Rodés & Sala turns down Landwell to keep place in Nabarro’s Euro alliance

Rodés & Sala turns down Landwell to keep place in <a class=Nabarro’s Euro alliance” />Nabarro’s Spanish ally Rodés & Sala Abogados has walked away from merger talks with Landwell, the legal arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

It is understood that the firm was close to joining up with Landwell following the departure of a three-­partner team in Madrid and a two-partner group in Barcelona last year.

If Rodés & Sala had merged with Landwell, it would have lost Nabarro as an alliance partner.

Nabarro signed Rodés & Sala to its European network in March 2008. The London firm, which was already allied to German practice GSK Stockmann & Kollegen and Paris-based August & Debouzy Avocats, brought on ;board ;13-­partner Italian ;firm ;Nunziante Magrone at the same time.

A Rodés & Sala source said: “We started to receive phone calls from different people asking us if we would consider a potential agreement. We said ‘no’ to ­everyone. Landwell really persisted and made us a very good offer, so we decided to start a conversation with them.”

But the source added: “If we’d said ‘yes’ then Nabarro would have told us that they couldn’t be in an alliance with a non-independent law firm, which for us was an important issue to bear in mind. Knowing that we would lose the alliance was a big factor in the decision.”

Landwell is one of the biggest firms in Spain and last year witnessed a turnover hike of 12 per cent, adding e10m (£8.94m) to 2007’s tally to hit e94m (£84.01m).

The figures showed improved growth for the firm – in 2006 revenue increased by 10 per cent, while in 2005 it was up by only 1 per cent.

Late last year Rodés & Sala Madrid-based partners Juan Milagro, Teresa Martín and Fernando Marín, left with a team of associates to launch their own firm, Mavens.

At the same time, Barcelona partners Tomás Fornesa and Jaime Fernández, along with a third ­partner from the local office of Baker & McKenzie, left to launch their own firm.

It is understood that the departing Madrid partners had differences of opinion with the management over the firm’s strategy and were asked to leave. The departure of the Barcelona ­partners at the same time is thought to be a coincidence and unconnected to the Mavens venture.

Rodés & Sala expanded rapidly in 2007, hiring a series of laterals during the real estate and funds boom. During that year the firm swooped on Mayer Brown’s ally in Spain, Ramón & Cajal, hiring real estate partner Marin. That year Rodés & Sala also raided the SJ Berwin’s Madrid office for two senior private equity lawyers.

Rodés & Sala was ­founded in 1994 by former ­Cuatrecasas ;lawyers ­Gonzalo Rodés and Rafael Sala. The firm now features seven partners and more than 50 lawyers.