CHAIRMAN’S LETTER

Carta_del_presidente
Fernando Vives Executive chairman

Once again, I am pleased to present Garrigues’ Integrated Report, which provides an account of the firm’s performance in 2020, sets out the most significant progress made and details the main areas we will be focusing on in the coming years, with a particular emphasis on social, environmental and good governance matters.

2020 was no ordinary year. The profound global impact of Covid-19 has had dramatic consequences. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have all had to face an unprecedented situation and make complicated decisions.

Against this backdrop, one of Garrigues’ fundamental beliefs has been borne out: while we cannot predict the future, we must try to be ready for whatever the future may bring. While the health and well-being of our team was a priority, we were also determined to redouble our efforts to help our clients navigate the complex circumstances they faced (and continue to face in many cases). Thanks to our steadfast and proactive focus on digital transformation in recent years and our ongoing commitment to sustainability, we were fully prepared to tackle the unprecedented scenario that unfolded.

It is precisely times like these, of large-scale changes and global challenges, when an organization really puts itself to the test. I am proud to say that our 1,403 lawyers and the team as a whole (2,125 people in all) have risen to the occasion, standing by our clients at all times, taking on their problems and advising them at local, regional and global level from all angles of business law. And all of this while remaining fully committed to our values and culture: unparalleled service quality, ethical commitment and an innovative approach that enables us to anticipate
market needs.

From day one of the pandemic, and in spite of the prevailing uncertainty, the firm made a global commitment to retain its team and not resort to extraordinary measures. At the same time, we heightened our focus on attracting and retaining talent, our commitment to diversity and equal opportunities, and training. This was possible thanks to the firm’s solid and profitable growth in recent years.

The events of 2020 fast-tracked many of the trends that had been slowly taking shape in previous years. One such trend was undoubtedly the need for companies to step up their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) commitment and mainstream best practices to secure their future. Accordingly, one new feature of this year’s report is that our 2020 accomplishments are grouped according to ESG criteria, in line with best business practices worldwide and our firm commitment to continue advancing along the road to sustainability.

Sustainability is one of Garrigues’ strategic cornerstones, alongside digitalization and internationalization. We will continue to further cement these foundations in the coming years, as the best way to fulfill our commitment: to help build a climate of trust and security that fosters business development in a fairer, more ethical, responsible and sustainable society.

Fernando Vives
Executive Chairman