The powerhouse corporate crime group at Baker McKenzie remains a leader in the market, where it acts for well-known multinational corporations and their directors, representatives and employees. With a broad practice, the department handles public prosecutor investigations, criminal proceedings before every level of the Spanish court system, regulatory compliance matters and official investigations by tax, labour, environmental, competition and tax authorities. Headed by former state attorney Víctor Mercedes in Barcelona and former public prosecutor (and United Nations consultant) Jesús Santos in Madrid, the team’s client portfolio includes high-profile companies and individuals, spanning sectors such as automotive, real estate, government, retail, sports, and media and entertainment. The group is supported by white-collar litigation expert María Massó and senior associate Juan Pedro Cortés in Madrid.
White-collar crime in Spain
Other key lawyers:
‘They provide a clear sense of professional efficiency and empathy to the client. Maria Masso has been very reliable and resilient through a long and strenuous process.’
‘Hard workers, a lot of knowledge, a lot of empathy.’
‘Being proactive and anticipating to mitigate exposure to risk is one of the keys to its success for our company, in addition to its extensive and solid technical knowledge and its familiarity with the litigious environment and the functioning of courts and tribunals and the criminal process.’
‘Baker McKenzie’s team in this discipline is top of the line and quality. Headed by Jesús Santos and seconded by María Masso, they are really very good.’
‘Jesús Santos and María Masso are criminal lawyers who are characterized by their analytical skills in matters, proposing rational and possible actions from the point of view of the company. They also stand out for their agility and speed in response.’
‘Accuracy and professionalism in advice. Closeness. Immediacy.’
‘Case perspective. Good critical judgement of situations. Preparation in advance. Client support.’
‘The team is unique. There is no better team from the human and professional point of view.’
Mikhail Fridman, Letter One
Directors of TMF Group
Mediaset España, S.A.
Rodolfo Martín Villa
- Defending Mikhail Fridman, a prominent Russian businessperson, in criminal proceedings concerning alleged fraudulent insolvency and other matters with respect to companies of the Zed Group.
- Advising Mikhail Fridman and his investment company Letter One in a criminal investigation conducted by the Spanish National Court.
- Representing and advising top directors of TMF in a criminal case handled by the National Court for alleged fraud, forgery, money laundering and disloyal administration.
The white-collar crime group at Cuatrecasas continues to be a leader in the practice area, offering a comprehensive service to advise national and international corporations, banks, company officers and private clients on a wide range of issues. Such matters include regulatory compliance, money laundering, tax evasion, financial crimes, fraud, insolvency offences, and environmental and town planning crimes. Led by economic criminal law expert Joaquín Burkhalter in Madrid, the group’s client base spans the banking, construction, automotive and technology sectors. The team is supported by crime prevention programme expert Alfredo Domínguez and tax offences specialist Luis Jordana De Pozas in Madrid. Since publication, José Bonilla joined the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Alfredo Domínguez; Luis Jordana De Pozas; José Bonilla
The criminal law, compliance and corporate investigations group at Garrigues remains a dominant force in the market, leveraging the strength of its global office network (12 countries, across four continents) to advise major international corporations and public figures on a broad range of matters. These include corporate investigations, regulatory compliance, professional negligence, money laundering, embezzlement of public funds, discovery and disclosure of secrets, fraud and bribery. Headed by criminal law practice authority Gabriel Castro and corporate investigations expert Helena Prieto, the team’s client portfolio features well-known companies across the retail, financial services, media, energy, technology, food and beverage, construction and engineering sectors. The group is supported by principal associate Beatriz Bustamante and senior associates Álvaro Mato and Marta Sánchez.
Other key lawyers:
‘Attention and full availability.’
‘The performance of the team was extraordinary, they demonstrated deep knowledge in the matter, great capacity for foresight and reaction.’
‘Very good team, excellent legal knowledge and practical.’
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)
Helena Revoredo (Prosegur)
Publicis Comunicacion Espana
Zenith Media (Publicis Groupe)
- Advised BBVA on an internal corporate investigation being conducted.
- Held the legal defence of an auditor in court proceedings, which examined alleged fraud against investors and accounts misrepresentation.
- Acted as legal counsel for DIA Group in criminal proceedings in connection with false accounting and malfeasance allegations.
The corporate crime and internal investigations group at Uría Menéndez remains a leader in the market, where it acts for well-known international corporations, financial institutions and management teams on a diverse range of issues. Such matters include money laundering, fraud, tax offences, corruption, crisis management and regulatory compliance. Led by white-collar criminal law specialist Jaime Alonso and commercial and bank fraud expert Ismael Clemente in Madrid, the team’s client base covers the engineering, construction, finance, retail, technology and IT services sectors. Key support is provided by counsels Manuel Álvarez, Enrique Rodríguez Celada and Patricia Leandro in Madrid. Oscar Morales left the firm.
Other key lawyers:
‘Uría Menendez’s criminal team is unique, and few specialized criminal law firms can be compared.’
‘The lawyers of Uría Menendez are rigorous like no other, dedicated, competent and highly specialized. They stand out because they are extraordinary at what they do. They make everything easy, they are always at the customer’s disposal and the response is always quick and accurate. The results of its work prove it. Jaime Alonso Gallo and Ismael Clemente Casas and Patricia Leandro stand out.’
‘Disposition, accessibility, closeness and friendliness, combined in equal parts with professional and doctrinal solidity.’
‘Quick understanding of the issues, clear explanation of the situation and risks, clarity in the strategy to follow. Quick preparation of supporting documentation.’
‘Ismael Clemente is a prodigy of closeness. Rigorous but at the same time optimistic, without hiding at any time the consequences that the criminal process could end up having.’
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo
The white-collar crime department at CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo acts for a range of national and international corporations, their managers and administrators, financial institutions and private individuals. With a comprehensive service, the team advises on money laundering, bribery, fraud, corruption, and crimes against intellectual property. Led by dispute resolution head Carlos Aguilar, the group’s client portfolio includes well-known companies operating in the entertainment, e-commerce, banking, energy, real estate and consumer products sectors, among others. The group is supported by partner Enrique Remón, who joined in January 2021, counsel Emilio Moyano and senior associate Manuel Sánchez-Puelles.
Other key lawyers:
‘The criminal practice at CMS has the undisputed leadership of Carlos Aguilar, a renowned criminal lawyer, with extensive experience in criminal defense of extraordinarily complex procedures. He is one of the great criminal lawyers in this country and a necessary reference for complicated criminal defenses.’
‘The great technical quality of its members, their in-depth knowledge of criminal law, compliance and in matters of liability of the legal entity differentiates them.’
‘Deep knowledge of criminal law with extensive experience in important cases. Advisory services, procedural strategy, accusation and defense to companies and individuals before different courts and tribunals including Investigating Courts, Criminal Courts, Provincial Courts, National Court and Supreme Court.’
‘Carlos Aguilar is recognised in the world of criminal law as an excellent lawyer, with great empathy towards clients and outstanding technical knowledge. The team’s attorneys stand out for their dedication to each matter.’
Sociedad de Gestión de Activos procedentes de la Reestructuración Bancaria (“SAREB”)
Arcadia Music, S.L.U.
Red Eléctrica de España
Banco Sabadell, S.A.
- Represented Sareb in proceedings investigating the alleged unfair management by several Bankia executives who granted loans to real estate entrepreneurs without updated valuations and against the entity’s risk reports.
- Acted for Arcadia Music in criminal proceedings for the purported commission of several criminal offences, including crimes against intellectual property and fraud.
- Represented Red Eléctrica de España in criminal proceedings regarding the theft of copper cables from substations; industrial accidents and sabotage of the company’s electrical infrastructure.
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo
The criminal law department at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo leverages the strength of its offices in Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon to act before Spanish courts and administrative authorities and advise major national and international corporations, banks and financial institutions, law firms and public figures (such as professional footballers). The team can regularly be found advising on tax offences, money laundering, asset tracing, environmental and labour issues, fraud and forgery, and regulatory compliance. Led by corporate compliance expert Vanessa Fernández and criminal law specialist Carlos Sáiz Díaz, the group’s client base spans the banking, insurance, medical, environment and energy sectors, among others.
‘High technical level and close and professional customer service.’
‘It is a team of professionals who are not only experts in the field but also understand the objectives, strategies and needs of companies, and adapt the solutions to them. Results-oriented team, excellent teamwork and great experience.’
‘Carlos Sáiz stands out for his involvement in the procedure, with personal monitoring of all actions and a very high level of availability. His experience is invaluable and he offers a comprehensive analysis of each case, exploiting all defense arguments.’
The white-collar crime and investigations team at Pérez-Llorca takes a multidisciplinary approach to advise international corporates, law firms, insurance companies, investment funds and sovereign states, on a wide spectrum of issues across the practice area. Such matters include tax evasion, corruption, extradition, environmental crime, fraudulent conveyance, and surrender warrants. Headed by criminal litigation specialist Adriana De Buerba, the group’s client base spans the manufacturing, security, infrastructure, government, construction materials, retail and telecoms sectors. The team is supported by corporate internal investigation specialist Juan Palomino, counsel Jorge Walser and Mayte Requejo, who joined as of counsel in January 2021.
Other key lawyers:
The corporate crime, compliance and internal investigations department at Clifford Chance advises domestic and international companies and financial institutions on a wide span of issues. Such matters include internal investigations, preventative advice, bribery, money laundering, smuggling, tax crimes, environmental crimes and regulatory compliance. Led by white-collar criminal law expert Carlos Zabala, the group’s client portfolio includes household names across the telecoms, banking, real estate and education sectors. The team is supported by senior associate and cross-border proceedings specialist Sonia Trendafilova and associates Sonsoles Callejo and Victor Lana.
Other key lawyers:
‘Technical knowledge and ease in presenting the case. Open minded, always studying and hoping to better understand the client’s business. In comparison to others, the Clifford Chance team knows our business better than others, because they wanted to know even our factories in order to understand everything better.’
‘We work directly with the person in charge of the area, Carlos Zabala. We like their humility and their effort to know each and every one of the details of the business, to be able to use all the information available in the procedures.’
Flutter (The Stars Group)
- Conducted a broad investigation stemming from allegations that customers of Swedbank’s Baltic subsidiaries had facilitated money laundering.
- Advises and represents Vingroup with regard to the post-M&A dispute related to its investment in Spain, consisting in the acquisition of a 51% stake of BQ through its subsidiary Vintech.
- Represented BT España in criminal proceedings brought before the Investigating Court of Barcelona number 32.
The corporate crime team at DWF-RCD assists high-profile corporations and individuals on a wide range of matters. These extend to risk prevention, money laundering, corruption, fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement, and social security crimes. Led by tax law specialist Diego Artacho, the department's client base spans such sectors as retail, manufacturing, banking, construction and sports. The group is supported by corporate crime expert and recently promoted partner Borja Vives. Both lawyers mentioned work in the Barcelona office.
Other key lawyers:
Part of the firm's dispute resolution practice, the corporate crime group at ECIJA utilises its experienced team of 29 partners and global network (27 offices in 16 countries) to advise national and international corporations and individuals on a broad range of matters. These range from specialised risk advice for start-ups to comprehensive regulatory compliance strategies, such as risk management systems, anti-corruption policies, ethics codes and internal investigations. Led by corporate law expert and firm executive vice president Pablo Jiménez De Parga, the group’s portfolio features well-known companies as well as prominent individuals. The team is supported by dispute resolution partner José María Abella and regulatory compliance specialist César Zárate.
Other key lawyers:
‘I chose Pablo Jiménez de Parga because I knew that he was one of the top in the sector, with very famous cases, and what has surprised me is his total availability and dedication.’
‘The team is multidisciplinary and addresses all the problems that arise with great professionalism.’
‘Great legal knowledge, knowledge of how our company works, they are versatile, flexible and adapt to internal requirements with enormous agility and efficiency.’
Kuailian (Private investors)
The Phone House
- Conducting the defence of Manuel Chaves González, former President of the Government of Andalucía, in the criminal procedure known as “Caso ERE Andalucía”.
- Defending a client in the “Caso Palau-Millet” corruption case.
- Defending an individual in the “Caso Bankia” case, in which the top leaders of Bankia have been investigated and tried for having committed the crimes of investor fraud and accounting falsehood during the IPO of Bankia.
Hogan Lovells International LLP
The investigations, white-collar and fraud group at Hogan Lovells International LLP is regularly sought out by domestic and international corporates and individuals for advice on a diverse range of matters. These include corporate compliance, crisis management, internal investigations, dawn raids, data privacy investigations, export and sanctions control, cartel investigations and money laundering. Headed by corporate regulatory expert Ignacio Sánchez in Madrid, the team’s client portfolio spans the IT, insurance, life sciences, automotive, sports, and food and beverage sectors.
‘Closeness and exceptional professional competence. Appropriate follow-up of the issues and ability to deal with claims with a multitude of victims. Great negotiating skills.’
‘Its professional competence, great technical knowledge and detailed monitoring of all entrusted matters.’
‘Great knowledge of the subject, international team, excellent knowledge of English.’
‘Ignacio Sánchez is accessible, very good professionally, clear in the explanations and practical in the analysis.’
- Advising on a high-profile criminal proceeding against former board members of Banco Popular.
- Representing a major international insurance company and a former Chief Security Officer in criminal proceedings arising from a major rail accident.
- Representing a high-profile football player in a criminal proceeding concerning an offence of corruption in sports.
Ius + Aequitas Abogados
Boutique law firm Ius + Aequitas Abogados utilises the experience of its team to provide a comprehensive service to advise national and international corporations, financial institutions, consumer associations and private individuals, on a broad span of white-collar criminal law issues. Such matters include money laundering, fraud, criminal mismanagement, corruption, bankruptcy proceedings in mercantile courts, and the implementation of criminal compliance programmes. Led by bankruptcy expert Elíseo Martínez and white-collar criminal law expert Carolina González de la Fuente, the group’s client base covers such industries as food and beverage, retail, hospitality, construction, infrastructure, sport and entertainment. The team is supported by IP and commercial litigation head Carlos López-Mélida.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are thoughtful and creative with great client handling skills.’
‘Elíseo Martínez, managing partner: extraordinary litigator, highly qualified and perfect polyglot. Carlos López-Mélida works very well in a team and is very attentive to the details of each case to put all the possibilities on the client’s side. Carolina Rodríguez de la Fuente is definitely an ‘associate to watch’, accustomed to leading complex cross-border cases with brilliance.’
‘Eliseo Martínez is a brilliant lawyer, with a rare resolution capacity. Carlos López Mélida is a first-rate jurist, with an outstanding capacity for study and writing.’
‘Carolina Gonzalez de la Fuente is a great professional who knows how to get the best out of her team by motivating it perfectly.’
OCU (Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios) Banco Popular
Plataforma de Perjudicados de Abengoa
Arc Global Trader
- Represented 3,000 affected members of the Spanish consumer association, Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios (OCU), against Banco Popular (now Banco Santander) and PwC in case involving alleged and embezzlement and false accounting.
- Advised the Plataforma de Perjudicados de Abengoa (association of shareholders and bondholders) on criminal proceedings before the Audiencia Nacional against the former chairman of Abengoa and the former advisor for an alleged false accounting and investor scam.
- Represent the CEO of Beaulac, a Swiss wealth management firm, in several proceedings before the Audiencia Nacional in the context of the highly publicised “Defex scandal”.
The investigations and white-collar defence group at Jones Day pairs the reach of its 30 global locations with the local experience of its team to provide a comprehensive service to multinationals and individuals involved in internal investigations and criminal proceedings. In addition, the practice advises clients on fraud, money laundering, embezzlement, environmental crimes and anti-corruption violations. The team’s client roster spans the renewables, infrastructure management, finance, retail and information services sectors. Associate and corporate litigation specialist Berta Viqueira Sierra is noted. Since publication, José Bonilla left the firm.
Other key lawyers:
‘It is a very strong and very professional team. They give clients a lot of peace of mind and always study the most favorable strategy for the client.’
‘We always deal with Berta Viqueira – great professional, very serious and close at the same time. This area of the office has a lot of prestige and has very important clients. Give a lot of confidence and it shows that they have a lot of experience.’
ONTIER's white-collar crime team provides a comprehensive service to national and multinational corporates, executives, former bank directors and entrepreneurs involved in high-profile and cross-border proceedings. Areas covered by the team range from tax fraud and money laundering to bribery and corruption, cybercrimes and crimes against honour. The team is headed by corporate criminal law expert Berta Aguinaga Barrilero, and is supported by Juan Casanueva Pérez-Llantada; both have notable experience acting for well-known companies and individuals.
Other key lawyers:
Juan Casanueva Pérez-Llantada; Enrique Muñoz Blanco; Javier Cuairán García
‘The team is super professional. Cohesive. A super personalized dedication.’
‘Speed, availability, knowledge of the subject. Ontier takes care of each case, large or small, with exquisite care. They have everything under control without forgetting or neglecting any detail. They are very quick to respond, organized and efficient.’
‘Knowledge of the subject, dedication, efficiency and speed. I would highlight Berta Aguinaga, who can always be trusted because she responds perfectly, taking care of the interests of the company. I would also highlight Javier Cuairán and Enrique Muñoz Blanco.’
‘They are a team with a lot of experience, always available, they transmit a lot of security and provide peace of mind.’
‘Very personal and close treatment. Much interest in how each court order affects the client.’
‘Not only do they have a deep knowledge of criminal law but they know how to anticipate what is going to happen at the hearing, making the client feel very comfortable. They do not leave any angle open.’
- Advising two former directors of Banco Popular in the criminal proceedings before the Central Examining Court number. 4 for the alleged commission of a crime of defrauding investors (among others).
- Defended Pescanova in the trial brought by Section 4 of the Audiencia Nacional which took place between the end of 2019 and mid-2020.
- Defending the interests of Bankia in the lawsuit against the former Ausbanc officials.
Simmons & Simmons
Forming part of the firm's dispute resolution practice, the experienced white-collar crime group at Simmons & Simmons takes a multidisciplinary approach to assist domestic and international corporations, directors and administrators, as well as public bodies, on a diverse range of corporate criminal liability and civil matters. Led by criminal litigation expert Fernando Aizpún and dispute resolution head Alfredo de Lorenzo, the team excels in advising on civil fraud, money laundering, bribery, as well as investigations, regulatory compliance and extradition. The group’s client portfolio spans such sectors as professional services, energy, food and beverages, finance and TMT. The team is supported by supervising associates Alejandra Escalada and Rocío Barrero.
Other key lawyers:
‘They have a team of excellent and skilled lawyers. You will obtain top-quality assessments of experienced lawyers at a reasonable cost.’
‘Fernando Aizpun: his skills in white collar crime are impressive.’
‘Very agile, decisive and fast in communication with the client. Much technical and practical experience / expertise on criminal proceedings. With great capacity to give the client a lot of peace of mind.’
‘Fernando Aizpun: very good communicator, agile, with a lot of experience, mettle and analytical capacity.’
- Defending a businessman against an extradition request from a foreign country.
- Represented a client in a lawsuit for fraud and misappropriation.
- Defending a Spanish international business group listed in the Spanish stock market (IBEX 35) in a criminal investigation in relation to international corruption and bribery