This week in our MHC Life series, we speak to Dispute Resolution Partner, James Morrin. James talks us through his journey to MHC, some recent reads, and what path he would have taken if he didn't go into practising law.
Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career?
My pathway into MHC has been a varied one! I studied economics and sociology in Trinity, and when I graduated went straight into AIB as a junior commercial lender. I have always had an interest in law, which came initially from my mother who worked as a legal secretary. I remember going in to her office in Naas after primary school waiting for her to finish up, and listening to the reports on the days' events in the District Court.
I qualified in January 2013, not quite into the teeth of the recession but in a very difficult time nonetheless. I was lucky to immediately land an in house role in NAMA, which was a fantastic experience for a newly qualified solicitor. I developed a particular interest in cross border disputes and conflict of laws, and spent a number of years as an offshore commercial litigator in the British Virgin Islands before returning home.
I think the highlights for me have all been situations where I have been able to deliver results for clients, particularly against the odds. Sometimes you get so caught up in the work that you forget how emotionally invested people are in the disputes they become involved in. Seeing the genuine relief and satisfaction that delivering a result can bring to a client is always a highlight.
Talk us through a typical day for you during the COVID-19 pandemic…
A typical day for me starts at about 7.30am. It's a flurry of activity to get our two young children fed, and out to crèche before returning home to start the working day before 9am. I live in the countryside and try to get out for a run during lunch a few days a week to clear my head. I have found this lockdown particularly tough and running is my 'go to' for stress relief! The kids are back by 5.30pm and its all hands on deck for a few hours of dinner, baths and bedtime before logging on again for an hour or two in the evening to see out the working day.
What books have you read during lockdown?
I have been trying (often in vain I admit!) to avoid too much screen time after work, and to read more books. I have just finished Donal Ryan's latest novel "Strange Flowers", and also John Connell's "The Running Book", both of which are excellent.
If I wasn't a commercial litigator I would be........
A musician….albeit likely a failed one!
"Assume nothing, believe nobody, check everything!"
What's your idea of a perfect holiday/favourite place you've ever visited?
My favourite place in the world is Badgers Cove in Dunmore East, very early in the morning with the tide fully in. Swimming there on a calm day…heaven!