Spain

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Consejo General de la Abogacía Española

Competition authority: Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia

Financial regulator: Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores

IFLR1000 ranking categories in this jurisdiction: 

Banking, Capital markets : Debt, Capital markets : Equity, Capital markets : Structured finance and securitisation, M&A, Project developmentProject finance, Restructuring and insolvency

Jurisdiction overview

There is limited legislative regulation in place to restrict the practice of law in Spain, and lawyers from all bars in EEA states are permitted to practice. Foreign firms do not need to acquire specific approval to establish themselves in the jurisdiction, and as a result the market is flooded with foreign firms from a variety of countries. 

In spite of this, three of the jurisdiction's largest firms are Spanish in origin. Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira has nearly a thousand lawyers across its global network, and Garrigues and Uría Menéndez are also visible on a multitude of transactions every year. Aside from these three firms, Gómez-Acebo & Pombo and Pérez-Llorca come as recommended domestic outfits. 

English magic circle firms hold a significant share of the market alongside several other English firms. There are also several American based firms in the market, although their activity is less palpable than that of the English firms. Baker & McKenzie, Jones Day and Latham & Watkins are all established, while Davis Polk & Wardwell, operates as a US law only capital markets boutique.

The Spanish legal market is also home to the legal arms of some of the world’s largest consultancy firms; Deloitte, KPMG and EY are all currently active. 

The Spanish system of civil law has influenced the civil codes found in South America and other former colonies around the world. The legal market is also closely linked to that of Portugal, and several international firms active in Madrid share resources with Lisbon counterparts.

The majority of the legal work undertaken in Spain occurs in its capital, Madrid, but due to national polarity with its second city, Barcelona, most firms also have offices in the Catalonian city. 

Financial and corporate
Ramón y Cajal Abogados

Ramón & Cajal Abogados works on banking, capital markets, M&A, project finance and development, and restructuring and insolvency. It has offices in Madrid and Barcelona and relationships with firms abroad.

In banking and finance the firm advised on a range of financing transactions with a focus on debt financing, refinancing, and acquisition finance. It advised the lenders on the financing of two different acquisitions from ERSA and from its subsidiary EMSA. The firm also worked for Banco Santander on the financing provided to Nesgar, a Spanish real estate development company, for the acquisition of a building in Madrid.

In capital markets the firm advised Inmobiliaria Colonial as issuer on a senior unsecured bond offering. It also worked for AyT Colaterales Global Hipotecario and Fondo de Titulizacio de Activos in the early redemption of two series of bonds backed by credit rights.

The M&A team worked for Lar España Real Estate SOCIMI on the acquisition of the Rivas Futura shopping centre in Rivas Vaciamadrid. The firm also advised Inmobiliaria Colonial on a voluntary takeover bid of 100% of the share capital of Axiare Patrimonio SOCIMI.

In project finance and development the firm worked for Banco de Sabadell on the financing of the windfarms projects in Canary Islands. Another highlight is work for Capital Energy on the sale and purchase agreement of 24 wind farms, in relation to the renewable energy auction organised by the Spain’s Ministry of Energy.

The restructuring and insolvency team worked for the lenders in the restructuring process of the financial debt of At Least, a producer of clothes and jewellery for women. It also advised health company Neuron in an insolvency proceeding before the Commercial Court 2 of Granada. 

The M&A team has two new partners – Alberto Alonso Ureba from Baker & McKenzie, and Guillermo Muñoz-Alonso from Garrigues – who both joined the firm in July 2017. 

Other key clients are Banco Sabadell, CaixaBank, Bankia, Liberbank, Repsol, Gas Natural Fenosa, and Zuarti. 

Client feedback

"Ramón y Cajal Abogados' work was superb. The work was timely and well done, it was innovative in considering various alternatives to solve open issues, and its sensitivity to the client's concerns was very well received." – Restructuring and insolvency

"This is a top Law Firm, with some of the most reputed lawyers in Spain. They have advised us in several issues, most of them connected with capital markets and the practice exceeds our expectations. Great legal technique and better, if possible, way of dealing with the clients.” – Capital markets, M&A, private equity

Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy is an international firm with offices in Madrid and Barcelona, and has strength across banking, capital markets and M&A.

The banking team worked for both lenders and borrowers in connection with refinancing of project finance facilities, acquisition financings and general corporate financings, acting for the likes of AMP Capital Investors, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Banco Santander. A clear highlight saw the team advice Goldman Sachs on the financing of the acquisition of two NPL and REO portfolios by Blackstone from Banco Popular. 

In debt capital markets, the firm advised on the issuance of notes and senior bonds, the refinancing of project debt facilities and EMTN programmes. Deal highlights include advice given to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the update of Banco Santander’s F3 Program, and on the issue of senior non-preferred notes under the same program. On the equity side, the team advised on IPOs, capital increase and block trades, including acting on the IPO of Neinor. 

In structured finance and securitisation, the firm has been active working for JP Morgan Securities, Banco Santander, ISDA and BBVA. 

In M&A, the team assisted clients on joint ventures, acquisitions, mergers and divestments in the energy, infrastructures and real estate sectors. Highlight deals include ongoing work for Atlantia on the takeover bid of Abertis. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm acted in a number of insolvencies and finance restructurings. Key deals include advice to Sareb on Reyal Urbis insolvency proceedings, one of the major real estate companies in Spain. 

Client feedback

"A&O in Spain is a go-to firm for me. It has a depth and breadth of experience both in Spain and across the international capital markets - so can provide the market expertise and level of detailed advice that we require." – Capital markets

"Excellent advice, excellent work, and excellent lawyers." – Capital markets

"Excellent and dedicated team for securitisations, with great coordination with their offices in other jurisdictions, which is key for international transactions. The firm is a market leader across multiple jurisdictions for these type of transactions and provides significant expertise in regulatory matters. The quality of work, service, and commitment is impeccable. The team is solution-oriented and always available; they make you feel that you are in the best hands." – Capital markets

"Excellent and pragmatic advice (particularly in relation to structuring solutions)." – Project finance and development

"Great technical capacity and it seeks to promote dispute settlement mechanisms." – Banking, M&A, private equity, project finance, and restructuring and insolvency

"High-quality work in complex and innovating project finance in Spain." – Restructuring and insolvency

"Solid advise and 24/7 availability, partner highly involved in all conversations and decisions and international law firm." – Capital markets and M&A

"Very diligent, business-minded, professional and clear advice." – Capital markets

"Very good law firm, with offices in a lot of countries and with lawyers that are very good in each of the areas." – Capital markets, project finance, and restructuring and insolvency

"Very quick and practical in its advice." – M&A, and restructuring and insolvency

Andersen Tax & Legal

Andersen Tax & Legal is recognised for its work in banking and finance, M&A, and restructuring and insolvency.

During the research period the firm has been active in banking and finance, working for KGAL group and Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale in the financing and acquisition of three Boeing 737-800 airplanes, for their subsequent lease to Air Europa. Another clear highlight was the team’s advice to the Ad Hoc Group of investment funds in connection with the resolution of Banco Popular Español.

The M&A team advised the Signode Group in the acquisition from Illinois Tool Works of Warehouse Automation Iberia, a Spanish subsidiary engaged in the business of the warehouse automation. 

In restructuring and insolvency, deal highlights include work for Grupo Promaga, a real estate company, on the negotiation with the financial creditors on the restructuring and insolvency process. The team also advised Esseutium Group, an international group that operates in five business areas, on insolvency proceedings.

In March 2017, Olleros Abogados was integrated into with Andersen Tax & Legal.

Other key clients are Famar Group, Softbox, RMA of New Jersey, NIMGenetics, and Grupo Peyber.

Araoz & Rueda

Araoz & Rueda is a Spanish boutique known for its M&A work but it is also active in banking and finance, capital markets and restructuring and insolvency.

In banking and finance the firm advised the lender Crédit Agricole on the extension and ratification of the Spanish security package granted by Sidorme Hotels. Another highlight was work for Archroma Group, as borrower, on the refinancing of the existing debt of the group globally.

The M&A team works for buyers and sellers and is active in sectors such as transport, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, energy and media. Deal highlights include advice to the German infrastructures fund KGAL on the acquisition of a photovoltaic project under development by Conquista Solar. Another highlight is work for Interurbana de Autobuses on the acquisition of El Gato, a transportation company.

Partner Guillermo Yuste left the banking and finance team in April 2017 to join Andersen Tax & Legal, and Rafael Bazán joined the team in May 2017 from Baker McKenzie. In November 2017, Partner Israel de Diego joined the M&A team, also from Baker McKenzie.

Other clients of the firm include Apax partners, Axactor, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Dermapharm.

Client feedback

"Focus on closing deals while ensuring customer's interest as much as possible." – M&A, restructuring and insolvency

"It provides high-quality service and delivers on time." – M&A, private equity, restructuring and insolvency

"Rafael Bazán and Ainhoa Veiga are great professionals on whom you can trust without any doubt." – Banking and finance 

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird is an international firm recognised for its work in the banking and finance and M&A practice areas.

In banking and finance deal highlights include work for Wills Lease Finance Corporation and the financing group on the issuance of fixed rate asset-backed notes secured by a portfolio of approximately 57 aircraft engines. 

The M&A team advised Frutarom Spain on the acquisition of the iron business of Spanish AB Biotics under the structure of an asset deal. The firm also worked for Pomona Keepers in the sale, jointly with EII (Ventures), of a majority stake in the share capital of the Spanish company World Bulk Wine Exhibition, to the French company Comexposium Holding, and the negotiation and signing of a shareholders’ agreement.

Other of the firm’s clients are Banca Farmafactoring, Banca Finantia, Amneal Pharmaceuticals Company, and Goindustry Dovebid.

Client feedback

"Very competent and efficient team, combining a deep level of experience with very good execution capabilities. Willing to go the extra mile and very client-focused."- Banking and finance

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has strength across Spain, with offices in Madrid and Barcelona, it is particularly well known in the banking and debt capital markets areas. 

The banking team primarily advised lenders on syndicated loans, project, real estate and acquisition finance matters, acting for the likes of JP Morgan, Banco Santander and CaixaBank. Highlights include work for a syndicate of banks on the amendment and restatement of the syndicated credit facility in favour of Actividades de Construcción y Servicios, and work on the financing provided to Avanzia. 

In projects, the firm advised Zuma Energia on the Reynosa wind farm financing and on another two photovoltaic projects, it also advised CaixaBank on the X-Elio project bond, and on the refinancing of other renewable energy projects.

In debt capital markets, a clear highlight was work for CaixaBank and all the managers in connection with a syndicated 10-year euro government bond.

On the equity side, highlights include work on the capital increase by Telefonica and the rights issue by Grupo Ezentis.

In structured finance and securitisation, the firm advised all parties in the first Spanish synthetic securitisation carried out by a Spanish securitisation fund.

The M&A team worked on the TMT, real estate and energy sectors. Highlights include work for KKR on the acquisition of a 40% stake in Telxius, work for BBVA on the sale of its real estate business in Spain to Cerberus, and advice to Enel Green Power España on the acquisition of Parques Eólicos Gestinver. 

Client feedback

"We have worked with Clifford Chance for many years. I met Clifford Chance in Spain last year, and since then we have developed a relationship with the Spanish team and mandated them for new M&A transactions. We also work with the team for ancillary matters to M&A transactions, such as regulatory, antitrust, litigation, but the core purpose of hiring Clifford Chance is for M&A transactions. The firm has a very complete and hard-working team, which handles complex M&A transactions from the beginning to their end. They manage the structuring and negotiations of the transactions very well, and you can rely on them to design the right strategy for the deal." – Competition and M&A

"Excellent service received from Clifford Chance. A really strong M&A team that guided us through the acquisition and ensured we were adequately protected from any legal risks identified during the due diligence process." – Banking and finance, capital markets and M&A

"Expertise in the market, high technical knowledge, is always available, understand the clients' needs, and talk straight. It should improve the coordination among its international offices. It should use a standard form for its agreements in all countries when possible." – Capital markets, project finance, and restructuring and insolvency

"I want to underline the innovative approach of the Clifford M&A team for finding solutions for each transaction that are better than the expectations of the clients." – Competition, M&A, and restructuring and insolvency

"Technical knowledge, practical approach, and availability." – Capital markets and M&A

CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo

CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo is active across all practice areas of financial and corporate work. It has offices in Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville.

In banking and finance the firm is advising a group of credit entities led by Bankia in connection with the refinancing, pre-insolvency and insolvency situation of Grupo Assignia. Other clear highlights are the team’s work for a bank syndicate led by Banco Santander on the refinancing of the debt of Grupo Negocios de Restauración del Sur and on the financing of the acquisition of 49% of its shares and 100% of the company Lotovic.

In debt capital markets the firm assisted Banco Sabadell on the creation of the Banco Sabadell RMBS 4 fund and issuance of bonds. Another deal highlight is work for Banco Santander as bookrunner and Westbourne Capital as institutional investor in the refinancing of the renewable energy division of Ence Energia SLU through a senior secured loan and a bond issuance.

In equity capital markets the firm advised asset management firm Lazard on different matters related to the Abertis IPO. The team also worked for Fundación Bancaria Unicaja, the major shareholder of Unicaja Banco, on its IPO.

A clear highlight saw the M&A team work for a Portuguese based investment bank, Haitong Bank, on the sale of a Spanish company engaged in the construction and management of car parks and parking spaces, Empark Aparcamientos y Servicios, to Australian based infrastructure asset manager, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Estate. The firm also advised Portobello Capital Gestión, a Spanish based private equity firm, on the acquisition of an undisclosed stake a Spanish hotel chain operator, Blue Sea Hotels & Resort.

The project development team has been mainly active in the renewable energy sector, and a clear highlight is its work for Iberdrola in monitoring regulations of the new remuneration framework for renewable generation facilities.  

In restructuring and insolvency the firm is advising Bankia on the insolvency proceedings in defence of Bankia’s creditors. Another highlight is work for Haitong Bank and Novo Banco on the insolvency proceedings of Spanish toll roads. 

Partner Curra Munuera left the capital markets team in April 2018.

Other key clients are Aviva, Kepler Cheuvreux, Beka Finance, Telefonica, Societe Generale España, Acciona, Hewlett-Packard, Frux Capital, Wirsol Solar, British Petroleum, and DEOLEO.

Cuatrecasas

Cuatrecasas is top tier across a range of areas, and one of Spain’s largest firms with offices in Madrid and Barcelona.

The banking team advised on acquisition financings, restructurings, refinancing and on the sale of NPL portfolios. Deal highlights include advising El Corte Ingles on the refinancing of their financial debt.

In debt capital markets, the firm advised on project bonds and high yield bond issuances advising the likes of Gestamp and Sareb.

On the equity side, the team assisted clients with the listing of new shares, capital increases and IPOs. Highlights include work for Morgan Stanley and UBS on Unicaja IPO, which was the first IPO of a financial institution after the financial bailout. The firm is also active in structured finance and securitisation. 

The M&A team advised clients on the infrastructure, retail and finance sectors. Highlight deals include work for Arca Continental on a joint venture with The Coca-Cola Company.

The restructuring and insolvency team advised Mag Import on its bankruptcy proceedings, and Grupo Sando on its financial debt restructuring. 

The firm has increasingly developed in project finance and project development in Latin America. Highlights include projects in the energy and infrastructure sectors with clients like Pemex, Urbaser, FCC, Arenales Solar and King Street.

Davis Polk & Wardwell

In Spain, Davis Polk & Wardwell is recognised mainly for its capital markets practice, working closely with their other offices on complex transactions involving Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American companies.

Clear highlights of the capital markets team’s work are giving advice to Telefonica and Telefonica Emisiones on its bond issue; work for REN-Redes Energéticas Nacionais on its rights offering; and for Banco Santander on its offering of senior non-preferred fixed-rate notes.

Other of the firm’s important clients are BBVA Banco Frances, Aedas Homes, Prosegur Cash, Cellnex Telecom and Abertis Infrastructuras.

Dentons

Dentons has two Spanish offices and is active in the banking and finance and M&A practice areas.

In banking and finance the firm worked for a syndicate of banks formed by Banco de Sabadell, which acted as agent, Caixa Bank, and Instituto de Credito Oficial in relation to the facilities granted to Aviación Laredo for the acquisition of two Aircraft Airbus A330-200 and their subsequent lease to Iberia, Líneas Aéreas de España.

The M&A team advised buyers and sellers on deals in the oil and gas, energy, TMT, and real estate sectors, but all the is confidential.

Notable clients includ Global Bankers Capital, Banco Santander, Bankia and Deutsche Bank AG London Branch CRE Special Situations.

Client feedback

"Dentons has provided excellent services. The lawyers are highly skilled professionals regarding mercantile issues and have a quick return on our queries and requests. Furthermore, they have always been able to provide international law firm references when required." – M&A, project development, project finance 

"Dentons Spain provides an excellent legal service. We have clients in numerous countries and need general advice on Spanish law as well as specific legal advice. Dentons does this extremely well. I cannot rate the firm more highly." – M&A, restructuring and insolvency

"Excellent support along the process." – M&A

Fieldfisher JAUSAS

Fieldfisher JAUSAS is recognised for its work in the M&A and restructuring and insolvency practice areas.

In January 2018, JAUSAS integrated into GMQ Abogados in its plan to expand in Madrid, and in September 2018 the domestic firm merged with international firm Fieldfisher.

The M&A team has worked mainly for sellers in the energy and pharmaceutical sectors. Deal highlights include advice to Seroga on the sale of a wind turbines farm property Tébar Eólica to EDP, work for Vauste Spain on the sale of photovoltaic assets to an investment fund Everwood in the renewable energy sector. Also advice to Laboratorios Inibsa on the sale of its disinfection subsidiary to Laboratorios Anios. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm has worked for UNIPOST, Outservico Utilities Services and Argenta on their insolvency proceedings. 

Other key clients include Grupo Disvol, CoxGomyl Group, Ferrometal, Rwanda Energy Group, Anticipa and Laborsalus.

Garrigues

Garrigues is one of Spain’s leading domestic firms and secures top tier rankings in all of our financial and corporate categories.

In banking and finance, the firm has acted on general corporate finance matters, refinancing and credit facilities. 

In the projects area, the firm advised on deals in the healthcare, energy and infrastructure sectors. Highlights include work for the syndicate of financial institutions on the Toledo Hospital, on the Marisma thermosolar plant and on the Helia Renovables’ Fotosolar project.

In the debt capital markets, the firm advised Cortefiel on a high yield bonds issuance, and BBVA on a bond issue. 

On the equity side, clear highlights include work for Criteria Caixa on the two tender offers over the shares of Abertis and work on a number of IPOs on the retail, real estate and energy sectors. The firm also worked on capital increases. 

In structured finance and securitisation, the firm acted on a number of RMBS deals advising originators and rating agencies acting for the likes of BBVA, CaixaBank and Banco Santander.

In M&A, highlights include advising Blackstone on the acquisition of all Banco Popular real estate and real estate finance business, advising Peugeot on the acquisition of Opel, and advising Telefónica on the sale of 40% of Telxius to KKR.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm advised Adveo group restructuring its financial debt, and worked on a number of insolvencies.

Guillermo Muñoz-Alonso left the banking and finance and M&A teams to join Ramón y Cajal in June 2017. 

Key clients include BBVA, Banco Santander, Caixabank and HSBC.

Client feedback

"Deep knowledge of the banking industry, practical solutions excellent manners and permanent availability."- Restructuring and insolvency

"Excellent work. Very experienced and reliable." – Capital markets, and restructuring and insolvency

"Exceptional quality, exposed to excellent work and clients, and the lawyers are easy to deal with and knowledgeable." - Restructuring and insolvency 

"Garrigues and his partner Rafael Gonzalez-Gallarza have a very high level of knowledge in the banking sector in Spain.  Rafael Gonzalez is creative, able to understand corporate problems and issues. He is always available to answer a question or give advice.   Garrigues is a good legal partner in Spain." – Banking and finance, and project development

"Highly skilled and experienced team (including the partners and associates involved). Very responsive to continuing changes, very reactive to new issues, proactive, flexible and very on-hand visioned." – Capital markets and project finance

"Madrid based M&A team headed by partner Monica Martin de Vidales has been very helpful in an important and complicated transaction. The team has always been available to provide sound, and client-oriented solutions." – Banking and finance, M&A, and restructuring and insolvency

"Overall we are satisfied with the firm's work. The partners are heavily involved in all matters, and our relationship with them is very good." -  Capital markets, M&A, and restructuring and insolvency

"Professional and accurate services." – Capital markets

"Cost effective and business oriented." – Capital markets and project finance

Gómez-Acebo & Pombo

Gómez-Acebo & Pombo is best known for its banking, restructuring, and projects practices.

In banking, a clear highlight was work for the syndicate of funds in relation to the refinancing of Abengoa.

In project finance a key deal was advice to Rivage, Kommunalekredit, Kdb, Natixis Siemens Bank, AG Insurance and CIC on the project finance of the Gipuzkoa Waste Complex.

The firm continues to be active in capital markets. On the debt side, clear highlights include work for the financiers on the Zubieta project bond. The firm has also been active on the equity side, working mainly on capital increases, tender offers and rights issues. 

The M&A team advised clients in the oil and gas, TMT and energy sectors. Highlight deals include giving advice to Oman Oil Company on the sale of its 10% stake in Compañia Logistica de Hidrocarburos to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, and advice to Grupo Prisa on their sale to the French Group Altice of a 94% stake of the share capital of Grupo Media Capital. 

The project development team is working for Intu-Eurofund Investments for the urban planning and judicial advice on the implementation of a large commercial and leisure complex in the municipality of Paterna, as part of a strategic territorial action in the Community of Valencia. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm worked on debt refinancing, insolvencies, bankruptcy and restructurings. A clear highlight is the advice to Nueva Pescanova in their financial restructuring.

Client feedback

"Gómez-Acebo & Pombo is a smart and connected group of professionals. The firm's work is seamlessly delivered at a high value/cost ratio." – Competition and M&A

"Good listeners and clever thinkers, the team always gives great strategic guidance to the clients." – M&A

"This firm was very responsive despite time differences. It was involved with a very complex M&A deal and was able to distil the complex issues into simple language for the deal team to understand while working with the US legal team to explain the Spanish differences." – M&A 

Herbert Smith Freehills

In Spain, Herbert Smith Freehills is best known for its work in banking, M&A, project finance, project development, and restructuring and insolvency.

In banking and finance the firm worked for Banco Santander and a syndicate of financial institutions on the financing granted to Ence Energía. It also advised private equity firm Magnum Industrial Partners on the financing of the acquisition of Grupo Indiba. In addition, the team worked for Bankinter on the financing provided to a company controlled by Grupo Atitlan for the purposes of financing an intra-group loan granted in the context of the acquisition of Grupo Obinesa and the restructuring of its debt. 

The firm has been active in capital markets, working on debt, equity and hybrid securities issues. A clear highlight is work for First Quantum Minerals on the issuance of senior notes. 

In M&A the firm advised Abengoa on the sale of 25% of Atlantica Yield to the Canadian company Algonquin Power and Utilities Group. The team also worked for Trilantic Capital Partners on the acquisition of Pachá Group from the Urgell family.

In project finance and development the firm advises on all aspects of projects in the infrastructure, mining and energy sectors. Work highlights include work for Banco Santander and a syndicate of financial institutions on the granting to Noatum Container Terminal Valenciana, holder of several concessions at the Port of Valencia, facilities agreement for the purposes of refinancing debt. 

In restructuring and insolvency the firm’s work includes advice to Hotelbeds Group on its restructuring of its Bedbank and Destination Management business. It also advised Fábricas Agrupadas de Muñecas de Onil on its dispute with Ardian Supply Chain and its insolvency administrator. 

Other important clients of the firm include JZ International, Incus Capital, AXA Real Estate Investment Managers SGP, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Caixabank, Telefónica, Iberpistas, Engie, Oaktree Capital Management, and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners. 

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons is recognised for its work in banking and finance, M&A and project finance and development. 

In banking and finance the firm advised on the financing of private equity funds, acquisition financing, and refinancing. Work highlights include advice to Alantra on the financing structure of its private equity fund, and work on a bridge facility agreement executed with Tubipora Investments and GED V España for the financing of the acquisition of Aravén by Pack4U.

In M&A the firm advised primarily on private transactions in sectors like energy, retail and infrastructure. It assisted EDP Group on the sale of Natugás to a consortium of JP Morgan Infrastructure, Abu Dhabi Investment Council, Swiss Life Asset Managers and Covalis Capital. It also advised Sonae Group on the combination of its sport fashion business in Spain and Portugal, SportZone, with its competitor JD-Sprinter, owned by JD Sports and Balaiko.

In project finance and development the firm advised Abanca and a syndicate of senior lenders in waivers and amendments of finance documents to allow a Spanish regasification terminal to expand its operations to co-operate a project in Malta. All its other work is confidential.

Other key clients are the European Investment Bank, Hispasat, and First State Investments.

Client feedback

"Always available, accurate advice, and deep knowledge of financial issues." – Project finance

"Very professional, comprehensive service, good English, a commercial approach and sound understanding." – M&A

Linklaters

In Spain, Linklaters is best known for its work in the banking, capital markets, M&A and restructuring and insolvency areas. 

The banking team worked on acquisition financing, green loans, refinancing and other credit facilities in the energy, retail and infrastructure sectors.

In project finance, the firm worked on a number of projects related to the energy and infrastructure sectors. 

In debt capital markets, the firm worked on notes issuances for Santander and Nortegas, green bonds for Iberdola, and on Vela Energy and T-Solar’s project bonds.

In the equity space, the firm has been involved in the rights issue of Banco Santander, the IPOs of Neinor Homes and Aedas Homes, and in several capital increases.

The M&A team has worked on deals in the energy, infrastructure, and finance industries. Key clients include Banco Santander, ACS and Siemens. The firm has been active on the private equity side advising Permisa on the sale of its stake in Cortefiel to CVC and PAI Partners, working for BC Partners on the acquisition of Pronovias, and advising Ardian on three different transactions. 

The firm has been active in restructuring and insolvency, working on debt refinancing, insolvencies and restructurings. A clear highlight is advice to Abengoa on its restructuring. 

Rafael Molina left the firm to join Latham & Watkins in June 2018. 

Key clients include Deutsche Bank, Siemens and Enagás.

Pérez-Llorca

Pérez-Llorca is best known for its M&A practice but also for its work in equity capital markets.

In banking, a clear highlight saw the firm advice Oaktree in all Spanish law aspects under a facility agreement with Brookfield, secured by a majority stake held by Oaktree in Eolia Renovables de Inversiones.

In capital markets, the firm has been more active on the equity side. Key highlights include advice to Santander on its billion rights issue. On the debt side, the firm acted in some notes issuances.

In M&A, a clear highlight saw the team advice Banco Santander on the acquisition of Banco Popular. There were other key acquisitions in the energy and retail sectors. 

In the projects space, the team has been involved in deals in the energy and infrastructure industries. Clients include Oaktree Capital Management, Banco Popular Español and Banco Santander.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm advised on refinancing, insolvency proceedings and debt restructuring. 

Vicente Conde left the firm to join Osborne Clarke in May 2017. Javier Izquierdo joined the firm in April 2018 from Gómez-Acebo & Pombo. 

Key clients include Caixabank, Global Loan Agency Services and GRP Investments.

RLD

RLD is a Spanish boutique law firm specialising in commercial and corporate law with offices in Madrid and Dubai. 

The M&A area is the firm’s focus. The team worked in the real estate, health and energy sectors recently. Work highlights include advice to Cofel, the French subsidiary of the European bedding Grupo Pikolin, in the sale of 50% of the company to the international group Steinhoff International. The firm also worked for Grupo Viamed on the acquisition of the Novo Sancti Petri Hospital of Chiclana de la Frontera, Cádiz.

Recent notable clients include Hospes Hoteles, Proplan and Grupo Viamed. 

Rousaud Costas Duran

Rousaud Costas Duran focusses on M&A and restructuring and insolvency. It has three offices in Spain and best friend agreements with overseas law firms and international networks and alliances. 

The firm has been active in the M&A, and restructuring and insolvency areas but all the work is confidential.

The Corporate and M&A team hired two new partners: Federico Belausteguigoitia, who joined from Marimón Abogados, and José María Pastrana, who joined from KPMG. 

Sue Abogados

Sue Abogados acts on banking and finance, M&A and is specialized in restructuring and insolvency matters. Its main office is in Valencia and it has an office in Madrid and another one in Bilbao.

During the research period, the firm worked mainly on insolvency proceedings. Deal highlights are continuous advice to real estate companies Martinsa Fadesa, Reyal Urbis, Olga Urbana and Fergo Aisa on their insolvency proceedings. 

Other client highlights are Llanera, Jecama, and Barceló Corporación Empresarial.

Uría Menéndez

Uría Menéndez is one of the most high profile domestic Spanish firms and secures top tier rankings across all areas of financial and corporate law. 

The firm works in association with a number of firms across Europe and Latin America, this network includes: Bonelli Erede in Italy, Bredit Prat in France, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek in the Netherlands, Hengeler Mueller in Germany, Slaughter and May in the United Kingdom, Uría Menéndez in Spain and Portugal, and its participation in Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría. 

In banking, the firm has acted on financings, refinancing, restructurings and work related to NPL portfolios. A clear deal highlight is advising the syndicate of lenders on the restructuring of Grupo Celsa.

In debt capital markets, the firm acted on notes issuances and other issuances programmes. Deal highlights include work for Iberdola on its first issuance of a hybrid debt instrument, that qualifies as a green bond, and work for Cellnex Telecom on its medium-term note programme registered with the Bank of Ireland for listing on the Irish Stock Exchange.

On the equity side, the firm worked on tender offers, rights issues and IPOs. 

In structured finance and securitisation, deal highlights were work on cross-border securitisation programmes for Ferroglobe and Ball Corporation. 

The M&A team advised on matters in the energy, infrastructure, banking and retail industries. Client highlights include work for Abertis Infraestructuras, Banco Popular, Banco Santander, Euskaltel and Lone Star.

In projects, the firm has been active on the financings of renewable energies, real estate and infrastructure projects. In the project development side, the firm work highlights include a number of hospital PPPs.

In restructuring and insolvency, a clear highlight saw the firm advice Grupo Isolux on its judicial insolvency proceedings. 

Jaime de San Román left the firm to join DeCarlos Remón in July 2017. 

Key clients include Abertis Infraestructuras, Banco Santander, Fundación Bancaria Unicaja and Metrovacesa.

Client feedback

"Consistent high quality of most partners in all different practices." – Capital markets, and M&A

"Excellent, the firm gives useful and concrete advice in a short period of time. It is always available, patient, practical, and focused. The team and partners are excellent, and quality is a standard." – Capital markets

"Extremely good knowledge of products and key constituencies, and a very pragmatic approach with clients." – Capital markets

"Full availability for the client, highest expertise and excellent customer relationship management so that you feel you are part of the same team." – Capital markets

"Fully committed with great knowledge of applicable regulations, the sector, and associated risks together with excellent technical ability. Outstanding integration of inputs coming from different areas of legal practice to produce a solid work." – Competition and M&A

"Reliable work, a solid team with deep knowledge, client-oriented, flexible, creative in finding solutions, and the ability to coordinate different legal advisory teams from different jurisdictions. Leading team in restructuring processes in Spain." – Restructuring and insolvency

"The firm completed the work with a high level of quality. We would specifically like to highlight Ángel Pérez for his performance." – Banking and finance, and restructuring and insolvency

"The partner is a good and smart guy. He was working for the client. Some of the changes he was proposing were completely off-market." – Capital markets

"Its work is always excellent. I have worked with different partners and associates, and the average quality level is really high. Always cooperative, business-oriented and flexible with top technical skills." – Capital markets, M&A, and restructuring and insolvency

"Uria is the most important law firm in Spain and its lawyers such as Ángel Alonso, Jesús López Tello, Carlos Bueren, and Miguel Virgósa are the best professionals in the country." – Restructuring and insolvency

"Uría Menéndez has highly experienced lawyers, that give accurate and prompt advice in a very close manner." – Capital markets

"Very high level of expertise, knowledgeable, problem solvers and creative thinkers, very high level of service and aggressively advocate for the client." – Restructuring and insolvency

Ventura Garcés & López-Ibor

Ventura Garcés & López-Ibor acts on banking, M&A and restructuring and insolvency matters. It has two offices in Spain and best friend relationships with firms in financial centres around the world.

In banking and finance the firm advised on a range of loans and refinancing. Deal highlights are work for lender Banque du Conseil de l’Europe on a loan to the Patronat Municipal de l’Habitatge de Barcelona, and advice to Gecas and Orix on the financing of two A320 aircraft on lease to a Spanish operator.

In M&A the firm advised primarily on domestic transactions on the health, real estate and retail sectors recently. Most of the deals details are confidential.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm advises on the suspension of payments applications, insolvency situations, debt restructuring and bankruptcy administration. A clear recent highlight it is work for Accesos de Madrid on its bankruptcy procedure of the biggest motorways in Spain. 

Other important clients are the Royal Bank of Scotland, Virgin Play, Ygarten, and Haitong Bank.

Client feedback 

"Company and lawyers provide honest, factual and practical support for what remains incomprehensible Spanish lead system relating to asset finance and ownership issues.” – Restructuring and insolvency

"Deep knowledge of business law, availability and reliability." – Project finance

"Experts on securitisation, good knowledge on tax related to finance business, advice on crowd lending and helping in regulatory matters." – Banking and finance

"Extensive and comprehensive experience in the financial sector, especially regarding financial institutions, NPLs portfolios, and real estate assets." –Banking and finance, investment funds, restructuring and insolvency

"I have found the firm to be very well versed in Spanish Law, with a strong practice in the areas of real estate, financing, and insolvency. The firm is also adept at helping foreign companies understand the nuances of the system in Spain, and to help navigate these." – Banking and finance, restructuring and insolvency

"Multidisciplinary team, very well coordinated, high availability and an excellent performer in the committed deadlines." – Capital markets, M&A

"Responsive, knowledgeable, helpful, and easy to deal with." – Banking and finance

"The firm is highly professional, committed and understands our business very well from a legal point of view anticipating potential risks. I am not aware of any weakness." – Banking and finance

"The law firm's work was excellent. It was knowledgeable, experienced in M&A matters, responsive and easy to work with. This was important, as the transaction was international. The English language skills were strong which was also helpful to us. I would not hesitate to use the firm again or to recommend it to someone else." – M&A

"The practitioners who I worked with were always accessible and personable. Their attitudes and understanding were commercial - not always an attribute shown by acute legal minds. Law firms in Spain tend to be small to medium size and that inevitably means that super-specialization is not the usual focus. However, the legal knowledge and commercial understanding displayed compensated for me." – Banking and finance, M&A

"Very strong and attentive both technically and from a client perspective. Particularly focused on non-Spanish clients with excellent English both written and spoken." – Banking and finance

Watson Farley & Williams

In Spain, Watson Farley & Williams is recognised for its work in project finance and development especially in the energy sector. 

In banking and finance the firm works mainly for lenders. Work highlights include advice to a syndicate of lenders, and other European institutional funders, on the procurement of senior debt facilities. This was granted to Autovía del Pirineo, a subsidiary of Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras and a member of the ACS Group, for the construction and operation of several sections of the A21 motorway in the Navarre region of northern Spain.

Other project finance work in the research period included work for a syndicate of banks led by Banco Sabadell on the refinancing of the financial debt of Manchasol 2 Central Termosolar Dos. 

In capital markets a clear highlight is the firm’s work for ADIF – Alta Velocidad, a Spanish state-owned high-speed rail infrastructure administrator, on its green bond issuance placed via a syndicate of international banks.

Most of the firm’s deals in the M&A area were related to renewable energy and infrastructure. Work highlights include work for Grupo T-Solar on the acquisition of several photovoltaic plants across Spain, and advice to Simpson Manufacturing Company on the acquisition of Tecnogrout.

In project development a clear highlight saw the firm advise Foresight Group on an independent power purchase agreement with Enérgya and Villar Mir for a photovoltaic plant in Murcia, Spain.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm is advising Renovalia Sur Energy as debtor on its insolvency proceedings, and working for Corporación Andina de Fomento as creditor within the insolvency proceeding of Grupo Isolux Corsán and other group companies.

Other key clients are Bankia, CaixaBank, Banco Santander, X-Elio, Cerburus Capital Management, Vector Cuatro, Renovalia Energy, Alas Capital, and El Patio Iniciativa Empresarial.