THE IMPORTANCE OF PRIOR LEGAL ADVICE
Yesterday I had a nice conversation with a new client, although we shared a final bittersweet taste. The client had been a tenant in a house and now that she was leaving the apartment, the owner did not want to return the deposit money (the “fianza”). According to what she told me, it was a clear case of “suspicious” leasing, since the owner had done illegal things from the beginning. In other words, it had the ingredients needed for a perfect ‘disaster case’ recipe; In this case, with legal advice prior to signing the contract, it would have been possible to avoid many problems for the client.
She came to us at the end of the contract, once it was already signed and the obligations assumed. Obviously, given the facts presented, we did our job: be totally honest with the client and present the legal reality of her situation. Although she greatly appreciated our advice, we would have preferred to work with her at the beginning of the issue, so we could have been more helpful.
At OTIS Advocaten, we come across cases like this frequently. It does not matter what type of law is involved, or what type of case is. Companies with shareholders immersed in a dispute, complex real estate purchase, or labour restructuring. Too many times, clients come seeking our advice when the matter has already become a huge problem. A prior and constant legal assistance would have made possible to avoid the appearance of the problem.
From my point of view, it is essential to have good legal advice in the execution of many steps that we take throughout our lives. Establishing a company or signing a rental contract without legal advice is like wanting to build a home without an architect, or traveling by plane without a pilot. It may work out well, but it is highly risky.
On the other hand, the situation generated by COVID-19 has caused the birth of many new laws, which the different public entities in Spain (Government, “Comunidades Autónomas” and “Ayuntamientos”) are promoting in order to alleviate the consequences of the pandemic. Well, given the constitutional division of powers established in Spain, many of these rules are going to be challenged in court and will no longer be applicable (totally or partially); which generates enormous uncertainty and legal insecurity, thus increasing the risks and the need to have good professionals by your side.
We are well aware that, from a non-legal point of view, it does not seem attractive to invest money in lawyers when there is still no problem. It is legitimate to think this way, because we often want to believe that there is trust and good faith between the parties involved, and that a lawyer will only complicate things.
At OTIS Advocaten we are firmly committed to prior negotiation and amicable conflict resolution, as our blueprint of action; a way that allow us to help our clients achieve their goals. If you have any matter with legal implications, do not hesitate and let us advise you. Such a decision can save you a lot of time, trouble, and money.