Nabarro’s Spanish ally signs deal with criminal firm

Nabarro’s Spanish ally Roca Junyent has signed a cooperation agreement with 14-lawyer white-collar crime boutique Molins & Silva.

The move follows the departure of Roca Junyent’s primary criminal law and white collar-crime specialist Marc Molins in December 2012 to pursue a personal business venture.

The new cooperation will see Molins & Silva handle the majority of Roca’s work in this field in future, although the firm’s lawyers will also work alongside Roca Junyent’s existing white-collar crime specialists Ramón Antonio Forteza in Lleida, and Jaume Riutord Ramis and Ramón Riutord Pané in the firm’s Palma de Mallorca office.

It is understood that for the time being Molins & Silva will continue to operate independently and maintain its office spaces in Madrid. Lawyers in the firm’s Barcelona office are due to move into Roca Junyent’s office in the city on 15 January. However, the possibility of full integration in the future has not been ruled out by either firm.

The move will bring the overall headcount in Roca Junyent’s criminal law department from one partner and four lawyers to a 20-strong team, which includes four partners.

Commenting on the motivation behind the cooperation agreement, Roca Junyent’s vice-chairman Joan Roca i Segarra told The Lawyer: “Roca Junyent has already offered advice on criminal law for a number of years as part of our full-service practice. However, following this agreement, the firm has made a leap forward in terms of improving the quality of its white-collar crime expertise. As a firm specialised in this area that is equipped with professionals with renowned expertise in this field, the collaboration with Molins & Silva will greatly improve our services to clients in this area.”

The news follows the revelation early last year that Roca Junyent had bolted on 12-lawyer Madrid firm Vía Abogados to boost its expertise across a range of practice areas (6 February 2012).

This followed the announcement in January 2012 that Nabarro had added Roca Junyent to its international alliance (23 January 2012).

Nabarro’s alliance had been lacking a Spanish partner since 2009, when Rodes y Sala quit the group to merge with Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (30 June 2009).

These are not the only high-profile hires for the firm. In December 2012 José Manuel Lara, the current president of Grupo Planeta and Antena 3, who has spent most of his career in-house at publisher Metro Group, joined Roca Junyent’s advisory board (20 December 2012).

Roca Junyent was established in 1996 and spans offices in Barcelona, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Lleida, Girona and Shanghai.

The tie-up between Roca Junyent and Molins & Silva is indicative of a growing trend in the Spanish market for integration both among boutiques and between boutiques and larger firms. For more on the Spanish legal market, see feature.