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Jaime Olleros explains how the merger in Andersen Tax & Legal is going

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Since the integration of Olleros Abogados in AT&L was announced three weeks ago, Jaime Olleros, has had few moments of free time.

With hardly a break. Since the integration of Olleros Abogados in Andersen Tax & Legal was announced three weeks ago, Jaime Olleros, new managing partner of the firm in Spain, has had few moments of free time. In one of those moments, he has a conversation with CONFILEGAL to explain how this merger is going. “By mid-May we will have completed all the changes to the corporate identity”.

The first words of this telephone conversation are for the recently deceased Paco Puchol-Quixal, a lawyer who was an expert on issues of institutional arbitration and law and for many years the head of the Broseta Debating Club. “We are all shocked, it has been a great loss for everyone”, explains Jaime on the other side of the phone, who reveals his friendship with this lawyer who recently died at sea.

We talk with Jaime Olleros about another boat, one that for a few days now has been called Andersen Tax & Legal and which is structured around three offices: Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. “We have always worked, even during the Olleros stage, with the philosophy of a single firm. All the partners share the benefits. We have found the same philosophy in the new firm that we have just set up: one single brand and one single firm”.

Olleros clarifies that, “we are now in a much stronger and internationalised structure. This will allow us to interact with other Andersen offices located throughout the world. The work supervision and financial methodology is the same, so we do not need to perform any new activities”. He reveals that he obtained the agreement of all the partners of Olleros Abogados to go ahead with the integration. “By the middle of next month the change in corporate identity will be complete”.

The new managing partner of Andersen Tax & Legal in Spain highlights that the firm is now stronger than before, “the current brand is much better known than the Olleros brand on an international level, and that is a great asset. We will continue growing and improving practices when we see an interesting opportunity in the market. This situation will allow us to access other types of clients, particularly in the US and Europe and to maintain our existing clients”.

With regard to the practical part of the integration, Olleros stresses that, "the success of this type of merger is that the firm in Spain has its independence and autonomy to organise the business as necessary from a management point of view, without losing the quality and excellence ratios that characterised us in our stage as Olleros Abogados”. At the same time, he reveals that there has been no relocation of partners in the new organisational chart outside their usual places in the firm.

The main aspect, therefore, of this integration of these two emerging firms, Andersen Tax & Legal and Olleros Abogados, is that many of the practices have expanded their teams of professionals, “We have not left behind anybody from the previous stage. I believe this integration opens up more expectations and possibilities for all the professionals that go along with us in this challenge of turning Andersen Tax & Legal into a benchmark firm in our country”.

Over the days following the announcement of the integration, the change in corporate identity has been carried out in the three Spanish offices. Olleros once again highlights the idea of a single firm with a global brand. “The issues resulting from this corporate change are solved as we go along. The information reaches everybody, because it is a worldwide practice for information to flow to all levels of the firm. This clearly shows that we are facing a project of significant size”.

From this initial contact, we can already see that the aforementioned offices in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia will have to be expanded in the medium term. “In the future, we will continue to watch for any opportunity that might exist for integrating other teams of professionals that might offer added value to the firm. It is not a priority at the moment, but we are always on the lookout if we detect an opportunity for growth in the firm itself”.


Portugal, a new growth scenario

In this scenario, we ask him about how his alliance with the Portuguese firm Nobre Guedes, which dates back to October of last year, will develop through the Economic Interest Grouping.  As has been the case in other Spanish firms, the idea was for a closer relationship between both firms and to aim for full integration in the future. “The relationship is good and we believe it will be able to integrate into Andersen in the medium term. In the short term, we feel it is premature to think of a new firm forming part of the new brand”, indicates Olleros.

With regard to the start-up of Andersen Tax & Legal in Italy, Olleros sees many synergies with that office, “we already have clients in common and we know that our Italian partners have the technical capacity and solvency to serve our customers who want to do business there. At the same time, it is clear that there will be an exchange of clients between both firms, as there is with the other firms making up Andersen”.

Jaime Olleros has already had the opportunity to talk on many occasions with Mark Vorsatz, CEO of Andersen worldwide, who publicly praised the integrating movement generated between Andersen and Olleros in Spain, “he is a natural leader and we understand each other very well. He was, in the previous stage of Arthur Anderson, the youngest partner to join the firm. He stands out for his work capacity and long-term business vision. He clearly understands that in Europe, Andersen needs to strengthen its legal side, the tax practice is more part of the US”.

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