Garrigues ranked the most innovative firm in continental Europe
The firm wins a second award for its work on the merger between Iberia and British Airways
Garrigues received recognition for its innovation from the Financial Times at the FT Innovative Lawyers 2011 Awards ceremony held in London last night by the British newspaper for the most innovative initiatives by European law firms. In the honors list drawn up by the Financial Times of the fifty most innovative firms, Garrigues ranked top in continental Europe and sixth overall, including firms from the United Kingdom.
The firm, along with Slaughter & May, also received plaudits in the “Legal Innovation in Corporate Law” category for its work on the merger between Iberia and British Airways, an extremely complex legal transaction due to the need to coordinate and reconcile two very different legal systems in a highly regulated industry. Fernando Vives and Álvaro López-Jorrín led the team in charge.
Our London-based lawyers, including Ignacio Corbera, partner in charge of the London office, were present at the ceremony to collect the awards on behalf of Garrigues.
Within the firm, this achievement is seen as a great success for the whole team. “We have always been known as a pioneering firm. We strongly believe that innovation is a cornerstone of legal practice and in striving to offer the best service to clients, particularly when times are hard, as they are at present. We are very proud of having achieved this international recognition,” explained Garrigues managing partner, Fernando Vives.
Six finalists In addition to the above two awards and sixth place in the ranking of most innovative firm in Europe, the Financial Times also considered a further three projects from Garrigues, which were named finalists in their respective categories.
In the “Legal Innovation in Finance Law” category, the British newspaper included the advisory services provided by the Restructuring and Insolvency Department to the logistics operator Bestin. The Garrigues team, led by Antonio Fernández and Adrián Thery, constructed and presented an innovative legal argument that led to a commercial court expediting approval of an agreement between the group and its creditors - an unprecedented feat in the Spanish legal system. This minimized harm to Bestin since it prevented an unnecessarily protracted insolvency proceeding.
The other two projects selected as finalists featured in the “Innovation in International Expansion” and “Innovation in Law Firm Efficiency” categories. In the former category, the firm was named finalist as a result of its ability to act as a link between China and Latin America, thanks to the work of its Shanghai office, headed by Francisco Soler and composed of over 25 professionals, and the Latin American alliance Affinitas, sponsored by Garrigues since 2004.
The project that featured in the latter category, known as ‘Darwin’, gives its name to a portal developed by the Intellectual Property Department, headed by João Miranda de Sousa, to enable large clients to manage all information concerning registration of their trademark online and in real time. In this way, clients can be in constant contact with their lawyers and reduce their costs in terms of time and money.