adds to its longstanding commitment in China where it has been active for the last decade, having opened an office in Shanghai in 2007.

Pablo Cubel, a partner and M&A expert, will manage the new office and a team made up of Chinese lawyers with their knowledge of the Chinese market and European lawyers with their knowledge of the Cuatrecasas resources and business culture.

Rafael Fontana, the firm’s Senior Partner, stated that “given the good operation of the Shanghai office under Omar Puertas and the business perspectives in China, we feel confident about starting our adventure in Beijing and expanding our Corporate and Commercial Practice. By opening this office, we are meeting our objective to continue growing and become a benchmark Ibero-American business law firm, as established in our Strategic Plan.”

The opening of the new office confirms the firm’s commitment to international expansion. In the last year, Cuatrecasas has opened an office in Mexico City, which has already become established, and signed an alliance with leading law firm Posse Herrera Ruiz to operate in Colombia. It also renewed the management of its strategic New York and London offices, placing emphasis on the Finance Practice.


Chinese investment in Southern Europe grows

Following its recent slowdown, China, the second leading world economy after the US, takes steps to stabilize growth by increasing (i) national consumption; and (ii) state and private investment in different markets and sectors, particularly focusing on the US, Europe and LATAM. In 2016, Asia was the third most active market in M&A and, according to Mergermarket’s annual M&A report, China was the only country to register records for the value and volume of registered deals.

Also, according to the report “Chinese investment trends in 2016,” drafted by ESADE business school and Cuatrecasas, China invested over $30 billion in Europe in 2015, which is a 55% increase on previous years.

The report also stated that China’s preferred target investment area was Southern Europe, which received almost 30% of China's investment in Europe. In Spain alone, the Asian giant invested over $2 billion between 2010 and 2015, an upward trend with a strong focus on the real estate sector, logistics, industrial machinery and consumer goods. Other business opportunities are the infrastructure projects under the “One Belt One Road” project; investment in technology, particularly in the cleantech, biotech and agribusiness sectors; R&D projects; and the projects to exploit natural resources.


Relevant deals

  • SEAT: Advising on its joint venture with the Volkswagen group and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile.
  • Dalian Wanda Group: Advising on selling Edificio España in Madrid through the sale of Plaza de Espana 19 Development shareholding to Baraka Global Invest. Value: €272 million
  • RCD Espanyol: Advising the majority shareholders on selling shares representing 45.1% of RDC Espanyol to the Chinese group Rastar Group.
  • Melco Crown Entertainment: Advising the Chinese giant on urban planning in relation to developing the complex previously called Barcelona World in the Tarragona region.
  • Meliá Hotels International: Advising on the opening of hotels in China and structuring the service provision between the Chinese management center and other Asian subsidiaries, including the hotel management agreements for new projects.
  • Giordano International: Advising the leading retail clothing and accessory company in Asia on establishing itself in Spain, particularly on its corporate and tax structures and on protecting intellectual property rights.
  • WH Group: Advising on the alliance with the Mexican company Sigma and on their joint launch of a takeover bid for the Campofrío group. Value: €705 million
  • Osborne: Advising the shareholders owning 20% of its shares on (i) a strategic investment agreement with the Chinese group Fosun, (ii) Fosun’s subsequent disinvestment, and (iii) the Osborne group's acquisition of Fosun’s 20% stake in the Osborne group.


About Pablo Cubel

Managing partner of the Beijing office, Mr. Cubel has worked in the Madrid and Valencia offices. He joined Cuatrecasas in 1999 and was appointed partner in 2008.
He advises Spanish and foreign companies, including venture capital companies, on inbound investment in Spain and outbound investment abroad. His experience in the biotech, agribusiness, sports and cleantech sectors is particularly noteworthy. He has a Doctor of Laws with special distinction and has published many articles and books. He has published two books on waste management, the most recent one on the extended liability of manufacturers of electric and electronic goods. Until 2016, he was chair of the International Association of Young Lawyers’ Energy and Environment Commission.


About Cuatrecasas

Cuatrecasas is a leading law firm in Spain and Portugal. It has 26 offices in 12 countries, where its almost 1,000 lawyers work in the world’s main financial centers.

Through 35 specialty groups, we advise on all areas of business law. We represent leading companies, advising them on their investments in the major markets. Our services are founded on excellence, achieving results and commitment to our clients and their interests.

Cuatrecasas applies a flexible international expansion model under which it establishes (i) own offices in countries where it has preferential relationships, and (ii) collaboration agreements with other leading law firms in different jurisdictions. In continental Europe, it is part of a European network of law firms along with Chiomenti (Italy), Gide (France) and Gleiss Lutz (Germany), with a total of 34 offices worldwide.

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