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Juan Fernández-Armesto, Andrea Biondi and Banco Santander, winners of ESADE Alumni’s 2018 Aptíssimi Awards

The winners of this year’s Aptíssimi Awards in the category of contribution to the sector are Thomson Reuters (for Contract Express) and iManage and Luminance (for developing technological solutions for law firms)

Lawyer Juan Fernández-Armesto Fernández-España, Professor Andrea Biondi, the legal consultancy division of Banco Santander and the companies Thomson Reuters (Contract Express), iManage and Luminance are the winners of the 11th Aptíssimi Awards, organised by the ESADE Alumni Law Club. The Aptíssimi Awards recognise professional excellence in four different categories that reflect the professional, academic, consulting and corporate facets of business law. Previous winners of the Aptíssimi Awards include Antonio Garrigues Walker, José Pedro Pérez-Llorca and Fernando Pombo, as well as institutions such as the Spanish Government Attorneys’ Office and the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The Aptíssimi Awards, which will be presented to this year’s winners at a ceremony at Madrid’s Palacio de Neptuno on 26th September, have become a popular annual gathering for the Spanish legal sector. This year’s awards ceremony is expected to bring together more than 250 representatives of top law firms and in-house corporate legal teams, as well as leading government lawyers, registrars, judges, magistrates and other high-profile professionals from other sectors of the legal world.

Excellence in business law

The panel of judges for the Aptíssimi Awards includes representatives of law firms, institutions and companies that collaborate with ESADE. This year, in the category of professional achievement, the judges have chosen to recognise the jurist Fernández-Armesto Fernández España for his outstanding business law career in both the professional and academic spheres. Specifically, the judges highlighted Mr. Fernández-Armesto’s experience in the fields of arbitration and commercial and international law, as well as his tenure as Chair of the Spanish Securities and Investments Board, Partner at Uría Menéndez and Professor of Commercial Law at Comillas Pontifical University.

In the academic excellence category, the judges highlighted Prof. Andrea Biondi’s research on European Union legislation, particularly in areas related to the protection of rights, trade regulations and laws on state aid. Prof. Biondi currently serves as Professor of European Union Law and Director of the Centre for European Law at King’s College London. He also teaches at the Sapienza University of Rome and sits on the International Advisory Board of European Public Law.

This year’s Aptíssimi Award in the legal consultancy category recognises the in-house legal consultancy team at Banco Santander. With more than 1,500 professionals spread across 22 countries, this team is committed to innovation and technological efficiency, particularly in the areas of automation and artificial intelligence, as well as providing guidance to the various companies of the Santander Group on matters of cybersecurity, data protection, big data and blockchain. The Banco Santander team’s achievements include collaborating with external experts on various transactions, including the acquisition of Banco Popular, an initial public offering in the Japanese institutional market and the development of Spain’s first financial innovation “sandbox”.

The ESADE Alumni Law Club’s Aptíssimi Awards also recognise achievements in two other categories. In the category for companies that have made contributions to the legal sector, this year’s award went to Thomson Reuters (for Contract Express), iManage and Luminance (for developing technological solutions for law firms). In the “Insignis Alumni” category, the judges have selected two finalists: Meritxell Regué, senior appeals counsel at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes, crimes against humanity and social genocide, and Daniel Landaluce, Vice President of Tax at UiPath. The audience at the awards ceremony will vote to determine the winner, taking into account the professional profile and career development of each candidate.

Aptíssimi and its collaborators

The sponsors that have contributed to the organisation of this year’s Aptíssimi Awards are Anzizu López & Castellanos, Baker & McKenzie Abogados, Clifford Chance Abogados, Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, Deloitte Legal, EY, Garrigues, Abogados y Asesores Tributarios, Gómez-Acebo & Pombo Abogados, Grant Thornton, KPMG, Latham and Watkins, Osborne Clarke, Pedrosa Lagos, Perez-Llorca, Roca Junyent, Rosaud Costas Durán Abogados, Uría Menéndez, ViaLegis and Iterlegis. Additional contributions have been made by AGM Abogados, Allen & Overy, Andersen Tax & Legal, Arasa & De Miquel – Advocats Associats, BDO Abogados, CMS Albiñana Suárez de Lezo, Crowe Horwath, Font Abogados y Economistas, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Grau & Angulo, Jausas, Lawyers for Projects, Linklaters, Rödl & Partner and Santiago Mediano.