Gómez-Acebo Pombo to launch New York office

Spanish firm Gómez-Acebo Pombo will launch an office in New York this autumn.

The Spanish firm has already located premises in the city and will host its inaugural reception on 28 November.

The New York office will be overseen by Madrid-based corporate partner Rubén Ferrer, who will relocate to New York to become managing partner of the office. Ferrer previously worked as a foreign associate at Cravath Swaine & Moore in both New York and London.

He will be joined by up to three lawyers and an office manager. The New York office will operate as a representative office and will be staffed by all Spanish lawyers working for US clients on a range of corporate and financial matters.

This is not the first time that Gómez-Acebo Pombo has considered opening an office on the other side of the Atlantic. In early 2001 the firm’s management committee approved and budgeted for a New York launch but were later dropped.

Since then the firm launched in London in 2007 (16 July 2007) and followed by opening an outpost in Lisbon in 2009 (16 November 2009). Fermín Garbayo Renouard was the managing partner of the firm’s London office until 2009 when he relocated to Lisbon to manage the firm’s new office there and Miguel Lamo de Espinosa Abarca was appointed resident managing partner of the London office.

The move comes at a particularly interesting time when most Spanish firms are cutting back their international offerings or putting a halt to further expansion. Garrigues closed its office in Bucharest in 2010 as the firm moved to centralise its Central and Eastern European practice through its outpost in Warsaw (29 November 2010).

“Our Spanish clients historically account for less than half of our turnover,” explained Ferrer. “After this, US clients are our largest source of business. We advise a significant number of US corporations with strong presence in Spain.”

Garrigues was the first of the large Spanish firms to open an office in New York in 1973, with Uría Menéndez following suit in 1990 and Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira launching an office there in 2000.