In this edition of Realm Talks To…our litigation recruitment specialist, Rebecca, spoke to Marcin Durlak, Managing Partner and Joint Founder of IMD Solicitors LLP and IMD Corporate. During their conversation, Marcin gave us an insight into his resolution for 2022, getting his black belt in Taekwon-do and his favourite professional development books.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the law?
Be proactive, always go above and beyond what is expected from your role and you will be noticed, appreciated and rewarded, if you are at the right firm, but don’t forget about the work-life balance. Also, start building and maintaining your network of contacts from an early stage of your career, as it will become one of your greatest assets.
When it comes to recruiting, what do you look for in a lawyer?
Whilst legal knowledge and experience are important factors, first and foremost we are looking for the right personality that would fit our culture and share our values of respect, diversity, honesty, commitment to excellence and caring. Being selective in our recruitment and looking for the right cultural fit is, in my view, one of the keys to our success. We have a supportive culture and we are always looking for a team player, and the concept was very well described in one of the Patrick Lencioni books: “The Ideal Team Player”.
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions for 2022?
Yes, I want to spend more time with my wife and kids and maintain a work-life balance. I am often guilty of working during evenings and weekends, but I realise that it’s really difficult to mix work and family time. You just can’t do both well at the same time, so separating both clearly is something I want to do.
What would you say has been your greatest achievement?
On a personal level, I think it will be passing my black belt grading in Taekwon-do at the age of 39, after giving up training when I was 20 when I was so close to it. I thought it was too late to achieve my goal, but my business coach inspired me by asking the right questions and I returned to training after an 18-year-break. It just shows that it’s never too late to achieve your dreams. On a business level, it is moving to the UK and setting up a successful law firm with my wife, building an amazing team, navigating through difficult times and making the firm thrive despite the obstacles.
What’s your go-to work from home snack?
I try to work from the office whenever I can to be with my team members that choose to work from the office despite our flexible and remote working policy. I don’t really do snacks, but if I have to pick one, it would be a fruit like a banana or an apple.
What’s your favourite book?
I listen to audiobooks whilst I am cycling to work and my choice is usually personal and professional development books. I have a few favourites: “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, “The Ultimate Jim Rohn Library” by Jim Rohn or “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. I have also found “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari very fascinating.
Do you prefer a night in or a night out?
Dinner in a restaurant and a glass of wine with my wife and friends is always a great way to spend time, socialise and maintain relationships. On the other hand, I love nights in with the kids at home and they are great fun, so it will have to be my first choice.
About Marcin Durlak
Marcin is a Managing Partner and Joint Founder of IMD Solicitors LLP and IMD Corporate. Marcin has a vast amount of experience in different areas of the legal sector, advising businesses on construction, transport, manufacturing, and retail matters. Marcin is seen as a thought leader in his sector and is regularly asked for comment from both national and international media.