The global U.S. and U.K. firms may not be looking over their shoulders just yet, but Spanish firms have begun to extend their reach beyond Iberia and Latin America, their traditional strongholds. In the past few years, leading Spanish firms, including Uría Menéndez, Garrigues, Maniega & Soler, and Cuatrecasas, have ventured into regions such as Eastern Europe, Asia and Northern Africa.
“The expansion of Spanish law firms has been due to the expansion of Spanish companies, which have made an enormous jump abroad over the past 15 years,” says José María Alonso, managing partner of Madrid-based Garrigues, which now has eight offices outside Spain. “Spanish companies have stopped being provincial, and they’ve shed their fears. Who would have thought that a Spanish company [Grupo Ferrovial, S.A.] would run Heathrow Airport?”