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Global Risk Spotlight Series: Maritime & Transport Law in Spain

10 May 2024
Spain, Madrid Small banner
In the 6th instalment of the ‘Spotlight on Global Risk’ series, Bill Evans sat down with Robyn Gutiérrez —Maritime and International Commercial Law expert— and Jesús Estévez — vessel and aircraft financing expert — to discuss Spain’s potential as an international Maritime and Transport Law hub for global insurers. Bill also discovered that Robyn is part of a bigger group of insurance lawyers, coordinated by Ignacio Benejam and Jordi Sánchez, that are providing expertise across insurance lines in Spain. 

Bill Evans reached out to Robyn Gutiérrez —Maritime and International Commercial Law expert— and Jesús Estévez —vessel and aircraft financing expert, to discuss Spain’s potential as an international Maritime and Transport Law hub for global insurers. Together with Ignacio Benejam and Jordi Sánchez, Robyn is part of a group of insurance lawyers providing expertise across insurance lines in Spain and in particular in Maritime and Transport Law related claims.


Robyn, why do you think Spain is such an important country for Maritime and Transport Law Claims?

Spain not only has three of the largest European ports: Barcelona, Valencia and Algeciras which are in the top 10 for annual cargo tonnage but it is also fast becoming an international hub for global insurance companies looking for a neutral seat to manage their international claims, specifically in Maritime and Transport Law. 

To keep pace with the needs of our clients, Jesús Estévez coordinates a group of lawyers in Spain that meets on a weekly basis to share experiences and spot areas of interest for our current and potential clients in Spain and internationally. 

Jesús, what are the advantages of having a multidisciplinary team advising on Maritime or Transport Law matters in Spain?

The Transport Group brings together Maritime and Transport Law specialists at our firm in Spain from very diverse perspectives like Litigation, Insurance, Finance, Aviation, New Mobility, Tax and Port law. 

This variety of legal expertise actually represents very well all the different legal issues that can arise in commercial activity carried out in the marine transport industry. 

Robyn & Jesús, do you also take part in any other groups?

We both take part in the global Marine sub-sector group lead by Jonathan Moss (DWF London) with many colleagues from other DWF offices around the world. These include Italy, France, Ireland and Canada, amongst others. 

Robyn took part in the group's last event held in London “Marine and Trade Networking” last October which was an absolute success.  We brought together industry leaders from the marine, transport and insurance sectors who had the opportunity to connect and share insights.

Robyn, what advantage does our firm in Spain have over local firms that are specialised in Maritime and Insurance Law?

We are a global firm with a very local presence. Clients in general and Insurers in particular appreciate that we can offer solutions with a wider and more international view without having to refer the case or consultation to another firm in another country. Also, the fact that we can advise our clients in English but also act locally before the Court or in negotiations in Spanish differentiates us from other local firms.

Our group of insurance lawyers, coordinated by Ignacio Benejam and Jordi Sánchez is among the largest and one of the most equipped of any global law firm in Spain. We routinely work across lines of business including property, energy, construction and financial lines as well as marine and transport.

Robyn, can you give us an example of this in your experience?
On many occasions we have been able to provide a rapid response to queries relating to other jurisdictions – the answers are quickly provided by our colleagues in DWF Milan, London, Dubai or Paris (just to name some) that are one phone or “teams” call away… This is one of our biggest advantages in the Spanish legal market and I highlight this to all our new and potential clients.
Finally, Robyn and Jesús, what can you tell us about your clients in Spain?
Our clients vary from global insurance companies, shipping companies, port terminals, freight forwarders, port authorities or companies that have legal issues arise relating to their activity as shippers or consignees under an international sales contract framework. We are used to being on many sides of the dispute and from diverse legal perspectives, so this also helps us design the best strategy when defending our clients by knowing and understanding the counterparty’s position.
Global Risk Spotlight Series
Read more from the 'Spotlight on Global Risk Series' that takes you on a journey through our offices and associate offices by introducing you to key people and capabilities.

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