Álvaro Ramírez de Haro (Pérez-Llorca): "The management of multi-jurisdictional operations are important"
The Impact Lawyers publishes an interview with Álvaro Ramírez de Haro, partner in charge of the London office of Pérez-Llorca. This interview and others can be found in the Survey on the internationalisation of law firms
What is the strategy you have followed in opening offices abroad? Why?
The decision to expand our network of offices outside Spain is mainly motivated by two reasons. On the one hand, to accompany our clients wherever they are, wherever they operate or wherever they need us, offering them global advice and, on the other hand, to make our legal knowledge of the Spanish market available to foreign companies.
We currently have two offices: London and New York. With the first one we sought to consolidate our service offering in the Corporate and Banking areas, while at the same time strengthening our links with large investors located in London.
The opening of the New York office, on the other hand, has given us an operational centre from which to work in both the US and Latin American markets, with the aim of providing answers to many of our clients who increasingly have projects in this region and advising foreign investors on Spanish law issues.
Whichever model you have chosen to establish yourself in a new jurisdiction, what are the biggest challenges you have faced?
Anglo-Saxon markets can be very demanding, as they are more specialised and highly competitive. In this regard, the management of multi-jurisdictional operations and intense institutional relations work with the different law firms are particularly important.
Markets such as New York or London also allow us to be at the forefront of global economic and financial trends, which to a large extent can help us to anticipate certain behaviours and thus favour a more efficient response to our clients' needs.
How has the COVID-19 crisis affected your international growth strategy?
One of the main objectives of international offices is to develop new business. With the COVID-19 crisis our usual work of physical meetings with both offices and clients has been reduced, however, we have been able to adapt to the new reality and we have been close to our clients thanks to technology. Fortunately, both the United Kingdom and the United States are regions where Smart Working is very advanced and this has made it easier to adapt to such a complex situation.
It is precisely this ability to adapt that has allowed us to respond to the new needs of our clients and to continue advancing in our business plans. During these months, the areas that have grown the most have been Litigation/Arbitration, Banking and Finance, Restructuring and Insolvency, Labour and Tax. And in all of them we have been able to help our clients thanks to our specialised capabilities.
In the coming months we will see how the pandemic evolves and the pace of economic recovery in the different countries, but we hope to continue to have the confidence of our clients in order to boost our international presence.
This survey was conducted through Venize Comunicación between December 2020 and January 2021.