A matter of degrees: icons, branding and a follow up on Santander’s stock of properties




This week let me talk about the new branding at the firm where I worked: DWF LLP.

For those who don’t know the firm, DWF LLP is a top 40 law firm with offices in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Preston. The firm has grown considerably in recent years and such growth requires a proper branding.

The firm has now chosen a navigator concept, see above, to reflect how the firm combines excellent commercial guidance with a straightforward approachable style.  The firm looked into the best possible way to interpret this concept and came with this icon. It is inspired by the degree symbol and provides a visual link between the navigator concept and the circular “d” in our existing logo. It also reflects the added value of looking at things from every angle, taking a 360-degree approach and maintaining a clear focus in everything we do.

I don’t know what you think but I like the icon. It is innovative and it gives a clear message.

By the way, there has been some follow up to what I explained last week in my post. Santander’s initiative has now created some panick in the property market. There are some rumours that a massive discount in prices could force others to either match the prices or not get the properties sold. This could be quite bad for developers or other banks who cannot exceed certain margins in their properties. Things are moving quickly. Watch this space for more information. 




Red wine, property prices and cultural differences- A chat with Maria Vea


 From left to right: Antonio Guillen, Alejandro Yufera, Maria Vea and James Haddleton at the Mint Hotel in Leeds

This week I have the pleasure of interviewing a colleague from Spain, Maria Vea, who will give an insight into the legal and daily situation in Spain. 

Antonio: Maria, tell me a little bit about your-self. Where are you from?

Maria: I am from La Rioja. This is a little region in the north and middle of Spain, which is very famous because there is a very good wine.

A: Yes, everyone seems to know La Rioja due to its famous wines. You are a lawyer. What is your speciality?

M:  My speciality is employment law. Recently and unfortunately there is a lot of work in this area because many people are losing their jobs in Spain in this moment and there are a lot of redundancy and bankruptcy proceedings but I would like to work in the international contracting area in the future too

A: I know. The job market in Spain is pretty tough these days. We have heard the stories about the young “indignados” and their peaceful movement for a change but what about the property market in La Rioja region? Is it a good moment to buy property in La Rioja?

M: The situation in Spain is very complicated and in my region is not different. Property prices have gone down quite a lot but new build flats are still expensive as  builders are reluctant to reduce the price. In my opinion property prices in Spain will continue to go down for several years.

A: Wow! That seems bad. What about foreign investors? Is there an interest to buy property in La Rioja from British purchasers?

M: There are a lot of people from UK that visit my region because they come to walk the St James’ Way or to know the region and our wine. Many people come to do business and to buy wine too. I think that British purchasers are more interested in buying properties in the Mediterranean coast or in the Balearic or canary islands but I am sure that if they only stayed one week in my region they would start to buy properties there. It is a lovely place and people are very friendly.

A: This is what I call selling your land properly! You seem quite proud of your land!

M: Yes, it is a very nice area of Spain.

A: You have come to do some work experiences in our law firm in the UK. What is the most striking difference between the Spanish and the British when it comes to working in a law firm?

M: Well, I think that the clearest difference is that English clients are more demanding with their lawyers, consequently lawyers are more careful and the style of work is more formal. I am learning a lot of positive things in DWF LLP.

A: Nice to hear that. I hope you will continue to learn while you are with us. Thank you for your time and for the interesting conversation.

M: I am sure that I will continue to learn. Thank you Antonio.

 Photograph provided by Brass Agency www.brassagency.com