The product of a 2003 merger between two 80-year-old Spanish and Portuguese firms, Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira used to find its international arbitration work rarely strayed from the Iberian peninsula.
- People in Who’s Who:
- Pending cases as counsel:
- Value of pending counsel work:
- US$3 billion
- Treaty cases:
- Current arbitrator appointments:
- 10 (of which 3 are as sole or chair)
- No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:
However, in 2007 a surge of Latin America and north Africa-related cases persuaded the firm to focus more on the practice area. It duly formed a standalone practice, brought in a former ICC counsel in charge of work on the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America, plus junior laterals from Shearman & Sterling, Herbert Smith and Fulbright & Jaworski. Today it is one of the few Iberian firms that can claim to have a geographically diverse practice.
It’s the only firm from the Spanish and Portuguese markets so far to have cracked the Latin American rankings that various directories do for international arbitration. It’s also often invited to pitch against Anglo-Saxon firms for work.
Two years ago the firm published one of the first guides to commercial arbitration in Latin America written in Spanish. It covers 21 jurisdictions.
Besides an impressive network of offices across the Iberian Peninsula (15 in Spain and two in Portugal), the firm has operations in Paris, London, Brussels, New York, São Paulo, Shanghai and Casablanca.
Who uses it?
Recent clients include Spain’s Abengoa Group and GDF. The firm is also helping advise a group of Spanish investors in an arbitration against Russia for losses arising out of the expropriation of Yukos Oil Company. It is co-counsel to Argentina in an ICSID claim by Spain’s Teinver (a unit of Grupo Marsans) over an airline expropriation.
The firm made several new partners in 2010: Cristian Conejero Roos – the former ICC counsel mentioned above – went from counsel to partner in March, while Alberto Fortún and Pedro Claros were made equity partners. All were also asked to serve as arbitrators by numerous bodies before the Madrid Court of Arbitration and on ICC and ICDR cases. Roos meanwhile was elected to the board of the Latin American Arbitration Association, which formally launched at the IBA/ICDR conference in Buenos Aires.
Antonio Hierro, the current arbitration head, was appointed to the LCIA Court. He continues as chairman of the Spanish Arbitration Club.
The team was also gratified to receive instructions on three cases with combined value of US$3 billion in claims.