Joaquim Vilargunter, the essential labor lawyer at CREC Eixample
A labor lawyer specialized in labor law, specifically in conflicts arising in labor relations, Quim Vilargunter became a coworker at CREC Coworking Barcelona i Sabadell after the first wave of COVID19.
In his words: ‘The labor lawyer is the person who deals with conflicts within the framework of labor relations, that is, those that are usually between the worker and the company; although there may be cases between workers’. However, Quim does not stop there and is also a great professional in fields that include labor harassment, sexual harassment and/or interpersonal conflicts.
Quim is self-employed, and finds CREC Coworking Eixample an ideal place to carry out his daily work and receive some of his clients. His work is not only focused on individual cases, but also on cases where the client is a company.
“Now I direct my work, I make my own decisions and work in my own way“
Do you like working with companies or individuals more?
It is more rewarding to take cases of workers, for a matter of interest. Individual cases are usually more interesting, that is, companies have a lot of bureaucracy and you find a lot of work that consists of taking a couple of documents to the labor inspectorate. It’s not as everyday as with workers. That’s not to say that I’m closed to taking cases from companies, I just like to take cases from individuals more.
Do you notice the change from working in a company to working on your own?
When I finished my degree I didn’t need to do a Master’s degree, I did a couple of specialization courses in labor law and occupational risk prevention.
I worked in an office and it was very different from the way I work now. Now I can direct the way I work.
The type of client also changes… I have managed large and medium-sized companies, but now I direct my work, I make my own decisions and work in my own way. And of course the relationship with the client also changes, if I lose a client it’s my fault or maybe I don’t even want to work with him/her. It is not normal, the most common thing is to meet nice and reasonable people.
Do you work only in Barcelona, or also in the rest of Spain?
I work mainly in Catalonia. After all, that’s where I am, that’s my main environment. Although I have handled cases in Valencia, most of them are in the Barcelona area. I would say that my scope of action is Catalonia, for reasons of proximity and facilities for the client… If I accept a case, in the end the process becomes more expensive. But if I had to do it for a compelling reason, I would do it.
Has it ever happened to you that someone from abroad has read an article of yours and wants you to be the one to handle their case?
Yes, it happened to me with the President of the USA (laughs).
With the Valencia case I mentioned before, it was like that. Being a lawyer specialized in harassment cases, there may be cases in which someone comes to you exclusively because they cannot find many other specialists. From this point of view it can happen. Most of the cases I have far from Catalonia, are because of this issue; they are people who have read references or to whom someone has spoken about me.
I do not close myself to anything. I have dealt with clients from the United States, exceptional cases.
“To offer a better and better service, more specialized and with a more stable structure, which are the reasons why I settled here at CREC Coworking Eixample”
Has the pandemic affected you professionally?
Yes, work slowed down a lot for a month.
Did you have cases that you couldn’t close or that dragged on because of COVID?
I did not lose anything. Some processes did drag on, but I didn’t lose any clients. There were risks, because I could have had a deal closed before the COVID and I was afraid that it would not end well.
I guess I lost potential clients because of the pandemic, because for a month I had zero clients. April was a bad month, in May I recovered.
And now, how do you see the outlook?
My sector is very stable. My job is like being a doctor. I understand that during the pandemic the cases of mass layoffs and the crisis could have affected my business somehow, but since I am just one person, and it is not a company with thousands of employees, it is quite stable.
Labor relations continue to work. It is true that I make moves to increase the number of clients and offer a better and better service, more specialized and with a more stable structure, which are the reasons why I settled here at CREC Coworking Eixample. The fact of being able to offer a space… I have also taken a very big step in the fact of having a website, having meeting spaces centrally located in Barcelona… I am going in the direction of making my profile very powerful.
About CREC, have the connections through CREC Connect been useful to you?
I have made contacts, and in fact, two people have come up with projects. It is also true that most of the people I know from day to day, from working in the same space and chatting.
Is CREC meeting your expectations?
Yes, it is. If I had to say something, it is that I think that face-to-face social activities such as talks, conferences,… should be back. Promote face-to-face networking. I understand that the pandemic slowed down these processes, but I think we are in a phase in which these aspects can be contemplated again.
Otherwise I am happy, I speak very well of CREC. It is very well located, the service it provides is very good, the people who run it are good people, you can have complete confidence in any subject, the facilities are good,…. I am very happy.
I wanted a coworking place where I could walk to and this is perfect. I am not a case of a worker where my company pays for my coworking, I pay for it with my income. That’s why CREC Coworking Eixample is the best option for me.