By Khiara Elliott
With over 55 years of practice, Melbourne solicitor Gregory Antippa still loves what he does and doesn’t plan to stop any time soon, even at 85 years old.
Mr Antippa has degrees in law and arts from the University of Melbourne, as well as a diploma in American Law which he earned in Chicago. He is also the seventh Greek lawyer to ever be admitted to practice law in Victoria.
He has recently become semi-retired, handing the reigns over to son Peter who now runs the CBD practice. Although he has shortened his working week to spend more time at his property at Phillip Island, Mr Antippa still cherishes the time he spends working out of his Collins St practice.
CBD News met with Mr Antippa at his office that overlooks the picturesque Gordon Reserve and Parliament House to have a chat about his experience over so many years of practice.
After being admitted to practice law in 1961, Mr Antippa started his career working closely with migrants due to his ability to speak multiple languages.
“When I started, most of my clients were mainly Greek migrants and Arabic-speaking migrants,” he said.
“It was a bit difficult for them at the time because their English was very poor and they didn’t have telephones. They didn’t have cars. They used to just land in the office and I would help them with filling out forms and other social matters.”
The time and effort spent advising on social welfare matters paid off in the long run, as these migrants eventually became long-term clients, continuing to use Mr Antippa’s services once they had adjusted to their new home here in Australia.
“Later on, once they had established themselves, they also came here regarding legal matters,” he continued.
When queried about how he maintained these relationships for so long, Mr Antippa insisted there was no real secret to it.
“It’s just good will, understanding your client and wanting to help them. Generally people appreciate that and they keep coming back to you,” he said.
After so many years of working in the CBD, Mr Antippa has seen a lot of external changes. However, it seems the internal workings of his practice have remained the same.
“There have been a lot of changes, but the people that I worked with back in the 1960s and ’70s still come here if they’re alive,” he begins. “A lot of their children also come here.”
“I’ve had my hands full ever since. I’ve never advertised.”
Any aspiring lawyer would be fortunate to receive advice and guidance from a solicitor with the wealth of knowledge and experience that Mr Antippa has. To all those starting out, he shares the following:
“You’ve got to put your clients’ interests first, not your own interests. Do your best for them and you’ll find that they’ll keep coming back.”
Here’s to you, Mr Antippa, for your service and care of the CBD people. May you continue to have a long and celebrated career.