“Employment law has taken a front seat in company strategy”

Eversheds Sutherland’s Managing Partner of the Spain office, Jacobo Martinez, shares his experience of leading the firm over the last two years, the firm’s commitment to its values, and the latest trends in employment law.

Posted mardi, mars 21 2023
“Employment law has taken a front seat in company strategy”

Leaders League:  It has been 2 years since you took on the role of Managing Partner.  What goals have you achieved?  

Jacobo Martinez:  These last two years have been an adventure.  It has already proven to be a very enriching experience.  I started with Eversheds when they opened in Madrid in 2007 and have moved through all the evolutions of the firm including the merger with Sutherland. I feel fortunate to sit in the position I am in now.  

I set out objectives for a 5-year plan that include growth not only in the Spanish office but for the firm, so it becomes a reference in Latin America.  We are focused on specific sectors to better serve our clients and, as we have a global presence, we can assist companies in the internationalization process.  In addition to increasing our revenue, our goals also include better service delivery to our clients and a corporate culture that attracts the best talent.   

The firm has recruited new partners and senior professionals under your leadership.  What makes the firm attractive for new hires?  

Eversheds Sutherland has a solid reputation in Spain as well as internationally which is the first step.  We are a firm that “practices what we preach.”  Our values of professionalism, collaboration, and inclusiveness are present in our day-to-day activities.  We encourage professional growth and provide support for the development of initiatives and projects.  We are open to new trends that will enhance our business and further develop our employees.  

We are a firm that practices what we preach

What is necessary for Eversheds Sutherland to continue its growth strategy in Spain? 

We have focused on finance, health & life sciences, and energy sectors and we will need to develop more sector expertise in the future.  We have actively recruited in the last few years and believe that talent is the key to continuing our growth.  Collaboration and teamwork are important to us.  We have also implemented tools in all areas of the firm, which includes innovation technology.  The more efficiently we operate internally, the more it will enable us to deliver our services effectively to our clients.  

What trends do you see developing in your employment practice?  

The pandemic created the most significant trend in business today which is remote working.  Companies have been forced to implement technology and adapt to the needs of employees like never before.  Corporate cultures are now focused internally as much as they are externally on clients and shareholders.  Employers, companies, businesses, and the law have made great advancements and adjustments toward overall well-being in the workplace.  This has already proved to enhance creativity and production.    

Corporate cultures are now focused internally as much as they are externally on clients and shareholders

Other hot topics for clients include recent legislation on restrictions on temporary contracts, records on working time hours, and regulation of new furlough procedures.  

Environmental, Social, and Governance aspects (ESG) have become very important with regulations being adopted regularly.  Equity continues to be at the forefront of employment law with a new law recently passed in Spain. 

Finally, equality plans have become one of the essential measures for companies to implement and adapt. Employment law has taken a front seat in company strategy.