This week in our MHC Life Series, we speak to Financial Services Partner, Liam Flynn. Liam tells us about his journey to MHC, his typical day working from home, and his habit of missing famous people.
Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career?
Like many lawyers I fell into the job. I have no family background in law. Our family business was a pub and an off license, so I spent my school weekends, college weekends and holidays pulling pints and washing glasses. I won’t say what age I started working at, because there was a special dispensation at that time from child labour laws for publicans’ family members!
After UCD, I got a scholarship to do a post-grad in the UK and stayed on to qualify as a solicitor in a City of London law firm with a strong shipping and insurance practice. It was the 90s and I was hoping that my life in London as a young lawyer would be a cross between Friends and Wall Street, without ending up in prison obviously – depending on your age, you may need to look this up, google Charlie Sheen and Wall Street.
The Lloyd’s market was melting down at the time that I qualified, after the run of heavy losses in the late 80s, and I became a re/insurance litigator. I loved the business of insurance: the characters and the stories that I came across in the industry – but I didn’t enjoy the business of litigation much. After 3 years, I transferred to corporate/regulatory practice with another London firm and then returned to Ireland in the early 00s.
I have had a great career journey. I was Partner with another Irish firm where we built a top-level corporate/regulatory insurance practice. I took up a senior role in an international banking/financial services regulatory body based in Switzerland. I then returned to Ireland again to resume the partnership with my former firm, re-building an insurance and bank regulatory practice and now joined the fantastic team at MHC!
Talk us through a typical day for you during the COVID-19 pandemic…
Apart from six months garden leave between my last position and this one, my experience of the pandemic has been much like everyone else’s. At the start, WFH was a novelty, and the absence of a commute was a huge bonus from a quality-of-life point of view. From a leadership perspective, managing in the pandemic has been much more difficult and I’ve been very aware that many team members are operating with limited working facilities and in strained circumstances. For example, lots of folks gave up expensive rented accommodation in Dublin in 2020 and moved in with family, thinking that they might be there for 2-3 months, and now 12 months later they are still there. That’s a tough situation for an adult however good the relationships in the family are and keeping sane has been critical for everyone through this time. I’ve kept sane through the pandemic by buying enough fitness equipment online to start a small gym, binge-watching anything on Netflix involving selling overpriced property and cooking Italian food for the family on Sundays.
Have you ever met anyone famous?
Have I met anyone famous? Define “famous” and “meet”! If you mean globally stratospherically famous, I’ve always just missed out on that. In New York I went to a rooftop bar in the Meatpacking District only to be told “Lady Gaga was here last night”. In London I went to The Ivy for the first time only to be told “Madonna was here last week”. I once shared the same gym equipment as Alan Shearer, does that count? I’m sure he doesn’t remember it though. His wife and mine had a nice chat in the breakfast buffet queue.