21 Sep 2022

Linklaters rehires M&A partner from Latham & Watkins in Spain to boost corporate practice

Former CNMV chairman Sebastián Albella returns for second spell at magic circle firm in Madrid

Sebastián Albella Image courtesy of Linklaters

Linklaters has rehired veteran M&A partner Sebastián Albella from Latham & Watkins to strengthen its corporate practice in Spain.

Albella is due to rejoin the firm’s Madrid office in mid-December after a six-year absence, bringing with him even more experience in the Spanish M&A market advising large companies and private equity firms on a range of deals and corporate matters. He also has a deep knowledge of financial regulation and capital markets transactions.

Víctor Manchado, head of Linklaters’ M&A practice in Spain, said: “The addition of Sebastián puts our practice in an unrivalled position to advise listed and public companies on the biggest M&A transactions in the market.”

Albella spent just over a year at Latham as of counsel having joined from the Spanish Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV) where he was appointed chairman by the Spanish government in 2016. He previously spent more than a decade at Linklaters in Madrid and another 11 years at local firm Ramón y Cajal Abogados. He also had an earlier stint at the CNMV in the late 80s and early 90s.

Linklaters has a significant presence in Spain, where in 2020 it was ranked as the ninth largest law firm by revenue by Iberian Lawyer, pulling in €70.6m – the most among all UK law firms. The figure put it one place behind US firm Baker McKenzie, which brought in €73.2m, but comfortably ahead of next-placed UK rivals Clifford Chance (€64.9m), Allen & Overy (€52.5m) and Hogan Lovells (€46.3m). 

Linklaters’ Madrid office houses north of 130 lawyers and 22 partners compared to Latham’s 51 lawyers and 12 partners. The office covers most aspects of business law but has core capabilities in corporate law, finance law and dispute resolution, while recent work includes advising IFM Investors on the €5bn public takeover offer for a stake in Naturgy and Société Générale on the IPO of Ecoener. 

Albella is the latest ex-Linklaters partner to rejoin the firm, following in the footsteps of Betty Yap and Carl Fernandes who returned to the firm’s corporate and financial regulation practices in Hong Kong late last year.

The rehiring of Albella comes after a recent spate of lateral hires in the US as the magic circle firm seeks to grow its North American presence. In July, it added two structured finance partners in New York – Joseph Gambino and Peter Williams – who joined from Alston & Bird. That followed the arrival in June of employment partner Andrew Gaines from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in New York and regulatory partner Donald Waack from Morgan Lewis & Bockius in Washington DC.

Elsewhere in Spain, labour law giant Littler Mendelson’s Spanish affiliate Abdón Pedrajas Littler added a six-strong team from local rival Cuatrecasas in April to open an office in Valencia. Also in April, DWF-RCD hired three ex-Cuatrecasas lawyers to open a Seville office as it seeks to expand in the Andalusia region.

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