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The Warsaw Voice » Business » October 22, 2008
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Garrigues in Pole Position
October 22, 2008   
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The Warsaw office of Garrigues, a Spanish law firm that began operating in Poland just a year ago, has recorded a 300-percent increase in sales revenue, becoming one of the fastest expanding law firms in Europe.

During its first year in Poland, the Spanish firm has attracted four new lawyers and now has a staff of 19. As a result, Garrigues has strengthened its position as the leading provider of legal advice to Spanish businesses. Orders from Polish, German, Portuguese, French and Irish businesses already account for 20 percent of its sales revenue.

At the beginning of the year, the Spanish firm announced a strategy to build in Poland a regional center for expansion across Central Europe. Garrigues CEE, whose first step was Poland, now coordinates the whole area with offices in Madrid, Varsovia and Bucharest. The Romanian office now provides services to the five largest Spanish investors on the local market and specializes in services for the banking, real estate and power sectors. This marks the first major expansion effort in the history of Garrigues, which has a total work force of around 2,000 and has until now mainly been active in Spain, Portugal and South America. In this last region, Garrigues has promoted an alliance with leading South American law firms that has been successfully operating since 2004.

Garrigues Polska plans further expansion, with another 20 lawyers to be employed in FY2009, doubling the current number. There will also be a gradual change in the structure of the firm's client pool so as to increase the number of non-Spanish businesses. These measures aim to bring about a further increase in sales revenue next year.

"Poland's economic development and increasing integration with Europe result in the opening of new areas of law in which international law firms have expertise," says Jaime Fuster, partner at Garrigues Polska. "This is a strong driving force behind the market, a force that has a major impact on its growth and prospects for the future. Garrigues wants to exploit this opportunity by dealing with the hottest issues at the interface of business and law."

Garrigues' Warsaw office specializes in the real estate market, mergers and acquisitions, contract law, public-private partnerships, and renewable energy. All these areas are of interest to many foreign investors. At present, Garrigues is focusing on strengthening its activities in the area of financing renewable energy projects and expanding its rapidly developing real estate division.

Garrigues won awards for Best Managed Firm, Best Sustainability Reporting and Best Management of Facilities at the Managing Partners' Forum Awards held Oct. 8 2008 at The Marriot hotel in London. Garrigues was the only firm to receive three awards. The Best Managed Firm title is awarded to a firm with exceptional returns, strong growth and innovative strategies plus leadership in its chosen markets. Best Sustainability Reporting is awarded to a firm that has made communicating its contribution to sustainability an integral part of the way that it does business. The Best Management of Facilities award is given to a firm that has derived measurable business benefit from the use of its new or existing premises.
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