Honorary President and Founder of ONTIER Ramón Hermosilla recently gave his first interview in over 50 years of professional activity. The interview by Fuera de Serie was published last December 31, thereby closing off the year with a journey through the professional life of Mr. Hermosilla, from his early days as an engineering student up until today.
Elena de Pita from the magazine Fuera de Serie, edited by Expansión, took charge of the interview and got to listen to Mr Ramón while he talked about some of Spain's highest profile cases, in which he himself took part as a Lawyer. Some of these cases were the defence of General Armada on February 23rd, the Matesa case, the Rumasa case, Cartera Central, Banesto, Ibercorp, the acquisition of Galerías Preciados and Mark&Spencer by El Corte Inglés, among others.
Elena Pita (EP): Which are the ethical dilemmas that arise when advocating a presumably guilty individual?
Ramón Hermosilla (RH): I've never judged the innocence nor the guiltiness of a client: that's up to the Court. My duty is to defend the correct application of Law in my advocated's case. If me myself I ever considered a client innocent or guilty, that belongs to my privacy, together with the obligation of professional secrecy. I can't find an ethical dilemma there. I stay faithful to the Constitution, to the Rule of Law and to my client, and I maintain professional secrecy even after death: I'm not writing my memoirs.
EP: Did you reject many cases?
RH: Of course I did.
EP: You state that remaining silent is the smartest choice for a lawyer dealing with the media, sticking to the obligation of professional secrecy. Jiménez Villarejo even compared professional secrecy with concealment, what was your response to that?
RH: The obligation of professional secrecy is directly linked to the legal profession and it remains in force during life and after death. I don't remember what he said specifically, but concealment stands for taking part on a crime and professional secrecy stands for not disclosing a client's secret.
EP: How many interviews have you given?
RH: Almost none, and all of them happened when leaving the Court and took no longer than 2 minutes.
EP: Do you think that the Judiciary is an independent branch in Spain? Would you support a reform so that it's no longer chosen by the Parliament?
RH: Independence is an attribute of people. Independence is an attribute of judges, not of systems, and I find judges quite independent: they deliberate consciously, taking into account the facts they know, forgetting about their opinions, and applying Law.
EP: You are known for solving disputes through dialogue, so can you think of a way to break the impasse of the current political situation at the country?
RH: They have to put the well-being of citizens ahead their own interests and their parties.
EP: Who will succeed you as a President?
RH: It already happened! Bernardo Gutiérrez de la Roza takes care of the business and international side and Pedro Rodero is ONTIER Spain's Managing Partner.
EP: I'm curious… did you want to be an opera singer?
RH: It was my dream on my last years of high school. I studied at the Ramiro de Maeztu high school and I used to sing in the choir of the Espíritu Santo church. A priest heard me singing an Ave María and he really liked it, so I started dreaming about becoming an opera singer. But then my music teacher in high school got that thought out of my mind. ''It's a really long road and you need economic means'', he said. ''But me, I love music and I hate noise'', concluded Ramón.