Interview with a REL: Basilio Scaffidi
Have you got a question?
Why did you become a Lawyer and a Registered European Lawyer?
For several decades the Italian leadership was essentially made by Lawyers. In particular, in our system there is no difference between Barrister and Solicitor, therefore a lawyer is supposed to own an impressive set of different skills. Even though you are specialized in a specific sector, you need to have a general knowledge in order to provide your client with professionalism.
I always had a pragmatic and problem-solving attitude combined with excellent communication skills. This combination made me trustworthy to people, and these, I think are the main reasons why I decided to study law and become an Italian lawyer.
Helping people or companies in finding the best solution is something that gives me stimulus and motivation to always improve myself.
As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” – well, this quote is exactly my case I would say.
It’s not easy to finish a law degree in one country and practice is another, why the UK?
As everyone knows, a law degree is one of the less transferable titles from one country to another. In particular in my case, where I studied and practiced in a civil law jurisdiction and have been practicing in a common law jurisdiction here in the UK.
However, what I’ve said above is not completely correct.
There are common rules even in different countries, in particular in the private sector, which descends from the logic. If you deeply study any modern western law system, you will clearly find the legacy of the Roman Law, which is still a valuable source for a modern jurist.
For a young lawyer like me, London is an exciting challenge which offers one of the most exciting legal markets in the world and is the birthplace of many legal careers. Often lawyers who start their careers elsewhere eventually end up in London and the opportunities are increasingly promising.
In my specific case, not only does London represent my professional dream but I am very grateful with Oracle Solicitors for the unique opportunity to work in the aviation field which I love and I had already developed expertise in.
What motivates you when it comes to your job?
In Oracle Solicitors I have the amazing opportunity to go outside my comfort zone and learn new things. As REL and Italian Lawyer I manage the Italian Jurisdiction, liaise with the Italians colleagues and offices; but, at the same time, I have the opportunity to learn the English and Welsh Jurisdictions.
No doubt that working in the Aviation department of a busy medium sized (and continuously growing!) London law firm like Oracle Solicitors, instructed by world leading airlines in matters in both the European Courts and Courts of England and Wales is something that gives me motivation and stimuli to improve more and more.
Do you remember your first time in court?
In order to easily explain what an Italian Lawyer does compared with a English one, I usually say that in the morning an Italian lawyer does what an English Barrister does attending to the hearings, while in the afternoon (often until night) he does what an English Solicitor does (drafting legal defences, agreements, contracts, etc). I remember my first time in the Court alone, without my mentor – It was an easy task, but very exciting for a young lawyer, discussing before the judge and your counterpart a real estate matter. I attended the case because I had already drafted the legal defences – it was sufficient reporting to the latter to obtain a positive judgment for the client.
What was your most memorable win?
It was a real estate case whereby my client, the seller, promised to sell a huge building. The buyer got the usage of the building before the final payment. As proof of payment, the buyer alleged false documents. It was very complicated to prove the truth before the Court, but a meticulous and hard work paid off and I obtained the return of the building to the seller, namely my client, and a large compensation for damages for the latter.
What do you do in your spare time?
I am a former athlete of fighting sports. I competed in several matches of Boxing, Kick Boxing and Muay Thai. I stopped competing when I graduated in law and started my legal career, however I have always been able to combine some training while pursuing my career.
I have a passion for ancient history, reading books and watching documentaries about the ancient Roman and Greek eras.
What advice would you give a young aspiring Lawyers from your home Country?
The main advice I would give a young Italian colleague is to make sure to be happy and motivated when it comes to work. Working represents a major part of our lives and if you do not love what you do, it is not a job, it is just a chore.
For me the secret to be happy and satisfied in my job is to keep challenging myself, going outside my comfort zone, exploring new fields, improving myself. If challenging yourself is your mindset, London is one of the most exciting professional places in the world. You have to just believe in yourself, work hard and be with your heart beyond the obstacles.
Tea or coffee?
Pointless question for an Italian. Coffee, espresso, very short and to be drunk quickly and standing.
Stairs or lift?
Although I am a sportsman, I do not mind taking the lift.
Red wine or White wine?
The former with meat, the latter with fish
Beach or City Holiday?
I would say city for business and nature for pleasure.
Office or Working from home
I would say WFH a couple of times per week is very comfortable, but, as team player, for me the office environment is essential.
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