Spain's new normal – a leaner and meaner legal industry leads the country's fightback
"The years leading up to 2007 were an espejismo in terms of work and fee levels," says Manuel Martin, managing partner of Gomez-Acebo & Pombo. "We are still adjusting to the new normal. But whereas two years ago nobody was thinking about Spain as a good place to invest, now it is completely different." The Spanish word espejismo translates as 'mirage'. In an economy that was grossly inflated by a real estate bubble and attendant bank lending, Spain's independent law firms are looking to rebuild their future on more solid foundations. Full recovery may still be on the very distant horizon, yet the recent decision by Fitch – upgrading the outlook on Spain's credit rating – points to a convergence between the French and Spanish economies. Small comfort, but a step in the right direction.
Spanish law firms have had to slim down since the economic crisis hit the country, but increases in tax, labour and real estate work and a renewed focus on South America may see confidence return to the market, says Dominic Carman
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