Focused on the Internet
Name: Javier Berastagi
Company: Stanbrook & Hooper
smarterwork Expert in: Legal Services
smarterwork: Tell us about your background. How did you get started in the legal profession?
Javier Berastagi: Nothing exciting about it. I always wanted to be a commercial lawyer, so I decided to study law and economics (including business topics) to be able to understand and anticipate my business clients' needs.
SW: What is/are your area(s) of specialisation and what made you decide to specialise in that/those area(s)?
JB: In the course of my Erasmus year in Leiden (Holland) I discovered the growing importance of the European Union and decided to specialise in EU law. Within EU law, I have mostly been involved with anti-trust and merger cases, areas in which I can fully exploit my legal and economic background. Having advised several telecoms and Internet companies, I have a sound knowledge of the new technologies field. As a natural development, I have expanded the scope of my services from legal and regulatory to business and strategic areas in the latter field.
SW: You have experience of working as a lawyer both in Belgium and Spain - are there many differences that you have noticed between the legal profession in these two jurisdictions?
JB: My specialization has not allowed me to work along with Belgian lawyers so I am not in a position to compare both jurisdictions.
SW: What would you say was the most important deal that you ever worked on?
JB: Impossible to single one out. I leave the choice to the reader: KPMG/Ernst&Young (failed); MCIWorldCom/Telefónica; MCI/WorldCom; Ernst&Young/Cap Gemini.
SW: Do you think the opportunities available now to lawyers have changed considerably from when you qualified?
JB: The economy is doing well and this is particularly felt in the merger field, where the number of notifications to the regulatory authorities has skyrocketed. Furthermore, the prevailing liberal policies have resulted in a more regular use by Governments of competition law to correct market distortions. The end result has been growing work for competition lawyers.
SW: Do you think the Internet is changing people's working habits?
JB: Yes. Law firms, as any other company, have started to offer services on-line. Equally, the Internet has enabled greater and faster access to legal sources and new channels of client-lawyer communication.
SW: What made you decide to register with smarterwork as a legal expert?
JB: From my past experience, I believe the company's business model is going to be a success. If I cannot invest in it, at least I would like to be associated with it.
SW: Do you have any words of advice for lawyers who are just starting out?
JB: Work hard but never to such an extent that your private life is compromised.
SW: What are your plans for the future?
JB: Write a book on competition law in the Internet.
Consolidate my teaching career in the field of Internet law and business.
Develop a business career in the Internet field in parallel to my legal career.
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