As Spain’s big companies begin to invest in places such as China, India and Central Europe, so the country’s largest firms have been forced to think internationally.

Spain’s legal market used to import foreign law firms, but is now turning to exports. For example, this summer saw the launch of Uría Menéndez’s Central and Eastern European base in Poland, while Gómez-Acebo & Pombo and Garrigues mounted assaults on London.

Meanwhile, in Latin America Garrigues has sought to strengthen its ties with its network of firms in the region and Cuatrecasas sent out a corporate partner to Mexico in order to bed down its presence there.

Asia remains a problem, however, with few Spanish firms completely sure of how to approach the growing market. The major firms are using their referral contacts to gather information and expertise.

But while the big firms look abroad, they must be mindful not to take their eyes off the ball at home.