Not long after Rafael Fernández completed his academic studies in Madrid, he joined international firms with offices in Spain, Italy, the UK and Luxembourg. This experience favorably impacted his development and taught him to view situations at work from a variety of perspectives. Rafael is pleased to have worked as both an in-house and corporate lawyer. According to him, the combination of both experiences has allowed him to find a balance between providing rigorous and technical advice that also meets his clients’ commercial needs.
Since 2018, Rafael has combined his work as a lawyer with teaching duties at IE Law School. His first class at the Segovia campus was very special, as he’d wanted to teach at the university ever since he was a student. For Rafael, IE Law School was the best option to join, as it’s a benchmark in the whole of Spain and features the most international student and teacher bodies.
In 2020, Rafael returned to Spain from Luxembourg to work at Pérez-Llorca, one of the leading law firms in the country. This was a fantastic experience that gave him the opportunity to reunite with his first boss and mentor in the legal world. Alongside his boss, he co-leads the insurance and reinsurance practice at the firm, and participates in some of the biggest deals in the Spanish insurance sector. Rafael praises the great working atmosphere at Pérez-Llorca. From a personal perspective, this experience has allowed him to return to his hometown and be closer to his family while continuing to teach at IE Law School.
His classes are based on a comparative study of commercial law and, according to Rafael, are his students’ first contact with the necessary legal aspects of commercial activity, which allows them to identify key responsibilities and functions in the business world. Today, the sale of goods and services is an international phenomenon that involves a huge array of entities and production processes in various countries. That’s why Rafael believes his work experience in different jurisdictions enables his subject to take on a more practical approach, encouraging his students to identify and analyze how to create opportunities and resolve disputes in international transactions.
Outside of the classroom and office, Rafael enjoys spending time with his family and friends and walking his dog. He loves animals, and also enjoys extreme sports and other more conventional ones such as padel, golf and skiing.
When asked about his views on success, Rafael says this is relative and depends on each person’s likes and mindset. He himself is happy with how his career has developed, although he asks himself every day what he can do to continue learning and improving. Luck is an important factor, and Rafael says that he has been fortunate to work in organizations and with other professionals from different cultural backgrounds, which has been key to his professional development. But he also believes that you have to possess and cultivate certain key values to succeed professionally. Firstly, you have to work hard, because the labor market is a competitive place and your chances of success depend on the effort you put in. Second, you have to build on your strengths while learning from mistakes, both your own and those of others. Finally, and most importantly, you have to enjoy what you do and put passion into everything.