Every day more Spanish firms that see internationalization immature territories a way to win not only customers, but also a sign of identity.
Little more than six hours apart Adolfo Suarez-Barajas airport to the aerodrome nostálgicos- Santa Isabel, located in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea. For small firms, it is more than enough to trace their particular internationalization strategy, very different from the big firms.
The Spaniards smaller firms have also been left with small borders. In recent years, they have joined the internationalizing fever who have lived all sectors. ICEX confirms this: in 2014 increased by 11% the number of regular exporters, those that have signed international operations for four consecutive years. And with them the law firms that offer their support in their international adventure.
A world map displayed on the table in the meeting room made them realize that they should not follow his steps already taken by the large firms. In the United States, England and Germany, the giants of the law and have been made with whole cake; too few mature markets where noted.
Like any other company, they have done market research and have seen what areas of the world GDP was behaving better than in Europe. Conclusion: should knock on the door of countries with less presence on the international scene, but attractive for Spanish companies.
These more exotic destinations are often accompanied by more legal risks, given the peculiarity of their markets and the complexity of their legislation. For this reason, the job of a lawyer is even more important when a company raises land on one of them. Knowing how to coat a project all the necessary legal certainty to triumph or to know in detail the legal intricacies of a country with customs and rules very different from Spanish is undoubtedly a competitive advantage for investors, but also the strong point of small firms that decide to specialize in these all mature markets and full of challenges.
José María Viñals, International Lupicinio partner.
After three years of training in the offices of Dubai and Madrid International Lupicinio it has decided to expand its presence in other countries and recently opened in Algeria, where four partners work with specialized in corporate, litigation and energy law at the head lawyer, Khemissi Hetatache. “We detected a large projection in the Muslim world, we needed to complete the circle with an office in the Maghreb, to complete the UAE and Iran, where we have a representative office,” says José María Viñals, Partner and Director Lupicinio international operations.
Vicente Morato, managing partner of Martínez-Echevarría.
“To be the last in Brussels, I prefer to be the first in Bucharest”. So clear is Vicente Morato, managing partner of Martinez-Echevarria, when he explains the international strategy of the firm, which has offices in Bulgaria, Turkey and Portugal. “For image or curriculum, many choose to have a seat in the ‘classic’ destinations such as London or New York but, for the purposes of income statement, is more interesting for a smaller office search where competition is much smaller or nonexistent and which, in turn, offer potential for our customers do business, “he says.
United Arab Emirates
Rafael Lopez-Dieguez, director of international expansion of Grupo RLD.
In a territory dominated by English and German offices, RLD Group detected the opportunity to offer customers the Spanish legal advice in their own language. In addition, according to the director of international expansion, Rafael Lopez-Dieguez, leverage the knowledge of “the way of working of entrepreneurs of both countries and the particularities of those laws.” Three years later, confident that the forecast growth of trade between the UAE and Spain to strengthen its presence in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Francisco Almansa, managing partner of Almansa Lawyers.
Six years have passed since Russia Almansa Lawyers marked on a map as a destination for their internationalization until it opened its office in Moscow. The first stage focused on advising Spanish companies that wanted to set foot in the land of the czars. “We realized that the interest of Russian investors in Spain was much greater, especially in real estate, so we support the Moscow office to facilitate the arrival of investors to our country,” says its managing partner, Francisco Almansa.
Marta Lopez-Pena and Raquel Seron, founding partner of L & S Lawyers.
After flown halfway around the world looking to internationalize his office where, Marta and Raquel Lopez Pena Seron, founding partner of L & S Abogados, decided that Equatorial Guinea was perfect. In addition to standardizing its title, saw its economy based on oil, I was growing every day and attracted more Spanish companies. “Although the general opinion is that anything goes in Africa, it is not. Legal certainty is possible in Guinea, but time consuming project coating a sufficient protection for safe operation”, they say.
New destinations, but the same concerns
Several partners of small Spanish firms EXPANSION explained the main drawbacks of working in the less common destinations:
The time and manner of work are very different from the rest of Europe. We must also know the cultural differences so that misunderstandings do not ruin a project.
Emerging markets are considered proximity because their employers do not understand the business without having regular contact. The phone or the ‘e-mails’ are too cold.
It is key to know very well the limits for not transfer them. In the Western world the barriers are very well defined, which is not always repeated in developing countries.
It does not just specialize in international disputes, but in the sectors in which the country is chosen pointer. Energy, real estate or oil are among the most common.