Eduard Saura became Managing Partner of Accuracy’s Madrid office in 2006 following years of experience with cross-border transactions. He is expected to help the Spanish office grow and expand the firms’ activities in Latin America. Here, he sheds some light on Spain’s legal market and Accuracy’s ambitions for the future.
Leaders League. Accuracy has been in Spain for over a decade now. How has your firm been able to stand out in Spain’s difficult legal market?
Eduard Saura. The opening of an office in the heart of Spain can be explained by the country’s past booming economy and the close relationship between France and Spain, as well as strong business flows. I immediately accepted the position of managing partner as I already knew Frédéric Duponchel, one of the founding partners of Accuracy. In this sense, it was clearly a story of friendship.
The first three years started off well as business was growing. Although, we encountered some difficulties in 2009 and 2010, we have been able to strongly recover in recent years. At a time when there was an atmosphere of fear, what saved us was our expertise in restructuring.
More recently, we concentrated our efforts on litigation and dispute resolution with higher added-value. We also developed our arbitration and project advisory practices and furthered our cross-border transactional work between Spain and South America.
Overall, the business atmosphere in Spain has improved and we have benefited from being present in the market there for some time now. Indeed, we have been able to connect with more local lawyers and companies.
Despite having offices mainly in Europe, Accuracy has increased its presence in North America and Asia. Is the next step to grow a network in South America?
Absolutely! We are looking forward to developing our activities in the continent. We have noticed that European investors are turning their attention to South America and more specifically Colombia, Chile and Peru given the up-and-coming oil and gas sectors. There is a need to accompany investors in their business transactions and to pursue due diligence work.
We are also excited at the prospect of creating partnerships in South American countries as they are often involved in arbitration settlements before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Having developed an expertise in arbitration, we feel that we are well positioned to deliver advice to states and investors working in the region. This will also be a good opportunity for our M&A and transactional support teams.
As a global firm, how would you describe the interactions between lawyers?
At Accuracy, lawyers come from around the world and have a range of expertise. In this way, we can be more effective regardless of whether we are in Paris, Madrid or Rome. We regularly call upon our London lawyers when dealing with project advisory matters. Other times foreign consultants, for example from Spain, are invited to our Italian offices to share their knowledge on a given subject.
The activities of our Spanish office mirror those of our French office as we both work on the same sorts of deals. However, we turn to the French offices to seek their banking expertise.
Is this Accuracy’s approach in gaining strong demand from your clients?
When choosing a lawyer to represent their case, clients look at both their expertise and experience in a given country. Although it is hard to be good at everything, what makes Accuracy different from our competitors is that our leadership model is based on teamwork and expertise.
Leaders League. Do you see cross-border transactions growing in Spain? What are the most attractive sectors?
Cross-border transactions will certainly continue flowing. Real estate and manufacturing naturally generate a wealth of revenue. Barcelona is an interesting city as it is a hub for startups in the food, high-tech and pharmaceutical sectors. This is why decided to open an office there in September 2016.