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‘Mergers in the legal market are unstoppable and necessary’

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An interview with Jaime Olleros, Managing Partner of Andersen Tax & Legal in Spain

A world as globalised as todays in which companies and operations have several international branches is forcing law firms to grow in size. This is a trend that will continue in 2018, but one to which some firms already followed the previous year, as is the case of Andersen Tax & Legal, which  forcefully entered in March 2017 by integrating Olleros Abogados into its structure.

Its managing partner in Spain, Jaime Olleros, believes that this alliance will not be the last to be experienced in our country and is one of those who think that, in the coming months, there will be significant international operations: 'Mergers and integrations in the legal sector are unstoppable and necessary'.

Not without good reason is Olleros a strong advocate of this type of operation, especially for mid-market law firms. A law firm can be great at a specialty but, if it doesn't have size, it will fall behind in the market', says Andersen's managing partner, who insists that having a global network now allows them to opt for jobs that were previously outside their portfolio. For the moment, it seems that landing in Spain has gone well for the American giant, since the growth in turnover in our country alone was 32% in 2017, reaching 18.39 million euros.

However, Jaime Olleros acknowledges that their good figures would not have been achieved if the growth of the Spanish economy had not been equally positive. ‘Foreign capital inflows are constant', underlines the managing partner, who highlights the strength of sectors as diverse as tourism `favored by the situation in other countries', industrial and agrifood sectors. However, Olleros places the real estate market above them and points out that, although return expectations are still being reconciled with prices, he acknowledges that 'the profitability that the specialized funds in Spain are obtaining is not being seen in other markets'.

Despite the strength of our country, whose economy grew by 3.1% in 2017, it believes that other territories will be the major players in 2018. For example, Latin America, and, above all, Africa, 'seeing spectacular growth', although other markets such as China, India, Australia and Hong Kong also stand out.


Along with a new wave of mergers, Jaime Olleros predicts that digitalization will bring a new revolution to the sector. ‘We cannot miss that train', insists Andersen Tax & Legal's managing partner in Spain, who explains that, although many law firms still consider this item only as an additional expense, 'in the long term, investment in technology will be accompanied by benefits in the direct relationship with the client, since the added value cannot be given in mechanical tasks', which is where artificial intelligence has emerged.

In this regard, Olleros highlights the ambitious media plan that the firm has launched for 2018, which will improve the processes in documentation handling.

Ambitious growth plan

Andersen Tax & Legal has set itself an ambitious goal for 2018: to have more than 4,000 professionals worldwide and to expand its presence to 12 new markets. Today, they have 90 offices in 34 countries, the last two in London and Argentina, and employ 2,500 people, although last year's evolution has been much more striking. When Olleros joined in March 2017, it had 57 offices in 16 countries and 1,800 professionals. With regard to Spain, the evolution was also important in 2017. The turnover grew by 32% to 18.39 million euros, while the staff increased by 26% and already has 226 professionals. However, its managing partner in Spain, Jaime Olleros, insists that they cannot relax in the face of the growth plan's demands. For this reason, at the national level, they have created new areas, such as privacy or competition, to increase their capacity. In addition, he points out that in September they will assess the integration of Euskaltax into their structure, with which they will position themselves in the Basque Country and Navarre.

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