Davies Arnold Cooper to launch insurance practice in Barcelona

Davies Arnold Cooper is planning to open an office in Barcelona to service a Spanish insurance client.

DAC managing director Nick Sinfield says the firm is negotiating with one of Spain's largest insurers to open in the city.

If the move happens, it will be a shift into new geographical and practice areas for the firm. DAC already runs a Madrid office, which was formed last year by the integration of its long-time Spanish associate firm Estudio Juridico Muniz.

The Madrid office mainly does work for reinsurers based in London. It counts insurance underwriter Lloyd's among its clients.

However, the proposed Barcelona office would do work for Spanish clients, an area that the Madrid office is also investigating.

Sinfield says that while it is an exciting prospect, there are some local concerns to sort out before the office can open.

One major hurdle is that, under Catalan law, the office cannot operate without a Catalonian lawyer.

Sinfield says the firm is also in talks with a leading French firm to manage the legal affairs of a major French insurer in England.

“We are looking at a link-up which would see us acting almost as interpretors for the insurance firm,” says Sinfield. “We will keep them informed of what is happening in the UK.”

DAC made the decision earlier this year to concentrate on the insurance market, a decision which led to the axing of 10 partners and 19 associates.

Dibb Lupton Alsop, a rival firm that also does a lot of work in the insurance market, is negotiating to form an alliance with a Barcelona firm.