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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has confirmed the closure of its Barcelona corporate practice and the spin-out of its IP/IT team in the city into new boutique, Intangibles Legal.
Intangibles was launched by Freshfields counsel Sergio Miralles, who was responsible for the magic circle firm’s IP and IT practice in Spain, and associate Elena Molina.
The decision to close Barcelona was taken earlier this year, after Allen & Overy hired Freshfields Barcelona-based partner, Antoni Valverde (4 February 2014). Tax partner Miguel Loran joined Osborne Clarke in May this year.
Freshfields said in a statement that it had always run its Spanish practice as one and that it was committed to its Madrid office, which currently has 11 partners and 117 staff in total. The firm is the sixth-largest international practice in Spain, according to research carried out for The Lawyer European 100 2014 (12 May 2014).
Before it closed, Barcelona had seven lawyers and a small number of support staff following the departures of Valverde and Loran.
“There will be no impact on our ability to support our network clients in Spain or our Barcelona-based clients wherever in the world they need us,” the firm added. “We believe we are well very positioned in Spain and don’t anticipate any other immediate changes. We see plenty of opportunities for us to do well in Spain.”