Dewey & LeBoeuf is planning to open an office in Madrid in order service trophy clients from Iberia.
The US law firm is looking at a modest presence in the Spanish capital to be staffed through internal relocations rather than local recruits. New York partner Berge Setrakian is handling the launch plans. It is not clear whether Dewey is intending to practise Spanish law although Teresa Zueco, a local partner in the Paris office, is admitted to the Madrid Bar.
The initiative has been put down to Dewey's desire to service top local clients, such as Telefonica and Iberdola. The firm has worked for Telefonica on mandates like the multibillion-dollar arbitration regarding its undersea fibre-optic network in South America and the $2.6bn sale of its 99.7% stake in Endemol. For Iberdrola, Dewey worked opposite the company on its $4.6bn merger with Energy East and has picked up subsequent instructions, such as advising Iberdrola Renewables on the sale of its 200MW West Valley power plant in Salt Lake City.
Few US law firms have ventured into the Spanish market. The handful that have opened locally, such as Latham & Watkins, Jones Day and Davis Polk & Wardwell, have generally kept their teams small.