Increasingly, my day is getting busier, so accessing the right news quickly and efficiently is one of the most important things for me. With the FT it’s just slick as you’d expect.Partner, Mason Hayes & Curran LLP
Delivering trusted legal advice around the world
Mason Hayes & Curran LLP is an established law firm based out of Dublin, and has been in operation since 1970.
The firm has offices in London, New York and San Francisco and provides a broad range of legal advice to multinational, institutional, state agency and government clients.
Micheál Grace is a partner for MHC, and has been at the firm since 2003. He trained at the firm and has worked through the ranks from associate, through senior associate, head of the London office and is now a senior partner in MHC’s financial services department.
“I specialise in real estate finance and distressed asset situations, and my client base is 75% international,” he said. “We work with high profile clients across all sectors, and are a dominant and pre-eminent firm in each industry we specialise in.”
MHC has seen exponential growth over the last two decades, going from 20 partners in 2001 to now 95 partners with over 500 total staff.
Micheál was the lead partner of the London office between 2012 and 2015, and has been responsible for maintaining relationships with the clients that run through the London market.
“When I was in London, I would explain that when you talk about the domestic Irish markets, you’re dealing with a population equivalent to Manchester, but with one of the most productive economies in Europe,” he said.
“It’s so much smaller than the UK in terms of population, so you have to work to ensure that the international client understands the proximity of relationships in Ireland and to provide them with context as to how they can best succeed in Ireland, which is an unrivalled hub for FDI.”
“We tailor our advice to clients’ business and strategic objectives and give them clear recommendations. This allows clients to make good, informed decisions and to anticipate, and successfully navigate, even the most complex matters. Delivering that advice in an appropriate context has helped us help our clients.”
But having such a large portfolio of global clients from such a small market does present its own challenges. Micheál has highlighted a key factor for performance is the ability to deliver reasoned, clear and relevant advice.
“We’ve always tried to do things differently in the Irish market, to be innovative and use our resources in the best way we can for our clients’ benefit,” Micheál said. “The big challenge, given the diversity of clients we have, is making sure that our knowledge and our ability to deliver excellent advice is appropriately resourced in all aspects."
“We need to ensure our people know what they’re talking about, to find the right information, distill it and deliver our legal advice with the appropriate context. I think we do this well and this seems to be endorsed by our loyal clients, even so much that we are also past winners of an FT Innovative Lawyers award.”
Providing the 'Irish insight'
MHC operates on two fronts: representing domestic and international clients, and providing insight and advice from an Irish perspective. The law firm has established themselves as fundamental experts in their field, and Micheál is one of the partners that will offer this support.
“Lots of international businesses have their businesses running through Ireland in some capacity, so they may have large international professional firms advising them already, but they’ll need local law support,” he said. “Our role is to provide them the ‘Irish insight’ where it is needed. Getting market intelligence or proprietary information is easier for me living in and being an established adviser in Ireland as opposed to operating from London."
“We bring a new and energized perspective to a client’s legal risk management environment. We use our experience from working with a wide range of clients in Ireland for their benefit. We are able to quickly provide consistently excellent Irish legal advice, that is relevant to our clients, in a style that is clear.”
Ensuring that their market intelligence is full and effective is a top priority of MHC as a firm. With a requirement of this global insight, the practice turned to the Financial Times, rolling out a Group Subscription for their partners and staff. By utilising an FT Group Subscription, MHC personnel have access to the most trusted and unbiased international news available, across business, finance and global markets.
The FT gives you the information you need to be credible on the topics of the day. To be in a different country and to be able to talk about what’s happening in those markets, and to be on point about what you’re discussing is the most important thing. Having staff who are informed and polished, from a credible source in the FT, is second to none.Partner, Mason Hayes & Curran LLP
Efficiency in information consumption
But it’s not just accurate and trusted insights that Micheál and his team require to build effective relationships with their clients. It’s also the speed of consumption of that insight.
“Our working style is versatile and collaborative, creating a shared perspective with other advisers and their clients so that legal solutions are developed together,” Micheál said. “When I work with top global law firms, their clients are at the top end of their businesses, so when they ring me for advice or send me an email, they expect speed and accuracy. It’s not complicated, but speed is everything, and having the right information at your fingertips is vital for their success.”
Thankfully, with an FT Group Subscription, there are multiple avenues for efficient news distribution, and the ability to filter through the noise to get to the information that matters to you. Micheál uses email digests and myFT to get his news faster, as well as consuming the FT’s podcasts and video content.
“Typically, I wake up first thing in the morning, grab the phone, and go through the Daily Digest. The live feed and notifications from the topics I follow on myFT also helps me to sift through and get to the content I’m interested in," he said. "I don’t have to search around to read the full paper, I get my email through to distill all the news I’m going to need that day. It’s great."
"Increasingly, my day is getting busier, so accessing the right news quickly and efficiently is one of the most important things for my day. Having this diversified platform is probably the feature of all news, media and information sources that I require, and with the FT it’s just slick as you’d expect.”
Speed isn’t always possible, so Micheál may have to improvise. He is based in Dublin, and like many, has been working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. Through the FT, he can download his news direct to his phone, which can be vital when having important client conversations.
“The best way of selling services is to do a good job in the first place, by being an expert in your field,” he concludes. “To understand the context of your advice, and to be able to talk about the client’s business and market gives us a leg up on the competition, and makes us useful assets for our client’s to have. The FT helps us to do all of that.”
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