So what do you know? We ask Iain MacDonald a company, commercial and non-contentious insolvency solicitor, what makes him tick.
Why did you become a lawyer?
I used to have my own business and became interested in law because of that. I remain fascinated by business and the art (and it is an ‘art’) of making money.
Your most embarrassing moment as a solicitor?
Discretion is my byword.
Your proudest moment in your legal career?
The very first time that I transformed a failing business into a solvent profitable concern. It does often happen but usually the biggest problem is fear of the unknown inducing inertia in the directors.
Getting directors and shareholders to trust you and lead them through the dangerous journey to safety is not always easy. I focus on SME business professionals and I always try to maintain their needs as my primary concern. Most in my industry do not. In addition I have skills, which few have when it comes to rescuing a business and often as not family assets also.
What piece of wisdom would you pass onto a child?
Be polite. Be helpful. Work VERY HARD. Respect your elders but do not allow them to exploit you.
What is your ambition?
To climb high-end Alpine winter mountaineering routes then drink a beer in the afternoon sun. It is fabulous.
Persons who most influenced your life?
My parents and grandparents. Also the odd teacher, politician, writer (I mix socially with many people on the sensible fringe) and the occasional client. You have to learn whenever you can.
What do people get wrong about you?
I am an open book.
The inability of too many to disagree politely and thus to learn from each other. Socrates said that “refutation is purification of the mind”, meaning that one learns from being corrected when wrong.
L’Éducation Sentimentale by Gustave Flaubert, a tale of the unrequited love of an older woman by a young man. Or perhaps any history book. The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk is a fabulous recount of daring do in India and countries now long extinguished. You can learn a lot from history.
Les Valseuses, with the young and outrageous Gérard Depardieu behaving very badly indeed.
TV or Radio?
There are stations other than Radio 4?
Anything by Jacques Brel perhaps sung by Scott Walker.
Greatest Invention Ever?
Writing, the printed word, women, modern medicine and bicycles. Not in that order.
Je ne regrette rien. Life is too short.
The person from history you would most like to have a pie and pint with?
Alexander the Great or any person of note from the ancient world.
How would you spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions?
Breakfast on a farm in the Dolomites, a morning skiing crisp runs. A light sashimi lunch in Tokyo followed by a quick route up an alpine rock face. Topped off by l’ora dell’aperitivo in Lecce (a baroque city in Puglia) and dinner in Copenhagen. I love mountains and food. Throwing caution to the wind let’s party in Berlin until the sun comes up.
Contact us or call us on 0121 200 7040 for help and advice from Iain, as an insolvency solicitor.