Five minutes with… Mark Lawlor

by NZ Lawyer23 Feb 2015
Mark Lawlor, partner at Duncan Cotterill tells NZ Lawyer why he’d be a sunroof installer if he wasn’t a lawyer.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?
I don’t think I made a conscious decision as such, but I did eventually decide to specialise in employment law, which I really enjoy.

How long have you worked at Duncan Cotterill for and what brought you to this position?
I have been with Duncan Cotterill for six years.  Prior to that, I was in a small employment/commercial boutique, Miller Bradley Lawlor.

What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
In employment, you see strange and interesting stuff daily. You come across some unique characters and unusual scenarios.  Obviously the workplace is a lot different than it was 20 years ago, there is more pressure on people and there is nowhere to hide.  People of course are human and so every mistake imaginable can go down. And then there’s the work Christmas party, the gift that keeps on giving… 

If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Ben Elton, John Goodman and Neil Young.  Elton on Blackadder, John Goodman so that we could rehearse the lines from the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski, and Neil Young to talk about music and his love of cars.

You’re based in Auckland – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
You can’t go wrong anywhere in Britomart.  Orleans is great for dinner, and then Tyler Street for a sherbet or two. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (work or personal)?
Don’t take yourself or what you do too seriously.
“Counsel should always be ready to go” (Otahuhu District Court Judge circa 1990). 

Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
I try and move as much as I can and to keep fit. I played rugby until I was 40 but lacked speed, skill and ticker.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
Okay, I think I could fall back on my earlier experience as a sun roof installer. I reckon they’ll become popular again.           

What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in New Zealand in 2015?
Our love affair with time billing.  

If you had John Key’s job for one day, what would you do?
Ban hug a ginga day, it’s outrageous.

What do you love about your job?
I work with bright, talented and committed people. 

What would you change about your job right now if you could?
That said, a 9 day fortnight!