The Almería Law Society last Friday celebrated a recognition of my 25th anniversary as a lawyer and member of the Almería Law Society .
I can hardly believe that I have been practicing law for all this time.
It seems like yesterday when I started practicing law . I still vividly remember the stress of the first cases with the frightening inner conflict between the need to show confidence to acquire the first clients and the total lack of experience .
Luckily hard work and a lot of consultations with more experienced lawyers allowed me to handle those initial cases correctly (even though not with ought many sleepless nights) .
A special big thank you to those initial clients back in 1994 to whom I am eternally grateful as without them Davies Abogados would simply not exist today. Looking at photos of myself back in 1994 and how young and inexperience I looked I can only say that they must have been very brave or they must have known my parents very well.
I have worked very hard over these last 25 years and I have personally handled:
Over 500 probate files.
Over 3000 wills.
Over 1000 conveyances.
Over 80 court cases.
I have been very fortunate to have had so many wonderful clients .
In many cases we have advised three generations of the same family and this makes us very proud.
A lot has changed since 1994 when I opened m first office. There where :
No mobile phones.
No cloud computing
Most of our communications where done by letter with few clients even having a fax machine.
Every week the legal book salesman would come to our office with the latest legal books.
Advertising for solicitors was not allowed. We where allowed to put our name to articles on legal subjects published in newspapers and that was it. We wrote for many years in the Sur in English newspapers and later the Entertainer.
All clients came by personal recommendation.
Since then apart from dealing with our clients cases we have adapted to the new times:
e-mails that have made everything move much faster.
Amazing data bases allowing all solicitors to be much more knowledgable and well informed.
Courts and other administrations all requiring we communicate via digital platforms with the advent of digital signatures .This pushed a few solicitors into early retirement due to them not wishing to put put with the learning curve required.
Finally the way we acquire our clients has also changed. Websites have allowed access to a much wider clients base geographically, allowing much more specialisation which has definitely improved the service to clients. Back in 1994 you had to know a little about everything as you only had access to local clients . Know it is possible to become an expert in a much more specific field and then handle cases in that given field all over Spain.
Simultaneously to having access to non local clients we now also benefit from cloud computing that means that we are no longer our tied to our physical files and therefore one specific office.
When we opened our new office in Marbella in 2015 we discovered the importance of reviews on Facebook and other social media platforms. In Marbella unlike in Mojacar we had very few clients that could offer personal referrals but thanks to the recommendations of our Mojacar clients on Facebook people started to hire us.
For those that think that there is nothing like a personal referral I agree, but social media referrals clearly come a close second if they are consistent and numerous enough to be seen as genuine.
These 25 years between my 24th and 49th birthday have also been years in which so much more has happened:
I lost my father but before he left us I got married and had 3 beautiful children who are now 17, 14 and 8. I was named honorary British Consul that I have since renounced .
Hopefully I will be able to continue for another 25 years but just in case I am working on my replacement.
My eldest daughter Claudia has recently decided she will be starting a law degree next year at the University of Sevilla. so hopefully before long and in any case before I retire I will be introducing her as a new solicitor to the Law Society
A big thank you to all of you who have ever used us as your solicitors in Spain and have recommended us to your friends and family . After 25 years one think has not changed. Nothing makes us more proud in the office than receiving a referral or a good review from an existing client.