Latham opens in Barca and Madrid

US firm Latham & Watkins will open in Spain with Madrid and Barcelona offices in January after a raid on Cuatrecasas, snaring M&A star Jose Luis Blanco to oversee the opening.

As first reported on www.thelawyer.com (26 October), Blanco left the Spanish firm to join Latham, which has wanted a Spanish offering for some time. Madrid will be the firm’s principal Spanish office, with Barcelona acting as a satellite.

The two offices will bring Latham’s European presence to 10 offices. The offices will mainly concentrate on private equity and M&A, following Blanco’s expertise. There will also be some competition and acquisition finance capability.

Blanco has advised clients such as Procter & Gamble on its €172 million acquisition of Laboratorios Vita, The Carlyle Group in its €130 million acquisition of the Iberian subsidiaries of ConAgra Food. His other clients include the Yell Group and Repsol.

Blanco, who will become regional managing partner, said: “Our ambition is to build a leading and innovative practice that is very focused in the segments we want to target.”