El pasado lunes tuve la suerte de asistir en Nueva York, representando a Abanlex gracias a la generosidad de mi socio Pablo, a la gala de entrega de los premios Global Legal Awards que cada año otorga la prestigiosa revista American Lawyer.
De antemano sabíamos que Abanlex iba a ser reconocido por su contribución al caso de derecho al olvido con el premio Global Dispute of the Year: International Litigation pero además, tuvimos la suerte de recibir el Grand Prize que reconoce el caso más importante de cada categoría, en este caso Disputes.
Al ser la primera vez que acudíamos a estos premios, me había preparado un discurso de agradecimiento pero, por el formato de la gala (simplemente subir a recoger el premio, sin discurso), no tuve ocasión de pronunciarlo. Dado que la revista que otorga el premio tiene foco en abogados y despachos era a estos a los que se reconocía pero me parecía de justicia resaltar la imprescindible labor de la Abogacía del Estado, Abogacía de la Comisión Europea y el equipo de juristas que Google reunió para la ocasión. Ya que me lo había preparado, lo publico aquí para hacerles extensivo el premio a ellos y reiterar mi agradecimiento.
First of all I’d like to thank The American Lawyer for selecting the Right to Be Forgotten case as the Global Dispute of the Year in the International Litigation category for 2015.
It is a real honour for me to receive this prize in the name of Abanlex team, and also in representation of all the other lawyers from all the parties who participated in the case.
This case is, in my opinion, a good example of how the practice of law enables us to achieve great things, however difficult they might appear, showing that size doesn’t matter in legal terms when accompanied by hard work and perseverance.
I am especially proud to be here because somehow, without knowing it at the time, I contributed to the start of the case, and I was lucky enough to participate in every phase. This was thanks to an article that I published on my blog explaining what steps I thought a user would have to take in order to request that a search engine remove from their index results which might prejudice them. This piece reached the attention of the then anonymous, but now famous, Mario Costeja. At that time I did not know how this adventure would end, but the fact is that this is one of the most wonderful stories that a lawyer like myself can find himself caught up in.
Throughout the whole process, and until the Court of Justice of the European Union gave its opinion in its judgment, the cause was supported and backed up by the amazing team of Spanish State Attorneys, with Agustín Puente at the head, representing the Spanish Data Protection Agency, José Luis Albacar, and Alejandro Rubio in the role of Lead Lawyer, in the National High Court and the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The fact is that they deserve to be here collecting the prize as much as I do, if not more. Evidently a part of it is theirs.
Likewise, it is important to highlight the amazing work of Isabel Martínez del Peral who, in her role at the head of the European Commision’s legal team, carried out an enormous piece of work that was fundamental in ensuring that the final judgement went in our favour.
But neither do I want to forget the great work of Google’s legal team. I sincerely believe that their legal defence was perfect, but, as we all know, there can only be one judgement. In this case I don’t think that there were winners and losers, just a single victor –which is all citizens who have seen their right to privacy widened and reinforced. For this reason, although they aren’t here today, I think it is fair to share this recognition with them.
I would like to close by reiterating my thanks and my congratulations to all our colleagues who are receiving a well-deserved recognition of their great work today.