This July we would like to introduce you to our partner in Legal, Ignasi Blajot. Ignasi is an expert lawyer in Procedural, Commercial and Civil Law with extensive experience in providing legal advice in complex situations in judicial and extra-judicial conflicts in most sectors and industries in the market.
After almost 20 years in the legal sector, what are the main changes that a lawyer in Procedural, Commercial and Civil Law has faced? Perhaps where there have been most changes is in how consumer and user rights have evolved..
It is clear that in recent years there has been an evolution with respect to consumer and user rights and that this matter has a great impact thanks to issues such as land clauses or complex products marketed by financial institutions, which affect a large part of the population.
Both the legislator and the Spanish courts have been forced to accentuate the protection of consumer and user rights, to a great extent, thanks to Community regulations and the rulings of the TSJE.
I would also highlight the consolidation of the Commercial Courts, created in 2003. These courts, apart from hearing bankruptcy proceedings, are responsible for hearing actions derived from the regulations governing commercial companies and cooperatives, actions relating to unfair competition, industrial property, intellectual property and advertising, transport (national or international), maritime law and actions relating to general contracting conditions. Having judges who specialize in these very specific matters has been, in my view, a great success.
AddVANTE’s Legal Department has extensive and consolidated experience in the field of insolvency proceedings, having intervened in a multitude of insolvency proceedings, from all aspects. Currently, with the recovery of the economy, the number of bankruptcy proceedings has decreased, but other circumstances have opened up, such as the Second Chance Law, which has affected many people who were not aware of the possibility of taking advantage of it.
It is true that with the economic recovery, the number of bankruptcy proceedings has been reduced, but there are always companies that find themselves in financial difficulties, whether due to structural or conjunctural issues. Bankruptcy law provides for mechanisms that can help these companies restructure their debts either through refinancing agreements or through creditors’ agreements, in situations that would otherwise be impossible.
On other occasions when the continuity of the company is not viable, the bankruptcy procedure is the way to proceed with the liquidation of the company. In this case it is possible to liquidate the company by saving all or part of the activity and jobs of the company, by selling the production unit, a formula that was used so much during the economic crisis and that is still used today.
With regard to the “Second Chance Law”, it is a mechanism introduced in the Bankruptcy Law by means of which it is possible for individuals who are involved in a situation of insolvency and who do not have sufficient assets to satisfy all their debts, after the liquidation of their assets, to be exonerated from most of the debts that cannot be satisfied, provided that certain requirements are met. It is a procedure that is becoming increasingly well known, although still little used, and which provides a great opportunity for a fresh start.
What are the main challenges in your area?
Getting the client to call us before a potential problem has materialized. The client has to be aware that, in a conflict situation, the party that has detected the potential conflict before and has been advised on how to act is the one most likely to be victorious. This preventive advice is as applicable to the commercial field as it is to personnel in matters such as inheritance law.
The other challenge is to keep up with the technological advances that are taking place and know how to take advantage of them and adapt them to our daily work, as this will allow us to be much more efficient.
What is the added value provided by AddVANTE’s Litigation area?
Our area is made up of professionals with solid legal knowledge and years of experience. We are dedicated to resolving conflicts, regardless of whether or not the matter goes to court.
If there is one thing that characterises us, it is our great capacity for analysis. Our analysis goes beyond the legal examination of the specific problem presented by the client. We are capable of understanding the business or economic significance that a specific problem may have for our client. And this allows us to discern when it is convenient to take a problem to court and when not, when it is convenient to be more aggressive and when less, etc.
Ignasi is also one of the promoters of the new section of Cooperative Law and the Social Economy of the ICAB. The objectives proposed by the Section are to create a working group of specialists, as a forum for the exchange of knowledge; to undertake actions in the field of training and the dissemination of cooperative law, among others.