Dentons to close Barcelona office, integrate team into Madrid base

Global giant says move in line with approach in most European jurisdictions to centralise operations

Jabier Badiola Image courtesy of Dentons

Dentons is set to shutter its Barcelona office and integrate its team there into its other Spanish base in Madrid. 

The global giant said the move was in line with its approach in most European jurisdictions to centralise operations in a single location. 

Spain managing partner Jabier Badiola said the decision had been taken “in light of the evolving needs of both our clients and our business, as well as the wider trend toward remote working”. 

He added: "By integrating our Spanish practice into a single office in Madrid, we will encourage closer collaboration among our lawyers and business services professionals. We remain committed to our colleagues and to serving the needs of our Catalunya-based clients.”

Dentons will officially close its Barcelona office – which is led by M&A partner Nieves Briz and includes compliance partner Diego Pol and a six-strong team of counsel and associates – in April. 

Most of the team had accepted the offer to relocate to Madrid, a Dentons spokesperson said, but a few, including Briz and Pol, will split their time between working remotely from Barcelona and commuting to Madrid two days per week. 

Briz and Pol also serve respectively as co-head of the Europe consumer products and services group and co-head of the Europe compliance and investigations group and will continue in those leadership roles. 

Dentons’ Spanish arm currently houses almost 60 lawyers, around the same number it had in 2020 when Badiola took over as managing partner from Jesús Varela, who left the firm for leading Spanish independent Pérez-Llorca with two other partners. 

Varela had taken up the role of managing partner only the year before and told Iberian Lawyer in October 2019 he planned to increase Dentons’ lawyer headcount in Spain from just over 60 to 150 in the near future. 

Earlier in 2019, the firm was also reportedly exploring a tie-up in Portugal, which remains a key gap in its international network of more than 80 countries.

Most international law firms service the Spanish legal market from Madrid. Those that do maintain a presence in Barcelona include CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo, Baker McKenzie, Clifford Chance, DWF, FieldFisher and Osborne Clarke.


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