Mark Farrell shares a day in his life
Calculus specialises in the recovery of legal costs in personal injury and clinical negligence cases, working exclusively for claimant law firms.
John Hayes is the Founder and MD, having established the business in 2003. I have known John for more than four years as Calculus was one of our costs partners when I was MD of Hilary Meredith Solicitors. I Joined John in May last year and my role is predominantly client facing so I look to be with clients or networking at least three days a week. We work with a number of the Top 500 claimant law firms all over the country.
I am normally awake before my alarm at 6.30am but gone are the days when I need to tip-toe around the house as both my children have recently started at University. I tend to be up, showered, dressed and out of the house in 30 minutes. I’ve never been one for an early breakfast as I like to “get ahead of the game” and try to instil some order to my day before the noise interferes with all my plans!
Our client base is UK wide so one day I could be in the South West, the next the South East and then back to the North West. Fortunately I enjoy driving and with the phone it is easy to stay in contact with clients and my team. My meetings are normally with the managing partner or the commercial/ financial director depending on the size of the organisation but increasingly heads of in-house costs teams are also looking for support.
One of my key aims is to understand the needs of our clients and to ensure we fully support their business objectives on a case by case basis and at a strategic level. Having worked in the legal profession for over 20 years I am often able to provide different solutions or to introduce contacts which can assists clients.
If I am going to our new office in Southport the commute from Knutsford involves the joys of the M6, M62 and the M57. On a good day it takes 50 minutes, on a bad day the M6 turns into a car park (I think we’ve all been there).
In the mornings I listen to The Today Program (John Humphreys is a legend) and I enjoy listening to John and Nick Robinson invariably shredding our politicians. It’s only when I get to Marine Drive in Southport that I can start to enjoy the journey. Whilst the sea always appears to be about three miles away the view towards Blackpool and The Lakes is worth a look.
Normally I am the second person in the office (I think Lisa, our office manager, must sleep there). I have a quick catch up with Lisa then it’s computer on, diary items out and a coffee.
My diary items help shape the morning and my “to do list” - who do I need to ring, remind or contact? I then look at our latest KPIs and talk to our cost lawyers about current cases, success rates and areas for improvement before talking to clients or contacts in the profession.
If I don’t have a lunch appointment I grab a sandwich at my desk and tend to work through.
Outside of conversations with clients, the balance of the day normally involves internal discussions to ensure various activities are on track – for example, GDPR, presentation packs, communication of new case law and regulatory changes, social media updates or deciding which events to support/attend.
The great thing about working in a team is the interaction and the feeling that we are all pulling in the same direction. I see my role as providing the right environment and encouraging ideas, identifying potential hurdles and agreeing solutions so all stakeholders benefit. As a result of such discussions we have recently increased our focus on CSR and have decided to support the Mavis Nye Foundation as well as a number of local charities. I am always amazed, and humbled, at the large number of individuals and firms in our profession who embrace CSR and support good causes.
If I’m not attending an evening event I tend to leave the office around 5.30pm and I change stations to Talk Sport to see what‘s happening in the world of football. Once home I take a quick look at my phone for any late responses and then it’s either a cheeky G&T or a sauvignon blanc (always Marlborough) before dinner. If I’m lucky there will be a Man United game on the TV but, if not, a good drama with my feet up.
I go to bed around 10.30pm, get my suit ready for the morning and normally fall asleep listening to the dulcet tones of Rutha Lashar.