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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

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy¬†'can be trusted for difficult and challenging tasks' and is 'strongly committed to meeting tight deadlines'. It advised Banco Santander, BBVA and CaixaBank on the financing granted to Forestalia Renovables for the construction and development of nine wind farms; the ‚ā¨310m financing was the largest bankable power purchase agreement in the market.¬†Ignacio Ruiz-C√°mara, who¬†has 'excellent negotiation skills',¬†led the advice on the matter, while¬†Juan Hormaechea¬†acted for the financing entities on the financing granted to Blackstone for the takeover bid for Hispania. The five-partner team also includes¬†Jimena Urretavizcaya,¬†Charles Poole-Warren¬†and¬†Salvador Ruiz Bachs. Senior associate Vanessa Cuellas¬†is recommended, while former senior associate √Ālvaro Pereda left to join Banco de Espa√Īa.

Clifford Chance's banking and finance lawyers are 'honest and clear in their opinions', 'available' and 'efficient'. The group acts mostly for domestic and international commercial lenders, but also for¬†borrowers and project sponsors. A recent highlight was assisting¬†HSBC and BNP Paribas with the ‚ā¨1.6bn refinancing of Prisa‚Äôs debt. In other work, the team advised Banco Santander as agent; BNP Paribas, Banco Santander and Soci√©t√© G√©n√©rale as bookrunners, underwriters and mandated lead arrangers; and a syndicate of lenders on the ‚ā¨386m senior financing granted to¬†M√°sM√≥vil for the acquisition of mobile network operators Pepephone and Yoigo.¬†Jos√© Guardo,¬†Carlos Hern√°ndez-Canut¬†and¬†Epifanio P√©rez, who has 'great negotiation skills', are recommended.¬†Eugenio Fern√°ndez-Rico, Felipe Font¬†and Mar√≠a Sabau¬†are senior associates to keep in mind.

Cuatrecasas¬†is experienced in handling refinancings and corporate finance matters. It recently handled numerous instructions regarding the refinancing of debt, for example when assisting the syndicated banks, with Banco Santander as agent, with the ‚ā¨500m refinancing of Elecnor‚Äôs corporate debt. On the borrower side, it advised airport operator Aena on obtaining ‚ā¨1.25bn in financing through implementing bilateral loans with eight financial institutions.¬†H√©ctor Bros¬†is the name to note in Barcelona, while¬†Rafael M√≠nguez¬†and¬†Fernando Bernad¬†are recommended in the Madrid office. Here,¬†Miguel Cruz¬†made partner in April 2018.

With Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer¬†as adviser, a client can expect 'no surprises', as the team is 'fully reliable' and always 'in¬†control of the whole process'. It advised¬†a syndicate of banks, including Bankia, CaixaBank and Banco Sabadell, on a ‚ā¨1.4bn refinancing, which included a combination of a syndicated committed bond line, a reverse factoring line and a revolving credit facility. Another highlight was acting for the bookrunners, mandated lead arrangers and original lenders (which included Banco Santander¬†and¬†Soci√©t√© G√©n√©rale)¬†on the ‚ā¨2bn facilities agreement to finance the acquisition of a 20% stake in Gas Natural Fenosa.¬†Ana L√≥pez¬†has a 'practical approach to difficult issues' and is 'very dedicated to clients'.¬†I√Īaki Gabilondo¬†leads the team, which also includes senior associate Cristina Esteve.

In addition to financings,¬†J&A Garrigues SLP¬†handles regulatory work, with particular expertise in fintech matters. Other work included advising Fluidra on the refinancing of debt in connection with its merger with the Zodiac group, which included the granting of a revolving credit facility and an asset-based loan. The group also assisted Farmafactoring Espa√Īa with the granting of a European Investment Bank (EIB) guarantee line to cover the credit risk in a supply chain finance programme to facilitate financings granted to Spanish SMEs. The eight-partner team includes¬†Luis de la Pe√Īa,¬†Gonzalo Rivera,¬†Jos√© Miguel Pinillos¬†and¬†Gaspar Atienza. Senior associates Jon Goirigolzarri¬†and¬†Xabier Valle¬†are standout lawyers of the next generation.

Linklaters¬†recently advised several private equity houses, including BC Partners and CVC, on the (debt) financing of acquisitions. Other work included assisting a consortium of institutional investors with¬†the financing of the acquisition of Naturgas Energ√≠a Distribuci√≥n¬†from EDP. The client portfolio also includes banks such as Banco Santander, Soci√©t√© G√©n√©rale and Deutsche Bank.¬†Alejandro Ortiz,¬†Pedro De Rojas¬†and¬†Juan Barona¬†are partners to note.¬†Patricia √Ālvarez¬†was promoted to counsel in May 2018 and is recommended along with managing associates¬†Bego√Īa Mart√≠nez¬†and Francisco S√°inz-Tr√°paga.

Ur√≠a Men√©ndez¬†offers 'tailor-made advice' and 'very strong knowledge of banking regulations'. It¬†assisted a syndicate of lenders led by BBVA with the refinancing of¬†Celsa Group's¬†financial debt, and advised¬†Abanca on the sale¬†of a portfolio of unsecured non-performing loans (NPLs) with an aggregate outstanding balance of ‚ā¨477m¬†to debt collection specialist¬†EOS.¬†Sebasti√°n S√°enz de Santa Mar√≠a,¬†Carlos de C√°rdenas Smith, and¬†Isabel Aguilar¬†and¬†Carolina Albuerne¬†(both counsel) are also recommended.¬†√Āngel P√©rez¬†'puts the client's needs above anything else'.

Several of Ashurst LLP's clients highlight its banking and finance team's 'client-focused approach'. It¬†advised Barclays on the acquisition of credits worth ‚ā¨717m, and assisted Morzal Properties Iberia with borrowing ‚ā¨489m under a¬†facility agreement for the partial purchase of real estate assets. Manuel L√≥pez¬†is 'very practical and quick', and provides 'thorough and well-founded advice'. The 'always helpful and available' Fernando Navarro¬†leads the team together with Jos√© Christian Bertram. Senior associate¬†Alfonso Garc√≠a¬†has a 'proactive attitude, a hands-on approach' and 'remarkable project management skills'.¬†Counsel Josefina Garc√≠a Pedroviejo, an expert in financial regulation, joined from Ur√≠a Men√©ndez¬†in April 2018.

The 'practical and results-oriented' team at¬†Baker McKenzie¬†'always pushes for the best interests of its clients'. It acted for Cr√©dit Agricole CIB on the refinancing of a facility agreement¬†granted to Grupo Villar Mir¬†in order to increase the principal amount by ‚ā¨150m. Financing work included assisting¬†Gransolar with securing the financing of a solar power plant.¬†Francisco Bauz√°¬†is 'dedicated' and¬†Rossanna D‚ÄôOnza¬†'offers practical solutions'.¬†Marcel Enrich¬†and¬†Ana Garc√≠a, who¬†leads the financial services regulation practice, complete the four-partner practice.¬†Carlos Gutierrez¬†left to join¬†BROSETA Abogados¬†in January 2018.

DLA Piper LLP's client portfolio includes numerous banks, such as BBVA, CaixaBank and¬†Soci√©t√© G√©n√©rale. It advised a syndicate of banks led by Banco Santander on the financing of¬†T√©cnicas Reunidas'¬†new working capital. On the borrower side, it assisted¬†Neinor Homes with a bridge facility agreement granted by JP Morgan; as it is governed by English law, Madrid-based Spain and UK qualified lawyers cooperated on this matter. Practice head¬†Jes√ļs Zapata,¬†Ricardo Plasencia¬†and¬†C√©sar Herrero¬†are recommended.

G√≥mez-Acebo & Pombo's banking and finance team is 'easy to work with' and 'very helpful'. In a major highlight, it¬†advised a syndicate of lenders on the ‚ā¨1.2bn refinancing of debt held by Abengoa to avoid the public company's insolvency. Borrower-side assistance included acting for¬†Fuerza y Energ√≠a Limpia de Tizimin, the sponsor, on the financing of a 75MW wind farm in Mexico. Key names are¬†Miguel Lamo de Espinosa,¬†Rafael Aguilera¬†and¬†Fernando Igartua, while¬†Fernando Herrero¬†is recommended at senior associate level.

The 'responsive and proactive'¬†BROSETA Abogados¬†offers 'top-level advice at a reasonable cost'. It advised funds¬†managed¬†by Oaktree Capital on the acquisition of a secured NPL portfolio from Banco Sabadell with an outstanding balance in excess of ‚ā¨1bn.¬†The 'smart, proactive and experienced'¬†Antonio Navarro¬†leads the team. Now head of the banking and finance practice in Madrid, Carlos Guti√©rrez¬†joined from¬†Baker McKenzie¬†in January 2018.

For mid-market banking and finance transactions, CMS Albi√Īana y Su√°rez de Lezo¬†is a strong choice. Two of the larger financing transactions handled recently were advising Banco Popular on the negotiation with JP Morgan of a ‚ā¨572m term loan facility agreement, and assisting¬†Gamut Capital Management with a $215m financing granted to IAC Group.¬†Abraham N√°jera¬†leads the team. Curra Munuera left in May 2018 to work in house at¬†Banco Caminos, while counsel¬†Ignacio Ramos¬†joined from¬†Clifford Chance¬†in July 2018.

Dentons¬†provides 'solid expertise' and 'excellent availability'. Recently, it assisted Global Bankers Capital with a ‚ā¨65m financing to media group Grupo Secuoya. It also handled a¬†‚ā¨42.5m leveraged buyout financing when advising¬†Banco Santander and Bankia, as lenders, on the acquisition of Uni√≥n Mart√≠n.¬†Jes√ļs Mardomingo¬†and¬†Jabier Badiola¬†lead the banking and finance team and¬†Jes√ļs Varela¬†advises on real estate financing. Senior associate Luis M√°iz¬†is 'very diligent' and 'good at putting the client in contact with relevant stakeholders across Europe'.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP handles plenty of cross-border structured finance transactions. It frequently advises lenders such as Société Générale, Bankinter, BBVA and Deutsche Bank. In addition, Banco Santander and a syndicate of financial institutions retained the group to advise on the financing granted to Ence Energía y Celulosa for the refinancing of existing debt and for additional financing for acquisitions and a new biomass project. Gonzalo Martín de Nicolás joined EY Abogados in 2019.

P√©rez-Llorca¬†has a strong client portfolio including Bankia, CaixaBank, Citibank and BNP Paribas. Recent work includes assisting the DE Shaw¬†group with¬†the acquisition of a ‚ā¨550m NPL portfolio, and advising a pool of banks on¬†refinancing the indebtedness of Zodiac Pool Solutions and Fluidra.¬†Fausto Romero-Miura¬†and practice head¬†Ander Valverde¬†are recommended.¬†Pedro Marques da Gama¬†made partner in January 2018 and Ildefonso Arenas¬†joined from¬†DLA Piper LLP¬†in September 2018.

Clients appreciate¬†Ram√≥n y Cajal Abogados'¬†'personal treatment', 'efficiency' and 'accurate documentation'. Javier Mench√©n¬†assisted BBVA with the sale of a ‚ā¨660m portfolio of credits and loans secured by real estate collaterals while¬†Amado Gim√©nez Bono¬†advised Banco Sabadell on the financing granted to Iberia Explotaciones Solares for the acquisition of eight photovoltaic plants. The firm also¬†has a strong financial regulation practice.

Araoz & Rueda offers the 'direct engagement of senior lawyers', with Rafael Bazán the name to note for banking and finance. Notable instructions include advising renewable energy companies Alten and Grupo Ortiz on the refinancing of two photovoltaic projects, and assisting Norwegian debt management company Axactor with the acquisition of two NPL portfolios from Bankinter.

Hogan Lovells International LLP acts for Spanish (Banco Santander and BBVA) and international banks (BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank) as well as private equity houses. An acquisition finance highlight was assisting CaixaBank and a syndicate of lenders with the financing for the acquisition of a majority stake in language school Kids&Us. Alfredo Barona and José Luis Vázquez lead the practice.

Jones Day's banking and finance team 'always delivers': it is 'responsive, to the point and well coordinated'. Work highlights included assisting Finacity and ING Bank with a trade receivables securitisation facility for Ferroglobe, and advising Bankia, Banco Santander and CaixaBank on a term loan granted to Isolux Corsán. Javier López Antón has an 'acute business sense' and is 'highly dedicated', and Fernando Lillo 'goes out of his way to find a solution'. 'Hard-working' senior associate Sergio Cires shows 'excellent efficiency and commitment'. Andrés Lorrio and of counsel Vanessa Armas are also recommended.

King & Wood Mallesons' banking and finance team is led by Joaquín Sales. A main client is the EIB, which retained the team to advise on the granting of mortgages as security for a facility financing the construction of affordable social housing, and to assist with the financing of the construction and operation of nine wind plants. BBVA, Banco Santander and private equity houses such as Portobello Capital and MCH Private Equity are also clients.

ONTIER advised digital learning platform developer Netex on the refinancing of a bilateral agreement with a syndicate of four banks and handled various refinancings of debt. Oscar Murillo and Ramon Ruiz de la Torre are noted. The highly recommended Alberto Manzanares joined from Clifford Chance in June 2018.

Latham & Watkins LLP advised Morgan Stanley as lead lender on a term loan and revolving credit facility for Altran Technologies’ acquisition of design and engineering company Aricent. In another matter, it assisted the lenders, including Banco Santander, with the ongoing refinancing of the existing facilities agreement of real estate company Altamira. Counsel Fernando Colomina and senior associate Joaquín Fabré are the names to note.

Roca Junyent's 'innovative' team¬†has 'strong technical capabilities', and 'shows care and adds value'. It has a strong client portfolio including numerous foreign banks such as¬†Haitong Bank,¬†Kreditech and UniCredit. A highlight was advising¬†medical equipment and devices manufacturer Werfenlife on the ‚ā¨356m financing granted by CaixaBank for the acquisition of Accriva Diagnostics. The 'superb'¬†Pablo Rodr√≠guez's 'ability to negotiate under pressure and tight timings makes him outstanding in high-profile and complex transactions' and¬†Xavier Foz Giralt¬†is also recommended.

The 'approachable and proactive' team at Simmons & Simmons¬†has valuable international expertise. Together with the real estate department, the banking and finance group advised¬†Redevco Iberian Ventures on¬†the acquisition (‚ā¨160m) and financing (‚ā¨90m) of around 70% of the gross leasable area in the Parque Corredor shopping centre.¬†√Ālvaro Mu√Īoz¬†is recommended.

White & Case LLP¬†handled several refinancings of existing debt. A highlight with a strong international component was advising the Bank of China and a syndicate of Chinese banks on a¬†‚ā¨6.8bn¬†multi-currency syndicated financing to China Investment Corporation for the acquisition of¬†Logicor from Blackstone.¬†Yoko Takagi¬†is the name to note.

Bird & Bird has niche expertise in aviation and sport finance. For example, it advised Macquarie Bank on two separate loan facilities granted to Atlético Madrid. The group, which is led by José Luis Lorente, added payment industry expertise with Adrián Calvo joining as senior associate in April 2018 from an in-house position at Visa.

Deloitte Legal's banking and finance team is 'always available and polite'. It handles transactional due diligence and financing work, and has a particular focus on regulatory matters. For example, it advised multiple financial entities, such as Bankia, Ibercaja, Liberbank and Banco Santander, on the new MiFID II and European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). Francisco Javier Ramírez is 'able to manage difficult situations as well as find solutions to day-to-day issues', and his negotiation capabilities are 'remarkable'.

The 'excellent' KPMG Abogados¬†is particularly strong on the regulatory side. Other work included assisting Banco Santander with the financing structure for the ‚ā¨540m acquisition by a Spanish company of six Airbus aircraft, and advising Bankia, as agent of a syndicate of financial entities, on a financing structure for the restructuring and refinancing of a company.¬†Francisco Ur√≠a¬†heads the team, which in May 2018 saw the addition of¬†Alfonso Gonz√°lez Espejo,¬†who joined from an in-house position at Bankia.

Osborne Clarke¬†is 'efficient in negotiations' thanks to 'knowing and understanding the client's needs';¬†Barcelona-based practice head¬†Eduard Arruga¬†'knows all relevant contract clauses very well'.¬†A highlight instruction was assisting¬†Grifols with its¬†‚ā¨6.3bn¬†restructuring of indebtedness and with negotiating an ‚ā¨85m facility agreement with the EIB.

Ventura Garcés & López-Ibor frequently advises banks on matters regarding companies in distress. Another significant part of the practice is aviation finance, an area where Alfonso López Ibor advised RBS on the foreclosure of mortgages.

Andersen Tax & Legal's recent work includes acting on NPL purchase agreements, debt renegotiations and the acquisition of debt. Clients include Grupo Inversor Hesperia, Famargroup and CaixaBank. Guillermo Yuste and corporate lawyer Carlos Salinas are the key names.

At Cases&Lacambra,¬†Miguel Cases¬†and¬†Toni Barios¬†advise on a broad range of banking and finance matters. Recent work includes handling the acquisition of NPLs and, in a separate matter,¬†assisting a US-based investment fund with securing a ‚ā¨15m real estate project financing for the refurbishment of buildings.

Eversheds Sutherland Nicea offers advice on asset-based lending, real estate finance and regulatory issues. It assisted fintech company MyValue with payment services matters. Managing partner Juan Díaz leads the team, which added counsel Teresa Villarroya, who joined from EY Abogados, in July 2018.

EY Abogados¬†offers 'negotiation soft skills' coupled with 'in-depth knowledge of legal matters regarding financings'. It recently advised Metalcaucho, as borrower, on the ‚ā¨55m refinancing of existing debt.¬†Senior manager Jos√©¬†Mill√°n¬†provides 'very helpful guidance on picking the right battles'. Gonzalo Mart√≠n de Nicol√°s¬†was a new arrival in 2019 from¬†Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. Jes√ļs Est√©vez¬†is now with¬†Fieldfisher JAUSAS.

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Legal Developments in Spain for Banking and finance

  • SPANISH LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE TRADING OF NON-PERFORMING LOANS

    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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