There are all sorts of reasons that people choose their professions, but following in your family’s footsteps is a common one. As his father was a successful lawyer, Adolfo Martos Gross was naturally attracted to the law from early on, but found he truly became interested once he started studying: “I liked working with the law,” Martos Gross says, “and continue to do so every day, because I still enjoy it.”
Martos Gross left his native Marbella to do a degree in law and economics at the Complutense University in Madrid. After six years away, he returned home and set up his own firm, GAM Abogados, in March 1997 with partner Rafael Gutiérrez del Alamo Cerrato.
Describing their partnership as “like a marriage, based on complete trust in one another” Martos Gross feels that the differences between the partners – “Rafael is practical and I’m more theoretical; he is more impulsive, whereas I’m more reflexive” – are a key element in their ability to offer “complementary and correct solutions.”
The firm has earned a solid reputation for dealing with complicated, cross-border cases, often involving large-scale real-estate transactions. Today, it maintains offices in Malaga, managed by Gutiérrez del Alamo Cerrato, and Marbella, helmed by Martos Gross, “as our clients prefer to have their lawyers close to home,” the latter explains. “Local knowledge is important here and it’s easier to look after Marbella from Marbella to compete.”
What really sets GAM apart from its rivals on the Costa del Sol is a combination of “common sense, a deep understanding of the issues, and our ‘sensitivity’ to clients’ needs,” Martos Gross believes, something he insists, “can be seen in the way we work with our clients.”
From time to time, the firm represents deserving clients on a pro-bono basis, but Martos Gross’ principal interest beyond billing work comes from serving as the coordinator of the international section of the Malaga Lawyers’ Association, where he is responsible for training and other knowledge-sharing programmes.
Martos Gross came into contact with TEN in 1996, when he first attended the annual meeting in Florence while working at his father’s firm. After the creation of GAM Abogados, it took over membership in TEN by “natural succession”, Martos Gross explains. With the passage of time, he developed a grow interest in TEN and took on a ever larger role, dealing personally with all the consultations and clients that came via the network.
“But I thought TEN was selling itself short,” Martos Gross says, “and that it had to change to continue to prosper.” So, he sent a letter to the other members, laying out his ideas for how to make the network develop and, four years ago, was named Chairman.
Martos Gross’ first move was to define a five-year business plan for TEN, focusing on “three essential initiatives: increasing the number of members at a rapid rate, going beyond the borders of Europe to new markets in Asia and the Americas, and improving the network’s presence and visibility online.”
The network has already added two new members, in Denmark and Portugal, and will welcome a third, from Switzerland, at the TEN annual meeting in June 2017. The incorporation of another firm, from Slovenia, is still pending, but Martos Gross hopes it will be completed soon.
Once TEN has established itself across the European Union, Martos Gross explains, the next step will be to expand into new territories, including Russia, China, and America. While Martos Gross admits that the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom “has put some investment decisions on hold in Spain,” he believes it will “not cause significant changes in the long term, because of mutual interest.”
Outside of the office, Martos Gross is married to another lawyer, Blanca Loring, who specialises in immigration law and is the father of three children, including a seven-month old. “We’re back in nappies,” he jokes. Having given up on golf – “I got bored with it and threw my old clubs away,” he says – he is a keen mountain biker and likes to spend his free time on the trails in the hills behind Marbella, when not at the beach with his family.