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The Warsaw Voice » Law » December 19, 2007
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Spanish Law Firm in Poland
December 19, 2007 By El¿bieta Wrzecionkowska   
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The biggest law firm in the Iberian Peninsula, Garrigues, launched operations in Poland around a year ago. It provides services around the world for big Spanish companies Iberia, La Caixa and Telefonica.

Spanish investment in Poland does not involve only real estate and construction. Soon more banks and financial institutions will appear along with companies from the renewable energy and other industrial sectors.

The decision to start operations in Poland follows rising investment by Spanish companies in Poland over the past two years, worth nearly 5 billion euros. Garrigues, whose clients include over 100 Spanish companies in Poland, also provides services for an increasing number of companies from Poland and other countries.

Garrigues' clients with operations in Poland include financial institutions such as La Caixa, real estate investors (Baltic Business, Realia) and Iberia airlines, which recently launched flights to Warsaw.

Garrigues employs some 2,000 lawyers around the world. The company has offices in Brussels, New York, London, Shanghai (China), Casablanca (Morocco), Lisbon and Porto. Recently it won the title of Iberian Law Firm of Year from Chambers & Partners.

The decision to enter the Polish market is a key element of the company's development in Central and Eastern Europe. "Poland is a priority in the development of our firm internationally. Poland has been earmarked as a base for the expansion of our firm in our Europe region," said Krzysztof Socha, a legal counselor at Garrigues.

The choice of Poland is no accident. It is a country with high economic growth and one of the main centers of Spanish investment in Europe.

Garrigues employs 16 lawyers and plans to double that number by the end of 2008. Its Warsaw office employs several Spanish lawyers. The firm specializes in three basic areas-real estate law; mergers and acquisitions and public-private partnerships (PPP); and competition and arbitration.

"We can already say that our decision to enter Poland is a success," said Jaime Fuster, managing partner for Central and Eastern Europe. "We can count on a good team of Polish lawyers specializing in different fields who are backed by experts from areas for now little developed in Poland, such as sports and entertainment, urbanization processes, PPP, and renewable energy."

Garrigues provides services for companies coming to the Polish market, such as La Caixa (banking), and advises over 20 investors in the real estate sector. The firm also works for non-Spanish clients. For example, Garrigues is the official advisor to the Coalition of Polish and Ukrainian Employers created for the Euro 2012 European soccer championships, and to ASPRIMA (Madrid Association of Real Estate Developers).

Unlike in Spain, in Poland Garrigues does not offer direct tax advice services but works closely with Accreo, a company from the international Taxand group.

Garrigues was established in 1941 under the name J&A Garrigues. In 1997 it merged with Arthur Andersen and ATL, becoming the biggest legal and tax advice company on the Iberian Peninsula.
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