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Clifford Chance

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Our high-profile domestic and international work has built our market-leading reputation. We combine thirty years’ experience of the Spanish market with the reach and resources of the firm’s international network.

A market-leading team that's the best of both worlds

We've worked in Spain for over 30 years. We opened our first office in Madrid in 1980 and our Barcelona office in 1993. Today we are Spain’s market-leading international firm with 23 partners, over 160 lawyers, and 22 Tier One rankings in the 2013 editions of Legal 500 and Chambers Europe. Our work on top-tier transactions and our long experience in Spanish markets has helped us form close relationships with regulators, government agencies and leading international companies. We are currently working with the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FROB) on the reconstruction of the Spanish banking industry; SAREB on disposal plans for €55 billion of distressed property assets; the US investment funds Kennedy Wilson and Värde Partners on the €815 million purchase of Aliseda, the company that manages Banco Popular's real estate assets and loans; the Promotora de Informaciones ("Prisa") on the refinancing of its €3.277 billion syndicated debt; and the Venezuelan group Banesco on the €1 billion acquisition of the state-rescued lender Novacaixagalicia Banco.

This combination of domestic and international experience means that our clients get the transactional capability of an international firm with the on the ground know-how and connections of a long-established Spanish firm. Which is what one client described as "the best of both worlds".

We understand cross-border transactions

Our team regularly works with colleagues from our international network on complex multi-jurisdictional transactions. For example, we acted for Carrefour in Spain, France, and the US on its spin-off and €2.3 billion listing of discount supermarket chain DIA in 2011; for a syndicate of six banks, in 2012, on guarantees of 3.04 million Saudi Arabian Riyals (€664 million) to the consortium that will build the high-speed railway between Medina and Mecca; and Abertis on the sale of its airports in Stockholm, Belfast, Orlando, London (Luton) and Cali.

And we stay in close contact with our offices in the Americas . Recent Latin American work includes: representing Abengoa, a Mexican energy-infrastructure company, against the Government of Mexico in ICSID arbitration proceedings since 2011; and advising Canadian and Colombian investors on their 2013 joint venture with the International Finance Corporation to develop oil and gas infrastructure projects in Colombia.

Recent highlights

We build the team that fits the client's need

Our experience has taught us how to work efficiently on complex projects and make sure that we use our resources – and our clients' time – as effectively as possible. And clients say that our approach and our talented lawyers deliver the right results.

  • "The lawyers' client-oriented approach is first-class. They don't only cover the technical aspects, they know how to navigate through the way we work as a company."
    Chambers Europe 2013
  • "Excellence is guaranteed; the team is innovative, finds solutions, is dedicated and provides outstanding client service."
    Chambers Europe 2012
  • "A great team for highly complex and technically difficult work."
    Chambers Europe 2013

Awards and milestones

  • International Law Firm of the Year: Chambers Global Awards, 2013
  • European Law Firm of the Year: Chambers Global Awards, 2013
  • Spanish Law Firm of the Year: Chambers Europe Awards, 2012
  • Deal of the Year 2012: Trade Finance Magazine
  • International Law Firm of the Year: IFLR, 2012
  • José Guardo is ranked as a "Star Individual" by Chambers Europe: Spain -  Project Finance and received the Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession Award, 2011
  • Yolanda Azanza received the Award of Personal Excellence: Iberian Lawyer, 2012.

Recent assignments

Examples of work include advising:

  • the Venezuelan group Banesco on the acquisition of the state-rescued lender Novacaixagalicia Banco for a consideration of €1 billion
  • Bridgepoint on the sale and partial reacquisition of Dorna Sports, S.L., together with its co-investor, the Canadian Pension Fund Investment Board. Dorna Sports, S.L. holds the global rights to organize the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix, known as MotoGP
  • Endesa on the challenging of two Orders approved by the Ministry of Industry, setting the prices for the electricity tariffs
  • Iberia before the European Commission in relation to its transatlantic alliance with American Airlines and British Airways. This is the first international transatlantic airline alliance case to be decided by the European Commission and the DOT simultaneously
  • Carrefour as Spanish, French and US counsel in relation to the spin-off of DIA and its subsequent listing on the Spanish stock exchanges
  • SAREB (Sociedad de Gestión de Activos procedentes de la Restructuración Bancaria) the Company for the Management of Assets proceeding from the Restructuring of the Banking System in order to advise on the legal aspects concerning the divestment of the transferred assets, for an estimated volume of 600 000 assets (€55 billion). This engagement may represent the most significant divestment project taken place in the Real Estate sector in Spain, Our role as primary advisor is clear evidence of the strong penetration and reputation of our firm in Spain
  • Fondo de Reestructuración Ordenada Bancaria (FROB, an institution under public law created by the Spanish Government to manage credit institution restructuring and resolution processes and reinforce their equity) on the restructuring process of the different entities involved
  • Antena 3 in the assessment and negotiation of the terms for the acquisition of the entirety of the share capital of the Spanish company Gestora de Inversiones Audiovisuales La Sexta, S.A., the most important corporate transaction in the Spanish TMT sector
  • Actividades de Construcción y Servicios (ACS) on its renewable energy divestment program in Spain with the sale of its stakes in 20 wind farms and several solar thermal plants to different buyers, for an aggregate amount of €1.9 billion, one of the largest transactions in the Spanish Energy sector
  • the banking syndicate on the refinancing of leading construction and concessions company Sacyr by means of the sale of a 10% stake it held in Repsol to a group of banks in the syndicate for €2.5 billion by means of the enforcement of a pledge. Subsequently, the same group of banks - Citibank, Santander, Credit Agricole, Société Générale, Natixis, ING and Bankia - sold the same package to Repsol. We also advised on the refinancing of the rest of the €2.5 billion facility that Sacyr signed with all 38 banks in the syndicate
  • the lenders on the €1.25 billion dual law (Spanish and English) forward start refinancing of part of the debt of telecoms operator, Telefónica, incurred in connection with its acquisition of Brazilian telecoms operator, Vivo
  • European Investment Bank on the issue of bonds for a total value of €1.4 billion for the Castor Underground Natural Gas Storage (UGS) facility project in Spain. This is the largest financing ever done in Spain in the gas sector and the first bond issue under the Europe 2020 Bonds Project Initiative in Spain
  • the syndicate of Spanish banks on the granting of guarantees for a maximum amount of 3.039 million Saudi Arabian Riyals (equivalent to approximately €664 million) to the Spanish consortium awarded the contract to build the high speed railway (AVE) between Medina and Mecca
  • Abengoa México against the Government of Mexico in ICSID arbitration proceedings regarding the impediment of operating a hazardous waste landfill plant
  • Actis on the US$345 million acquisition of a group of leading electricity companies in Guatemala, owned by Spanish company Gas Natural Fenosa.

Directory listings and client comments

Directory listings

Chambers Europe: Spain, 2013 

  • Tier One in M&A
  • Tier One in Banking & Finance 
  • Tier One in Banking & Finance US/UK
  • Tier One in Capital Markets
  • Tier One in Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Tier One in Public Law
  • Tier One in Competition
  • Tier One in Intellectual Property
  • Tier One in Restructuring & Insolvency
  • Tier One in Energy
  • Tier One in Life Sciences
  • Tier One in Project Finance
  • Tier One in TMT (Telecoms)

Legal 500: Spain, 2013

  • Tier One in Corporate
  • Tier One in Banking & Finance 
  • Tier One in Capital Markets
  • Tier One in Dispute Resolution
  • Tier One in Projects & Energy
  • Tier One in Competition
  • Tier One in Intellectual Property
  • Tier One in Restructuring & Insolvency
  • Tier One in Real Estate

Client comments

  • "A team of leading lawyers. It's a true number-one firm."
    Chambers Europe: Spain, 2013 - Spain
  • "Market feedback once again agrees that the [Spanish] offices of this international giant deserve a number-one spot."
    Chambers Europe: Spain, 2011 
  • "With a three-decade track record in Spain, this magic circle player combines the best of both worlds, boasting an international network and yet having earned the right to be considered a Spanish firm by peers."
    Chambers Europe: Spain, 2010 
  • "A market leader thanks to its flexible approach, vast experience and extensive international network."
    Chambers Europe: Spain, 2013 
  • "What distinguishes this firm is the personalized service it offers, the high level of partner attention and how committed the lawyers are."
    Chambers Europe: Spain, 2013

Nuestra participación en las principales operaciones nacionales e internacionales ha consolidado nuestra reputación y liderazgo en el mercado. Con más de 30 años de experiencia en España, ponemos a disposición de nuestros clientes los recursos globales de una firma internacional presente en 26 países

Una firma líder que combina el conocimiento del mercado local, la experiencia internacional y los recursos globales

Con más de 30 años de avalada presencia en España, nuestra participación en las operaciones que están marcando la actualidad económica y nuestra amplia experiencia internacional nos ha posicionado como firma de referencia en el mercado. Abrimos nuestra primera oficina en Madrid en 1980 y en Barcelona en 1993. Hoy somos la firma internacional líder en España con 23 socios, un equipo de 160 abogados y el reconocimiento de las principales publicaciones del sector - 22 primeras posiciones en los rankings Legal 500 y Chambers Europe Guide.

Ponemos a disposición de nuestros clientes un profundo conocimiento del mercado local y de la regulación y los recursos globales de una gran firma. Nuestra activa participación en las principales operaciones transnacionales y nuestra experiencia en el mercado español nos ha permitido desarrollar estrechas relaciones con el regulador, con las instituciones públicas y con las principales compañías nacionales e internacionales. Actualmente, asesoramos al FROB, Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring, en el proceso de reestructuración del sistema bancario español; a SAREB en su proceso de venta de activos inmobiliarios valorados en 55.000 millones de euros; a los fondos americanos Kennedy Wilson y Värde Partners en la compra de la plataforma de gestión de activos inmobiliarios y préstamos hipotecarios de Banco Popular, Aliseda; a las entidades financiadoras de PRISA en la refinanciación de su deuda sindicada por importe de 3.277 millones de euros, y a Banesco, el primer banco venezolano privado y accionista mayoritario del Banco Etcheverría, en la adquisición de la entidad financiera Novacaixagalicia Banco por un precio de 1.003 millones de euros.

Un equipo con presencia en los principales centros financieros y comerciales

Trabajamos en estrecha colaboración con el resto de equipos de nuestra red internacional apoyando a nuestros clientes en el diseño y ejecución de complejos proyectos multijurisdiccionales. Entre otras operaciones, en los últimos años hemos asesorado a Carrefour en España, Francia y Estados Unidos en la escisión del grupo DIA y su posterior salida a bolsa por 2´3 billones de euros; al sindicato de bancos españoles en el otorgamiento de avales por un importe máximo de 3 millones de Riales del Reino de Arabia Saudita (664 millones de euros al tipo de cambio Euro/Rial actual) al consorcio español adjudicatario del Ave Medina-La Meca; y a Abertis en la venta de sus aeropuertos en Estocolmo, Belfast, Orlando, Londres (Luton) y Cali.

Además, mantenemos un contacto permanente y cercano con nuestras oficinas en América. Nuestro trabajo reciente en Latinoamérica incluye: actuar en representación de Abengoa frente al Gobierno mexicano en un arbitraje ante el CIRDI, referente a los impedimentos para operar una planta de residuos peligrosos, y asesorar a fondos canadienses y colombianos en su joint venture con International Finance Corporation para el desarrollo de proyectos de infraestructuras de petróleo y gas en Colombia.

Nos adaptamos a las necesidades de nuestros clientes

Nuestra experiencia nos ha enseñado a trabajar de manera efectiva en proyectos complejos y a asegurarnos de que utilizamos nuestros recursos – y el tiempo de nuestros clientes – de la forma más eficiente posible. Nuestros clientes aseguran que la combinación entre excelencia técnica y capacidad de servicio tiene un impacto directo en la consecución de sus buenos resultados, siempre bajo el respaldo de un asesoramiento jurídico personalizado y un apoyo transaccional comprometido con los objetivos de negocio:

  • "El enfoque de los abogados hacia el cliente es impecable. No sólo cubren los aspectos técnicos, sino que saben cómo adaptarse a la forma de trabajar de cada compañía."
    Chambers Europe Guide 2013
  • "La excelencia está garantizada; es un equipo innovador que siempre encuentra soluciones y ofrece un excelente servicio al cliente."
    Chambers Europe Guide 2012
  • "Un gran equipo para trabajos complejos y técnicamente difíciles."
    Chambers Europe Guide 2013