Legal Matters Q&A: Michael Hall, corporate partner at Keebles

Michael Hall
Michael Hall
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What’s the biggest development you’ve seen in the legal world during your career?

The change in the local marketplace since I started practising. I started as a trainee the week of the Lehman Brothers collapse and the first few years were the middle of the credit crunch. That led to a period of realignment in the legal market. Some firms left, some came in and some merged. There was a lot of flux. The South Yorkshire market is a different landscape now, and I believe has real opportunities for firms that are fully committed to it.

What law would you like to see changed?

A very niche one, but the rules around directors’ situational conflicts of interest, introduced by the Companies Act 2006, is one of those frustrating bits of legislation which seems relatively benign but due to its broad scope can be a bit of a rabbit hole.

What is the most exciting work you’ve ever done?

I have been lucky to be involved during my career in some really good deals, with brilliant local businesses but there was a real adrenalin rush last year when I was involved in a large secondary buyout which completed in less than a week. For a corporate deal of that size and complexity, it was a very short time frame.

Who in the legal world do you most admire?

I’m regularly impressed by the determination of some of the applicants we get for our training contracts. Training contracts are extremely hard to come by and we often see candidates who have been searching for two or three years, many of them taking paralegal jobs during that time to gain the experience they need. Their commitment to a career in the legal profession is something I really admire.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?

Be a sponge. Identify people who are good at what they do. Watch them, study them and learn from them.