Garrigues merges with high-tech firm

Andersen Legal’s Spanish firm Garrigues & Andersen is merging with niche new technology firm Anguiano & Asociados.

Garrigues, already one of the leading firms for communications in the country, will take over the 28-lawyer firm and will increase its own new economy practice to nearly 80.

Garrigues’ high-tech practice represents around 10 per cent of the firm’s billings and acts for companies including Spanish telecoms group Telefonica. It acted for the telecoms company on its corporate restructuring and on its alliance with MCI.

Anguiano & Asociados was set up in 1991 in Madrid by lead partner José María Anguiano and has five departments – software, telecommunications, content, e-business and biotechnology.

The firm claims to be the biggest new technologies-focused firm in Spain.

Patrick Bignon, worldwide managing partner of Andersen Legal, says the move is part of a general focus on e-business.

He says that technology-related law is one of its fastest growing areas because of the ability to offer lawyers alongside Arthur Andersen’s IT consulting professionals.

Spain is becoming an increasingly popular destination for foreign law firms as they expand into Europe.

In November, Ashurst Morris Crisp announced plans to open a Madrid office in January and is relocating corporate partner Duncan Stiles to head of the group (The Lawyer, 20 November).

Andersen tax and legal merged with Garrigues in 1997. The merger with Anguiano & Asociados will add to the firm’s already significant practice of 91 partners and more than 700 lawyers.