MHC Life: Brian McElligott

14 November 2019

As November is AI month in Mason Hayes & Curran, we chat to Intellectual Property Partner, Brian McElligott. Brian tells us about his work in AI, working as a substitute maths teacher and meeting Jeff Daniels.

What inspired you to venture on this career path/why did you choose law?

Since my training contract I have been fascinated by all things intellectual property. My background is in maths and physics and I jumped at the chance to work in a legal tech sphere. It has taken me a while to get to the point where I deal only in IP, having previously dabbled in privacy also, but all the hard work was worth it.

Favourite thing about your role?

I find that an intellectual property lawyer’s role is particularly fascinating in the era of artificial intelligence when traditional notions of authorship and creation are being challenged. Here in Mason Hayes & Curran we are at the forefront of what is happening in AI and particularly at the EU level where very interesting changes are taking place.

Have you always worked in law?

While studying for the FE1 exams I worked as substitute maths teacher for two years. It transpired to be great preparation for life in a corporate law firm, nothing is as intimidating as a class of school kids and that stills stands after having worked in three large corporate firms!

What sports/hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy?  

I love cycling, swimming and running (in moderation). Having two young boys has also pushed me in the direction of mentoring in GAA and football. It’s great fun to be regularly involved with kids, even if it feels like herding cats most of the time.

Have you ever met anyone famous?

Like all big thinkers I am huge Dumb and Dumber fan. I met (stalked) Jeff Daniels outside a Broadway theatre once after a performance of God of Carnage and got his autograph. I clammed up when trying to engage him. 

What was your first job?

I ran my own mini market gardening business when I was in secondary school (with a lot of help from my Dad!). I grew the vegetables and sold them locally. There’s a lot to be said for working your own hours and only during the summer months……

AI month in Mason Hayes & Curran

Mason Hayes & Curran is sponsoring the upcoming AI Ireland Awards and I was delighted to be involved in judging one of the categories. The event is a celebration of the thriving Irish AI eco-system and I would encourage anyone with an interest in the area to try to attend. You will meet some of the biggest tech companies in the world as well as indigenous fast growth companies/research organisations/students that are doing amazing things.

Interested in joining the Law Firm of the Year? We are always interested in hearing from talented and experienced lawyers at all levels who are looking to relocate to Dublin.

Related content:

MHC Life: Nikki Evans

MHC Life: Paul Rochford

MHC Life: Sinéad Power

MHC Life: Gerard Kelly

Discuss your related queries now with Brian McElligott.


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