Iberia Teams 2019 – GC Powerlist

Iberia Teams 2019

A&G Banca Privada

| A&G Banca Privada

Financials

‘A&G’s in-house team, composed of six experienced lawyers and two junior lawyers, has developed itself to achieve excellence and quality in its services to both internal staff and clients. This...

#GCPowerlist Iberia Teams 2019

Accenture

| Accenture

Commercial and professional services

A Fortune Global 500 company, Accenture is a global management consulting and professional services firm that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services. The legal team of Accenture Portugal...

#GCPowerlist Iberia Teams 2019

Acciona

| Acciona

‘Acciona is a global group that develops and operates sustainable infrastructure, from renewable energy to complex construction projects, water treatment and services. Acciona aims to lead the transition to a...

#GCPowerlist Iberia Teams 2019

AccorInvest Iberia

| AccorInvest Iberia

The AccorInvest Group is one of the most important owner and operator of hotels in Europe, with more than 1,000 employees in Spain and an annual turnover of €130m. According...

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Ageas Portugal

| Ageas Portugal

Catarina Sousa Rodrigues, head of legal counselling and litigation, leads a highly skilled in-house legal team at Ageas Portugal comprised of 15 lawyers, with specialists in legal counselling, litigation and...

#GCPowerlist Iberia Teams 2019

Editor Message

The Iberian nations of Spain and Portugal have a deep shared history with a number of cultural and social similarities, and in 2019 these similarities also extend to economic performance, with both countries experiencing high levels of recent economic growth. Portugal is benefitting from an upswing in its housing market, a booming technology sector and strong exports, while Spain is similarly demonstrating continued robust economic growth, thanks in part to increased domestic spending in the tourism sector.

Despite the enduring consequences of the financial crisis and political uncertainty, Spain’s economy has continued to expand, being deemed as the country with the fastest growth rate amongst large Eurozone economies. Portugal is also enjoying its highest economic growth in nearly two decades, thanks to the aforementioned circumstances as well as increases in private investment from large foreign investors.

The legal teams serving companies in both countries have made an impactful difference in this regard. They are responsible for the negotiating of large transactions with investors, helping their businesses navigate challenges with confidence and evade issues thanks to high levels of legal and regulatory savviness. The legal teams featured in these pages have been observed to be well-equipped to handle an often volatile business environment and changing legislation, creating and embracing innovative ways of handling legal matters and taking advantage of this progressive economic environment.

 In this year’s GC Powerlist: Iberia Teams we are pleased to highlight some of the continent’s leading in-house legal departments. To compile this list, we canvassed opinions from both law firm partners and in-house counsel in the region. We identified the most impressive legal departments operating in Iberia who have utilised their legal knowledge strategically alongside business insight to make a positive impact towards their organisation’s success.

Sara Mageit
Senior Research Analyst
GC Powerlist series

Editor |

Sponsor Message

Andersen Tax & Legal

Andersen Tax & Legal logo

Spain closed 2018 with a 2.6% increase in GDP, which has allowed our country to maintain a stable growth rate in the EU. The forecast for 2019 is not very optimistic, although, despite the slowdown, our country will remain above comparable economies in the rest of the European Union.

At a time when the legal teams of companies must be more prepared than ever to face new challenges and seek business opportunities in an environment in which the firms are looking for economic stability, at Andersen Tax & Legal we are proud to have supported the first initiative of the prestigious international guide The Legal 500 from the very beginning and for the fourth year running, which recognises the work of in-house lawyers.

The new challenges of the economy require multidisciplinary firms with international capabilities and who are adapted to technological change. These demands on both companies and their accompanying consultants make the success of business largely dependent on strong partners.

At Andersen Tax & Legal we share the same passion for a job well done, the concern to improve daily and the effort to expand skills, knowledge and services. We have added teams, retained talent and increased services at our offices in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and a collaborating firm in Bilbao. We have more than 4,000 professionals in nearly 140 locations around the world through the member firms and collaborating firms of Andersen Global.

We are in line with all the in-house teams represented in the GC Powerlist: Iberia Teams 2019 and are aware that the legal market is constantly changing. In-house lawyers face challenges that require external, specialised and impartial advice, just as lawyers apply their knowledge from a business perspective, with increasing sectoral knowledge.

We are convinced that the pairing of a firm and an in-house lawyer gives an excellent result in terms of in-depth knowledge of both sectors and practice areas and an innovative approach to new projects that improve the company’s market position.

That is why we continue to believe in a relationship that goes beyond the professional, we are committed to a long-term relationship based on trust, the same values and working together to contribute to a success that is always shared. Thus, we share the success achieved with this recognition too and, on behalf of Andersen Tax & Legal, I would like to congratulate all the teams included in the GC Powerlist: Iberia Teams 2019.

Iterlegis

Iterlegis logo

The Spanish economic recuperation demands larger and better in-house legal teams. Counsels are now required to be versatile, to have a deep knowledge of their companies’ business and strategies, and, above all, to have the passion and the skills to be real team players.

Team work is more important now than ever, to face the multiple and complex challenges arising from a globalised business environment which is often highly regulated. In this context, legal departments are now a key element in business decision-making processes and have thus become true value generators in a corporate world.

The above results in companies demanding highly qualified counsels who receive continued training adapted to the new challenges faced by their companies, who are technically rigorous and legally cross-sector and generalists, who can manage all risks, who are flexible and yet assertive, effective and proactive, and can inspire their teams through leadership. The in-house counsel has now the duty and the responsibility to find out the business’ targets and must be generous and curious enough to learn from others, whilst sharing knowledge and expertise across the staff and departments. And, even more difficult, must lead a top class team in the same direction and towards a shared view, building on the company’s culture.

Companies operating in Spain cannot afford missing one opportunity to grow, generate benefits, offer value to society, expand and generate employment. Therefore, they request very sophisticated legal counsels and demand more from their legal teams, even to the point that they are seen as part of the business.

I have witnessed this passionate evolution in the legal teams’ qualifications and roles in Spain throughout almost 11 years searching for the best in-house talent. I am proud to say that our counsels compete internationally with top profiles who contribute to their companies in Spain and elsewhere in achieving their strategic goals.

To all and each of the counsels mentioned in the teams nominated by this guide, I am very pleased to say: congratulations and keep up with the good work!

PLMJ

PLMJ logo

It is a pleasure for PLMJ to partner again with The Legal 500 and help recognise the hard work of in-house legal teams in Portugal and Spain, and the invaluable role they play in helping companies to navigate troubled waters and achieve greater success. For more than 50 years, we have worked in close cooperation with in-house lawyers and witnessed first-hand how much their roles and responsibilities have changed.

General counsel and in-house lawyers now have greater responsibility and play an increasingly strategic role in their organisations. This, combined with the ever greater globalisation of companies, means in-house lawyers have to deal with a growing number of challenges. There has been a visible shift in their role, from a reactive to much more proactive: no longer only called on to come to the rescue when problems arise, general counsel are now asked to play an active role in decision-making processes. And all the while, they still have to provide the traditional day-to-day legal assistance and face the added challenge of working in jurisdictions they might not be very familiar with.

Another important challenge is the need to achieve greater levels of efficiency and to use the best available technology. As teams are expected to do more with less, there is added pressure to maximise value. There is also greater scrutiny in deciding which work should be done in-house and which should be done externally. Unsurprisingly, all those challenges also bring golden opportunities for innovation, leadership and decision-making at the highest level.

As one of the largest Portuguese law firms, PLMJ takes great pride in its business focus and its commitment to working as an extension of its clients’ in-house teams. We understand the challenges faced by in-house teams and have constantly adapted our services to respond to their needs. We have extended our practice areas, industry expertise and geographic coverage, and have also adopted the latest technology to make sure we are always ahead of the game. We have a genuine enthusiasm for overcoming the impossible that often takes us down the ‘road less travelled’ and transforms old certainties into new disruptions. For more than 50 years, our bold and transformative approach has translated into real solutions that effectively defend our clients’ interests.

All that remains for us to say is that it is an honour and great pleasure to work closely with so many brilliant professionals. We would like to congratulate not only all the teams recognised here, but also those not mentioned this time, for all their hard work and the valuable role they play in helping guarantee their companies’ success.