Interview with Rafael Truan Blanco – LFN Executive Director
Today we have the pleasure to speak to the LFN Executive Director, Rafael Truan Blanco about his plans for the future of the Network.
1. You have come to this position at a complex time full of new challenges, how do you think the network should grow in this context and what are the goals to be achieved?
Nothing had prepared us for these years that we are living and yet law firms have quickly adapted to new ways of communicating with clients and to digital marketing. The members of The Law Firm Network have been no exception: they have improved their websites, they have installed virtual communication systems, the traditional boardrooms are now audio-visual communication centers, our computers have cameras, microphones and screens for contact with clients and with each other, and this has been the key to our success and growth. Eight firms have joined our network in the last 12 months. We do not grow for the sake of growing, we continue to be selective in the incorporation of new members, looking for excellence, experience and good work and we welcome firms with the same background, sensitivity, and philosophy of dealing with the client. This is the basis on which we must grow.
Our goal is simple: our members have opted for the internationalisation of the provision of legal services through their membership in the network and in response to the demand of their clientele. They also seek to develop international businesses among the members of the organisation, so our goal is to reach all jurisdictions in the world where our clients demand our services.
2. What would you highlight from all these years being part of The Law Firm Network?
The Network was founded in 1989. The most important thing is to have managed to solidify relationships of enormous professional quality in different countries around the world where our clients have requested our work. The ease, agility and tools that the network provides for our clients is extremely important because it results in speed and efficiency in the solution of legal problems in different jurisdictions. With our network we provide a quick and efficient response and respond to the sense of urgency. The client is looking for local knowledge, a fresh pair of eyes to help it solve the problem and with us he does it worldwide through his trusted lawyer.
3. What are the challenges you face in your new role? How will you overcome them?
I want to give our members the internationalization capabilities they are asking for.
I also want to consolidate the network model as an alternative to the large multinational law firms, working together based on the model of independent law firms under the umbrella of a network. I am absolutely committed to the network model, which brings multiple benefits to medium-sized firms.
4. What role do you think a legal network should play in the current context and in the future as the legal sector develops?
We receive multinational clients who are looking for what they do not find in large multinational firms: Ability to give feedback in a practical manner; Solution focused; Not only highlight the risks; Help in getting where they want to go, and above all, not feeling that the clock is ticking. This is not easy when a head legal counsel deals with several jurisdictions with multiple legal systems.
But I’m not the one saying all this. This information comes from clients who use several firms in our network as local counsels in their international subsidiaries and that is our current role.
This will last forever. In fact, I think that the strength of medium size firms is growing against the predictions of those who some years ago believed that only “large providers of legal services” will exist in the future.
5. What new initiatives are you planning for LFN?
In addition to the growth of our publications and podcasts, there are monthly virtual meetings between members of the different practice groups that exist in the network. Around 100 lawyers in total, from different specialties, meet virtually to discuss solutions for our clients in areas as diverse as litigation funding, restructuring, commercial lease renegotiations in times of Covid, or Fintech Regulatory. But I see this as day-to-day business. In terms of training, The Law Firm Network has launched a Lawyers Secondment Programme among its members and a Young Lawyer Academic Paper Award. Regarding Corporate Social Responsibility, we plan for our annual meeting in Amsterdam in September to present our Award for the best solidarity action in the country we visit for the Annual Conference. We promote our Commitment to environmental sustainability and maintain our website in Greengeeks maintaining a “300% Green Website”.
6. Why would you recommend LFN firms to potential clients?
Because we respond to what clients with multi-jurisdictional advisory needs are looking for:
- International knowledge headed by your trusted local Lawyer.
- Solution focused.
- Cost effective dedication.
- Human element.
- Understanding law from a practical point of view and knowing how to explain it to people who do not have a law background.
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The Law Firm Network is a network of independent law firms originated in 1989. Our members are not affiliated in the joint practice of law; each member firm is an independent law firm and renders professional services on an individual and separate basis.