What is your proudest achievement in business?
I was walking down a street and met a friend who had become a Bishop. I of course asked him if he was enjoying his role and he said that he would be if it wasn’t for problems with the leaking roof at Liverpool Catholic Cathedral. My gut feeling was that this was more than a construction problem because the Cathedral had been erected some 15 to 20 years before and Limitation issues would arise. The Bishop took me to see the Archbishop who expressed considerable reluctance in allowing the Church to enter litigation as he didn’t think that it was the sort of thing that Churches should do. I explained that the alternative was to seek repair costs from the faithful, who had paid for the Cathedral to be built. I was instructed to deal with a claim for compensation and some six years later, produced a successful result. I am also proud of my record in recovering compensation in very difficult cases for members of the general public who had no money and being able to change somebody’s life by a successful outcome is highly rewarding.
Do you have a motto that guides the way you do business?
I often quote to myself the line from Gerard Manley Hopkins: “Crying what I do is me, for that I came”. The motto asks more questions than it answers and that is excellent.
Which individual has inspired you in your business life and why?
Sir Thomas More. He was a determined and extremely thorough lawyer. He liked to produce results but in the end, his respect, for what is true and what is reality cost him his life. He should be remembered not because of the way he died, but because it was the way he lived which enabled him to die in the way he did.
How do you make contacts that are useful for business?
In dealing with professional negligence claims for claimants, almost everyone I meet is a potential client and useful contact. Beyond that, I sustain close relationships with talented barristers, experts, other professionals and with the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association.
How about your online profile? Do you use Facebook or Twitter, and if so, with how much success?
I’m a rare breed in that I don’t personally use Facebook or Twitter as I have seen too many gaffes committed by others to wish to get involved. However, as a firm we have a strong online presence through various social media channels including Twitter and LinkedIn which I tap into.
If you hadn’t gone down your chosen career path – what else would you be doing?
In my younger days I thought seriously about becoming a priest. However, a wife and three children have sorted that out! I have thoroughly enjoyed my career but I might also have enjoyed being a historian, albeit with lesser reward. If I retired, I would like to lecture in Russian History.
What do you think business will be doing differently in 10 years’ time?
Ten years ago, I could not possibly have forecast the immense technological advances which have taken place and I’m sure this will develop at an even faster pace over the next decade. The future will be in the hands of the technologically adept, both in the commercial world and in the Law. Litigation will, substantially, be conducted on-line although I hope that we retain Trial with oral evidence given in person and in a single place.
What item do you always have with you?
A constant pursuit of integrity.
Tell us one tip which could be invaluable to anyone in life or business?
Work hard and play hard. Take your maximum holiday entitlement. You can do this and still be more productive than almost everyone else.