Nabarro’s Spanish best friend quits alliance after Gomez-Acebo merger

Nabarro’s Spanish alliance firm Rodes y Sala is to merge with Gomez-Acebo & Pombo and exit its year-old alliance relationship with the UK firm.

The two Spanish firms will become one as of 1 July, creating a 320-lawyer outfit operating under the Gomez-Acebo & Pombo brand.

Nabarro expanded its European alliance into Spain and Italy last year having already formed alliances with French firm August & Debouzy, Germany’s GSK Stockmann & Kollegen and Italian firm Nunziante Magrone (3 March 2008).

Nabarro said that it expected to continue to work with the Rodes partners in their new firm, with which it has an established relationship.

Chair of Nabarro’s international group Michael Hales said: “The alliance works well for us, it’s the right model, but we’ve never made quick decisions about who should join. We’ve worked with Gomez in the past if [for example] Rodes has had a conflict of interest.”

Nabarro has cross-referred corporate, real estate, energy, renewables and litigation to Spain in the past, although this has reduced somewhat of late.

“The Spanish market is less relevant now. The Spanish economy has been in trouble for some time. There isn’t a huge amount of enquiries,” said Hales.

The merger follows the departure of a number of Rodes partners, which reduced the firm’s total number of partners there from 12 to four. Under the new tie-up all four partners will continue as partners at Gomez, taking the total number of partners at that firm to 49. Name partner Gonzalo Rodes will sit on one of the merged firm’s two executive committees in Barcelona.

Gomez had a €61.3m (£52m) turnover as of 31 December 2008, while Rodes brought in €6.4m (£5.5m) as of 31 August 2008.