Garrigues launches in Poland ahead of CEE offensive

Spanish firm Garrigues has launched an ambitious expansion plan for the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) market with a launch in the Polish capital Warsaw.

The firm is already planning opening in the two newest EU member states, Bulgaria and Romania, during 2007.

Garrigues has acquired two-partner Warsaw outfit Fúster & Sartorius for its CEE launch, and will open in Warsaw with a team of 15 lawyers.

Garrigues partner José Palacios, one of the partners overseeing the firm’s international expansion strategy, said a Poland opening was the “first step” towards establishing a presence in the CEE.

New partners Jaime Fúster and Jacobo Sartorius will operate as regional managing partners, tasked with expanding the Spanish firm’s coverage of the region.

“Our ultimate objective, given the interest we have noted in Spain in everything happening in the new EU Member States, is to become the firm of choice in the local markets in this region,” said Palacios.

The firm will target Spanish and Portuguese companies investing into the CEE, with real estate, financial services and corporate advice the key practice areas.

The launch marks Garrigues’ fifth office outside the Iberian Peninsula, with outposts already in Shanghai, Casablanca, New York and Brussels. It also is closely linked with a Latin American network of firms operating across 12 countries.