IEL Elite


Esteemed international practice



Highly commended group spread between offices in Spain, Portugal, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, which is able to offer extensive coverage of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world. In particular, peers describe the group as a leader in Iberia. 

A great firm in Spain and Portugal for really important, strategic matters.

Key contacts in the team include Spains co-heads Rubén Agote and Juan Bonilla, who market commentators regard as, “the go-to person for Spanish law”, and Rui Vaz Pereira, who in July 2021 became head of the Portugal team.

The team is incredibly responsive, and you get clear advice.

In the past year, the department has strengthened its offering through the promotion of Barcelona-based Elisabet Calzada to partner in April 2022.

Other key contacts at the firm are Lara Vivas in Barcelona, who was recommended in IELs Women Leaders survey 2022, and Ignacio Jabato in Madrid.


The team boasts strengths across the breadth of employment issues, and offers expertise in all areas – from advice on disruptive technologies through to pensions and labour relations.

A notable area of activity is in major corporate transactions. For example, Engie appointed a Lisbon-based team to assist with the employment aspects of an acquisition of six hydroelectric plants for €2.2bn. Sandra Lima da Silveira acted for Engie on the transfer of employees and negotiation with employee representatives.

This skillset also encompasses post-acquisition integration advice, as evidenced by Bonillas assistance with the integration of more than 600 employees to the Hilton Group after its acquisition of Diamond Resorts.

As part of a full-service firm, the employment group is able to attack matters from all sides.

The group also offers expertise in highly sensitive internal investigations. This was evidenced in Agote’s advice to one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Spain on an investigation relating to allegations of CEO fraud.

Other areas of activity include corporate compliance issues, and litigation. For example, Bonilla assisted Oracle with a dispute before the Supreme Court of Justice over alleged failure to comply with a collective dismissal procedure.

Meanwhile, the team is also able to leverage its network of offices and international contacts to support clients in multi-jurisdictional mandates. This work encompasses a variety matters, from advice on global mobility and cross-border employee transfers, to the limitations on certain actions under foreign legal systems.


  • Volkswagen Group - SEAT
  • Banco Santander
  • Cecabank
  • DHL Group Portugal
  • Masa
  • Merck
  • Media Markt
  • 3M
  • Puig
  • Canon Portugal

Experts based in...

Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, and Spain.

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