THIS week's High Flyer is Philip McBride, partner at John McKee Solicitors in Belfast.
What was your first job?
After I completed my Law degree in Queen’s University Belfast, I worked for Allstate in Chicago as a business analyst before returning home and starting my first training contract at John McKee Solicitors.
What qualifications do you have?
I have Law degree and a Masters in Computers in Law.
What do you attribute your success to?
Stay focused and hard work. I regularly set my alarm for 4am and that’s either to get up and go running or start my work for the day – and I still find that there aren’t enough hours in the day.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
I’m very positive, energetic, full of life with still a lot that I want to do and achieve.
Who do you look up to in business?
I love sport and see a lot of similarities between successful sports people and successful business people. Alex Ferguson achieved great success over a sustained period of time building great teams year-after-year so I would have to say he would be someone I look to.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I lead by example. I’m approachable, treat everyone equal and speak to people with respect, which I think makes people work to the best of their ability. Its also important to have a bit of fun during the day.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
Northern Ireland is a limited market in terms of the size and the number of law firms here. A lot of Northern Ireland firms can only practice here, whereas we are a multi-jurisdictional law firm which means we can also practice in the Republic, England and Wales. We are currently in a period of growth and as part of this we have been looking more to the UK for new business opportunities.
What website or app could you not do without?
Strava – it’s like a running, cycling and swimming community. Highly addictive.
What was the last book you read?
‘The Chimp Paradox’ by Professor Steve Peters.
What car do you drive?
Unfortunately last year I was diagnosed with optic neuropathy, which has meant I have lost vision in both of my eyes. I am therefore no longer able to drive. Taxis, bikes and running are my mode of transport now.
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I’m currently challenging myself to beat the three-hour barrier for completing a marathon – which apparently only two percent of runners who start a marathon race can do. I finished the Dublin Marathon last October in 3 hours 10 minutes and I’m currently being coached by Irish Olympic runner Paul Pollock to help me achieve this goal.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
At the minute I would say that I am addicted to running.