Cuatrecasas sees change at the top as succession plan completes

Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira name partner Emilio Cuatrecasas has stepped down as president of the firm, to be replaced by CEO Rafael Fontana.

The move is the final step in the firm’s succession plan, initiated in July 2012 when Fontana took over as CEO and assumed the executive powers formerly held by Cuatrecasas (14 September 2012).

Emilio Cuatrecasas Rafael Fontana Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira
Emilio Cuatrecasas, Rafael Fontana

The firm also began to move towards an all-equity partnership in the same year (26 March 2012).

The decision to hand over the president’s role to Fontana ends almost a century of leadership at the firm by lawyers named Cuatrecasas.

Cuatrecasas is the grandson of firm founder Emilio Cuatrecasas Buquet, who founded the firm in 1917, and was managing partner before being appointed executive chairman following the death of his father around a decade ago. He joined the firm in 1977 and has since spearheaded its transition from a family-run practice to an institutional outfit.

He is not retiring from the firm, and instead will be a full-time fee-earner. Fontana will hold the dual roles of president and CEO for the next two years, when his term of office in the latter position comes to an end.

Cuatrecasas has been financially more successful than its Iberian rivals in the past few years, last year recording a third successive year of growth (26 February 2014).

The firm is in a European alliance with Italy’s Chiomenti, French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel, and Germany’s Gleiss Lutz (26 November 2012).