Eusebio Pujol Interview – Scaling the Heights
Corporate and Commercial Partner Eusebio Pujol’s support for the World Wildlife Fund reflects his family’s enjoyment of the natural world.
Eusebio, you’re committed to the cause of ecological wellbeing, and so are your colleagues in the Barcelona office. Why do you feel so strongly about this issue?
When I was very young, I used to spend my holidays in the countryside, and that’s where my love for nature started. I’ve always enjoyed mountaineering, and the sports that come with it, including hiking, running, mountain biking and rock climbing.
Wow, that sounds extremely energetic!
Yes indeed, I no longer mountain climb following an injury, but I still do other mountain sports, including ski-touring in the winter, which involves climbing a difficult mountain with my skis, and then going downhill. I do this with my wife, who also likes these kinds of activities. We go to the Spanish Pyrenees, and we’ve also been to the Swiss, Italian and French Alps, and to Austria as well.
To go to the Swiss Alps is always a great experience. Some years ago, we went to Zermatt, and that was particularly exciting. It was before my accident, so I was then able to do more.
And how did you get involved in the law?
I decided to become a lawyer when I was just 18. My father had also studied law and business, and so law has always been an option in my family. I decided to take an LLM abroad, and I chose the University of Pennsylvania, or “Penn”, which is amongst the oldest universities in the USA and an Ivy League school.
Despite the age of the university, and the academic excellence, it was a very down-to-earth place to study, and the friendships I made there have survived to this day. This has led to several legal collaborations with lawyers in countries as far afield as Italy and Argentina.
How does it feel to be part of a different kind of law firm?
In the past I was always in a quite a traditional working environment, and the style was, how can I put this, not very free! Now I feel I have a lot more freedom, which, combined with the Spencer West approach, means you can have international colleagues, rich, satisfying cases, and still have control over your own practice. I would strongly recommend it.
It’s such an intelligent approach, combining the three prongs of professional excellence, collaboration, and business focus. I work closely with London, and at the same time there’s so much freedom to collaborate in a way that delivers the best results, most cost effectively, for the client. The secret of Spencer West’s international success is that the firm deeply respects the knowledge of local people. It is a balanced approach, and brings real values, and value, to the legal profession.
How did you start supporting environmental causes?
When I became a professional and started earning money, I decided to support organisations that work for the environment. I became a member of WWF Spain and I have been supporting them for more than 30 years now. I receive regular information about the projects they have underway in Spain. I hope one day to be able to do even more.
What’s Barcelona like as a place to live and work?
Barcelona is a pleasant place to live, big enough and business-minded enough for a lawyer to have a great professional life. Many European companies choose Barcelona for their main European office, because their employees can enjoy a good quality of life, and at the same time it’s a place where business is well-run.
Madrid, where Spencer West is about to open an office, is also very strong from a business point of view, and I enjoy visiting it very much. I like the people there, and I would quite happily live there. The fast AVE train has improved communications between Barcelona and Madrid hugely in the past 13 years. It takes you from the centre of one city to the centre of the other, and it reaches speeds of up to 300km per hour, so the complete journey is faster than going by plane. You can work during the whole journey, and it is certainly better for the environment than flying would be.
What do you think of London by comparison? Surely it’s not quite as beautiful as Barcelona?
I really love London! It has this wonderful combination of culture and civilisation. I like the people, and I like the atmosphere. It’s very green, with lots of parks, and there isn’t the dryness and dustiness of Spain.
I love the museums. I would have liked to have lived there for a few years, because from a business standpoint it is one of the best cities in the world. It is such an international city, and UK law is respected throughout the world. Quite a few aspects of the law were invented there. The approach of English businesspeople is always international and global. It’s a matter of mentality, and that’s strongly reflected in Spencer West. It was natural thing for Spencer West to expand globally.
I, too, have an international mindset, and it links to my feelings about the environment and the planet. What happens in the Middle East, or Asia, is something that affects me. If there is a fire in California, I think about the friends I have there. The current volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands is affecting commerce and agriculture, and when I see something like this, I value the beautiful world we have been given.
Is there anything you would like to say to other lawyers around the world?
I would say, join Spencer West!
Work collaboratively, work anywhere – that phrase, which is right there on the homepage of the website, says it all.