Cuatrecasas mourns death of 'moderniser' Jorge Badía

Leading Spanish lawyer, who passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, remembered for ‘serene and wise’ leadership

Jorge Badía Image courtesy of Cuatrecasas

Jorge Badía, managing partner of leading Spanish corporate law firm Cuatrecasas, has passed away unexpectedly at the age of 59.

Badía, who became the firm’s managing partner in 2019, passed away last Sunday. Iberian Lawyer reported he suffered an undetermined health problem while cycling in Barcelona. 

A litigation and arbitration specialist, Badía regularly advised on complex corporate disputes and had particular expertise in resolving shareholder disputes. He joined Cuatrecasas after graduating from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in 1987 and spent the entirety of his professional career with the firm. 

The married father of three became Cuatrecasas’ managing director in 2015, having made partner more than a decade earlier and in 2009 becoming coordinator of the litigation and arbitration department. Following four years in the managing director role he received the partners’ backing to take over as managing partner of the 1,200-lawyer firm, which is based in Barcelona and has 27 offices spread across 13 countries. 

Cuatrecasas said he ‘demonstrated professionalism and good management throughout his career and his name is a synonym of quality and efficiency in the legal world’.

Describing him as the driving force behind its modernisation, the firm added that as managing partner he led its strategic expansion ‘wisely and with serenity, bringing it to the leadership position it occupies today’.

Badía’s tenure at the helm saw Cuatrecasas build its offering across Latin America, launching offices in Peru and Chile and ending its strategic alliance with Colombian firm Posse Hererra Ruiz in 2020 in order for the firm to build its own presence in the country. 

He also oversaw the firm launching a new three-year strategy in 2021 that featured integrating ESG management as a core tenet, objectives of which include gender equality at all professional levels of the firm and a reduction in its carbon footprint.

And he steered the firm through the pandemic, with the firm reporting a 0.3% dip in revenue for 2020 before going on to grow fee income 11% the next year to reach a record high of €350m in 2021. 

‘Even during the most turbulent and difficult of times, his authority enabled the firm to consolidate its position and achieve its best figures and results. He was a truly unparalleled leader and an exceptional person,’ the firm said. 

Writing in El Confidencial, Pedro Pérez-Llorca, managing partner of Spanish law firm Pérez-Llorca, praised Badía as “a great lawyer”.

“He gave his career to his firm, Cuatrecasas, one of the largest in Europe and Latin America, which culminated it being its leader during very intense years. Working with Rafael Fontana as president, and with his partners and collaborators, he had to face the pandemic, confinement, vaccination, the 'great resignation', the war in Ukraine, inflation. What is clear is the success of his work in such difficult times. While you reached out to him, he had time to generously guide, advise and encourage whoever asked him, as was my case.”

Badía had been a member of Cuatrecasas’ board of directors for the past decade and Iberian Lawyer reported that the board would take on a greater role in the coming weeks ahead of a shareholders’ meeting to approve necessary changes to the firm’s management.

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