Our dispute resolution team is formed from experienced trial lawyers, business-savvy attorneys in international and domestic arbitration cases, full-time arbitrators, and accredited mediators.
Our goal is to accompany our clients through an analysis of the situation, and we recommend the best route for your circumstances: negotiation, litigation, arbitration, mediation, or any suitable combination of the different dispute resolution tools.
We appreciate there is often the need to maintain an ongoing relationship with the opponent and that there is a time to hit hard and a time to take a more measured approach. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is an integral tool in our kit, and we regularly resolve disputes through settlement negotiations and mediation.
Our trial lawyers will take your case through to trial, and they will devote every ounce of their effort to the cause, as will our counsels in arbitration proceedings. They will design effective and creative winning strategies and fight for your interests, establishing billing arrangements that are in line with your objectives.
Besides, we advise clients on fulfilling their corporate ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) commitments concerning dispute prevention and resolution. This includes (i) identification of potential risks for members of the corporate management bodies in relation to decisions they take in terms of conflict avoidance and resolution and design of appropriate dispute resolution policies in accordance with the rest of ESG objectives and obligations (ii) advice in the drafting of strategic and technical reports on the company's DR mechanisms and implementation of best practices, such as negotiation and mediation.
Our trial lawyers regularly represent clients in all Court categories, and we are willing to take on even the most difficult cases. We have extensive knowledge of procedural and litigation strategies and dynamics, as well as expertise in the underlying substantive areas of the law. Our lawyers have the respect of the courts, opposing counsel and experts, along with the know-how to establish an effective working atmosphere, setting out co-counselling schemes to create a “dream team” for each case when necessary.
We have represented clients in many European jurisdictions and our experience spans almost every major industry. The significance, size, complexity, diversity, and number of clients we have represented have led legal directories to name us among the best litigators in Spain.
Our Expertise includes:
IT Projects are complex. Apart from involving the kind of problems found in long-term construction and government services contracts, they pose additional challenges when they go wrong due to the intangibility of evidence, the specific technical expertise needed and the misleading (for the general public and Judges) jargon that these conflicts involve.
Over the years we have consolidated an unrivalled reputation defending both providers and customers before the Courts and we have obtained several landmark rulings in the Spanish Supreme Court.
Although it is theoretically more advisable to resolve these disputes through arbitration or ADR, it is not always a possible or appropriate to do so. We work with the most suitable and reliable experts, and we know how to secure evidence and apply winning strategies. Our experience in this field includes:
- Failed ERP projects implementation litigation
- Outsourcing and broken transformational projects litigation
- Software licensing disputes, including abusive software licensing practices
- Database rights disputes
- Advice to licensors and current or potential licensees on anti-piracy software raid, particularly in cases of measures to track the use of non-licensed copies intended to convert illegal users into legal licensees
Javier Fernández-Samaniego receives unanimously positive feedback for his IT expertise. Clients say he has "a great ability to understand the complex matters involved in litigation, and he puts forward fantastic arguments." Another source adds: "He is outstanding. He has total mastery of his field, has a great reputation both in Spain and abroad and is very business-minded."
Chambers Europe Guide, Band 1
All business activities entail the risk of a conflict. We help our clients to foresee the problem, take steps to minimize it and then respond efficiently when it arises. We habitually assist our clients on potentially contentious aspects of their deals. If a conflict is inevitable, we act as a business advisor and help our clients to navigate through the possibilities and outcomes of commercial litigation on a local and global basis.
The Commercial Courts are our natural environment, and we have been active attorneys in these courts since their launch in Spain almost 15 years ago, in a wide range of issues such as:
- Contentious Insolvency
- We were involved in the first insolvency of an Insurance Company under what were new Spanish Insolvency Regulations at the time
- Unfair competition and unfair advertising
- Antitrust litigation including private enforcement
- International Trade
- Software licensing litigation
Our commercial litigation skill set also includes:
- M&A Disputes
- General commercial litigation
- Cross-border recovery
- Supreme Court litigation
In the same way as other outstanding litigators across Europe, what differentiates our approach is the integration of action and anticipation or, to put it another way, our strategic approach to litigation. In the knowledge that obtaining positive but unenforceable judgments will be of no use to our clients, we ensure that their own goals and priorities drive our strategy.
No litigation team is complete without expertise in the area of injunctions. This requires swift and decisive action, in-depth expertise, and often cross-border coordination to remove all hurdles to the completion of business projects. We have a proven track record in:
- Seeking injunctions
- Defending our clients from ex parte injunctive relief
Court of Justice of the EU (ECJ) litigation
Over the years we have developed a strong EU litigation practice, bearing in mind the increasing importance of European legislative instruments (primary and secondary law) in every aspect of corporate operations across the EU. Our experience in this area includes:
- Submission of complaints to the European Commission
- Preliminary ruling proceedings to the Court of Justice of the European Union
Other international litigation and co-counselling services
We assist international law firms, trial attorneys and parties (mainly, from the U.S.) in relation to the service of judicial or extrajudicial documents to the Spanish central authority (Ministry of Justice) according to the Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters. With the help of our Court Agents and our experience gained from multiple cases we have been able to expedite what is usually a long and tedious process.
We have been involved in landmark cases requiring the preparation of requests to the competent national courts for the referral of preliminary ruling proceedings to the European Union Court of Justice.
All of this, combined with our Lobbying and Governmental Affairs practice and our close links with professional lobbyists with whom we partner on a regular basis, make us your ideal advisors in this complex area. With the entry into force of GDPR on 25 May 2018, this service and experience is particularly relevant.
Providing strategic legal advice to US leading global pure-play vacation ownership company in relation to litigation against timesharing industry operating in Spain.
Representing a global ICT integrator focused on Workspace, Applications, Unified Communications and Managed Cloud services in an unfair competition action.
Our International Arbitration team has extensive experience in the international arbitration of commercial and investment cases, having represented companies in a number of significant arbitration cases over the past decades. We have a deep understanding of many of the arbitrational rules and of the institutions that oversee international arbitration, and we are familiar with the procedural and logistical aspects of disputes brought before international courts.
With offices in Madrid and Miami (for Latam) and a strong Latin Atlantic geographical focus, we have broad experience of representing clients in international arbitration and foreign investment law.
Where necessary and relevant, we co-counsel with the best experts worldwide and we have a proven track record of creating successful multidisciplinary teams adapted to the specifics of each case.
Acting as claimant’s counsel (major Spanish steel producer and distributor) in international arbitration proceedings against Russian steel manufacturer in relation to the breach of international supply agreements of special steel. The favorable award was issued in September 2018.
Acting as sole arbitrator (Javier F. Samaniego) in a dispute arising from the alleged breach of commitments under a shareholders’ agreement between a private equity investor and a fast-growing tech start-up (e-payments industry (2017).
ICC Arbitration. Counsel for respondent (major pharma and baby formula producer In Spain). Our client was sued for damages by its Chinese importer and distributor due to the alleged wrongful termination of the international distribution and supply agreement. The client counterclaimed the payment of outstanding amounts and the transfer of certain IP rights. The favorable award was issued in March 2020.
We recognize that an early, prudent business settlement is usually better than a prolonged war of attrition and open confrontation. Whenever possible, we will pursue negotiation, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and other diplomatic means to attain our client’s desired result.
Where appropriate, we always encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as a tool to bring a prompt and efficient resolution, to reduce the costs and delays associated with business litigation and to ensure the preservation of a good business relationship between the parties. Our lawyers have an in-depth knowledge of ADR and we discuss the availability of ADR procedures with our clients so that they can make an informed choice.
We are one of the more than 1,500 law firms that have signed the CPR Law Firm Policy Statement on Alternatives to Litigation© (CPR Law Firm Pledge) and: "we recognize that for many disputes there may be methods more effective for resolution than traditional litigation. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures – used in conjunction with litigation or independently – can significantly reduce the costs and burdens of litigation and result in solutions not available in court."
Ad hoc mediation
Javier Fernández-Samaniego and Blas Piñar Guzmán, both accredited mediators and registered in the Registry of Mediators of the Ministry of Justice, provide not only mediation services administered by leading national and international mediation institutions, but also ad hoc mediation services to solve complex corporate conflicts in both international and national matters – the latter subject to the Spanish Law 5/2012, of July 6, on mediation in civil and commercial matters.
This mediation procedure provides a structured and secure framework where parties who wish to do so can be assisted by a neutral third party to facilitate the reaching of an agreement. Ad hoc mediation has very reasonable costs, is totally confidential and is quick, while the agreement, that can be reached, is completely binding.
Our mediators are at your disposal if you wish to submit to us, totally confidentially, your request to provide the service of our mediator, if appropriate due to the complexity of the matter or to the convenience of the parties, of two mediators who can act as co-mediators in the same procedure. In addition, regarding ISDS (investor-state dispute settlements), please note that Javier Fernández-Samaniego has been designated as Conciliator of the ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes) List of Arbitrators and Conciliators for the period 2020-2026.
Acting as Neutral (Javier F. Samaniego) and facilitating settlement of a multijurisdictional multimillion dispute in relation to product liability in the Green-Tech industry.
In-house training to a global legal department on Conflict Management and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
Acting as Sole Mediator (Javier F. Samaniego) in mediation administered by CMEM in mediation between several personnel and executive search companies post M&A acquisition.
Relevant rosters and affiliations
Javier F. Samaniego forms part of these panels:
- Javier F. Samaniego is Appointee of the Kingdom of Spain as Conciliator of the Panel of Arbitrators and Conciliators of The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) for the term Feb 2020-Feb 2026.
- Neutral at the Center of Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), NY, USA, as well as Member of its European Advisory Board (EAB), its Working Group on Cybersecurity and its Task Force on Remote Video Arbitration Proceedings.
- Member International Centre for Dispute Resolution / American Arbitration Association (ICDR/AAA), USA (since 2017).
- Javier is arbitrator at Madrid Court of Arbitration of the Madrid Chamber of Commerce, at the TIC section. Besides, Javier is mediator and President of the Business Mediation Advisory Committee at the Center of Business Mediation (CMEM).
- Mediator at Spanish Mediation Center of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce.
- Spanish Chapter of ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) and member of its Commission on the Digital Economy.
- Member of Arbitrator Research Tool (GAR ART) of Global Arbitration Review (GAR ART), USA.
- Arbitration Court of the Madrid Bar (ICAM), Spain.
- Javier is President of the Mediators' Appointment Committee of Madrid International Arbitration Center (MIAC).
- Member of European Arbitration Association (AEADE), Spain.
- Russian Arbitration Center at the at the Russian Institute of Modern Arbitration, Moscow, Russia.
Besides, we are memebers of ADR organizations such as:
- Miami International Arbitration Society (MIAS), Florida, USA.
- Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center (SVAMC), USA.
- Spanish Arbitration Club (CEA) and its Mediation Committee, Spain.
and contributed to Dispute Resolution initiatives such as:
- ICCA-IBA Task Force on Data Protection in International Arbitration Proceedings (2019-20).
- ADR Advisory group of the Spanish Ministry of Justice (Grupo de Solución Extrajudicial de Conflictos), in 2015.
Relevant rankings and awards
- Chambers & Partners legal directory: Javier Fernández-Samaniego is ranked as Most in Demand Arbitrators (Europe guide – Spain, 2019 and 2020) and he is also Recognized Practitioner for Dispute Resolution (in Europe and Global guides, since 2017).
- Leaders League: Samaniego Law is Highly Recommended in "Spain - International Arbitration Ranking 2020: Best Law Firms" guide and Recommended in "Spain - Commercial Litigation Ranking 2020: Best Law Firms" and "Spain - Insolvency Litigation Ranking 2020: Best Law Firms" guides. Besides Javier F. Samaniego is ranked as Excellent in "Ranking 2020 - Best Arbitrators - Spain".
- Best Lawyers directory recognizes our lawyers in several categories, including Javier F. Samaniego - in Arbitration and Mediation, International Arbitration and Litigation and Blas Piñar - in Litigation.
- Who´s Who Legal directory lists Javier F. Samaniego in the category Arbitration: Future Leaders - Partners.
Selection of relevant accreditations
- Javier attended Advanced Mediation Workshop “Mediating Complex Disputes”organized by Harvard Negotiation Institute (HNI) Program on Negotiation (PON) and Harvard Law School, 2016
- Javier is registered Commercial and Insolvency Mediator (Spanish Ministry of Justice, Mediators Register, 2015)
- Javier holds Spanish Mediation Law Accreditation (ISDE and Madrid Chamber of Commerce, 2015)
- Javier is an Accredited International Mediator by Center of Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), London, UK, 2011)
- Besides, the team members are participants of international conferences and trainings on DR and writes on relevant topics. See our Publications and Presentations web sections for more information.