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By Toni de Weest Prat, Alumnus Arthur Andersen & Co. (1995-1996, Barcelona,) Corporate and Tax Lawyer and Senior Partner at Global Abogados, a member firm of Andersen Global
Andersen Global is an international association of member firms founded by Andersen Tax in 2014.Andersen Global is comprised of over 2,000 professionals in more than 51 locations worldwide
In 1995, I joined the Audit Department at Arthur Andersen. Back then, in order to work in the Tax Department, it was necessary to start out for the first year as an auditor, and this was a daunting task for a lawyer.
It was at Andersen where my professional career began and it is, without a shadow of a doubt, where the professional values and principles that have been with me ever since were formed.
In 2002, all lawyers and tax advisors who were working for Andersen in Spain became part of Garrigues, but it was not until 2006 that together with my two partners, Álvaro Gámez and José María Rebollo, that we founded our own firm, Global Abogados.
Our vision was to build an organization of people where integrity, respect, hard work and quality project our personalities onto the market.
My partners and I joined Andersen Global in 2015. When we were evaluating the move from being a local company to forming part of a global firm, we did not just concentrate on the brand but we also focused on whether the values that we had could be shared with a larger organization—especially one with a different culture to our own, such as that of North America.
When we met Mark Vorsatz and his team in person at the end of 2014, we realized it would all be possible. Mark instills the idea that the strength of our organization lies not only in its brand name, but also in its employees and the core values which are passed on from top to bottom.
I am proud of our belief in ‘think straight, talk straight’, quality in our services, stewardship, transparency, independence, seamlessness, honesty, meritocracy, dedication, openness and respect toward people.These values along with our unwavering commitment to client service lead us to be best in class.These values are what really define the brand and not the other way around.
The first Andersen Global partner meeting outside the USA will take place this coming November.As a partner in Spain, it is an honor that this meeting will be held in Barcelona and we hope to help toward its success.
The gathering of all our Partners and Managing Directors in Barcelona is indicative of what we are building—ONE FIRM for the future—and, indeed, that is the theme of our meeting. It is clear that Andersen Global has a role to play in the world, not just in name, but in terms of the values that define this firm and that are embodied by people of this organization.
Times have changed and societies have developed. We are in the midst of a technological and digital revolution but personal and professional values in the legal and tax world continue to remain essential to the success of organizations.
Clients insist on—and deserve—value-added solutions delivered by honest people who move as quickly as the pace of today’s business.
Barcelona will be the meeting point for the Partners and Managing Directors from North America, Central America, South America and Europe. It will undoubtedly be an important moment for the future of our firm.
Having a name from the past does not mean having old-fashioned values. We know our legacy, but our values are from the present and are for the future. Our organization may have a name from the past, but it is a firm for the future.