In this instalment of Realm Talks To, Senior Consultant Rebecca Blundell spoke to John Colvin, Partner, Head of Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation expert. During their conversation, John explained why he decided to become a lawyer, what he looks for when hiring a lawyer, and how HM Legal is different from other law firms.
At what age did you decide that the law was for you?
When studying for my A-levels. It wasn’t my first choice in all honesty. I wanted to become an academic in modern history and my father (as a then police officer) suggested law would be a rewarding career. I assumed at the time he meant in an intellectual sense.
What makes HM Legal different from other firms?
I’ve seen in practice many law firms with similar mission statements that focus on client delivery. That’s an expected given in a professional environment but HM Legal backs that up in practice with a client charter against which their clients can easily measure performance. The HM Legal team works together to ensure a consistent and gold-standard level of client service is achieved at all times.
Actions not words set them apart.
What’s been the most interesting case you’ve worked on in your career?
A shareholder/defamation dispute involving a football club. Witnessing the complex characters involved behind the press headlines was fascinating, and very different from my usual area of work (contractual disputes) where you have intellectually stimulating, but sometimes dry, arguments about the meaning of a contract.
When recruiting for your team, what do you look for in a lawyer?
Three things: ambition, the ability to operate as a team player, and the willingness to view each working day as an opportunity for professional and personal development whatever scenario they face.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Deal with the most challenging tasks when starting your day, and the rest of the day can only then improve.
Which 3 people would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Marcus Aurelius (former Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher) – looking at the very differing and multiple challenges of modern life, do his ‘meditations’ to lead the best life possible still have relevance?
Frank Herbert (science fiction visionary) – in 1965 where did he find his inspiration for the Dune Universe with its bizarre mixture of stellar travel and feudal society? Even 50 years on, seeing our massive global and societal changes does Dune represent a glimpse of what might still be?
Finally, VI Lenin – what would he have done differently with his vision armed with the knowledge of the last 100 years, and how/would that have avoided the current situation with Russia?
About John Colvin
John is Partner, Head of Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation expert at HM Legal.
As a dispute resolution solicitor with over two decades’ experience, John is used to guiding clients through complicated disagreements over business contracts, commercial disputes (including shareholder disputes), and emotionally-charged disputes over inheritance or business assets.