It was (Iberian) love at first sight, between the Spanish and Portuguese members of Interact Law. Maybe the two law firms took the role of matchmaking of our referral network a bit too seriously? The merger makes ECIJA one of the biggest players in the Iberian market.
Joris Lensink, Chairman of Interact Law, was present when the two firms first met, during the Interact London Conference in May 2017. He smiles when he remembers that meeting: ‘Antas de Cunha recently joined the Interact Law network. So, the two Iberian firms first met in London. I saw that our long-standing member ECIJA and the new member from Portugal immediately had a good synergy.’
Leading Iberian firm
The founding father of the Portuguese firm, Fernando Antas da Cunha, agrees with the words of Joris Lensink: ‘Our firm has grown very quickly during our first two years and we weren’t in the market to merge with an international firm. I had always assumed we would remain independent. However, the opportunity to start discussions with ECIJA happened organically and we are delighted to bring their expertise to the Portuguese market. We are now facing the big challenge of creating a leading Iberian firm. Having the trajectory, know-how and market recognition of ECIJA in the TMT area will undoubtedly make us a very relevant player in the Portuguese market.’
Interact Law surpassed my expectations
Michael Heron, Antas da Cunha’s consultant, is enthusiastic about the role of Interact Law in this merger: ‘Interact Law has undoubtedly surpassed all my expectations and removed any scepticism I had regarding legal networks. This is exactly how firms in different jurisdictions can and should work together to grow their respective businesses. The cultural fit between ECIJA and Antas da Cunha was perfect, which made the decision easy for them to merge.’
Effective legal network
This merger proves that Interact Law is an effective legal network, with members that not only make a fit in their size and services to their clients, but also in their way of thinking about the legal profession. After the merger, ECIJA will be one of the largest players in the Iberian market, with a global headcount of approximately 35 partners and 180 professionals.