In our latest ‘meet the team’ series, we caught up with Wallace Quinn Director Mark McBride for a chat. Mark started as a trainee solicitor at Wallace Quinn nearly fifteen years ago, becoming a Director last year. Away from the office, Mark became a dad last year, with young Connal keeping him on his toes!
Did you always want to be a lawyer?
No, I wanted to be a professional golfer, but couldn’t get my handicap below four, so decided to try something else. When I was at school I was much better at Maths than English, but the jobs that maths skills were best suited to didn’t appeal to me. With the amount of legal dramas on television, the law was always at the back of my mind, but I thought I would end up as a court lawyer. All these years after leaving university and I’ve not been in a courtroom yet and I’m not sure Netflix will ever commission a drama about conveyancing solicitors. It was golf though that introduced me to Wallace Quinn. A friend that both John Quinn and I know through golf circles knew I was looking for a traineeship and introduced us both on a train from Croy to Glasgow and here I am fifteen years later.
What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer?
I really enjoy dealing with clients. Buying a new house is both stressful and exciting and I suppose it also gets my adrenaline going when I’m involved. It’s great to see people really happy when they get the keys and I get lots of satisfaction knowing I’ve helped.
What is your philosophy when dealing with clients?
Good and regular communication is key. Always try to keep the client updated as often as possible and try to get in touch with them before they feel the need to get in touch with you. Keep the legal jargon to a minimum and use plain English as often as possible. Embrace new technology when it helps but remember good old fashioned face to face communication still has an important role to play.
What’s the biggest challenge in your job?
In conveyancing, you are dealing with people who are going through quite a big life event and it is quite stressful, so we need to make sure things are organised and they are kept updated. Managing expectations is important. Buying a new house is exciting and understandably everybody wants to move in ASAP. They don’t really care about mineral reports and the not-very-exciting but really important elements of conveyancing. Conveyancing also has lots of time sensitive points in the process, so for example if somebody is moving house on a particular day then they’ll have booked a removal van and arranged to hand back the keys, so any last minute issues literally have to be resolved at the last minute because the removal van isn’t going to wait. I’m tempting fate when I say this, but there isn’t much we’ve not seen before, so our preparation, procedures and experience ensure 99.99% of cases are completed without a hitch.
What do you do to switch off?
I don’t like sitting around, so I try to do something that keeps my mind ticking over without having to think about work. I like going to the gym and I enjoy swimming. At least that’s what I would have told you if you’d asked me a year ago, because now I’ve got a one year old toddler at home who takes up most of my time away from the office and I couldn’t be happier. Connal also gets me up early in the morning, so I come into work early, which in turn helps keep my day organised so I can get home at a decent time and enjoy family time before bed.
We’ve heard you’re quite good at Pool?
It something I’ve always played since I was a kid. We had a small pool table in the loft when I was growing up and I have great memories of playing with my dad and my brother and it is always something I have an interest in. I play whenever I can and I like to take part in competitions rather than just knock balls around at the pub.
What does the future hold for you and Wallace Quinn?
Last year we opened a new office in Livingston and the business is growing, which is great. Conveyancing is moving more and more towards a digital delivery model, but I think that there will always be a emphasis on great service, fast turnaround times, face to face contact and professional expertise, all of which we are already good at here at Wallace Quinn. The human touch isn’t going anywhere in conveyancing and I’m happy about that.