First step towards establishing the Firm in Central and Eastern Europe
Garrigues has opened a new office in Warsaw (Poland) as a first step towards establishing its presence in other central and eastern European countries. The venture involves the integration into Garrigues of the firm “Fúster & Sartorius” (F&S) which has been operating in the region for five years, and its founders, Jaime Fúster and Jacobo Sartorius, will be joining Garrigues as partners after ratification at the upcoming Partners’ Meeting.
Garrigues has opened a new office in Warsaw (Poland) as a first step towards establishing its presence in other central and eastern European countries. The venture involves the integration into Garrigues of the firm “Fúster & Sartorius” (F&S) which has been operating in the region for five years, and its founders, Jaime Fúster and Jacobo Sartorius, will be joining Garrigues as partners after ratification at the upcoming Partners’ Meeting. Both professionals have extensive experience in providing advice to businesses on setting up operations in these countries and will be responsible for Garrigues’ expansion in the region.
The new Warsaw office will field an initial team of fifteen lawyers, covering practically all practice areas: real estate and zoning; financial services and banking; foreign investment; corporate; infrastructure; labor and employment; litigation, and tax.
The opening of this office is a natural consequence of Garrigues’ attitude to economic globalization. Just a few years ago, Spain and Portugal were basically destinations for investment, with the exception of capital invested in Latin America, but the situation is changing rapidly. After heavily backing the Latin American market, with a significant network of its own offices and a presence through Affinitas in Latin America, a natural region for growth given the cultural and linguistic similarities, Garrigues has set its sights on other areas increasingly targeted by European investors. This new phase in its strategy commenced with the opening of its offices in Shanghai and Casablanca and now continues in Central and Eastern Europe.
“For some time now, Garrigues has been seeing a steady flow of Spanish and Portuguese investments towards Eastern Europe,” explained Garrigues Partner José Palacios, one of the architects of the Firm’s international expansion. “The next logical step was to ensure an ongoing service by setting up our own office in the Polish capital. Our ultimate objective, however, given the interest we have noted in Spain in everything happening in the new EU Member States, is to become the firm of choice in the local markets in this region.”
As Jaime Fúster, ultimately responsible for Garrigues’ expansion in the region sees it, “the strategy goes much further than Poland, which is, in itself, a highly important country. The core idea is to be able to offer our clients a comprehensive service throughout Central and Eastern Europe. We plan to open an office in Romania and foreseeably another in Bulgaria in 2007.”
The new Warsaw office will be supported by the Garrigues EU and Antitrust Law Department and the international Taxand network, of which Garrigues is a founding member. “Our aim is for all our offices to be perceived by clients as a byword for quality and service” explained Marcos Araujo, the partner in charge of the Department. “There is no reason why the Warsaw office should be any different from the Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon or Seville offices.”
Garrigues’ international network boasts 27 offices in the Iberian Peninsula with another five offices in Brussels, Casablanca, New York, Shanghai and Warsaw.
International leader Garrigues, founded in 1941, is the top legal services firm in the Iberian Peninsula, in terms of billings (€223.1 million in 2006) and number of professionals (1,700 at present, with over 2,000 employees in total).
The Firm, which provides legal and advisory services in all areas of law, has the largest network of offices in the Iberian Peninsula, with 25 offices across Spain and another 2 in Portugal.