BDM Boylan is one of the region’s largest law firms and continues to grow from their frequent successes and achievements. Recently, the company announced the appointment of Colm Manning as Partner, who now heads up the Commercial team.
We sat down with Colm to talk about his transition to the new role, what he hopes to bring to the Commercial team, what makes a great leader and so much more.
What drew you to specialise in commercial law?
As a young lawyer starting out it was the attractiveness of working on transactions that you read about in the next day’s paper that first drew my interest. That has developed over time into recognising that my commercial awareness allied to a keen eye for detail and how people interact when negotiating can add real value for clients.
To what do you attribute your success?
It’s all about working well with your team and believing you can make a difference to the project you are working on. A bit of introspection is important too, if you go wrong somewhere along the way, learn why and move forward. There also has to be room for fun and enjoyment on the journey!
As the head of a department, how do you motivate team members?
Continued engagement and communication is key. So too is keeping ambitions real and not pressing to achieve the clearly unachievable. Courteousness and respect cannot be underestimated in any human relationship and a working relationship should be no different.
Understanding the existing culture and dynamic within an organisation is essential for any new join. Get to know the organisation’s focus and what makes its people tick. Once you understand that focus, don’t try to fundamentally change it for the sake of change alone. Rather, go about seeing how your skills can contribute to it and open it up to different aspects that may not have been contemplated.
What are your hopes and goals for the Commercial branch of BDM Boylan over the next 12 months?
Deliver more commercial services to our existing client base, acquire new clients and talent and leverage the benefits of technology to help deliver better client outcomes. Our long-term goal is to be the regional law firm of choice for service excellence and trusted, pragmatic commercial advice.
How has the introduction of GDPR affected the commercial legal services you offer and specialise in?
The proliferation of cybersecurity threats has, out of necessity, brought about a shift in mindset among companies in terms of their ability to adequately plan for and respond to cyber-attacks. A lot like good financial governance, information governance and associated good practices are important aspects to which serious thought must be given by company owners and executives. This has led to an increase in businesses building into their models essential data security considerations that ensure GDPR compliance. From a legal services delivery standpoint, things are no different. Lawyers must deliver their services in a manner that ensures utmost data security. We at BDM Boylan have implemented cutting-edge business and information systems that do that to the ultimate benefit of our clients.
What do you offer to entrepreneurs and startups as a mentor?
I have advised many start-ups and regularly present at co-working hubs and university incubator programmes on raising finance, ownership and exploitation of IP, directors’ duties, data privacy and commercial contracts. Starting a company is not just about the product or the idea. It is also about getting to grips with and managing the legal, tax and regulatory aspects that apply to running a company. A lawyer has an important part to play in assuming responsibility for those burdens, thereby freeing up the founder to grow the business.
What trait do you most value in a person you do business with?
Being honest about your limitations and realising when something is outside of your gift. I much prefer working with a person who under-promises but over-delivers.
If you couldn’t work in commercial law for a living, what would you like to do?
I love getting to know how structures and systems work, so I’ve always believed that following in my father’s footsteps and becoming an engineer was my true calling.
BDM Boylan Solicitors
Clarkes Bridge House, Hanover Street, Cork
021 431 3333