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May, 2008 - Madrid, Spain


Chambers Europe Presents Antonio Garrigues with a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award for his Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession


The British publishing house Chambers & Partners has bestowed a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award on Spanish lawyer Antonio Garrigues, in recognition of his lifelong “outstanding contribution” to the world of business law and the development of the European legal market. The Chairman of Garrigues picked up the award at the Chambers Europe Awards ceremony held last night in Barcelona. The event marked the first time that the prestigious publishing group (held in high esteem by the international legal community) has organized exclusively European awards. The Garrigues firm itself had already been honored some months earlier with the Chambers Award for ‘Iberian Firm of the Year’.

According to representatives from Chambers, the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ category, “seeks to spotlight individuals who have stood out throughout their career for excellence in the practice of law and as driving forces for business development and innovation. In short, lawyers who have set the standard in their home markets, as well as on the international stage, for their achievements and contributions”.

The Garrigues Chairman expressed his gratitude for this honor and started his speech by requesting a minute of silence for the victims of the Burma cyclone. He also called for increased attention from the legal profession to the issue of human rights.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Garrigues added that the legal community could not afford to stand still before the changes wrought by globalization. "The various echelons of the legal community as a whole, in other words, academia, the courts, and the legal profession, must react swiftly to a globalization process that is bringing about ever-more pronounced democratic and legal deficits. The time has come to call for a civilized globalization that must be underpinned by effective global institutions and a global law. This is the moment in history when we must prove that we are equal to the task at hand, and the fact is that we are not. Moreover, there are two areas in which the legal establishment is proving excessively slow-footed: science and technology. The rapid pace of change in both areas has caught us unawares and ill-prepared."

A legal expert in foreign investment:
Antonio Garrigues is one of the most internationally renowned Spanish jurists. Graduating in Law from Universidad de Madrid, he went on to join Garrigues, the law firm founded by his father, Antonio Garrigues Díaz-Cañabate, and his uncle, Joaquín Garrigues Díaz-Cañabate. He became Chairman of Garrigues in 1961, when he was only 27 years old. He also chairs Fundación Garrigues, ‘Affinitas’, the Latin American alliance of lawyers promoted by the Spanish firm, and the Garrigues Chair in Global Law at Universidad de Navarra. Landmarks in his professional career as a jurist include his work as a legal expert on foreign investment in Spain. He has advised major multinationals, as well as the Spanish Government on the subject of financial legislation, with a particular emphasis on foreign investment-related matters. He also provides his legal expertise and know-how to governments, such as those of the U.S. and Japan, regarding their relations with Spain.
His concern for internationalization of the legal profession, led him to break new ground by entering into cooperation agreements with foreign firms, leading to the creation of the first European Club of Lawyers in 1966, to name but one example. He is also the Honorary President of the Spanish Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and presides over the Toledo International Centre for Peace (TICpax).

On the cultural side, it is also worth noting his role as Life Trustee of Fundación José Ortega y Gasset, and his four Honoris Causa Doctorates by Universidad de Ciencias Empresariales y Sociales de Buenos Aires, Universidad Ramón Llull de Barcelona; Universidad Europea de Madrid and Universidad Pontificia de Comillas.


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