The Center aims to be a beacon of reflection, challenges and opportunities for the legal sector in Spain and worldwide.
On January 31, IE Law School inaugurated its pioneering LawAhead Center. The new Center is chaired by Luis de Carlos—former chairman at Uría Menéndez—and is made up of leading business law firms, namely CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo; Cuatrecasas; Gómez Acebo y Pombo; Garrigues; Pérez-Llorca; Roca Junyent; Sagardoy Abogados and Uría Menéndez.
Soledad Atienza, IE Law School’s dean, presented the initiative in a discussion full of both experience and ideas about the legal profession alongside Luis de Carlos, president of the LawAhead Center, and Pablo Isla, chairman of the International Advisory Board of IE University and former president of Inditex.
During the conversation, the professionals reflected on the role of the in-house lawyer. Pablo Isla emphasized that “the role of the in-house lawyer is very relevant—it often requires participation in company strategy, which means the lawyer must be very involved in the core of the organization.”
“The lawyer has to be integrated into both the management team and business decisions, without ever falling into complacency.”
Pablo Isla, Chairman of the International Advisory Board of IE University
Luis de Carlos, president of the LawAhead Center, explained how this Center will bring awareness to the legal profession, taking into account the great trajectory of success that the Spanish legal profession has had in recent times. “There are very few centers in the world, but those that exist are a benchmark.”
“This Center will allow us to be knowledgeable of and stay up to date with the best practices in international law. Plus, with a view to the outside world, it will help Spanish firms be increasingly valued.”
Luis de Carlos, President of the LawAhead Center of IE University
The dean of IE Law School asked Luis which regions he believed this Center could have the greatest influence as a reference point. He did not hesitate to point out Latin America, in addition to highlighting some issues related to the European Union and the interest in strengthening collaborative ties with the United States.
Throughout the open conversation, the president of the new Center outlined his team’s areas of action, in which the tenured professor María José Esteban Ferrer—in her role as senior research fellow at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession—will be in charge of scientific research.
In particular, the Center will publish outreach articles and an annual report will be published, in which its collaborating firms will participate. What’s more, seminars will be held with the idea of bringing leading professionals, companies and international firms to discuss specific topics, giving the Center the opportunity to interact with them more openly and on a monthly basis.
During the opening ceremony, some important topics emerged, such as business advocacy, talent retention, headhunters, technology as an ally, and artificial intelligence as an aid in decision-making. All of these issues will also be addressed in future sessions.
Our first guest in February will be David Wilkins, director of Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession, and there are already two other visitors scheduled.
Dean Atienza stressed that, with this initiative underway, “we are putting our energy and motivation into improving and growing the business law sector in Spain. We are guarantors of constitutional rights and our role goes far beyond our profession.”