The rainmakers in Spain

Until this week, when White & Case turned to Latham & Watkins for a two-lawyer team to kickstart its Madrid offering.

It’s a ballsy move. As we reported a few weeks ago, Spanish firms have had a tough time of it over the past few years. The country might still be the fourth-largest economy in the eurozone, but these days that doesn’t ensure work.

White & Case is talking a tough line, saying that Spain’s links with Latin America and its own considerable force of Spanish speakers will help make the office a success. But, as our special report this coming Monday will show, the domestic firms do not have a huge amount of optimism in a speedy recovery. And with the crisis in Cyprus having a potentially destabilising effect on the eurozone as a whole, that optimism is likely to be dented further.