Leading M&A partner to establish transactional practice in Madrid an…

Leading M&A partner to establish transactional practice in Madrid and Barcelona

Madrid / Barcelona, December 18, 2006 – LAWFUEL – Legal News Network – Latham & Watkins LLP1 announces the opening of offices in Spain, in a move that strengthens its practice in Europe and globally. Led by highly-respected M&A partner, José Luis Blanco, the practice will have its principal office in Madrid complemented by an additional office in Barcelona.

Blanco joins Latham from Cuatrecasas effective January 1, 2007 and will serve as the Office Managing Partner for Spain. Latham’s practice focus in Spain will be largely on M&A and private equity transactions, complemented by acquisition finance and competition law.

Possessing a formidable transactional reputation in the Spanish market, Blanco represents strategic buyers and private equity clients. In 2006, he represented the Yell Group, the British Yellow Pages company, in its multi-billion euro acquisition of Telefónica Publicidad e Información, the Spanish Yellow Pages provider. He also regularly represents Repsol, the largest Spanish oil and gas company. On the private equity side, he has represented The Carlyle Group in both acquisitions and dispositions in Spain, as well as consortium acquisitions involving multiple global private equity firms.

“After careful study of the market, we are confident that the conditions are appropriate for our firm to build a presence in Spain, one of the most vibrant transactional markets in Europe,” said Latham & Watkins’ Chairman and Managing Partner Robert M. Dell. “This is an exciting development that continues our successful momentum in Europe, which has been driven by our unwavering commitment to client service and our strategic goal of providing the highest level of legal services throughout Europe and worldwide.”

The opening of the Spanish offices takes Latham to 10 offices in Europe, with more than 380 attorneys in the region. The firm represents a roster of blue chip companies, financial institutions and private equity firms, and is widely recognized for its pre-eminent capability advising on complex domestic and cross-border transactions.

John Watson, Vice Chair of the Global Corporate Department, said: “Led by José Luis Blanco, our offices in Spain will provide a strong component to our European and global M&A capability. José’s track record in building and integrating teams is impressive, and he has been involved in some of the most high-profile transactions in the country. We are extremely motivated to create an elite team of M&A professionals to serve the high end of the Spanish market.”

“The Spanish economy has been among one of the fastest-growing in Europe over the past decade. The addition of a premier Spanish corporate capability is a huge step forward in our strategy because we can now offer our global client base and private equity sponsors an integrated transactional offering in Spain,” said David Miles, European member of the firm’s Executive Committee.

“Our ambition is to build a leading and innovative practice that is very focused in the segments we want to target. It became clear to me that Latham & Watkins is the firm that will best support my vision in terms of the people, practice breadth and resources required to succeed. When you combine these qualities with an entrepreneurialism that few firms can match, you have a winning platform. I look forward to working closely with my new colleagues in Europe and beyond in pursuit of our collective goal to be the leading corporate team in Spain,” said Blanco.

Blanco was educated at the University Autónoma of Barcelona, where he received his J.D. in 1984, and Yale Law School, where he received his LL.M in 1986. He joined Garrigues in its Barcelona office in 1986, becoming a partner in 1996. In 1998 he moved to Cuatrecasas, where he was appointed global head of M&A in 2005.

About Latham & Watkins
Latham & Watkins is a global law firm with more than 1,900 attorneys in 22 offices, including Brussels, Chicago, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New Jersey, New York, Northern Virginia, Orange County, Paris, San Diego, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information on Latham & Watkins, please visit the Web site at www.lw.com.

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