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Bufete Buades

SPAIN - Economy

Joan Buades Feliu

Partner Director, Buades Legal

Bio

Joan Buades Feliu holds a degree in law from Universidad de Barcelona and a diploma in business management from the IESE Business School, Universidad de Navarra. He joined the Association of Lawyers of Barcelona in 1976 and the Association of Lawyers of the Balearic Islands in 1979. He founded the firm in 1979, developed his professional practice in the area of advising businesses, in particular on commercial law, economic criminal law, and procedural law. He has been an associate professor for 20 years and is currently with the department of private law at the University of the Balearic Islands and a lecturer with the UIB-ICAIB master’s in law program. Buades Feliu is also the secretary of the board of directors and legal adviser for various companies, business associations, and other bodies and is the honorary consul of Luxembourg on the Balearic Islands.

"It is vital for companies to create contingency plans to handle unforeseen events that fundamentally alter operations, such as the pandemic."
TBY talks to Joan Buades Feliu, Partner Director of Buades Legal, about changing regulations in the tourism sector, the prospect of investing in Spain, and Mallorcan development.
How has Buades Legal adapted since the COVID-19 pandemic to help investors navigate the changing landscape and mitigate associated risks?

It is vital for companies to create contingency plans to handle unforeseen events that fundamentally alter operations, such as the Pandemic. At Buades Legal, we have supported clients in navigating contractual relationships and adapted internally regarding operations, sales, and procurement. In our debt contracts, we increasingly include provisions for unforeseen events, such as pandemics or conflicts. While certain regions in the world may be accustomed to wartime conditions, this is a new reality for many other areas. As service providers, it is essential to remain vigilant and recognize the potential for such events.

What is your assessment of recent trends in legal regulations within the tourism sector, and how has Buades Legal adapted to these changes?

Investors seek a stable legal framework, which we are fortunate to have. In the Balearic Islands, regulations stem from the EU, the Spanish state, and local administrations. Tourism is managed by autonomous communities and city halls, resulting in a complex and often poorly written regulatory landscape. This hyper-regulation can be difficult to navigate and may seem overwhelming. Streamlining the regulatory framework and identifying essential, stable regulations would be beneficial. We prioritize staying up-to-date, and offer insights based on trends and future projections. We ensure transparency regarding regulations, opportunities, and emerging trends. We dedicate substantial time every day to review both the Spanish Official Journal and the Balearic Islands Official Journal and analyze their implications for the sector and investors.

What legal differences should investors consider when investing in Spain, and Mallorca in particular?

Regulatory frameworks such as the Mortgage Credit Law in Spain are vastly different from other countries. Thus, it is crucial to understand the regulation and meet the needs of our clients. It is also important to distinguish between the EU and non-EU countries. The EU aims for uniform norms, but each member state retains sovereignty over its borders and governance. Additionally, within Spain, regions like Catalonia or the Balearic Islands have distinct legal frameworks, differing somewhat from the common civil code requiring tailored regulations. These are important factors to consider when advising clients. Staying informed and consulting local experts with in-depth knowledge is essential.

How does Buades Legal evaluate regenerative tourism trends within the sector?

Tourism must respect the environment for a sustainable future. The industry will struggle otherwise. Buades Legal foresees organizational norms and potential laws addressing these concerns. Recently, the Consell Insular de Mallorca presented the Touristic Sustainability Plan for Mallorca, emphasizing balance to preserve quality of life for both visitors and residents. Regulations will align with societal demands for improved quality of life. While implementation may be challenging, there is growing societal maturity advocating for respect and sustainability.

How does your firm set itself apart from its competition?

As a firm, we maintain a clear vision focused on the Balearic Islands, Mallorca in particular, but Menorca and Ibiza as well. We assist clients in our region, and also accompany them when they need advice elsewhere. If we excel here, we can extend our assistance through partnerships with lawyers in other locations, providing comprehensive support beyond regional boundaries.
Buades Legal prioritizes versatility, and has a team of lawyers specializing in various legal domains. This diversity showcases our proficiency across multiple legal disciplines, distinguishing us from firms that specialize exclusively in one area. When faced with highly specialized matters, such as hydrocarbons, we collaborate with experts to ensure optimal outcomes. Teamwork is integral to our approach, allowing us to effectively address clients’ diverse needs.

How does Buades Legal contribute to Mallorca’s social and economic development?

As a legal firm, our foremost commitment is to provide exemplary legal services, ensuring our clients feel well-defended and supported; however, we acknowledge that legal expertise alone is insufficient. Thus, we are deeply invested in our local community, actively participating in various economic, cultural, and social spheres. We engage in initiatives aimed at promoting progress, offering our insights to foster growth and development. Furthermore, our contributions extend beyond traditional business domains. We actively collaborate with NGOs and individuals pursuing endeavors driven by personal or communal interests. Our goal is to seamlessly integrate into society, both receiving and imparting influence to effect positive change. We believe in regulating this engagement, considering diverse viewpoints, and promoting discussions on often neglected issues. Encouraging pluralistic dialogue is vital for effectively addressing societal challenges.

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