Littler adds six-strong team from Cuatrecasas to open in Valencia

Expansion follows last year's tie-up in Portugal as US firm continues to build out Iberian network

US labour and employment law giant Littler Mendelson’s Spanish affiliate Abdón Pedrajas Littler has hired six lawyers from local rival Cuatrecasas to open an office in Valencia. 

The move is the latest to come of the firm’s expansion efforts across the Iberian Peninsula, which saw it plant a flag in Portugal last year when it acquired Lisbon-based boutique firm DCM Lawyers in November. 

Littler’s office in Valencia will be its third in the country, adding to its existing bases in Madrid and Barcelona. The venture will be led by Javier Molina, who is joining the firm as a partner from Cuatrecasas alongside a team of five attorneys including Patricia Madrona García, Amparo Bru Mundi, Gemma Pla Peris, Maite Martínez Otero and Raquel Romero Gonzalez. 

Antonio Pedrajas, managing partner of Abdón Pedrajas Littler, said the firm considered Valencia as a “strategic location for our growth trajectory, both in Spain and across Europe”. 

“The new office anchored by Javier and his team, all of whom are recognised leaders in labour law with extensive knowledge of the Valencian legal market, will allow us to expand our services, while continuing to provide top quality counsel to our clients,” he said. 

Molina, who joins the firm after more than 20 years at Cuatrecasas, brings with him close to three decades of experience practicing labour law in Valencia. His focuses on collective bargaining and productive decentralisation processes as well as issues related to workplace accidents and occupational prevention. 

In addition to his experience in acting for Spanish entities, Molina has experience advising on labour matters for German companies operating in Spain and for Spanish companies doing business in Germany, according to the firm. 

Stephan Swinkels, a Littler shareholder, added the office launch reflects the firm’s ongoing commitment to the legal market in Latin America “given the strong ties between the regions”. 

Littler celebrated ten years of operation in Mexico last year by setting up an office in the industrial city of Saltillo, its third base in the country after Monterrey and Mexico City. 

The firm’s relatively large LatAm footprint also includes physical offices in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. 

Several other firms have stepped up their expansion efforts in Latin America as of late, including Greenberg Traurig and DLA Piper, which have both added to their offerings in Mexico City in the past six months.  

Last December Greenberg, which boasts more than 60 lawyers in Mexico City, hired a seven-strong team from Holland & Knight to build out its employment practice in Mexico, while DLA Piper secured six partners from White & Case in January. Holland & Knight responded to the hires in March by raiding DLA Piper’s Mexico City office for a six-lawyer capital markets team led by corporate veteran Xavier Mangino. 

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