Corporate and negotiation conflicts. Three keys for success.

In over my 15 years of professional practice I have participated as legal advisor in many corporate conflicts. In some cases, as a lawyer of organizations´ administrators and main shareholders and, in other cases, as a legal representative of minority partners, “rebels” with or without cause that try to enforce their rights with different objectives. Without forgetting the “perfect storm” scene, this is, two partners or 50% partner blocks and frequently joint or several administrators.

This said, it is true that it is very common the casuistry in the commercial practice, there are some tips that have demonstrated great effectiveness in the majority of the cases.

1.Who falls in despair loses.

It is strange that a corporate conflict concludes rapidly. Generally, it is prolongated along many months, or even years. That lays in favour of who is patient and plays against who, due to having financial necessity or an impetuous personality, wants a quick solution. Rushing with corporate conflicts has two very harmful effects: a) weakens our negotiating position and b) makes us commit errors.

2.Measure the battles.

Precisely because of the long term that one has to , with common sense, consider how to address the strategy in the corporate conflicts’ resolutions taking in mind that the resources are not unlimited, any judicial action that takes place has to have a very clear purpose and funded reasons to prosper. It is not the first time, and it will not be the last, that legal actions are taken by a partner because of his ego has been hurt or because he rushes due to momentary anger. In contrary, every legal action that is proposed has to be potentially funded to prosper and to be able to answer with a clear and well-planned strategy.

Unfortunately, in this context of corporate conflicts the named “querellas catalanas” abound. This are criminal proceedings that are interposed to pursue a crime but with the only objective of negotiating with this type of claims once the moral of the contrary has been undermined. It is a strategy that lacks moral ethics and takes advantage of the slowness of the criminal procedure and its instruction, referring to a Spanish saying “cual espada de Damocles”, since when the process becomes archived or an acquittal judgment is obtained, a long time will have gone by.

 3.Pragmatic thinking

Very related to both of the previous advice here comes the third: a good legal and trading strategy requires leaving aside personal matters, not being able to free ourselves by saying or keeping to us what we want or not to be known and, lastly, but not less important,  leaving our egos out of the matter. The most important thing is to follow thoroughly the designed strategy and the advice that our trade advisors give us. Any other error or diversion can be paid very dearly.


David Devesa Rodríguez.

Founding partner – CEO of Devesa & Calvo Abogados


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