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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Spain > Banking and finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Who Represents Who

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A key name for financing mandates, Allen & Overy handles sophisticated and complex instructions and has a flexible approach to a continuously evolving market. Iñigo del Val advised Macquarie on the financing connected to the acquisition of a 20% interest in CLH Healthcare from AMP Capital; the firm also assisted AMP with the M&A elements of the operation. Other headline work included acting for Santander and CaixaBank on the €1.3bn financing provided to GIP for the purchase of a 20% stake in Gas Natural from Repsol and Criteria. Ignacio Ruiz-Cámara, Juan Hormaechea, Charles Poole-Warren and Salvador Ruiz Bachs are recommended.

Clifford Chance’s team covers the gamut of banking and finance matters including, syndicated lending, leveraged and acquisition finance, refinancing and debt restructuring, asset finance, project finance and financial regulatory issues. In a recent highlight, it acted for Banco Santander (as agent and bookrunner), BNP Paribas and Société Générale, as joint bookrunners and underwriters, and other syndicated lenders on the €387m senior financing of the acquisition of Pepephone and Yoigo by Spanish telecom operator MásMóvil (the credit line constituted a significant part of the global sum). The practice also acted for CaixaBank on a credit facility of €400m provided to Werfenlife, intended to finance the acquisition of US-based corporation Accriva Diagnostics. Practice head José Guardo, Epifanio Pérez, Eduardo García, Carlos Hernández-Canut and Carl Fitzgerald are highly regarded.

Cuatrecasas is best known for its work for local and international clients on large corporate finance transactions, refinancing and restructuring mandates, distressed debt, regulatory and other related instructions. Highlights included advising Cementos Portland on the restructuring of its financial debt valued at €950m, and assisting CaixaBank with the sale of a secured non-performing loans (NPL) portfolio to Goldman Sachs for €790m, and the sale of a portfolio of secured and unsecured NPLs to Lindorff, also valued at €790m. Rafael Mínguez, Fernando Bernad, Héctor Bros and Cristóbal Cotta are the key names.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is a popular choice for borrowers and lenders alike, and its expertise covers leveraged and acquisition financing, the acquisition and disposal of NPLs, debt restructuring and all related general advice. Ana López advised on the financial elements of CPPIB and Allianz Capital Partners’ investment in Gas Natural Distribution Business; the consortium will invest €1.5bn to acquire a 20% interest in the company. The team also advised KKR and Dunas Capital on their agreement with lender Bank of America for a €86.5m loan to acquire a portfolio of hotels in Mallorca. Iñaki Gabilondo is also recommended.

At Garrigues, the standard of service is ‘excellent, and all necessary steps are taken at the right time by its great team of lawyers, who have vast experience in the sector’. In one highlight, the team advised BBVA and others (as the lenders) on a credit line facility to Ibereólica Solar Morón, valued at €232m. Other work included assisting a multinational corporation with the structuring of a complex derivative transaction involving a variety of financial products with an aggregate value in excess of €400m. CaixaBank, Banco de Sabadell and JP Morgan Asset Management are also clients. Rafael González-Gallarza and Luis de la Peña lead the team. Gonzalo Rivera, José Miguel Pinillos and Gaspar Atienza are other key names.

Linklaters’ team has a proven track record acting for local and international corporations, private equity firms and financial institutions. Alejandro Ortiz, José Giménez and Carmen Burgos led assistance to CLH Healthcare with the sale of 20% of its share capital, held by Omán Oil Company and AMP Capital, in a €917m transaction, which also included advising the sponsor and borrower on sponsoring the acquisition. Ben Crosse acted for a syndicate of lenders on the amendment of an existing €1.7bn facility agreement connected to Merlín’s and Metrovacesa’s merger in a €1.8bn transaction. Pedro de Rojas and Juan Barona are also recommended.

A first port of call for many’, Uría Menéndez’s practice receives praise for the high-quality of its services, and its lawyers’ negotiation skills and thorough knowledge of the market. Headline work included advising Banco Santander, CaixaBank, Crédit Agricole, Bankia and Banco Popular (the coordination committee) on all stages and aspects of Abengoa’s debt restructuring process, with an aggregate value of €20bn. In another high-profile matter, it advised BBVA and Banco Santander (as global agents), CaixaBank, Banco Sabadell and 50 other creditors including foreign banks, funds and sureties, on the restructuring of the corporate debt of Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC), valued at €6.8bn. Sebastián Sáenz de Santa María, Carlos de Cárdenas Smith and Ángel Pérez are all key members of the practice.

Ashurst LLP has expertise across the spectrum of banking and finance matters and advises on banking, project finance, financial litigation and financial regulatory issues. Its list of clients includes some of the major players in the banking arena. Fernando Navarro and José Christian Bertram, who jointly head the practice, handled pre-insolvency proceedings for Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Credit Suisse, Bancomext, Chubb and Exim Bank India related to Abengoa’s debt restructuring. Recently promoted partner Nicholas Pawson and Manuel López are also noted. Other clients include Bank of America, HIG Capital, Lloyds Banking Group and Chenavari Credit.

Baker McKenzie houses a highly experienced international banking group that assists high-profile local and international clients on debt financing, project financing, regulatory issues and general related advice. Highlights included advising Deutsche Bank (acting on behalf of the bondholders) on matters valued in excess of €8bn pertaining to Abengoa’s insolvency proceedings. Other key clients include Cajamar, SARquavitae, Bankia and Axión. Francisco Bauzá, Marcel Enrich, Rossanna D’Onza and Ana García are noted.

DLA Piper LLP has a strong reputation for its work on financing and refinancing matters and counts major Spanish banking corporations and leading financing houses among its clients. Highlights included advising Atlantia (as the borrower) on the financing agreement to fund its potential acquisition of Abertis Infraestructuras. Head of department Jesús Zapata, Ricardo Plasencia, Iñigo Gómez-Jordana and Nerea Cemlym-Jones are the key names. Ignacio Gómez Sancha joined Latham & Watkins LLP.

Gómez-Acebo & Pombo fields a ‘superb team of lawyers’ which advises on financing transactions, corporate finance, syndicated loans, asset finance, project finance, debt restructuring, regulatory compliance and investigations initiated by the authorities, among others. The practice is advising Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and others, as the arrangers, on the €6.3bn credit line to Grifols, intended to refinance existing indebtedness and the acquisition of Hologic’s diagnostic unit. The group also assisted Apollo, Davidson Kempner and Avenue as creditors of Cementos Portland Valderrivas pertaining to a refinancing and the necessary steps to be taken in light of a takeover bid launched by FCC. Other clients include Banco Santander, Axiare Patrimonio SOCIMI and Dutch bank Triodos. Miguel Lamo de Espinosa, Carlos Rueda, Rafael Aguilera, Fernando Igartua and Àngel Varela are key practitioners.

Broseta Abogados’ ‘solid banking team’ acted for Oaktree Capital Management on the purchase of the secured NPL portfolio ‘Normandy’ from Banco Sabadell, which included conducting an analysis of loans and collaterals to identify risks. Practice head Antonio Navarro advised Compañía Valenciana de Aluminio Baux on the restructuring of its financial debt with a banking pool led by Banco Sabadell. Other clients include Kartesia Securities, Bankia, CaixaBank and Sareb. Alejandro Rios and Julio Veloso are noted.

Highlights for CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo’s practice included advising Agencia Estatal de Resolució D’Entitats Bancaries on issues pertaining to Banca Privada d’Andorra’s insolvency proceedings, among them the sale of a syndicated loan portfolio and public debt, the structuring of a winding-up strategy, compliance programmes and other related issues. Abraham Nájera and María Guinot assisted Banco Popular with the negotiation of a loan agreement with JP Morgan valued at €572m. Gracia Sainz and Curra Munuera are also noted.

Dentons is known for its general finance advice including aircraft finance, structured finance, general lending and project finance. Jabier Badiola led advice to a syndicate of banks, led by Banco Popular, on the financing of the acquisition (and lease) of four aircraft by Iberia. Jesús Mardomingo and Jesús Varela are recommended for their expertise and knowledge.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP acts for leading Spanish and international financial institutions. Recent headline work included assisting Trilantic Capital Partners with all matters connected to the financing of the acquisition and refinancing of indebtedness of the Pachá Group (owner of luxury night clubs, hotels and cabaret restaurants). Other clients include Bank of America, First State Investments, BNP Paribas and Magnum Capital. Gonzalo Martín de Nicolás is the leading name.

At Ontier, Ramón Ruiz de la Torre has an impressive track record handling banking and finance instructions. The team acted for Soinmob, as the borrower, and Inversora Carso, as the guarantor, on the early repayment of a loan agreement and the cancellation of the security package. Oscar Murillo, Francisco Fenoy, and Paula Enriquez are also noted.

Pérez-Llorca has a strong reputation advising major domestic and international financial institutions, and is abreast of current developments and market trends. In one notable highlight, it acted for BBVA and Bankia as creditor of Dominum Dirección y Gestión (the SPV through which Esther Koplowitz holds her stake in FCC) on FCC’s share capital increase for the amount of €700m; the team has also assisted the Slim and Koplowitz families with matters concerning this investment process. Fausto Romero-Miura, Ander Valverde and Fernando Quicios lead the practice.

Ramón y Cajal Abogados handles the full range of banking and finance matters including acquisition finance, syndicated lending, real estate financing, and corporate-project finance; leading Spanish and international banks are among its clients. Javier Menchén advised real estate corporation Grupo La Finca on its financial debt restructuring with a €503m value; and Amado Giménez assisted Finestrelles with the project finance for the construction of a shopping centre in Barcelona valued at €105m.

Araoz & Rueda’s banking and finance team was strengthened by the arrival of Rafael Bazán from Baker McKenzie. Highlights included assisting Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank with the Spanish aspects of Sidorme Hotels’ senior facility agreement in the sum of €504m. In another highlight, the practice acted for Castlelake (as the lessor) on the financial aspects of the lease of several aircraft engines to Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s team was strengthened by the arrival of Alfredo Barona and José Luis Pita, who joined from DLA Piper LLP. Barona and José Luis Vázquez jointly head the team; the latter led assistance to Oppidum Capital with novating and extending a €386m syndicated loan by JP Morgan and Credit Suisse. The team also advised Terberg Group on a debt refinancing following its merger with urban cleaning equipment corporation Ros Roca, which had an aggregate value of €355m. Banco Santander, BBVA, CaixaBank and Firmum Capital are also clients.

Jones Day has vast expertise assisting local and international clients with conventional, complex and innovative financing structures. Javier López Antón, Andrés Lorrio, Fernando Lillo and counsel Vanessa Armas are the key names. Banco Santander and a group of syndicated lenders engaged the firm’s services to advise on a €2bn credit facility to Grupo Isolux Corsán for the restructuring of an existing debt.

King & Wood Mallesons’ banking and finance team works closely with the firm’s corporate department to advise on banking transactions and financial services matters, and has a particular expertise assisting with the financing of private equity funds. Joaquín Sales led advice to the Arcano Group on the financing of its private equity fund. Other work included assisting Alantra (formerly N+1 Private Equity) on the financing structure of its equity fund.

Latham & Watkins LLP advised the lenders (including BBVA, BNP Paribas and CaixaBank) on financing provided to Parques Reunidos as part of the preliminary steps conducive to its IPO in a cross-border operation valued at €775m. Fernando Colomina and senior associate Joaquín Fabré are the key names. Other clients include Banco Santander, Goldman Sachs, Bankia and BBVA. Ignacio Gómez Sancha joined from DLA Piper LLP.

Ventura Garcés & López-Ibor, Abogados has been very active recently advising on matters connected to companies in distress, and also acts for borrowers on complex, high-value transactions. Alfonso López Ibor leads the practice. Marta Gil de Biedma and Tomás Garcés are other names to note.

Bird & Bird has built a strong reputation advising on structured finance, banking and finance compliance and distressed portfolio-related matters, and also has considerable expertise handling sport and aviation-related finance. José Luis Lorente heads the practice. Banca Farmafactoring has instructed the firm to assist with matters connected to its online banking products, including updates of terms and conditions, and regulatory issues.

Roca Junyent is known for its regulatory work for banking institutions, credit corporations and investment funds. In one highlight, it acted for Banco Sabadell on the refinancing of a photovoltaic park, valued at €440m. Xavier Foz Giralt and Miquel Roca Junyet are the leading names.

Simmons & Simmons LLP has a strong reputation for advising on refinancing and debt restructuring, acquisition finance, real estate finance, distressed debt, trading and complex acquisition structures among other matters, and acts for Spanish and international financial houses, funds and banks. Alvaro Muñoz and Alfredo de Lorenzo are the key names. The practice regularly handles a variety of transactions pertaining to the purchase and sale of debt in Spain for the debt trading desk of a global banking corporation.

White & Case LLP’s team’s recent work included advising Deutsche Bank on the financing of Fresenius Helios’ €5.8bn acquisition of IDC Salud Holding (Quirónsalud), Spain’s largest private hospital operator; Yoko Takagi led the advice. Notable practitioner Juan Manuel de Remedios leads the practice, which was recently strengthened by the arrival of José Blanco, who was previously the head of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s capital markets practice.

Andersen Tax & Legal’s Guillermo Yuste (former head of Araoz & Rueda’s banking practice) led advice to KGAL and Norddeutsche Landesbank on the Spanish elements of the financing and acquisition of three aircraft to be leased to Air Europa. Corporate head Gonzalo Cerón and Carlos Salinas are active members of the team.

Deloitte Legal is establishing itself as a strong name in the Spanish banking and finance sector and is assisting ING Bank with the development and implementation of digital processes for its banking services. Other clients include Openbank, Santander Consumer Finance and Banco Popular. Ignacio Ortiz del Río leads the practice. Digital banking expert Francisco Javier Ramírez is also noted.

Osborne Clarke’s banking practice, led by Eduard Arruga, has been active advising on Spanish financing deals. Its expertise covers the whole sector with considerable emphasis in the real estate, energy, infrastructure and private equity areas. The team advised Grifols on the financing needed to fund its acquisition of Hologic’s share of NAT’s donor screening unit for the sum of $1.8bn.

Cases & Lacambra’s expertise covers financial regulatory matters, financing, debt and fintech. Miguel Cases and Toni Barios are the key names.

At EY Abogados, head of department Jesús Estévez advised Corporación Empresarial Pascual on the financing of its approximately €400m credit line to cover short and long-term commitments.

Asset-based lending, real estate finance and regulatory advice are specialties at Eversheds Sutherland Nicea. The team advises Mercedes-Benz Financial Services on a range of matters. Juan Díaz and Javier Ibáñez are the key names.

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    Spain has recently been referred to as one of the "hottest" European countries in terms of debt sales, specifically of non-performing loans. This should not come as a surprise in a scenario in which independent audits as of June 2012 revealed a EUR 62 billion capital shortfall in Spanish banks and in which the Spanish rate of non-performing loans stayed above eight per cent of all loans.

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