Cuatrecasas raises extra €20m from partners in response to Covid-19

Leading Spanish firm gains 'peace of mind' after partners volunteer additional capital
Pic of Barcelona

Barcelona: Cuatrecasas capital injection comes after record year Shutterstock

Top Spanish law firm Cuatrecasas has raised around €20m in additional capital from its partners to help it through the financial crisis.

The measure, which was revealed by Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, boosts the firm’s capital reserve by 25% to €70m.

The voluntary cash call was implemented shortly after Spain went into lockdown on 14 March with all 220 equity partners taking part.

Cuatrecasas chief executive Jorge Badia told the newspaper all the partners took part after a very good year for the firm in a measure that meant it had the “peace of mind” not to have to make use of its €50m credit facility.

The provision to inject partner capital into the firm was originally approved after the global financial crisis but not deployed at that time.

The Barcelona-based firm enjoyed a record year last year with revenue of more than €300m, according to La Vanguardia.

Also known to have taken a similar step in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic is Allen & Overy, which said it had raised its capital levels as part of a package of measures to deal with the crisis while last week Herbert Smith Freehills said it had increased partner capital ahead of the crisis — over the last 12-18 months — putting it in a strong financial position.

In an update to investors on 27 March listed UK firm DWF said it was negotiating additional credit on top of its £80m revolving credit facility as a prudent contingency measure to secure ‘increased headroom for working capital purposes’.

Meanwhile, the interim findings of a survey of 450 lawyers by German legal magazine JUVE found a third of the respondents reporting that partner distributions had been withheld.

And last week Paul Wyse, head of professional practice at Smith & Williamson Ireland, told the Irish Times that law firms were cutting salaries and some were seeking to participate in the Government’s temporary Covid-19 wage subsidiary scheme.

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Coronavirus risk may be unprecedented, but the fundamental principles of crisis response still apply — Crisis PR specialist Bethaney Durkin advises law firms impacted by the coronavirus to act quickly while avoiding a kneejerk response

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