Mercedes Clavell is a Spanish lawyer with a long track record in advising foreign investors in Spain. She started her career at one of the “Big 4” companies, in a moment when there was an important flow of inbound investment after Spain having joined the EU. She started as a tax and legal advisor, also specialized in something which was complex and important at that moment, the exchange controls. Since then, Mercedes has had the chance (“a privilege” she says) of advising dozens of investors doing business in Spain or purchasing properties. Among her clients there are Europeans, Americans, Russians, Middle Easters, Chinese and other far East nationalities. Her clients range from individual entrepreneurs to affiliates or subsidiaries of listed companies, being the most of them small and medium-sized multinationals. With many of her clients Mercedes has maintained a very long professional relationship which after some years has turned also into a friendship.
Nowadays she focuses her activity in three main areas: Corporate services (incorporation of subsidiaries and M&A), commercial agreements (agency, distribution, supply and franchising) and real estate transactions.
When advising on how to incorporate a company in Spain, currently Mercedes focuses her attention in some preliminary steps that have become essential for a quick and effective start of the operations, which are those issues related to anti-money laundering controls, the “KYC” regulations and information about the last beneficial owner. Once these matters have been solved, the procedure to incorporate a foreign-owned subsidiary is quite fast and straight-forward. She is able as well to obtain a “whole picture” of the new company’s and its shareholders’ needs, and therefore provide advice on shareholders’ agreements, finance agreements between holding company and subsidiary, how to organize the new company’s management, labor or professional services agreement with the new company’s manager, hiring employees, lease agreements for the new companies’ premises, agreements with clients and purveyors, data protection, etc. Through her colleagues, associates or subcontracted parties, she can offer tax, accounting and payroll services.
Mercedes and her team are also able to deal with mid-market M&A transactions. When executing the due diligence, they focus on analyzing the target’s information in an effective way, concentrating on the core issues, and issuing a report that becomes a key element for knowing the target and navigating through the acquisition negotiations. She avoids to provide very formalistic but useless information and focus on helping the client understanding the aspects that really matter for each business sector and each transaction, which of course are different in each case.
In commercial law issues Mercedes is a well-known specialist, and for example, she’s has been ranked as a franchise specialist in the prestigious directory Who’s Who Legal; she’s the Franchise Country expert for Spain at the International Distribution Institute, and she belongs to the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution (SCAI) for matters related to international distribution. For 2.5 years she worked as the general counsel of one of the biggest franchisors in Spain, in order to prepare the company for its internationalization. This experience provided her with valuable knowledge of what are the real needs of a corporate clients as regards legal services.
As regards real estate transactions, Mercedes has advised both individual investors acquiring residential properties or professional investors negotiating large transactions, in cases where usually there were one or more complex legal issues to deal with, for example, tenants, construction defects, different owners, stressed debt situations, pending lawsuits, land planning issues, etc.
In summary, Mercedes’ long and wide-ranging experience plus the way she approaches each mandate allow her to provide first class services in a cost-effective way.