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22 July 2020

DAC Beachcroft makes disputes hire in Madrid to bolster firm's litigation practice

Partner Mercedes Romero joins from Spanish firm Perez-Llorca

By Ben Rigby

Gran Via in Madrid, Spain

Madrid city centre Shutterstock

UK-headquartered DAC Beachcroft has hired Mercedes Romero as a partner in its Madrid office as it seeks to expand its arbitration and litigation practice in the Spanish capital.

Romero, who joins from Perez-Llorca, has a broad commercial litigation and arbitration background, spanning the financial, construction, engineering, corporate, energy, and telecoms sectors. 

Her arrival boosts DAC’s seven-partner office in Madrid and follows the firm’s merger with three-partner healthcare firm Asjuna, which added 20 lawyers to the firm’s current roster of 35 lawyers in the Spanish capital, not including partners.

Jose Maria Alvarez-Cienfuegos, a partner and head of the Madrid office, said that Romero’s arrival is part of an effort to establish a leading arbitration and commercial litigation practice in Madrid to meet the growing needs of its domestic and international clients.

He said: “We already have in place an extremely capable team with international arbitration and litigation experience, and with Mercedes on board, we are excited to expand our capabilities further.”

Romero’s arrival will also help consolidate the firm’s overall international dispute resolution practice, said Gustavo Blanco, DAC Beachcroft’s international development director.  

Blanco said: “We are investing heavily in strengthening our litigation and international arbitration capabilities across our global locations with a view to becoming a truly global practice,” adding that he hoped the hire would give the firm added competitive advantage.   

Romero said she was pleased to join DAC, noting its client base and expanding international outreach, saying “the firm is committed to growing and diversifying in Spain,” as well as further afield. 

DAC announced a 14-strong partner promotions round in May 2020, down from 18 in May 2019. Its London office also hired a team of four insurance lawyers from DWF in June.

The promotions follow cuts within the wider DAC network, with the firm making redundancies within the London and Leeds property and commercial investment practice groups, following earlier consultations.

While both redundancies and promotions were largely UK-focused, DAC invested in its international network last year, with office openings in Paris and Belfast, and hires in Dublin and Glasgow. It also took in a seven-strong team from Norton Rose Fulbright in London

Last month, Perez-Llorca hired Dentons’ former Spanish managing partner and head of real estate Jesus Varela, along with two other partners, adding to earlier hires from Linklaters and Baker McKenzie.

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