Tax in Spain
Baker McKenzie distinguishes itself as the international firm with the longest-standing dedicated tax team in Spain. Jointly headed by the 'solution-driven' and 'pragmatic' Rodrigo Ogea and Bruno Domínguez, who is described as 'a star in the Spanish market', the practice is known for its high-value work, and specialises in transfer pricing, litigation, taxation of the digital economy and transactional tax work. Thanks to its multi-jurisdictional expertise and access to the firm's global network, the team attracts major multinational clients such as luxury group LVMH, which received tax advice on its €2.7bn acquisition of Belmond Hotels.
‘We believe that Baker & McKenzie has the strongest tax practice among international law firms, with a great bench of specialists in the different areas of tax law. It has both global reach and top resources in the local markets, with deep industry knowledge.’
‘Rodrigo Ogea has sound transactional expertise and an understanding of the economic and financial drivers of a deal. He is ethical, solution-driven, pragmatic, responsive, proactive and is a lead practitioner in the taxation of private equity. Rodrigo is recognised as one of the best Spanish tax lawyers.‘
‘Rodrigo Ogea has a high level knowledge of tax matters and focuses on solving clients’ problems from a very practical point of view. He has a very sensitive approach to the clients’ necessities.‘
‘Baker McKenzie has really strong technical tax capabilities. They are the only law firm (apart from audit firms) with an office in Barcelona as well as a strong international network.’
‘Bruno Dominguez has strong technical skills and always cares very much about his clients’ interests. I am aware he has become a star in the Spanish market.’
Minor Hotel Group
- Providing tax advice to Torreal on Aston Martin’s €300m IPO on the London Stock Exchange.
- Providing tax advice to Torreal on the listing of Karnov on Nasdaq Stockholm, in a deal worth €4.2bn.
- Providing tax advice to Colony Capital on the sale of a Spain-based logistics portfolio owned by Neinver and Colony Capital to Blackstone for €183m.
Cuatrecasas fields a large and experienced tax team, covering the full spectrum of tax law. Alicia de Carlos heads the practice, which is known in particular for its expertise in tax litigation, cross-border work and wealth management. Carolina del Campo joined as partner from KPMG in October 2018, bringing extensive experience in transfer pricing and international taxation. Alejandro Escoda specialises in advising international private clients on cross-border investments, while Carlos Ferrer has expertise in acquisitions; he recently provided multi-jurisdictional tax advice to Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio on the €1.1bn sale of the company to British private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.
Penguin Random House
Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio
Victoria Capital Partners
Meridia Capital Partners
Sandton Capital Partners
- Providing tax advice to Catalana Occidente on the €161m acquisition of Antares.
- Providing tax advice to Alsea on the acquisition of 100% of Grupo Vips, in a deal worth €568m.
- Providing tax advice to Victoria Capital Partners on the sale of a 25% stake in the Santillana Group to Prisa, a deal worth €312.5m.
Garrigues provides 'state-of-the-art' tax advice across Spain, and is renowned for its expertise in a broad range of specialisms. Team head Eduardo Abad, who is 'unbeatable from a technical perspective' and 'devoted to his clients', advised BBVA on the tax aspects of three bond issuances totalling €17.8bn. Ricardo Gómez is a leading expert on tax litigation. Gonzalo Rincón de Pablo, who was made up to partner in October 2018, and senior associate Fernando Santos advise a number of the firm's domestic and multinational clients on the tax aspects of high-profile private equity M&A transactions and restructuring processes.
‘Juan Reig and José María Cobos have always been available to guarantee the desired results, standing out not only on a technical level, but also thanks to their excellent treatment of the client at a personal level.‘
‘Garrigues analyses issues in great depth and has technical knowledge of the material, in a way few offices do. The partners and associates at Garrigues have a level of preparation and technical knowledge that is difficult to find at other law firms.’
‘Eduardo Abad and Carmen Mata are, without a doubt, unbeatable from a technical perspective. I work with partners in other law firms, and they do not have the same technical and analytical knowledge that they do.’
‘The tax team of Garrigues provides state-of-the-art services, based on the deepest analysis of law, interpretation and jurisprudence, and provides an extremely well-founded output. Whenever there is a difficult subject it offers the most reliable approach.’
‘Eduardo Abad is devoted to his clients. He is always thinking of his clients’ needs and anticipating the impact that the news can have for his clients even before the clients themselves think of it. Additionally, the comprehensiveness of his advice is remarkable.‘
‘High technical level, very practical approach to the matters, great expertise in negotiations with tax authorities.’
‘Eduardo Abad has valuable expertise in tax issues and a very practical approach. His technical knowledge allows him to solve complex matters.‘
IDC Salud Holdings
- Providing tax advice to a consortium of investors advised by Bridgepoint on the acquisition of a majority stake in Dorna Sports worth €2.6bn.
- Providing tax advice to CVC Capital Partners on the acquisition of a majority stake in Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio for approximately €1.1bn.
- Providing tax advice to Red Eléctrica de España on its €949m acquisition of Hispasat.
Linklaters' 'fully dedicated' and 'highly knowledgeable' tax team covers the full spectrum of tax matters and attracts high-profile clients across a number of sectors. The team's particular strength lies in transactional work, which is often cross-border in nature and benefits from the firm's global network. Team co-heads Javier García-Pita and Alejandro Meta, who was promoted to partner in May 2019, advised Cerberus on all tax matters relating to its acquisition of 80% of BBVA's real estate business, one of the three largest M&A transactions in the real estate sector in 2019.
‘The Linklaters tax team is very close to customers and clearly understands their needs. It has experienced staff and treats all customers as if they were unique.’
‘They provide the most efficient solutions for tax difficulties. The team is fully dedicated, close to the client’s concerns, and they have a deep knowledge of the energy sector. They are good at listening, and they are fast at figuring out the solution. Their experience is so broad that they can combine different scenarios which are already solved to give you the best advice.’
‘Alejandro Meca and Javier Garcia-Pita are exceptional professionals and market leaders in their practice area.‘
‘Highly knowledgeable team, very high level of dedication, very creative and very responsive.’
‘Javier Garcia Pita and Alvaro Albinana are knowledgeable, creative, responsive and always a pleasure to work with.’
The Carlyle Group España
- Advising Rhône Capital on all tax aspects of the cross-border merger between its controlled portfolio company, the Zodiac group, and the Spanish listed company Fluidra.
- Advising Permira on the tax structuring of the acquisition of Laureate in Spain and Portugal.
- Advising Abengoa on the establishment of the tax structure in several refinancings following the implementation of a global restructuring.
Uría Menéndez has a formidable reputation for high-quality, high-value tax work, leading on major transactions in a number of sectors. The team, headed by Rafael García Llaneza, distinguishes itself in the areas of M&A, joint ventures and private equity tax practice. David López Pombo and Víctor Viana are both recognised as 'experts in the financial sector', especially regarding business combinations and foreign investments; in a recent highlight, they assisted US-based Lone Star Funds with the tax aspects of a €3bn investment agreement with Bankia over its real estate assets. Guillermo Canalejo is also noted.
‘What makes the UM team unique is its personal touch. As a customer you have the feeling of being the only one in the office, since both the treatment and the services are customised to the maximum. We also observe a very high level of empathy and an eagerness to solve problems, providing peace of mind in the legal matters we need solved in order to develop our business. The partner that represents these values to the maximum is Victor Viana.‘
‘Excellent technical ability, very practical, decisive and effective.‘
‘Both Víctor Viana and David López are excellent from a technical point of view, and experts in the financial sector.‘
‘Guillermo Canalejo is excellent. His technical skills are ten out of ten. He is a trustworthy, dedicated and competent adviser. The meetings are small and effective. I could not be happier with the service I receive.‘
Associació de Bancs Andorrans
- Providing tax advice to Sabadell on an investment agreement in which Cerberus acquired an 80% stake in the company’s real estate assets, in a transaction with a gross book value of €9.1bn.
- Advising BBVM on the tax aspects of structuring matters in the transfer of a loan portfolio worth €1.4bn.
- Advising Europac and the Isidro Family on the voluntary public takeover bid launched by DS Smith over 100% of Europac’s share capital worth €1.66bn.
Allen & Overy
Allen & Overy's 'very proactive' tax team, headed by Adolfo Zunzunegui, works in close collaboration with the firm's other practices and offices in other jurisdictions. In particular, the practice has been active in VAT and litigation work, as well as focusing on tax support for M&A and banking transactions. The 'very skilled' and 'outstanding' Zunzunegui, a specialist in international tax structuring, has been advising five major international financial institutions on the tax aspects of the €2bn loan to Marme Inversiones to acquire Banco Santander's Ciudad Financiera headquarters in Boadilla del Monte.
‘Very good team with extensive knowledge in the field.’
‘Adolfo Zunzunegui not only knows deeply all aspects related to tax practice but also other areas/practices that make him a very complete lawyer. He is very skilled and fast in the negotiations.‘
‘Adolfo Zunzunegui is one of those outstanding lawyers who stands head and shoulders above the others. He is the one you immediately think about and you want to call when you have a question.‘
‘Adolfo Zunzunegui is a very experienced and knowledgable lawyer. He is very responsive, straightforward and extremely well-spoken.’
‘I also want to highlight Ishtar Sancho’s professionalism, outstanding skills and intelligence. Having her as a tax adviser gives us security.’
- Advising Banco Santander, BBVA and CaixaBank on the tax aspects of the financing to Forestalia Renovables for the construction and development of nine wind farms in Aragon.
- Advising on the tax aspects in relation to the financing granted to Blackstone for the takeover bid of Hispania.
- Advising ICG on the tax aspects of the acquisition of Suanfarma owned by ProA Capital.
Ashurst LLP's tax team provides comprehensive tax advice to national and international companies from a wide range of sectors, as well as representation in disputes up to the highest courts. Team head Eduardo Gracia specialises in tax dispute resolution matters and transfer pricing, and is the chair of the International Taxation and Transfer Pricing Committee of the Spanish Association of Tax Advisors, as well as the firm's EMEA and US tax head. Javier Herdández Galante, whose 'knowledge of Spanish tax law is second to none', continues to represent Televisión y Radio de Castilla-La Mancha before the European Court of Justice in a dispute over VAT reassessments worth €20m.
‘They know all the technical detail of the litigation landscape in Spain, but convey it in a way that is practical and commercial.’
‘Carmen Profitos always has an innovative suggestion however gloomy things appear.‘
‘Ashurst is always waiting at the finishing line, prepared.’
‘Once Javier Galante provides an opinion he stands by it.’
‘The stability of the team’s core members over the years has given an outstanding depth to its coherence and continuity of knowledge. The powerful concentration of knowledge in a very selected team allows it to handle matters with a high degree of efficiency.‘
‘I would like to mention four main aspects: endless commitment to delivery of service; humble approach to defence of their position; how they construct solutions in spite of the most adverse conditions; and their dedication to the very last minute.‘
‘My experience working with Ashurst has been very positive. The co-ordination between the different areas (tax, civil etc.) was perfect, and they were always focused and aligned to achieve the client’s goals. The team was also very flexible, and they were able to adapt to the situation. Javier Hernandez Galante gave a great performance, as well as the rest of the team. They were really fast to understand the situation and also to propose solutions and alternatives.’
M&G Investment Management
GVC – Ladbrokes Group
IGIS Asset Management
Televisión y Radio de Castilla La Mancha
- Advising Alua on the tax aspects of the sale to Apple Leisure Group of the management business of its hotel portfolio, worth €20m.
- Advised Caixabank and Allianz on tax issues in relation to the granting of a €135m syndicated loan to Espacio Caleido to finance the construction and operational launch of Caleido, the fifth tower of the Madrid business centre.
- Advising Macquarie on the tax aspects of the structuring and implementation of several solar energy projects in Spain and other EU jurisdictions.
The 'extremely responsive', 'hands-on' and 'technically excellent' Clifford Chance tax team distinguishes itself through its specialist work on tax litigation and REITs, as well as supporting the firm's other practices in significant transactions. It has expertise in M&A, complex corporate restructuring and debt capital markets matters. 'Outstanding' and 'incredibly client-focused' team leader Pablo Serrano de Haro provides specialist tax advice to international investors on all types of investment funds. The team also benefitted from the arrival in March 2019 of Julia Villalón, who augments the team's capability in real estate tax, from Uría Menéndez. Roberto Grau is also highly active.
‘Dedication, professionalism, good strategic vision of the problem, constructive relationships, speed, trust. ‘
‘Expertise in the area of tax advice for US firms seeking to invest in Spain. Dedicated team that delivers excellent work product in a timely fashion, especially given time differences.‘
‘Pablo Serrano is able to explain difficult concepts in a straightforward manner. He always takes the initiative to not just answer our questions but also note what concepts we are missing.’
‘Julia Villalon works tirelessly for her clients; she is always available and provides quality work within tight time frames; she has particular expertise in understanding the tax consequences of making real estate investments in Spain.’
‘Carlos Portocarrero has an excellent understanding of the process of acquiring real estate assets and loan products in Spain, as well as a strong ability to help clients through each phase of the process.‘
‘Clifford Chance always shows a great performance based primarily on the great expertise of its team. The availability of the team and the quality of the work are remarkable.’
‘Pablo Serrano is an outstanding tax partner. His expertise and client orientation are very appreciated, making him different from competitors. The quality of the tax advice provided is highly remarkable.’
‘Maria Leivar is an outstanding professional providing excellent service to her clients.‘
‘As well as being technically excellent they are very commercial.’
‘Pablo Serrano in particular is technically excellent but also has a very good commercial outlook and understanding, and is a first-class communicator.‘
‘Pablo is incredibly client focused and consequently has always been available for calls and meetings when we have needed his advice. We have consistently found the advice of Pablo and his team to be clear and precise, something we have especially valued on more complicated tax matters.‘
‘Longstanding and experienced team which over the years have kept us informed proactively of every evolution in the legislative environment and the potential impacts on our transactions. It is an extremely responsive and hands-on team that can pay attention to the nitty-gritty while still having a practical approach.’
‘Pablo Serrano has a very broad area of expertise and has been over the years a pathfinder in the effective implementation of a new tax regime.’
‘Fernando Escribano has very strong technical skills and a good understanding of real estate investments that has served our portfolios well.‘
Cerberus Capital Management
Rialto Capital Management
LaSalle Investment Capital
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol
Corporación Financiera Alba
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
- Advising Cerberus on the tax aspects of the acquisition from Banco Santander of a stake of 80% in a residential portfolio with approximately 35,700 assets for €1.53bn.
- Providing tax advice to BBVA on the sale of 80% of its real estate business in Spain, with a gross value of €17.8 including both real estate assets and development loans.
- Assisting Vía Célere with the tax aspects of its acquisition of the land bank business of Aelca, in a deal worth €1.2bn.
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo offers a full-service capability across transactional, advisory and litigation matters related to tax, and counts large domestic and multinational companies across various sectors among its clients. Team head Enrique Ortega, a former chief tax inspector for the Spanish tax authorities and an expert in Spanish corporate tax, has recently been advising a syndicate of lenders on the tax aspects of the €1.4bn restructuring and refinancing of the senior old money debt held by the Abengoa group. Eduardo Martínez-Matosas is recognised for his expertise in the tax structuring of cross-border M&A and reorganisations, including private equity, venture capital and financing matters.
‘Availability, proximity and technical knowledge’
‘Easy to reach, understand the individual needs of each client’
- Providing tax advice to BNP Paribas, Bankia and Banco Sabadell to structure the financing of the biggest solar photovoltaic plant currently under construction in Spain, worth €316m.
- Advising Bonpreu on the tax and legal aspects of a potential total split of the group between its shareholders.
- Providing tax advice on the sale of Oak Hill Fund’s portfolio company Greenpark Aparcamientos to Parkia.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is recognised for its expertise in corporate and business-related tax matters, including domestic and international tax planning. The team, headed by Marta Esteban and Nicolás Martín, often handles cross-border work and specialises in a number of sectors including financial services and real estate; it is also known for advising major private equity houses such as Oaktree and GoldenTree. In a recent highlight, the firm advised BNP Paribas, Aozora Bank, Banca IMI and Deutsche Bank on the tax aspects of the €1bn financing provided to Cerberus in one of the largest real estate acquisitions on the Spanish market in the past few years.
GoldenTree Asset Management
Antin Infrastructure Partners
The Carlyle Group
Grupo Lar Holding Iberia
JB Capital Markets
- Advising GoldenTree Asset Management on the tax aspects of the potential acquisition of a loan and real estate-owned portfolio worth €1bn held by BBVA.
- Assisting Antin Infrastructure Partners with the tax aspects of the acquisition of the Spanish business of Ufinet Group through the purchase of the entire share capital of Ufinet Telecom Holding, worth €2bn.
- Providing tax advice to The Carlyle Group on the potential €400m acquisition of the Spanish retail fashion group Bimba y Lola.
Praised for its 'exceptional results', the 'prestigious' tax team at Hogan Lovells International LLP specialises in structuring asset financing schemes, M&A (particularly related to real estate) and international tax planning. Team head Miguel Ángel Sánchez, a former Director General of Taxation for the Spanish government, is recognised for his 'prestige in the financial sector', and has been leading the firm's tax advice to Banco Sabadell on the design, implementation and follow-up of four tax lease structures for the €525m financing of shipping vessels. The 'client-focused' and 'pragmatic' Javier Gazulla has broad experience in the tax aspects of foreign investments in Spain.
‘The tax team performs exceptionally well; their service is client oriented, and always delivers exceptional results.’
‘Javier Gazulla is a client-focused partner, pragmatic, great at breaking down complex concepts into easy-to-understand summaries, with a friendly approach.’
‘Tax is a critical part in real estate and it is important to have a team with great knowledge and accessibility, as well as the know-how to manage the final investor when the time comes for Q&A. Hogan Lovells is able to give confidence in the acquisition and management of real estate assets.’
‘Javier Gazulla has extensive knowledge and is capable of analysing very complex real estate structures.’
‘Prestigious team in structuring complex financial operations, which gives them a privileged position in advising these types of structures in Spain.’
‘Miguel Ángel Sánchez has a recognised prestige in the financial sector and extensive experience in structuring complex operations.’
‘Patricia Sánchez has great experience, producing high-quality work in the complex structures in which we have been working.’
Pequeños y Medianos Astilleros Sociedad de Reconversión (Pymar)
Sura Asset Management
Catella Asset Management
M&G Real Estate
RiverRock European Capital Partners
Banco de Sabadell
First Data Group
Pampa Energia Group
- Advising Pymar on state aid related to the former tax lease system for vessels.
- Advising Acon Investments on the tax aspects of its co-investment with Torreal in the acquisition of Alicante-based cosmetics company Germaine de Capuccini.
- Advising Spain’s leading asset manager, Alantra, on its acquisition of up to 49% of European fund manager Access Capital Partners, in a deal worth €19m.
The 'dedicated' and 'practical' tax team at Latham & Watkins LLP is particularly well known for its complex and high-value cross-border work. Team head Jordi Domínguez, a recognised expert in a wide range of transactional work (in particular M&A, real estate, finance and capital markets matters), regularly advises on the tax aspects of some of the largest transactions on the Spanish market. In a recent highlight, he advised Enagás on its €1.5bn partnership with Blackstone Infrastructure Partners and GIC to acquire a significant stake in Tallgrass Energy, a matter which evidenced the team's 'in-depth knowledge of the tax system in the US'.
‘The team has in-depth knowledge of the tax system in the US and great experience in how to structure investments from Spain to be more efficient.’
‘Jordi Dominguez demonstrated a detailed knowledge of the operation and total availability to solve our problem.‘
Sun European P.
- Advised Hyatt Hotels on the tax aspects of the potential €2.7bn acquisition of NH Hotel Group.
- Assisting Enagás with the tax aspects of a €1.5bn partnership with Blackstone Infrastructure Partners and GIC to acquire a significant stake in Tallgrass Energy.
- Providing tax advice to Värde Partners on the €1.1bn acquisition of an additional 49% stake in Spanish bank and credit card operator WiZink.
Pérez-Llorca advises clients on both day-to-day tax issues and strategic tax planning, with capabilities in cross-border work for high-profile multinationals. Alongside Norma Peña i Bagés, Clara Jiménez heads the team, bringing extensive experience in tax litigation. Recent highlights include advising AC Hotels on the main tax aspects of the transfer of two joint venture entities and the client's intellectual property rights to Marriott. The team was given a significant boost by the arrival in 2019 of José Azqueta, who brings over 17 years of experience advising on M&A-related taxation matters, from PwC.
The Blackstone Group
- Providing tax advice to Banco Sabadell on the sale of two portfolios worth €108m and €200m respectively.
- Assisting Volotea with the tax aspects of the sale of the majority stake of the company’s share capital to HRS and preparation of the vendor’s due diligence report.
- Advising Repsol on a tax audit on its use of public land during the construction of one of the skyscrapers located in the Cuatro Torres financial district in Madrid, in a deal worth €4.6m.
The tax team at DWF-RCD is recognised for its comprehensive tax advice, with particular expertise in cutting-edge areas such as transfer pricing and ICOs. Jointly headed by José María Durán, Jorge Sarró and Diego Artacho, all of whom have been members of the Spanish Senior Corps of Tax Inspectors, the team maintains a client roster of high-profile companies from a wide range of industries, including technology, telecoms and energy, but also has a particular focus on advising start-ups. 2019 saw the promotion to partner of Fernando Blázquez, an expert in tax-related litigation before the Spanish authorities.
‘RCD has a multi-disciplinary team that is able to deal with virtually any query quickly and safely. Jorge Sarró and his entire team excel in terms of quality and adaptability.‘
‘The team’s experience in tax law and inspection procedures makes the service they provide to the client of a high level.’
‘Jorge Sarró and Alejandro Capdevila are the partners that carry out the verification and inspection procedures and their extensive experience in this field makes them leaders in the sector.‘
‘Compared to other lawyers in the sector, they are not limited to using standard arguments known by everyone, but they propose solutions adapted to the case, innovative scenarios capable of obtaining success in the early stages of the process.‘
‘RCD has great technical knowledge of the substantive and procedural matters together with an enormous capacity to find original solutions adapted to the specific case. It is able to accompany the client from the moment the matter begins until it ends, adding value in each phase of the process.‘
The 'committed' and 'efficient' tax team at CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo regularly advises Spanish and multinational companies on tax transactions and planning, with additional expertise in VAT and transfer pricing. The department is also known for acting for high-net-worth individuals. Team head Diego de Miguel has a particularly strong reputation among French corporate clients active in the Spanish market. In a recent highlight, he represented Siemens Gamesa in negotiations with local Spanish authorities on the tax treatment of compensation following a highly publicised redundancy plan. Ricardo Héctor and Carlos Palma, who was promoted to counsel in 2018, are also key lawyers.
‘What is unique is their personal touch, their honesty and their dependability.’
‘We found Ricardo Hector Lorca to be efficient, prompt, compassionate, level-headed and everything you would want in a lawyer.’
‘I was offered a very quick response for a multi-disciplinary matter that was very urgent. From one day to another a team of senior professionals was available for a meeting and I felt supported all the time. The firm’s tax department led the project and took care of delivering all the works in a manageable way.’
‘Ricardo Héctor Lorca performed with a superb level of seniority and dedication. A great professional whom I found exceptional in customer management, project management and leadership.’
‘The CMS tax department has a deep knowledge of tax practice in Spain. They deal with very complicated transactions and structures, always providing the best service to clients.’
‘Diego de Miguel is a well-known tax lawyer and partner in Spain. Despite his youth his deep and broad tax experience is amazing. He is always available when needed and always makes a complicated situation easy to understand.’
‘They are highly skilled. I am truly satisfied with their responsiveness, their problem-solving approach and very happy with their work. In my view, CMS’ tax team is pragmatic and very straightforward with their advice, and that is something that we really value. Doing their work efficiently allows them to be competitive on fees with a top-level tax firm.’
‘Diego de Miguel is making himself a name in the Spanish tax advisory market. He is technically very solid and above all very competent (so is his team). What I like the most about Diego is that he is very client centred. He is very quick at identifying our concerns on any matter and provides straightforward advice. I would say Diego is an easy-going person with great social skills, which makes it even easier to work with him.’
‘Rafael Ortiz de Zuriarrain is technically well-prepared, and stands out for his responsiveness and full availability.‘
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy
LC Publishing Group
Chubb Insurance Group
- Advising Heineken España on the tax aspects of an acquisition in the Spanish brewery sector.
- Providing tax advice to Eurofighter on VAT and customs matters related to a hard Brexit scenario.
- Providing tax advice on the international expansion of Demium, a Spanish start-up accelerator.
The DLA Piper tax department has a solid reputation for providing advice to large multinationals on tax restructuring, as well as assisting in tax investigations and litigation. Carlos Rodríguez heads the team, bringing particular expertise in transfer pricing. The team's integration within the firm's international network allows it to handle multi-jurisdictional matters, especially for Spanish companies with interests abroad and foreign companies in Spain. Significantly, it assisted Corporación Hijos de Rivera (Estrella Galicia) with the US tax implications of relocating its US subsidiary from Virginia to Florida. Miguel Baz has also drawn praise for 'delivering smart approaches to tough issues'.
‘Great team, always delivering innovative solutions to our needs. It has a deep knowledge of tax in Spain and worldwide, providing special assessments of existing risk and anticipation of solutions for minimising our tax burden.‘
‘It is worth mentioning Miguel Baz as he is always ready to help, always delivering smart approaches to tough issues.’
Corporación Hijos de Rivera (Estrella Galicia)
Laureate International Universities
- Providing advice to VF regarding the procedure for the request of a bilateral advance price agreement and a mutual agreement procedure.
- Providing tax advice to Grupo Eulen on the establishment of a branch of an office in Abu Dhabi.
- Advising Santander Consumer Finance on the tax aspects of the issuance of preferred securities of $200m listed on the Quotation Board of the Regulated Unofficial Market of the Deutsche Börse/Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
GTA Villamagna Abogados
Recognised for its 'high degree of specialisation and personalised service', GTA Villamagna Abogados fields a multi-disciplinary team which advises on the full spectrum of tax-related matters. Founding partner Felipe Alonso has expertise in tax litigation, private banking, corporate tax law and indirect taxation.
‘We have worked with other firms in the past, and we think GTA is better due to its personal attention and its high degree of specialisation.’
Roca Junyent has continued to expand its practice following the notable hire of Raúl Salas and two senior associates from Baker McKenzie in 2018, incorporating specialist tax boutique Segarras de Figarolas in October 2019. Joan de Figarolas joined as partner while Ángel Segarra joined as counsel. Salas, who now co-heads the tax team with Jordi Guarch Recaj, brings 20 years' experience advising multinational companies on the tax issues related to some of the most significant M&A and real estate transactions in the Spanish market. The team has particular experience in the real estate, healthcare and biotech sectors. Blanca Usón Vegas is also noted.
‘The team has the capacity to anticipate solutions to tax issues and a strategic view. They have fluent communication of tax matters in a non-tax expert language.’
‘Raúl Salas works closely with clients and always provides fresh and creative solutions to tax issues.’
‘Pilar Vacas has very good knowledge and always provides an adequate solution on time.‘
‘The team is diversified with specialists for all areas, including tax litigation. It is a well-balanced team and they are very professional. It has pragmatic experience of tax audits, and is efficient and reasonable in terms of fees.‘
‘We note the technical training of its partner, Blanca Usón, who is multi-disciplinary, responsible, fast, with a great capacity to analyse the problem from multiple angles, as well as knowledgeable about regulations and jurisprudence.’
‘Blanca Usón and Susana Ibarz transmit great security in their advice, show great technical knowledge, and great knowledge of our company, which makes their advice very appropriate to our needs.’
‘In addition to being excellent people in negotiations, they are great professionals who handle the tasks in their charge and contact with the client very neatly.’
Renta 4 Banco
Royal Caribbean Cruises
Associated British Foods
Real Automobil Club de Catalunya
Mutua General de Catalunya
- Assisting Prada with the tax aspects of the acquisition of a strategic location in Madrid for a flagship store.
- Providing tax advice to Royal Caribbean in relation to the tax aspects of the concession and building of a new terminal in Barcelona port, worth €32m.
- Assisting Mazda with the tax aspects of a €100m scheme for car inventory management.
Lener advises across the spectrum of tax matters, with particular expertise in transactional tax planning, wealth management and tax litigation, as well as indirect tax issues. Javier Fernández Cuenca focuses on mergers and acquisitions, international tax and real estate transactions. He co-leads the practice with Guadalupe Díaz Súnico, who joined from Cuatrecasas in 2019 and brings experience in advising private clients on relocating to Spain, structuring their assets and reviewing their pre-existing structures.
- Assisted global investment group D.E. Shaw, which has more than $50bn in investment and committed capital under management, on tax matters associated with its international investment structures and the indirect taxation of real estate acquisitions.
- Assisting banking giant Bankia -the fourth largest in Spain by global assets held- with the recovery of Municipal Tax on Appreciation of Urban Land charged in c.20,000 files, amounting to €20m.
- Advised Israeli real estate management company MDSR on the design and refinancing of its investment structure, together with MDSR’s client Eastgate (US investment group), in order to optimise operations from a tax perspective.
Andersen covers a broad range of tax matters for domestic and multinational clients across a number of sectors, including food and tobacco, engineering and private equity. Headed by María Olleros, the team is known for its deep bench, with offices in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville. Tax litigation is a particular specialism of the team. Notable recent highlights include assisting SVP Global with the tax aspects of its €60m investment in the construction of the Intempo building in Benidorm.
‘The team is characterised by its quality service and focus on the client.’
‘Agile and fast with outstanding solutions.’
‘The team is prepared for any situation or change in taxation’
‘Availability, knowledge, quick responses and solutions to problems’
Globe Iberia Real Estates
Grupo Alimentario Citrus
- Assisting SVP Global with the tax issues related to its €22m investment in the purchase of two real estate properties in Málaga.
- Advising US investment fund Merced Capital on the tax aspects of its investments in Spain.
- Assisting a private equity firm with the tax issues relating to its €15m acquisition of a building in the centre of Madrid.
Araoz & Rueda maintains a strong client base including both domestic and international companies. Headed by Javier Prieto, the 'customer-oriented' tax team has a particular focus on M&A, real estate tax and litigation. Its additional expertise in international tax law allows it to advise international clients, such as US logistics group Expeditors, which the firm advised on the implementation of tax incentives for the expatriation of employees. Other key clients include BBVA and Kefren Capital Real Estate.
‘They are customer oriented, always giving advice on different scenarios. They tell us what they would do if they were us, which is invaluable.’
‘Javier Prieto and Angel Freire are both exceptional professionals. They are service oriented, with integrity and a sense of responsibility.‘
‘Personalised service, flexibility, punctuality’
‘Javier Prieto and Javier Sanchez have a flexible and personal approach that is hard to find in other firms’
‘Good communication within the team. Good understanding of the issues. Ability to adapt.’
Kefren Capital Real Estate
- Providing tax advice to Total Specific Solutions on the structuring of the acquisition of several business management software companies.
- Advising one of the selling funds of Igenomix on tax-related matters arising from the sale of the company.
- Assisting Everge Financing with tax matters relating to its activities in Spain and with establishing a package of guarantees.
Cases&Lacambra's tax team, which is praised as 'international in outlook', 'co-operative' and 'proactive', has a particular focus on private clients and family businesses. A distinguishing feature is the firm's focus on advising high-net-worth individuals from the Middle East and Latin America, thanks to its expertise in cross-border tax work as well as the Spanish tax landscape. Team head Ernesto Lacambra also lends his 'great business acumen' to high-value multi-jurisdictional tax work in the financial and real estate sectors; he advised Fiscalter Inversiones 2013 on its €120m acquisition of a flagship building in Barcelona.
‘Ernesto Lacambra is independent, professional and engaging.’
‘The small, intimate practice means that clients have access to the partners and receive an excellent bespoke service. The team is willing to go the extra mile and works hard to provide a smooth process for clients rather than sticking strictly to purely legal tasks. The partners are able to converse in English, which makes it easier to work with them.’
‘David Navarro has provided excellent service, demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of Spain’s complex tax environment and providing practical, useful advice.’
‘The team has proved to have a great understanding of our needs and has always delivered insightful and meticulous work in a very timely and effective manner.’
‘Ernesto Lacambra manages his team brilliantly and knows how to identify the associates’ best skills and direct their efforts towards ensuring quality work. Furthermore, he has a great understanding of our business and his knowledge of tax law is outstanding.’
‘The Cases & Lacambra team is extremely helpful, friendly, co-operative and proactive in looking for solutions for their clients.’
‘Cases & Lacambra has the client’s ultimate goals in mind, therefore always achieving the best possible outcome in each situation. The tax practice contains a responsive and dedicated team with great knowledge of the Spanish tax law.’
‘Ernesto Lacambra is insightful, determined and has great business acumen, which he showcases by anticipating the circumstances that might arise and tackling difficulties in the most efficient manner. His knowledge and care for clients is remarkable.‘
‘The team is prepared and experienced, but at the same time flexible and operational.’
Fiscalter Inversiones 2013
Arcano Wealth Advisors
Gestión de Activos y Valores
Safety Tax Free
- Advising the Belron/Carglass Group on all the tax-related matters of the group’s Spanish entity.
- Assisting Futureal with the tax aspects of several real estate projects.
- Advising Gestión de Activos y Valores on corporate tax-related issues.
Dentons' practice was boosted in March 2019 with the arrival from Linklaters of María Cortizas, who brings significant expertise in transactional work, debt structuring and capital markets. She co-heads the tax team with the highly experienced José Ramón Vizcaíno. A major source of work for the team lies in advising high-profile insurance companies on the tax aspects of W&I insurance and special tax policies. It also has considerable expertise advising international funds during the repossession phase of the underlying assets securing their non-performing loan portfolios.
Barings Real Estate Advisors
Altum Capital Management
Olimpo Real Estate
- Providing tax advice to Barings Real Estate Advisers on the acquisition of five Spanish companies from a Spanish real estate investment fund in a share deal.
- Advising Aten Oil on the tax issues in a corporate reorganisation.
- Providing legal and tax advice to Altum Capital Management on the transfer of a portfolio of performing and unsecured loans valued between €300-400m.
The tax team at Eversheds Sutherland Nicea is recognised in particular for its longstanding international clients and its experience in wealth management. Team co-head Antonio Cuéllar Prats specialises in tax litigation, corporate and real estate taxation, and M&A. Enrique López de Ceballos lends expertise in transactional tax advice, restructurings and wealth planning, especially for family companies. He has recently been advising BNP Paribas Cardif on the tax aspects of the sale of an economic interest grouping to two Spanish brands. Other key clients include Volvo and Mercedes-Benz.
‘One of the best law firms covering private clients in Spain.‘
Merck Sharp & Dohme
Room Mate Hotels
BNP Paribas Cardif
Zurich Commercial Insurance UK
- Advising Volvo on the tax aspects of the sale of the Volvo Ocean Race.
- Assisting Banco Inversis with the tax consequences of the sale of the company’s headquarters.
- Providing tax advice to Zurich on the insurance of a share deal transaction.
King & Wood Mallesons
King & Wood Mallesons' 'superb' and 'well-coordinated' tax team is led by the 'standout' Alberto Ruano, who has expertise in the tax aspects of domestic and international business restructuring, M&A and international financing structures. Consistent sources of work for the team are the private equity, energy, banking and real estate sectors. Recently, Ruano led the tax advice to NovEnergia on its €1bn sale to Total Eren. Additionally, the team has experience in the sports sector (including acting for Valencia Football Club), as well as in the wealth management of private clients.
‘Alberto Ruano has strong experience in this area. He knows how to spot sensitive issues and propose constructive solutions.‘
‘KWM has a very good tax team. It is a powerhouse as far as private equity and energy are concerned.’
‘I praise Alberto Ruano and Fernando Jimenez’ technical knowledge, availability and sound advice.‘
‘Alberto Ruano’s tax team is superb with technically excellent and commercial lawyers that provide solutions for clients and colleagues alike.’
‘Alberto Ruano is a standout: brilliant technically and very commercial. He always delivers pragmatic advice.‘
‘Funds-related tax issues are a real forte. The team has a great deal of experience in the area of private equity deals and funds in particular.’
‘Alberto Ruano gives very thoughtful and intelligent advice.’
‘They form a good team and are well co-ordinated. They adapt to customer needs.’
‘Alberto Ruano and Covadonga Perez are good professionals.‘
Irea / Colliers International Group
MCH Private Equity
Valencia Club de Fútbol
Asterion Industrial Partners
Inmobiopres Holding/ Sancor Capital
Axis Participaciones Empresariales
- Advising Irea Corporate Finance on the tax structuring of its merger with a real estate service provider.
- Providing advice to EDP Group on the tax structuring of the €9.2bn public takeover offer launched by China Three Gorges.
- Assisting Globe Invest on the tax structuring of the acquisition of a 100% stake in a real estate company.
Ramón y Cajal Abogados handles the full range of tax work, including litigation and M&A transactions, while also advising on transfer pricing issues. The real estate sector is a major source of work for the practice; in a recent matter, the team advised an international investor’s base on the implementation of a real estate investment in Spain using a Dutch limited partnership, drawing on team head Luis Rodriguez-Ramos' expertise in international tax law. Key clients include multinational brands such as BMW and Lidl.
Linea Directa Aseguradora
- Advising an international fund on all the tax aspects of the acquisition of several residential buildings in Spain worth €20m.
- Providing tax advice to a US fund on structuring and implementing its investment in energy production in Latin America through a Spanish holding company.
- Assisting the shareholders of Infaimon with the tax aspects of the sale of the company to Stemmer.
The 'proactive and responsive' tax team at Simmons & Simmons provides advice on the full range of domestic and cross-border tax issues and benefits from the firm's international network. The department has expertise in the financial sector and global asset management. In addition, team head Juan Sosa Pons-Sorolla, who is recognised for his 'pragmatic, effective and commercial solutions', has experience representing asset managers in tax litigation matters, going as far as the Spanish Supreme Court. The team also advises a number of leading global investment banks on debt capital markets.
‘Proactive and responsive team which provides top-quality Spanish tax advice.’
‘Juan Sosa Pons-Sorolla is brilliant at coming up with pragmatic, effective and commercial solutions at short notice.’
Fondo de Garantía De Depósitos
Henderson Global Investors
Ventura Garcés & López-Ibor's tax team is praised for its 'dedication and knowledge', with its ability to advise on cross-border matters attracting Spanish companies expanding abroad as well as international companies looking to establish a presence in Spain. Team co-head Lourdes Pérez-Luque's expertise lies in the tax aspects of M&A and restructuring, Spanish tax procedures and international corporate tax matters. From the Barcelona office, fellow co-head Jordi Vilalta lends experience in planning and implementing international tax structures for family businesses. Since publication, the firm has split with the Madrid and Valencia offices now operating as López-Ibor Abogados and the Barcelona office as Ventura Garcés.
‘Experience, dedication and knowledge.’
- Providing tax advice to Active International on the cross-border acquisition of The Digital Gate.
- Advising Fragadis on the tax aspects of the purchase of a Spanish supermarket chain.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP
Watson Farley & Williams LLP specialises in providing advice on both domestic and international tax matters, primarily in the engineering, real estate, transport and renewable energy sectors. Team head Luis Soto specialises in advising clients on M&A transactions, business and debt restructurings, asset and project finance, and tax disputes. He also has expertise in advising Spanish companies expanding abroad and in Latin American tax law. A recent highlight saw Soto advise Q-Energy on the cross-border acquisition of a 39MW solar panel portfolio.
‘We appreciate the firm’s client care and great expertise in specific areas, compared to other famous law firms, which are less focused. This involves important know-how which is very valuable for the transactions.‘
‘They know the client and its needs, the way the client likes to work, and the results and quality expected. Working with them is always easy.‘
Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP)
- Advising CIP on the tax issues related to the acquisition of a 360MW portfolio of renewable wind assets under development in Aragon.
- Assisting Havila Kystruten on the Spanish tax lease structure and financing for the €227m construction of two coastal passenger vessels.
- Providing tax advice to Capital Dynamics and Instituto de Credito Oficial on their joint acquisition of a 24.5% stake each in the 300MW photovoltaic Talasol project.