Uría, Spain's most profitable law firm last year, is relocating Madrid partner Juan Francisco Falcon to London to manage the office after Christmas.
Rafael Molina, presently the senior associate in charge of the London office, is leaving the firm for a move to Linklaters.
Molina is moving back to Madrid to head up a new real estate department at his new firm.
Linklaters has taken him on as a senior associate, but the magic circle firm's managing partner Miles Curley told The Lawyer that he is confident Molina will make the partnership.
Until now, Linklaters has not had a dedicated real estate practice in Madrid.
“Like many international firms in Spain, we've treated real estate as part of the general commercial practice,” said Curley.
Curley is currently finalising how many lawyers will work under Molina in the new real estate group.
Molina has a longstanding relationship with the firm; he worked at Uría when it was part of the Linklaters alliance.
Molina will join Linklaters in London until he is ready to relocate to Madrid.