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J&A Garrigues was founded back in 1941, emerging from the merger of two separate firms managed by the brothers Joaquín and Antonio Garrigues Díaz-Cañabate.
In 1954, the family practice was joined by Antonio Garrigues Walker (son of Antonio Garrigues Díaz-Cañabate), who took up the reins as chairman of the Firm eight years later, following his father’s posting as Spanish Ambassador to the US. The Firm then began to take shape as an institutional organization, moving towards the partnership-type model typical of English-speaking countries, in which firms are collectively owned by their professionals according to merit and length of service. This groundbreaking model was not understood by Joaquín Garrigues, whose more traditional approach led him to depart the Firm in 1976.
For Garrigues, the seventies marked the beginnings of the Firm’s considerable reputation, which was being forged among the foreign companies starting to train their sights on Spain, as opportunities began to open up under the country’s new democratic system. Indeed, the Firm’s monopoly in the field of foreign investment advisory services was such that, for some time, Henry Ford was under the misapprehension that Garrigues must be some type of Spanish tax, since a ‘Garrigues fee’ was an ever-present item in the accounts of the US companies setting foot on Spanish soil. Alongside Ford, other noteworthy clients on the roster included IBM, Philip Morris, Hewlett-Packard and Avon. A key part of this success was without doubt the Garrigues New York office, opened in 1973 and making it Spain’s first law firm to open for business in the Big Apple.
This was followed in the eighties by the Brussels office (the nerve center for the Firm’s dealings with Europe) and the creation of the Club de Abogados, providing Garrigues with an extraordinary international network under agreements forged with firms from Latin America, Europe and Japan.