Not the Average Friday Morning
On an overcast morning in early November, the Elxis offices in Thessaloniki were treated to a pleasant surprise. A group of 22 young Dutch lawyers from the Association De Jonge Balie Zwolle were visiting Thessaloniki for four days to be introduced to the law system in Greece. It was busy Friday morning after the team’s usual morning coffee when the doorbell rang and a steady stream of fresh-faced, well-dressed young professionals came in one by one. The meeting was a welcome change to the usual fast pace of the Thessaloniki office. The office felt fuller (and taller) than ever before.
Moving to the conference table that overlooks the waters of the Thermaic Gulf, the visitors gathered with eager smiles. The room was full of positive energy from the travelers, who crowded around the table where Elxis’s multilingual team of lawyers typically meets. The four chairs were not enough to fit everyone, but we did our best to provide the typical Greek hospitality.
George Gavriilidis, Elxis CEO and fluent Dutch speaker, provided context on the differences between Dutch and Greek property law. Meanwhile, Eleni, a Greek and English speaking lawyer from the team, explained the legal process, and one of Elxis’s Dutch-speaking salespeople, Konstantinos Gitsopoulos, helped provide context on the sales process.
Konstantinos Rakitzis and Konstantinos Chatzis, also on the legal team, are pictured below showing plans for a development and other legal documents. (Yes, you did read correctly that there are 3 Konstantinos’s in our Thessaloniki office – the proof is on our team page).
Next, the Dutch visitors took a trip to the Administrative Court of Thessaloniki under Eleni’s lead, and sat for a coffee at the most popular coffee house in Thessaloniki for local lawyers – a spot hand-picked by our legal team. The Dutch visitors were pleasantly surprised to experience one of the most beloved cultural customs in Greece: afternoon coffee. While munching on sugar cookies and sipping their “elliniko metrio” (Greek coffee with a medium amount of sugar), we exchanged engaging questions about how the Greek legal system differs from the Dutch system, and visa versa.
The First Time in Thessaloniki
When asked about their previous experiences in Greece, the group had various levels of contact with Greece. Some had visited the Cycladic islands, Crete, or the capital of Greece – Athens, but few had come to Thessaloniki before. When asked about their first impressions of Greece, the first response was usually “warmer.”
The Elxis office team went home with a kind gift of Stroopwaffels and licorice, and the Dutch lawyers took home custom pens and magnets for their journey home. We gained new friendships with a group of young, driven, and inspired Dutch professionals. We hope that the experience for these young lawyers from Zwolle continues to inspire them on their return to the Netherlands, and that they come back to visit soon!