Legal Business

Sponsored briefing: Data Governance Law. Is Europe getting enough out of data?

When trying to coin a definition of today’s economy, many are inclined to refer to one driven by data (the data-driven economy). As a region, the European Union considers data to be an essential resource for its economic growth, competitiveness, innovation, job creation and the general progress of society. This begs the question: is Europe getting enough out of data?

The volume of data – both personal and non-personal – that citizens, private entities and public bodies generate and collect is enormous and continues to grow exponentially as emerging technologies continue to expand. The EU’s diagnosis, however, is that data’s potential – as an asset – is not exploited enough. Data could be used to innovate, research and make new technologies more efficient. To close this gap and boost Europe’s competitiveness and digital transformation, data must be exploited more efficiently and securely in a consistent way across the EU. To this end, data should be available to be exchanged and re-used for lawful purposes, such as research or innovation.

Legal Business

Uría Menéndez takes stake in first major Latin America tie-up


As Dentons hires IDB’s general counsel in hunt for regional mergers

Last month saw leading Iberian law firm Uría Menéndez acquire a 30% stake in the merger of its best friend firms and national heavyweights, Chile’s Philippi and Colombia’s Prietocarrizosa, as part of its strategy to consolidate its commitment in the region.

Legal Business

Uría Menéndez takes stake in two allies as elite Latam duo agree groundbreaking tie-up


Iberian leader Uría Menéndez has elevated its offering in Latin America and acquired a 30% stake in the merger of its best friend firms and national heavyweights, Philippi and Prietocarrizosa, in a union the firm says is a ‘major milestone’ in its international strategy to consolidate its commitment in the region.

Named Philippi, Prietocarrizosa & Uria, the newly combined firm will start operating on 1 January 2015 and house 220 lawyers across offices in Chile’s Santiago, and in Bogota and Barranquilla in Colombia. Management duties will be delegated to a steering committee of six partners including a senior partner and a managing partner.

Resources afforded to the new firm also include Uría’s 530-strong lawyer team and offices in Latin America, the US, Europe and Asia.

It is the first phase of a project that the firm said responds to the ‘interest of European, Asian and North American companies in the Pacific Alliance’s member states.’ The alliance is a trade bloc in Latin America including Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, and constitutes the eight largest economy in the world.

The firm added that the potential for further growth of the Alliance provides an opportunity for law firms to offer services within a transnational context. In this respect, the combined firm has confirmed it will seek to expand in other markets including Peru and Mexico, and further work towards full integration with Uría Menéndez.

Having been involved in Latin America for 17 years, the initiative is a ‘major milestone’ in Uría Menéndez’s international strategy to ‘consolidate its commitment’ to the region.

Philippi has five top-tier recommendations in the Legal 500 and a further six recommendations. It is considered one of the dominant law firms in Chile as is Prietocarrizosa in its domestic market of Colombia where it forms a quarter of what has been dubbed the Colombian ‘Magic Circle’.

Uría Menéndez managing partner Luis de Carlos said of the venture: ‘We have developed close ties with Latin America for almost two decades now and are confident that this venture, which represents an innovative approach to the legal services industry in Latin America, will be a great success.’

Philippi chairman Juan Francisco Gutiérrez added: ‘For a long time we had identified the need to join the growing internationalization process that Chilean companies are experiencing, particularly in the Pacific Alliance region. We are fortunate to join forces with two law firms with which we have a longstanding relationship in addition to sharing professional ethics and values. This has paved the way to pioneer this approach and most importantly, to address our clients’ needs.’

Legal Business

Spanish leaders Uría and Cuatrecasas hike fees as confidence returns to battered market


Despite Spanish M&A values dropping significantly in 2013 and amid the country’s continuing well-publicised debt crisis, two of Spain’s big four law firms have reported an uptick in turnover as a note of optimism returns to Europe’s fourth-largest jurisdiction.

Deal value in 2013 was down from $47.6bn to $32.2bn, according to mergermarket, but with a substantially improving pipeline post summer 2013, Uría Menéndez last month reported the strongest growth of the four: a 2.9% increase in revenues for 2013.