Cuatrecasas loses partner to Spanish firm Abdón Pedrajas & Molero

Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira partner Sonia Cortés has defected to labour boutique Abdón Pedrajas & Molero.

Cortés left the firm at the end of June, a spokesperson from Cuatrecasas confirmed. The departure makes Cortés the third labour partner to leave Cuatrecasas in a matter of months.

Last month equity partner Antonio Bartolomé left the firm to join the labour department at KPMG Abogados, bringing with him four associates (25 June 2012).

Earlier this week The Lawyer revealed that prominent labour equity partner Javier Hervás Martínez left Cuatrecasas on 30 June. He is believed to be currently working on a number of independent projects, both of a legal and non-legal nature (23 July 2012). It is thought that he was one of the original orchestrators behind the exit plan to KPMG, according to a source close to the firm.

Cortés was a salaried partner at Cuatrecasas, having recently been offered the opportunity to become equity partner, but declined, she told The Lawyer.

Cortés is now an equity partner at Abdón Pedrajas & Molero and will focus on restructurings, litigation matters and issues related to senior executives. She is believed to have brought a number of Spanish and international clients with her to the firm.

During a partner meeting in March, Cuatrecasas decided to ditch its salaried partner rank and bring all of its partners into the equity (26 March 2012). However, there were some 28 partners who were not immediately promoted. It was first understood that the intention was for them to join the equity at a later date, but as The Lawyer revealed earlier this week, sources close to the firm have confirmed that these lawyers have been told they will have to leave the firm unless they improve their performance (23 July 2012 ).

The latest departure comes at a difficult period for both Cuatrecasas and its Iberian counterparts, with firms under increasing pressure to cut fees (23 July 2012).

Cuatrecasas’ revenues improved marginally at the year-end to €242.6m (£202m) from €241.7m in 2010 (7 February 2012).

Cortés’ appointment is also indicative of a growing trend in the market of lawyers from the larger Spanish firms opting to join boutiques. Earlier this month Spanish tax boutique Olleros Abogados hired Miguel Gordillo Moro, a former managing partner of Garrigues, as of counsel (11 July 2012).