MTB’s 2017 in a nutshell !!!
As 2017 draws to a close we look back on what has been a busy and exciting year.
We welcomed two new staff members to our professional team in January 2017. Kay Collins was appointed practice manager and Christopher Williams joined the private client team as a solicitor. Our own Andrew Morrow was also appointed as a partner in January 2017, specialising in commercial litigation. We also welcomed two apprentice solicitors to join the three second year apprentices already on board.
It has also been an exciting year in terms of new additions to the MTB family! James Fay, one of our litigation solicitors, together with his wife, welcomed a baby girl to the world in October 2017. Judy Hamilton, one of our employment solicitors and her husband welcomed their second child, a baby boy in November and partner, Andrew Morrow and his wife raised the stakes and welcomed twins in December, having a boy and a girl. We doubt it will be a quiet one this Christmas guys!
Harry McAleese, another of our litigation solicitors, is getting married at the end of the year so keep an eye out for him dressed up and tied to the nearest lamp post outside the MTB offices.
In terms of outstanding personal achievements this year, partner, Colin Mitchell was elected to the Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland and Marie-Anne McVeigh, private client partner, completed her third of four STEP exams towards her diploma in Trusts and estate Planning. Partners Viv Harty and Stephen Clarke (personal injury), Colin Mitchell (litigation), Ernie Telford (clinical negligence), John McShane (employment) and Aleric Turtle (real estate) were all ranked in Chambers and Legal 500 as leaders in their respective practice areas.
We have travelled the length and breadth of Ireland in pursuit of justice on behalf of our clients and we were pleased to launch the website and new branding for our sister firm F V Harty & Co. in April which focuses on litigation in the Republic of Ireland. We have also had the opportunity to meet a lot of public sector workers and NIPSA members to provide information and advice via a number of NIPSA information days, which we have been attending regularly all over Northern Ireland. It’s always good to get out and about meeting new people.
It hasn’t been all work and no play however as MTB hosted and/or participated in a number of charitable endeavours and social occasions this year.
Our charity for 2017 is Friends of the Cancer centre and to date we have raised £4,189.35 however it ain’t over ‘til it’s over and we are still collecting via our Make-a-Wish Christmas tree and our Christmas jumper day on 22nd December. We kicked off the charitable calendar with a Valentine’s coffee morning followed by an Easter Egg raffle, which was won by solicitor Brian Turkington. In August the hardcore undertook the Slieve Donard Challenge and in October we held a charity pub challenge and before anyone speculates on what that might involve it was a very civilised treasure hunt/quiz attended by a number of our clients and it was excellent fun.
Aside from in-house events a number of our staff participated in the 5k legal run/walk organised by the Law Society of Northern Ireland in aid of Marie Curie and we entered a team in the Grant Thornton 5k runway run at Belfast City Airport. We also fielded a dream team at the Northern Ireland Young Solicitors Tag Rugby competition in August which was undefeated but somehow was pipped into second place on a points differential! But we’re over it.
Out and about in the community we attended the Women in Business Chair’s Lunch at the Europa and did a bit of celeb spotting whilst we were there –obligatory selfies with Darren Clarke. Three of our solicitors are members of the Pro Bono Choir, which is a choir made up of members of the legal profession, and participated in their summer concert in St. Anne’s Cathedral where they were lucky enough to sing with Brian Kennedy and Father Liam Lawton amongst others. The event raised £10,000 for the Welcome Organisation in Belfast.
Their most recent outing was the sold out Carols at the Court event on 12th December and all proceeds of that concert are going to Barnardo’s NI and the Welcome Organisation.
We mustn’t leave out the team building expedition to the boglands in Ballymoney in April. Partner Stephen Clarke cynically sent round an email asking if anyone wanted to participate in a 5k in early January when of course everyone is convinced that the year ahead this will be the year to get fit, overhaul the diet etc etc and a fair number of us ended up signed up to Run Mucker Run. A 5k mud run you say, easy peasy. Not! There was knee deep muck, cargo nets, tyres, a freezing river, monkey bars, blood sweat, tears, copious bruising and absolutely excellent craic! Sign me up for next year now.
Thankfully, our next team building expedition is rather more traditional and involves an arduous trek to the pub in our Christmas jumpers for a couple of drinks before we break up for the Christmas holidays.
We hope 2018 is even better and we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our clients and friends a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year.