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This week in our MHC Life Series, we hear from Hazel McDwyer, Partner in our Intellectual Property team. Hazel chats about her typical day and famous people she has met during her years in Australia.

Hazel McDwyer, Partner, Intellectual Property
Hazel McDwyer, Partner, Intellectual Property

Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career?

I was interested in law from an early age. I recall telling my teacher in primary school that I wanted to be a judge. I think I watched too many US courtroom dramas!

I studied intellectual property in my masters and knew that was what I wanted to do. During my early years, I tried to get as much broad litigation and commercial experience as possible, as well as intellectual property. I felt it important to learn how commercial law works and what happens when things go wrong, before I specialised, so I could better advise clients.

Before joining MHC, I was an IP partner in a large corporate firm in Sydney, where l lived for the past 14 years. Life on the other side of the world gives you a different perspective, but it is great to be back on home soil and to have joined the MHC team.

Favourite thing about your role?

I love the constant challenges with IP law. You get to work with inventive people and there is always something new to learn. No two days are ever the same.

From a partner perspective, I enjoy seeing team members develop and progress through their careers.

Talk us through a typical day for you

As I have recently moved from summer to winter, my typical day has changed somewhat!

I have a number of overseas clients, so I often have calls very early in the morning or late in the evening.

My workday is generally filled with phone calls, Zooms, emails and drafting. I lose count of the number of emails I send and receive each day.

At night, I try to cook a healthy dinner with my husband and then it’s usually some Netflix, reading, more emails or calls.

What tv shows have you binge watched recently?

I just finished watching The Dropout, which is about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. It is excellent. Also, from an IP perspective, it shows the importance of undertaking IP due diligence!

What's your idea of a perfect holiday/favourite place you've ever visited?

My perfect holiday is a mix of lots of activity, warm weather, history, nature, and the beach – and good food.

Our last big holiday, when we could still travel, was three weeks in Peru, which provided all of this. We went to Cuzco, Machu Pichu, the Amazon, Lima, saw the Nazca Lines and then some beach time to relax at the end. I highly recommend visiting there.

Have you ever met anyone famous?

When I was in Australia, I was on a committee for a philanthropic charity, the Ireland Funds Australia, for several years.

I got to meet quite a few famous Irish people at various events over the years, including President Higgins, Sonia O’Sullivan, Irish and Australian AFL players, such as Adam Goodes and Tadhg Kennelly, as well as Alan Joyce, the CEO of Qantas!

It always made me very proud of Ireland, seeing such amazing, inspirational ambassadors representing us on the world stage.



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