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Luis Fernando Guerra, Managing Partner at Deloitte Legal Spain

Luis Fernando Guerra, Managing Partner at Deloitte Legal Spain, explains how the firm is adapting to clients’ changing needs

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Deloitte Abogados from your competitors?

What sets our practice apart from competitors is the multidisciplinary focus by which we work, achieved through consolidating our global presence with the multi-layered sector expertise of our professionals. This allows us to be able to offer a specialised and flexible service to our clients in multiple jurisdictions, industries, and locations. Our position here as local specialists who collaborate within a cross-border network is a great advantage in helping us to respond efficiently to changing market demands and in helping clients grow their business internationally.

Behind the success of the multidisciplinary scope and international reach of our practice is the foundation on which we base our work. Our values and the subsequent culture that derives from these values create a unique environment in which our professionals thrive, allowing them to deliver distinctive solutions and services to the client, whilst personalising the interaction with the client. In this sense, we believe that the value of ideals and culture is integral to how Deloitte Legal functions, and is a unique approach that differentiates us from our competitors.

Client focus is essential to our success as a practice, and so we continue to develop ways in which we can improve and grow our services to make an impact for the client. This differentiates us from competitors due to the innovative and multifaceted approach in which do so. Firstly, our investment into industry-based analysis helps us to identify targets to which we then tailor our tools and services. Commercially, our systematic client tracking allows us to configure and pursue development phases of these services. We transform typical meetings into interactive days that are scientifically designed to foster client relations and progress.

Thanks to this focus, we can predict, react and find solutions to changes within the legal functions, in particular recently with regards to digital transformation. Innovation has a unique importance at Deloitte Legal and is something that helps us to stand out from other practices.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Our Regulatory & Compliance line has proved to be one of the practice areas with considerable development and one that we envisage will continue to grow in the coming year. It has become one of the benchmarks of the practice for legal advice in regards to both the implementation of compliance models and the prevention of criminal risks, driven by increasing digital transformation and advancing technologies, as well as projects related to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. We expect that due to significant clients and ongoing projects, these will continue to develop over the next 12 months.

Additionally in Regulatory & Compliance, we will continue to provide services in complex international projects, mainly related to the implementation of uniform compliance models in countries such as the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, France, the UK, Portugal, and others.

Furthermore, our Corporate/M&A area has performed outstandingly over the last few years, delivering double-digit growth. After completing many high-valued and significant projects, we aim to see this over the course of this year too. The combination of our innovative, multidisciplinary approach and sector expertise will allow us to continue to offer the breadth of M&A transaction services, in particular in legal, tax, labour, financial, and corporate finance advice.

What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?

Legal functions are experiencing a profound digital transformation. In this context, we believe that as a firm we too need to adapt to such technological advances to be able to offer innovative and beneficial solutions to our clients.

To do this, we have made changes in terms of digitalization, so that we can be prepared for, and anticipate, future changes innovatively. We have developed a model and culture based on innovation in which the emphasis is placed on people. We have also designed and implemented solutions for clients regarding advice on their legal management operating models.

By transforming ourselves as a practice, we can use the changes we experience first-hand to benefit the client when it comes to advising them about a strategy for their tax or legal digital transformation. Through our own changes, we can serve both as a leading example and as a trustworthy source for other firms who wish to do the same.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

With the rise of digital transformation in the legal functions, adapting and integrating new technologies is no longer a benefit, but a necessity. As a result, laws also have to adapt to reflect these technological advances.

As leading legal professionals, we need to stay at the forefront of this digitalization, and find ways for it to be an advantage for our clients. At the same time however, clients want clarity from us when it comes to implementing these new technologies into their own operating models and businesses, as well as assurance that such implementation complies with new legislations.

Therefore, a considerable part of how we interact with our clients now includes seeking innovative ways to create solutions as to how they can efficiently integrate these technologies and digitally transform their business in accordance with regulations.

As a practice, we have undergone digital transformation internally. We continue to employ innovation, and are pioneers in the use of Blockchain technology, Analytics, and Robotics in tools and services relating to legal advice.

We advise our clients from our first-hand experience, create solutions to overcome issues, and to deliver efficiency. The way technology has changed our practice has in turn instilled trust, confidence, and proximity for the client.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

The current business landscape is evidence of why legal departments to rethink their operating model, to become more efficient and to increase the value they deliver back to the business. The legal world is transforming and Deloitte Legal is developing the tools and solutions to help law firms during this transformative period.

Legal Management Consulting (LMC) is a new approach and a new discipline, developed for lawyers by lawyers and other experts. It builds on mainstream management consultancy, risk advisory services, as well as tax management consulting. LMC is a collection of models, frameworks and systems to help in-house lawyers run their departments more efficiently whilst comprehensively meeting their business needs. It is an attempt to capture countless person-hours of management and consulting experience into a set of services and tools. LMC focuses on operating models, technology, work-sourcing and cost management.

Our research suggests that in-house functions are under unprecedented pressures, both internal and external, to demonstrate value, manage risk, contain costs, embrace new ways of working, introduce technology, operate globally and align with their organizations. It is a time of transformation and a time to transform.

To help clients transform and add value to their business, we offer legal management consulting advice through utilizing the breadth of services, tools and advisors that are at the disposal of our practice.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Clients are looking for innovative ways to adapt to the changing reality of their companies and we believe that in order to be at the forefront, to predict, adapt and advise these clients, we must first do the same.

Whilst clients are undoubtedly looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms, we believe that trust and confidence goes a long way. For a client to see that we as a practice have gone through digital transformation ourselves, it offers the value of reassurance and encourages a kind of proximity and understanding between the client and us.

In three years’ time, we envisage that Deloitte Legal will have continued digital transformation to remain innovative within the legal functions.

We will embrace new technologies and learn from them. We will adapt to further new changes in digitalization and develop tools and solutions for our clients accordingly. We will maintain our innovative stance to ensure that our services and strategies are always in line with the stability that our clients require and that we are prepared to take on and adapt to any future challenges.

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