Iberia: Home advantage
In contrast to their Italian neighbours across the Mediterranean sea, Spanish lawyers and law firms have been a model of stability over the years - particularly at the top end of legal practice. Despite the incursion of international firms, the entrance of the major accounting firms into the legal market and the breakneck growth of the Spanish economy, the legal sector has been characterised by the apparently serene progression of its leading law firms from small local players into some of continental Europe's largest and most successful independent law firms. In 2007, according to Mergermarket, the three leading firms - Uria Menendez (advising on deals worth E99.8bn (£71.8bn)), Cuatrecasas, (E34.7bn (£24.9bn)) and Garrigues (E49.6bn (£35.6bn)) occupied the first three positions, with other local leaders Gomez-Acebo and Perez-Llorca not far behind.
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