Finalist Interview: Marcus Hayes MBE
Introducing the Solicitor of the Year – Private Practice Shortlist: Q & A with Marcus Hayes MBE, Managing Director of Mason Hayes Solicitors
What do you enjoy most about working in commercial litigation?
Apart from being instructed in a variety of substantial commercial disputes, I have the benefit of working with a great team of people and some very interesting and entertaining clients!
What is your background before establishing Mason Hayes in 2002?
I grew up in a small Worcestershire town and travelled before embarking on my further education. I was the first person in my family to go to university and originally was determined to pursue a training contract in London. I decided to come to Manchester as the city offered a more interesting prospect, both socially and from a career point of view. Having worked in a number of national and international law firms, I set up Mason Hayes in 2002.
What would be your advice to a prospective lawyer looking to specialise in commercial litigation?
To take every opportunity to broaden your experience to help you decide what particular area of commercial litigation you would be interested in. That is why it has been a pleasure for the Mason Hayes Charitable Trust to offer undergraduates at Sussex University in particular, a variety of work placement opportunities to assist them in their ultimate career choices.
What are the biggest challenges facing commercial litigation lawyers today?
The biggest challenge for me personally is balancing costs with the expectations of the client. In particular, one of my key challenges at the moment is defending substantial commercial clients who are often involved in proceedings brought by impecunious Claimants.
What is the most rewarding work you have undertaken in your career?
In 2009 I established the Mason Hayes Charitable Trust which, for almost a decade, has worked quietly behind the scenes to ensure that the legal profession is more open and accessible. My work in that regard has a longstanding commitment to improving social mobility. In recent years, the Trust has worked with a number of institutions to ensure talented people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential in the law, no matter what their background.