Firms in focus: Multilaw's new initiative


Multilaw, the international network to which Ventura Garcés belongs, has promoted this new initiative, Firms in Focus, in which Ventura Garcés has had the pleasure of participating.

Multilaw’s Firms in Focus series showcases member firms with written profiles, including interviews with Contact Partners. These are designed to drive deeper knowledge, familiarity and engagement across the network while giving members the chance to share recent experiences and offer interesting insights.

Below we transcribe the interview with our Managing Partners, Claudi Garcés and Víctor de Cambra, which also can be found in the following link: https://www.multilaw.com/Multilaw/Documents/FIF_VENTURA%20GARCE%CC%81S_SPAIN.pdf

 

“Claudi, Victor, welcome! How are you and your colleagues holding up? Are your teams back in the office, or still in lockdown and working from home?

Claudi: In the case of the Barcelona office, as it is a very large space with plenty of ventilation, the whole team is working from the office; bearing in mind and respecting the distance, complying with all the measures that the Spanish Government has proposed and allowing teleworking to all professionals when needed.

Víctor: In the case of the Madrid office, most of the team works from home. The main reason is that many professionals come from the outskirts of the city, and we consider that nowadays taking public transport is still something to avoid due to the risk it entails.

 

What have you been working on recently? How has the legal sector in Spain been impacted by the pandemic? What do you expect in the months ahead?

Claudi: In Barcelona, in addition to our usual advisory work, we are representing clients in the renegotiation of premises to adapt their conditions to the crisis situation arising from the COVID-19. Unfortunately, we are also advising on the closing of companies and the dismissal of employees. However, on a positive side, in the last few months we have advised on two M&A transactions and on the financing for the construction of a new factory for a client.

Víctor: In our case, in addition to advising in the same way as Claudi says, we are currently receiving many inquiries from our clients about Brexit and how it will influence their business.

 

How has remote work changed your role and work at Ventura Garcés?

Claudi: Both offices share the same idea; at the beginning of the pandemic and the confinement in the whole Spanish territory was something complicated to digest, since in a matter of days we had to manage together with all the professionals all the IT service to be able to telework and provide the customer service at our 100%. Today we consider that it has had a positive effect, since we have experienced a completely different way of working that can be implemented in the day to day of any professional improving labour inclusion and reconciliation of private and family live. This allows you to be in another city, country or continent and still be able to advise the client in the same way as if you were in the office. It is also true that applications such as TEAMS or ZOOM have allowed us a direct and close contact between both offices and with the clients.

Given the mainly international advisory nature of our work and the continuous trips of our lawyers to the headquarters of our clients worldwide we were fully prepared for teleworking in advance of the pandemic.

 

How have your practices had to adapt during this time – have you seen the needs of clients change? What are the opportunities and challenges at the moment?

Víctor: In the case of the commercial area, we have mainly gone from advising clients in the acquisition of new locations in which to expand their business, to negotiating with landlords’ new economic conditions of their contracts. Although it is also true that we have received several requests from clients, both companies and individuals, to provide our advice on Brexit issues and how this new situation, especially in terms of expats, labour and tax matters, may vary in their business between Spain and UK.

 

Do you think the legal industry will go back to “normal” after the pandemic or do you expect lasting changes to the industry?

Claudi: We both believe that the answer to this question is very difficult to predict, although we would like to say yes.

In Spain, unfortunately, many businesses are currently closing due to the pandemic and the restrictions that many Communities are suffering in order to fight against it. Also, many companies are considering carrying out new layoffs and modifications of labour contracts because they cannot maintain their actual structure, and the fall in tourism that we are suffering does not help either; so, for this 2021 we do not expect much improvement in the country’s economy, although we anticipate that the improvement will begin in 2022 when the pandemic has begun to subside thanks to the vaccines.

Having said that, we hope that, while vaccinating the entire population worldwide, we can gradually return to the life we had before the pandemic, and above all that business and tourism will flourish again in the country.

 

How does Multilaw fit into your firm’s international strategy in 2021?

Víctor: We are currently in close communication with several Multilaw firms, as we believe that international synergies are very important in the legal sector. We both also believe that it is very important to work close with the firms that make up this network to provide the best possible advice to clients.

 

 What are your goals for this year? Are you planning or implementing any new initiatives/other?

Claudi: We are a law firm with international projection, we have foreign clients who invest in Spain and Spanish clients who seek to grow in international markets. For this reason, it is very important for us to belong to a network such as Multilaw with prestigious law firms to which we can confidently refer our clients.

 

What have been your most memorable career/Multilaw (please choose) highlights?

Claudi: I personally have in great memory and esteem the EMEA that the Barcelona office organized in 2019 and where I had the opportunity to meet in person many professionals who are part of our network and also the great help that we all offered to the Hospital San Joan de Deu by allocating the great collection that between all firms we got, being the largest collection obtained in the history of Multilaw.

Víctor: I did not have the chance to attend the event that Claudi talks about, although I can say that I have good memories of the international events that you have organized during 2020 and 2021, as well as my presentation on the “Spanish Gold Resident Visa” in Multilaw on August 5.

Last Multilaw Remote Annual Meeting has been an excellent event that has facilitated the contact among Multilaw members saving time and costs efficiently.

 

Is there one thing you wish you had known as young lawyers, when you started your careers?

Claudi: To have had the experience not to have suffered at the beginning of my career, even though I was always surrounded by great professionals, like my father, who taught me and guided me in my profession.

Víctor: It was a pity that the university did not taught us how law firms function and how exciting and interesting a legal career can be.

 

Have you always wanted to practice law? What would you be doing in another life?

Claudi: Yes, I always wanted to be a lawyer because I wanted to follow my father’s example, whom I say enjoying his profession. I thought that if he enjoys working, it is a good profession and it is worth it. The truth is that after almost 30 years of practice, I have found that law is a great profession and that, although it has very hard moments, it also has very satisfying ones, for instance, when you close an M&A transaction after many months of arduous negotiations.

Víctor: Yes, my father brought me to a Court as a child and since then I decided to become an international lawyer.

 

 What do you do to relax, and in your spare time? Is there anywhere you are particularly looking forward to travelling again?

Claudi: In the case of my family, we always try to escape during the winter season to the mountains to ski and during the summer to the family home to spend a few days at the beach and be able to disconnect. I also practice sports, especially tennis, a couple of days a week.

Víctor: walking in the countryside and sailing with my family are my relaxing activities. We are looking forward to travel to any warm place close to the beach. The pandemic is lasting too long.”

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