Ethics revamp sees Cuatrecasas limit itself to one bidder at a time

Spanish independent firm Cuatrecasas has revamped its code of ethics, setting up an ethics board and banning the practice of advising two separate bidders on a single deal.

Cuatrecasas has appointed partner Manuel Olivencia as chairman of the ethics board, which comprises partners Javier Herreros, Alberto Raventós, Federico Pereira Coutinho and Carlos Gallego.

Firm chairman Emilio Cuatrecasas said the firm will no longer act for more than one bidder as it risks harming client relationships and exposes the firm to malpractice disputes.

Acting for more than one bidder on a deal is legal in Spain, but not allowed in other jurisdictions in which the firm operates, such as Portugal. Cuatrecasas said: “Now we are saying that it will not be accepted, to be completely sure in all offices.”

It has put in place new rules for partners wanting to invest in the stock market or in property to avoid any conflicts of interest with clients. Cuatrecasas has also tightened the rules on partners becoming board members of companies.

The partners will have to personally accept full responsibility for any advice they give to a board while a member of it, to avoid the firm itself being dragged into any disputes.

The ;measures ;were approved at the Cuatrecasas partners’ meeting.