Hall Of Fame

Firms To Watch: White-collar crime

The criminal and compliance team at Auren covers a range of offences, including economic crimes such as large-scale fraud, unfair administration, corruption, money laundering and misappropriation.
The white-collar crime practice at boutique firm Ayuela Jiménez is recognised for its corruption and compliance expertise, with further experience acting for clients in cybercrime, fraud and data theft matters.

White-collar crime in Spain

Baker McKenzie

The corporate crime practice at Baker McKenzie remains a leader in the market, drawing strength from a broader litigation and arbitration department to advise on the full spectrum of white-collar criminal law issues. Such matters include regulatory compliance and investigations brought forward by the public prosecutor as well as tax, labour, environmental and competition authorities. As a leader in the market, the team exhibits further expertise standing before all relevant courts in criminal proceedings, representing high-profile private individuals in addition to companies in the manufacturing, banking, insurance, automotive and retail sectors. Former public prosecutor Jesús Santos heads the practice, which includes white-collar criminal litigation expert María Massó and senior associate Juan Pedro Cortés.

Practice head(s):

Jesús Santos


Other key lawyers:

María Massó; Juan Pedro Cortés


Testimonials

‘They know well the specialty of economic crimes. Very proactive attitude in defending the company. They propose and assess different defence options and maintain constant information on the progress of criminal investigations. The firm is always trying to anticipate the strategies of the opposing party.’

‘Great technical preparation, knowledge of the company and criminal risk mitigation measures. María Masso is very concerned about the disclosure of the matter in which she is an expert, trying to clarify the confusing regulation and enjoying great prestige among judges and prosecutors.’

‘The relationship with the client is magnificent. From an office of this level you expect knowledge and control of the situation, not enormous empathy and forming a team as we have done.’

Key clients

Partido Popular


Altadis


Amparo Villar


Alu Ibérica


Wärtsilä Ibérica


ING Bank


Ibercaja Banco


Real Automóvil Club de España


CaixaBank


Work highlights


  • Represented Ibercaja and ING Bank in a money laundering case investigated by the Audiencia Nacional, in which the criminal liability of the banks and several of their employees was sought.
  • Represented CaixaBank for allegedly committing a crime of bribery and disclosure of secrets.
  • Defended the former business CEO of Iberdrola in criminal proceedings for the alleged perpetration of crimes of bribery and discovery and disclosure of secret information.

Cuatrecasas

The experienced white-collar criminal law team at Cuatrecasas is recognised for its market-leading expertise, with matters such as tax evasion, money laundering, fraud and insolvency offences, corruption, financial crimes and environmental offences covered by the group. Led by Madrid-based partner Joaquín Burkhalter and the Barcelona-based Josep Riba, noted as criminal law specialists, the team attracts a variety of clients, including in the banking, technology and construction sectors; its client base also extends to high-profile private clients. Luis Jordana De Pozas combines knowledge of tax and economic offences to advise multinational companies and their directors on criminal law matters, with Alfredo Domínguez also noted. In March 2023, the firm hired José Bonilla from Jones Day, deepening its expertise in the field.

Practice head(s):

Joaquín Burkhalter; Josep Riba


Other key lawyers:

Luis Jordana De Pozas


Garrigues

The criminal law, compliance and corporate investigations team at Garrigues stands out for its ‘knowledge of the client, total involvement and absolute mastery of the matter‘, with a capable team dedicated to corporate compliance programmes, internal investigations, extradition procedures, criminal proceedings and pre-procedural matters. As a leader in the field, it has seen a recent increase in advising high-profile digital platforms on the criminal implications of their day-to-day operations. Reputed criminal litigator Gabriel Castro leads the team alongside Helena Prieto, who is a corporate investigation expert and ‘often anticipates the client’s needs‘. Senior associate Marta Sánchez is ‘completely devoted‘ in supporting these efforts, accompanied by associates Beatriz Bustamante and  Álvaro Mato.

Practice head(s):

Gabriel Castro; Helena Prieto


Testimonials

‘Garrigues is made up of a team of highly qualified professionals with extensive experience in each of the areas in which it provides advice. Its vision and analysis from all points of view and areas of law and coordination with other teams within Garrigues to offer the client comprehensive advice is excellent. Garrigues is able to understand what the client’s concerns and doubts are while proposing the best solution strategies to reach a satisfactory solution.’

‘Helena Prieto often anticipates the client’s needs, which makes things much easier.’

‘Their knowledge of the client, their total involvement and their absolute mastery of the matter, all of which makes them stand out from other firms.’

‘Marta Sánchez Martín is completely devoted to the client and makes them feel safe and perfectly accompanied in a matter as delicate as criminal law, which she masters perfectly.’

‘The client needs to know that they can have a highly capable team of external lawyers, with professionals dedicated to the different areas of the legal field in which one can feel supported.’

‘The team has solid technical preparation, accumulated experience, anticipation capacity and a special sensitivity to interact with the client.’

‘The coordination between its members is perfect. The information is shared between them so the client has the feeling of being taken care of. They work conscientiously on the information and share with the client what is relevant. Coordination with other firms is excellent and their leadership is perceived.’

‘They are empathetic, friendly, without giving false expectations. Very cautious and exhaustive when handling information. Gabriel Castro is charming, efficient, and always available.’

Key clients

Rosp Corunna


Amazon


Mondelez International


Maxamcorp Holding


Neginter Euroamericana


Bbva


Deloitte


DIA Group


Prosegur


Work highlights


  • Represented an asset-holding company in criminal proceedings initiated against its former CEO for the alleged commission of misrepresentation, misappropriation and forgery of business documents.
  • Defended a bank against alleged crimes of bribery, disclosure of secrets and corruption in business in connection with the alleged criminal activities of the former police chief José Manuel Villarejo’s company CENYT.
  • Represented one of the largest auditing firms of the world as well as one of its partners against alleged offences of false accounting and investment fraud regarding Group Abengoa.

Uría Menéndez

The corporate crime and internal investigations team at Uría Menéndez has an ‘impeccable‘ offering, characterised by market-leading advice in matters relating to money laundering, fraud, regulatory compliance, corruption and tax offences. With financial institutions as key clients, the practice is best known for its defense work in high-profile financial cases. Leading the team are white-collar crime expert Jaime Alonso and bank fraud specialist Ismael Clemente, who stand out for their advising of leading construction, finance, real estate, pharmaceutical and IT corporations. Other notable figures include Patricia Leandro and Enrique Rodríguez Celada, with combined experience in a range of white-collar matters. Associate Sara Sanz Castillo and Oscar Morales left the firm. All named lawyers are based in Madrid.

Practice head(s):

Jaime Alonso; Ismael Clemente


Testimonials

‘In general, the work of this firm is impeccable and cannot be compared with other firms.’

‘In professional rigor, they anticipate what the client wants, they are orderly, strict, close, educated and experts in the field.’

‘The Uría economic penal team is exceptional. They manage complicated situations with great mastery and professionalism.’

‘Rigor, professionalism and closeness.’

‘Dedicated team with sound knowledge.’

‘Jaime Alonso is a specialist. He is very accurate and flexible.’

Work highlights


  • Advising a financial entity in a criminal investigation regarding Banco Popular’s rights issue worth €2.5bn before the Spanish National Court.
  • Advising a Spanish financial entity in a criminal investigation for alleged espionage before the Spanish National Court.
  • Advising a Spanish multinational engineering and construction company in a criminal investigation for alleged public corruption.

CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo

CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo features a corporate crime practice which ‘stands out for its capacity, competence and professionalism‘, with an emphasis on representing financial institutions, managers and administrators of listed companies, as well as high-profile private individuals. Among its key areas of expertise, the firm is active in matters relating to fraud, corruption, money laundering, bribery and criminal compliance, where it advises domestic and foreign corporations on national requirements. Spearheading these efforts are Carlos Aguilar and Enrique Remón in Madrid, with the latter having joined the firm from the Public Prosecutor’s Office in January 2021. Barcelona-based partner Jorge Sánchez, noted for disputes in the telecoms sector, heads the practice alongside them. Counsel Emilio Moyano and senior associate Manuel Sánchez-Puelles are additional key contacts at the practice.

Other key lawyers:

Emilio Moyano; Manuel Sánchez-Puelles


Testimonials

‘The team has some of the best lawyers in this practice in the Spanish jurisdiction. They are usually assigned matters of great relevance and stand out for their capacity, competence and professionalism.’

‘In addition to their preparation and academic training, their professional experience is a very important aspect and indeed it compares favorably with respect to other firms.’

‘The team made up of specialists in the field is very powerful and has proven experience. Collaboration is excellent.’

‘In addition to the knowledge and experience of both partners, the team has great knowledge of the judicial world in its operation in all areas, beyond the strictly procedural one that they amply dominate.’

‘Carlos Aguilar and Enrique Remón are excellent criminal lawyers and offer cordiality. Enrique Remón is a former prosecutor, which provides security.’

Key clients

Arcadia Music


Red Eléctrica de España


Banco Sabadell


Abbey Energy


Gómez-Acebo & Pombo

Gómez-Acebo & Pombo‘s criminal law group is based across the firm’s Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon offices, with the team handling the full spectrum of criminal offences, including in cross-border matters concerning financial entities, fraud and forgery, money laundering, asset tracing and financial crime. Criminal law expert Carlos Sáiz and corporate compliance specialist Vanessa Fernández jointly lead the practice, with a combined client base encompassing a variety of major banks and insurers in addition to railway, medical and energy companies.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Sáiz; Vanessa Fernández


Other key lawyers:

Maria Flora Morillo-Velarde; Paloma de Carlos


Testimonials

‘Gómez-Acebo & Pombo’s team has both the technical and the company knowledge to respond to the problems that arise.’

‘They have shown, in addition to a deep knowledge of the matters, involvement in the issues, the closeness of its teams to the company’s staff and absolute availability. They keep in-house lawyers informed of developments in matters. Absolute transparency in billing.’

‘In each matter that is entrusted to them, Vanessa Fernández is personally in charge of attending to each request, personally studying the subject, making as many calls and interviews as necessary, in order to offer the best legal solution.’

‘Maria Flora Morillo-Velarde and Paloma de Carlos have shown equal dedication and professionalism. They are characterized by their availability and absolute dedication in each of the entrusted matters, as well as knowing the organization to be able to provide the best service.’

Work highlights


  • Successfully represented the former general director and company in the “Chiloeches case”, criminal proceedings for alleged political corruption, crimes against the environment, forgery and injuries.

Ius+Aequitas Trial Lawyers

As a boutique law firm, Ius+Aequitas Trial Lawyers specialises in bankruptcy as well as proceedings concerning money laundering, corruption and fraud, and also assists clients with criminal compliance programmes. Among recent developments, the team, noted as ‘dedicated and client focused‘, has been particularly active in the lodging of complaints based on economic crimes. Managing partner Elíseo Martínez, an experienced arbitrator and bankruptcy expert, leads the practice alongside the ‘impressiveCarolina González de la Fuente, specialised in white-collar criminal law.

Testimonials

‘Eliseo Martinez and Carolina Gonzalez de la Fuente have a strategic vision of legal proceedings that is enviable. Of course, it gives peace of mind to have them on your side.’

‘Eliseo Martinez and Carolina Gonzalez de la Fuente have deep knowledge of criminal law. They are also great communicators, which makes them very complete lawyers.’

‘The team’s ability to manage client expectations is impressive.’

Oliva-Ayala Abogados

The corporate criminal law department at Oliva-Ayala Abogados offers expertise across the gamut of matters in this field, including tax fraud, embezzlement, bribery, false documentation and false administration. With a strong foothold in the sports, banking, construction and engineering sectors, the team has further experience in corruption cases, corporate compliance and complex investigations, acting for companies, senior executives, family offices and political figures. Leading these efforts is founding partner Ignacio Ayala Gómez, active in both the judicial and extrajudicial context, accompanied by Javier Sánchez-Vera and María Gutiérrez Rodríguez, experts in criminal law and complex proceedings, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Ignacio Ayala Gómez


Testimonials

The most important characteristic to highlight is the direct and main involvement of the partners in the preparation and execution of the strategy, development and execution.’

‘The firm’s technical level, responsiveness, understanding of client needs and knowledge of its market is simply exceptional.’

‘They are truly prepared to assist international clients. Without a doubt, it is a first option when needing criminal advice.’

Key clients

REPSOL senior executives


BBVA senior executives


SACYR and SACYR’s former senior executive


ICBC


Commercial Director of Grupo DIA


INDRA


ALCOA


Work highlights


  • Successfully represented José María Aristrain – the former owner of steelmaker Arcelor – in criminal proceedings for alleged tax fraud before the Provincial Court (of Appeals) of Madrid.
  • Acting on behalf of two Repsol senior executives in preliminary proceedings before the High Court’s Central Court of Instruction for alleged bribery and the discovery and disclosure of secrets.
  • Acting on behalf of the head of auditing and the head of communications at BBVA in criminal proceedings concerning alleged bribery and the discovery and disclosure of secrets in one of the pieces of the Villarejo scandal.

Pérez-Llorca

Pérez-Llorca‘s white-collar crime practice offers expertise in the full spectrum of corporate internal investigations, with a transnational approach designed to provide comprehensive advice on corporate crime, tax fraud, money laundering and corruption. As a criminal litigation specialist, Adriana De Buerba spearheads the firm’s internal investigations and crisis management offering, with a client portfolio that extends to the telecoms, infrastructure, security and banking sectors. Also working out of the Madrid office are Juan Palomino, an expert in corporate internal investigations with a focus on IP infringements and cyber-fraud, and associate Jorge Walser, noted for fraud and intellectual property rights offences. Counsel Mayte Requejo is a new addition, joining the firm in 2021 to bolster the team’s investigations expertise.

Practice head(s):

Adriana De Buerba


Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance‘s corporate crime, compliance and internal investigations team offers expertise in bribery, money laundering, environmental crimes, internal investigations and regulatory compliance. Acting as an integrated branch of the firm’s litigation and dispute resolution group in the country and the wider regulatory investigations and financial crime global practice, the firm’s client list features a range of notable names in the TMT, manufacturing, real estate and banking industries. Dispute resolution expert Fernando Irurzun is accompanied by white-collar criminal law specialist Carlos Zabala at the helm of the department, benefitting from the support of senior associate Sonia Trendafilova, who is active in relation to criminal and regulatory enforcement.

Practice head(s):

Fernando Irurzun; Carlos Zabala


Other key lawyers:

Sonia Trendafilova


Testimonials

‘Excellent professional knowledge and empathy with the client.’

‘The team understands the business and is able to dimension the risks properly, giving advice consequently and carrying out investigations in a discreet and professional manner.’

‘They understand the client’s distress with different issues and makes them feel comfortable.’

Key clients

Vingroup


BT España


HIG


Stargroup


Saint Gobain


Samsung


Interbalear


Evolution


Vía Célere


AIG Europe


Matrix Renewables Spain


Nike


Lazard Asesores Financieros


Greenoak


Instituto de Empresa (IE)


Barclays


Elewan Energy


BBVA


Brookfield


Synlab Europe


Cinven


China Three Gorges Europe


Work highlights


  • Advising BBVA on international sanctions in relation to the situation in Ukraine.
  • Representing a leading telecoms company in criminal proceedings involving allegations of violation of corporate secrets, use of inside information, fraud and damages.
  • Representing China Three Gorges Europe in anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering and sanctions related issues in the context of its acquisition of a Spanish solar plant portfolio.

Del Rosal, Adame & Segrelles

Boutique law firm Del Rosal, Adame & Segrelles draws from the strength of its offices in Madrid, Alicante and Bilbao to represent corporations and individuals in fraud, misappropriation of funds, money laundering and tax evasion proceedings. Founding partner Bernardo Del Rosal Blasco, an ‘eminent figure in criminal law‘, heads the team alongside Fernando Adame García, also a founding partner, and Iñigo Segrelles de Arenaza, showcasing combined expertise in a broad range of economic and business crime matters.

Testimonials

‘Immediate availability upon request with diligence and promptness in the actions undertaken.’

‘Íñigo Segrelles has maintained a close relationship with the company at all times, being interested in the immediate communication and of the actions undertaken to resolve the entrusted work.’

‘First-class professional attention. Strongly recommend.’

‘Both the quality of their legal knowledge and the wisdom and clarity of their professional advice. Especially Bernardo del Rosal.’

‘When it comes to criminal law, the closeness and trust that the team offers is unique. Confidence in this firm is no longer based only on the knowledge they have of the practice, which is exceptional, but also on personal involvement, and absolute availability at any time to answer questions or prepare any type of action that is needed.’

‘They are notably better for their knowledge of criminal law and its practice, and personal and close treatment.’

‘Bernardo del Rosal is without a doubt an eminent figure in criminal law, and is widely recognised. What is surprising is his connection with the client, availability and treatment he gives. It makes the client feel that they are the main client of the office.’

ECIJA

ECIJA leverages its strength in dispute resolution to advise on major criminal cases involving fraud and corruption. The firm is also familiar with risk advisory, assisting a range of clients in internal investigations, regulatory compliance, risk management systems and anti-corruption policies. Notable figures in this regard include executive vice president Pablo Jiménez De Parga, an economic criminal law expert, and José María Abella, a prominent dispute resolution partner. Also noted is senior associate Noelia Álvarez.

Key clients

Repsol


JMAC Corporation


Cofely España


Alcaliver


Makro


Indra BPO


Indra


Kuailian


Avatel


Sky Deutschland


Totem


Work highlights


  • Represented REPSOL in a criminal investigation.
  • Acted for a member of the board of directors of Bankia accused of having participated in investor fraud and accounting falsehood during the IPO of Bankia.
  • Representing Manuel Chaves González, the former President of the Government of Andalucía in the criminal procedure known as “Caso ERE Andalucía”.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

The investigations, white-collar and fraud department at Hogan Lovells International LLP is sought out for a wide spectrum of corporate crime issues. Acting for leading names in the life sciences, transportation, insurance, financial and industrial sectors, the firm is often involved in matters involving regulatory investigations, allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption, whistleblower complaints and money laundering. Criminal law and corporate compliance specialist Ignacio Sánchez heads the practice, accompanied by senior associate Sara Sanz Castillo, a recent arrival from Uría Menéndez, who joined the firm in May 2022.


Practice head(s):

Ignacio Sánchez


Other key lawyers:

Sara Sanz Castillo


Testimonials

Full availability and great specialisation.

‘The human quality of the team and having the ability to take on client problems as if they were their own.’

‘The availability and the high technical knowledge they have, which generates confidence and tranquility.’

Work highlights


  • Advised a board member of Banco Popular in criminal proceedings.
  • Represented AXA in criminal proceedings concerning environmental offences in Spain.
  • Representing a major international insurance company and the former Chief Security Officer in criminal proceedings arising from one of the largest rail accidents of Spain’s history.

ONTIER

Sourcing expertise from its offices in Madrid and Oviedo, ONTIER’s white-collar crime department is often retained to advise on investor fraud, corporate crime, economic crime, tax fraud, money laundering, cybercrime and privacy offences. With experience in corporate crime and litigation, Berta Aguinaga Barrilero leads the practice, with Javier Cuairán García, who has broad expertise in criminal law matters, supporting these efforts.

Practice head(s):

Berta Aguinaga Barrilero


Other key lawyers:

Javier Cuairán García; Enrique Muñoz


Testimonials

‘Empathy with clients and ability to make problems their own. Berta Aguinaga leads the team in an exemplary manner and coordinates fluently with external experts to improve defence possibilities.’

‘Ontier is a law firm that stands out for knowing the client and their needs in depth, allowing to place total trust in them for all the cases that arise.’

‘Personalised advice, experience in different types of cases, great reaction capacity, knowledge of technology and its influence on criminal cases. Collaborating with Berta Aguinana, Javier Cuairan, Enrique Muñoz is a real pleasure.’

‘The closeness of the partner and the team, dedication to the case, organisation, professionalism and efficiency.’

‘Both Juan Casanueva and Enrique Muñoz provide a highly professional service, with great legal knowledge and proximity to the problem area of the case.’

‘Ontier is always thinking about how to improve the client’s situation.’

‘Both Juan Casanueva and Enrique Muñoz are two lawyers dedicated 100% to their work and taking maximum care of the details. Great support in everything they do.’

‘Communication with the client and empathy. Security and technical mastery of the subject.’

Work highlights


  • Representing Antonio del Valle Ruiz, former member of the Board of Directors of Banco Popular, in criminal proceedings relating to the criminal complaints filed by hundreds of shareholders and other parties affected by the bank’s resolution.
  • Representing Ángel Pérez-Maura García and Álvaro Pérez-Maura García in criminal proceedings for the alleged commission of international bribery, bribery crimes, fraud and tax evasion.
  • Representing Miroslav Schopoff in criminal proceedings for the alleged commission of tax fraud, money laundering and false documentation.

DWF-RCD

DWF-RCD‘s corporate crime department offers a comprehensive service to large corporate and private clients, acting on money laundering, embezzlement, fraud, tax evasion and social security matters. As a former member of the internal revenue service, Barcelona-based partner Diego Artacho spearheads the practice’s tax-related offering, acting parallel to his role as head of the team. Working alongside him is Borja Vives, a corporate criminal law expert active in misappropriations, damages and insolvencies.

Practice head(s):

Diego Artacho


Other key lawyers:

Borja Vives


Ramón y Cajal Abogados

The corporate criminal law team at Ramón y Cajal Abogados is characterised by a broad focus on tax evasion, money laundering, corruption, misappropriation and fraud, acting for a range of high-profile corporations and private individuals. Led by criminal litigation expert Enrique Molina and financial crime specialist Javier Gómez Bermúdez, the firm is also active in industrial accidents, environmental crimes and compliance matters. Patricia Porras is another standout from the associate ranks.


Other key lawyers:

Patricia Porras


Testimonials

‘They understand the client’s business model, its concerns and the needs that have to be covered when it comes to having a legal service, beyond the mere resolution or technical treatment of the specific issue.’

‘Technical quality of the service, experience, availability, understanding of the business model. They convey calm, understanding and support in a delicate matter.’

‘Training, professional experience and availability.’

‘Patricia Porras and Enrique Molina show capacity and proactivity, but also poise, closeness, empathy and sympathy.’

‘Dedication and experience.’

‘Excellent preparation and knowledge.’

Key clients

Endesa – Enel Green Power


Grant Thornton


Elecnor


Dominion Global Dominion Access


FCC


Abengoa


Gonzalo Urquijo


Banco Caminos


Mercasa


Fernando Becker


Atresmedia Corporación de Medios Audiovisuales


Work highlights


  • Representing Balder IP as an aggrieved party before the National High Court (Audiencia Nacional).
  • Representing Bartolomé Cursach before the Provincial Court of Palma in a corruption case.
  • Successfully defended one of Iberdrola’s managers, Fernando Becker, in the criminal proceedings arising from the Villarejo case.