By: Sophie Polenghi
Last week, we celebrated another Ayala Anniversary, marking 9 years since the office opening back in 2013. We interviewed founder of Ayala Eduardo Maura and asked him questions on the journey of Ayala thus far and what to expect to come in the future.
Question 1: [Interviewer] When you first started Ayala back in 2013, did you think you would be here nine years later?
Eduardo: No, I really had no expectations one way or the other.
Question 2: [Interviewer] Do you remember the first day of the Ayala opening? What was your favorite core memory?
Eduardo: The first day was when I was at my little studio in Le Jeune Road, and I went to my laptop and went to some bizarre organizing incorporated. I had an LPA and I did the filings and it was intimidating but exciting.
Question 3: [Interviewer] What made you want to open your own practice?
Eduardo: Really, it was simply I lost my job. I was fired from my job, and then I had to decide whether I was going to apply for another job or do my own firm. And talk to friends and I decided to start a firm.
Question 4: [Interviewer] And what would you say was the biggest obstacle in growing your practice?
Eduardo:For one is capital. I had no capital to start it with. And two was, I started really early in my career, I was just a year out of law school. And so it was a little early. I didn’t know many practice areas. So that was difficult.
Question 5: [Interviewer] What other CEOs do you look up to?
Eduardo: I have friends that own law firms. I look up to them. My friend Felipe . I think he’s a great businessman. My friend, Eric, EGPD Law. I look up to him. He is from a great law firm.
Question 6: [Interviewer] How would you describe Ayala in one sentence?
Eduardo: I like to think that we are a brand or a firm that cares. I care about that a lot. That people know that we care about their cases, that we are honest, that we’re competent, and that we care deeply about their cases.
Question 7: [Interviewer] That being said, how does Ayala stand out from other firms?
Eduardo: I think that would be the main thing. I think that the combination of, I like to think good talent, and that we care a lot about our clients. I personally don’t care a lot about money, and sometimes we take a lot of pro bono cases, or low value cases, because we truly care. I really enjoy doing what I do and what we do.
Question 8: [Interviewer] Would you say that that’s the kind of example that you’re setting for your firm?
Eduardo: I like to think so. I like to think that my team is kind of like me. I select them because I feel they have some similarities with me, that being one of them. That they are good people, that they care. So that’s very important to me.
Question 9: [Interviewer] What has been the most surprising part about your journey thus far?
Eduardo: It’s been long, it’s been nine years, and I didn’t expect we were going to practice the things we practice today. We’re heavily, I started as an immigration lawyer. I’m still an immigration lawyer. I love immigration law and I love immigrants. I’m an immigrant myself. But we practice class actions. We have a strong federal practice and we compete with the largest firms in the world. And I didn’t expect we were going to do that at the beginning.
Question 10: [Interviewer] Can you talk about the value of having those early key hires like Sulay and Luis? How have they helped you grow in the company?
Eduardo: Everything here is about the team. I mean, Sulay has been with me for six years, Luis for four plus years. I’ve adopted their methods and identity. You know, Luis is big part of this firm. He’s the best writer I know. And so the team also builds the identity of the firm. It’s been a great, you know, combination.
Question 11: [Interviewer] If you could go back in time, what’s one piece of advice you would give yourself nine years ago?
Eduardo: I’d say I’d be more strategic and I plan better. Write a better business plan. I’m better at that now, but at the beginning I was more of a risk taker. Got in some really complicated cases, but maybe be more, I guess less of a risk taker back then when I was younger.
Question 12: [Interviewer] What do you see as some of the biggest accomplishments since you started back in 2013?
Eduardo: We’ve won some good cases. We’ve done jury trials and prevailed. I take pride of our jury trial win. We’ve done three jury trials, all of them complicated trials, but it’s hard because we really care about each case and it’s not cliche, but you know, some of my towing cases, really low value cases, I really love them, and care and appreciate these wins though.
Question 13: [Interviewer] Being that we’re celebrating an anniversary, if you could fly all of Ayala’s employees to any destination for our nine year anniversary, where would it be?
Eduardo: I would take them all to Peru. They would love it. They would really enjoy it.
– [Interviewer] Thank you.