Wednesday, November 29, 2023

American Legal Desk: The new Spain-USA legal bridge

Juris Magister will celebrate 30 years of professional practice on 14 May 2022, and the firm has prepared various events and initiatives to celebrate this important milestone in the firm’s history. Among these initiatives is the launch of the American Legal Desk, an Alliance of Legal Advisors from which to offer its clients more integrated and specialized legal services thanks to the professional experience of its members. Legal Dealmaker spoke with Luis Agramunt, founding partner of Juris Magister in the United States since 1992 and, since 2017, managing partner of the law firm in Spain, to find out more about this Alliance.


The birth of the American Legal Desk is no coincidence, nor is it a coincidence that its launch is being announced now, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of Juris Magister. Rather, it is the fruit of a lifetime of facilitating the establishment of companies -especially Spanish- in the United States and of translating all this experience and knowledge into something shared and tangible as a bridge and a way to facilitate the entrepreneurship of others.

Luis, how did the idea of launching an American Legal Desk come about?

The idea arises from the intention of strengthening and spreading the professional relationship with colleagues with whom we have maintained relationships over the years as partners, associates and of counsel, and with whom we can offer the best professional service in our specialty: Entrepreneurship in the United States.

What exactly does it consist of?

Basically, it involves the creation of an Alliance of Legal Advisors from which we can offer our clients more integrated and specialized legal services thanks to the professional experience of its members, called American Legal Desk. An Alliance in which the lawyers mentioned above participate, and with whom we believe we can offer the best professional service in the specialty of “Entrepreneurship in the United States”, since in the legal areas that comprise it, Corporate, Contractual, Mergers & Acquisitions, Real Estate, Tax, and of course, Immigration, they are recognized as renowned professionals, specialized and experienced in these areas.

What will be the areas of specialization of this Alliance?

First of all, everything concerning the incorporation of companies. Here we are talking about corporations, for example. The capital company per excellence is the Corporation. The Limited Liability Company which, due to its legal flexibility and above all its tax treatment, is a convenient and beneficial model of a company for foreign individuals or legal entities doing business in the United States or the so-called Delaware Corporation; there is a misconception about this type of company that it can be considered a quasi tax haven due to the confidentiality and privacy of certain corporate data and its “tax advantages”.

Another of our areas of expertise is US Visas and Residency, including, for example, Non-Immigrant Visas such as Business Visas (B-1), Trade Visas (E-1), Investment Visas (E-2), Executive Visas (L-1), Immigrant Visas, in their different variants, Employment-Based Residence Visas (First Preference EB-1, Second Preference EB-2, Third Preference EB-3, Fourth Preference EB-4, Permanent Residence by Investment EB-5) and Family Reunification and Citizenship Residence Visas. At this point, I would like to clarify that although we are a firm specializing in business migration, we are nevertheless aware that personal and family migration issues are of particular relevance to the clients we represent.

An important pillar of the Alliance is also our Tax, Estate and Succession Planning area. This umbrella encompasses corporate specificities: “C” Corporation: option for non-US resident foreigners and “S” Corporation: with less than 75 partners, all individuals and US residents. The setting up of Limited Liability Companies or LLCs, as we know, gives the foreign investor the benefit of being taxed only on the profits received as a member of the company. Regarding matters concerning double taxation treaties; remember in this respect that the worldwide income to which US tax resident individuals and legal entities are subject to can benefit from the application of the Double Taxation Treaties signed by the USA. Finally, all aspects of CRS, FATCA, and FBAR Compliance, as all US companies with foreign bank accounts are subject to the OECD’s Common Standard Regulation Treaty (CRS) and the US FATCA and FBAR regulations.

In addition, we provide services across the full spectrum of Contracting, covering all Civil, Commercial and Real Estate contractual needs in the US, including Mergers & Acquisitions and Real Estate transactions, especially in the State of Florida, which are at their peak as a result of the pandemic.

We also offer Judicial Representation services aimed at defending the economic interests of our clients in business relations in Spain and the USA, which we sometimes have to resort to by undertaking the necessary civil and criminal actions: we have qualified and expert professionals who represent our clients in legal actions for prosecution or defence before national or international bodies.

Last but not least, we offer Immigration Services in Spain for business and investment, as it should not be forgotten that the globalization of business activities leads many of our international clients to be interested in residing in the European Union. In this matter, we offer in combination with the United States, a very exclusive service that we call ©️“Golden Bridge Visa Services”, consisting of obtaining Visas, Residence and Nationality in Spain for citizens of countries that do not have a Trade and Investment Treaty with the United States, so that they can obtain Investment Visas in the United States once they acquire Spanish Nationality.

Who make up the team of professionals at the American Legal Desk?

The truth is that the team could not be better. We have Ainhoa Manero, an expert in Spain/European Union Immigration and Residency for Business and Investment; Gerhard Kelm, a professional specialized in USA Immigration and Residency for Business and Investment; Amanda Bradley, a specialist in USA Immigration and Family Residency and Citizenship; Álvaro Castillo, our attorney specialist in Real Estate; Jacqueline Lejarza, who will coordinate between Spain and USA Investment Visas/Golden Visas and Nielson Vilela, lawyer expert in International Criminal Legal Cooperation and USA Extradition and Audiencia Nacional (National High Court). We are fortunate to have the following of counsel colleagues: Xavier Ruiz, founding partner of RC Law, a specialist in Commercial Law, Company and Business, specializing in Mergers & Acquisitions Spain-USA, and who has worked at international law firms such as Baker Mackenzie, McDermott Will & Emery, Garrigues and K&L Gates, and Miguel Ángel Galán, founding partner of Galán i Rubio Abogados, recognized for his specialization in Tax Law and whose professional experience as a tax lawyer-counsel is forged in law firms such as Garrigues, Gómez-Acebo & Pombo, EY, KPMG, Andersen and Broseta. I personally act as coordinator of the Alliance, and my specialty in Entrepreneurship in the United States is the processing of Trade Visas (E-1) and Investment Visas (E-2). All in all, this is a very strong team that we will be adding to as the years go by and as our clients’ needs evolve.

Will we see an expansion of American Legal Desk in the future?

Of course, both in terms of professionals and offices. At the professional level, we will invite professionals to collaborate with us to further deepen our services in specialized legal sectors relevant to entrepreneurship in the US.

In terms of offices, we are going to resume the two projects we were working on before the pandemic, which will mean that for the first time, we will have offices outside the US and Spain.

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