I have always found John M Hayes to be reliable, efficient and accurate.
Ryan Reed, Director, H.F.T. Gough & Co Ltd
I grew up in a town called Wallsend which is just outside of Newcastle upon Tyne and went to school in Tynemouth, an historic village on the coast. I moved to Manchester in 2001 for university and I studied at UMIST, which is now part of the University of Manchester.
How did you come to work for John M Hayes?
I studied maths at university but did not want to follow one of the traditional careers that mathematicians tend to embark upon.
Whilst at university I studied an elective in law and discovered that I quite liked the subject. I therefore enrolled on the part-time GDL ‘law conversion course’ whilst working as a legal recruitment consultant. This is where I discovered costs draftsmen and John M Hayes.
My career as a recruitment consultant was not exactly glittering as I was not a natural salesman. I therefore sent my CV to John M Hayes’s Manchester office that, by sheer good luck, happened to be looking for a new trainee. After going through the selection process I was offered the job.
John M Hayes has recently featured in a film about the evolution of the company and the challenges it has faced during its successful growth. Can you tell us more about the ethos of the company?
The company ethos is that we aim “to enable each individual to realise their full potential, working within a team”.
We generally recruit recent graduates and train them to help them develop into exceptional costs practitioners. We consider that ongoing development – both professionally and personally – is crucial.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
During my school days I intended to become a doctor. Unfortunately, a twist of fate meant that this ambition was not to be realised.
You have progressed quickly at John M Hayes, from joining as a Trainee in 2007 to being appointed a Director in 2011. What advice would you give to anyone who aspires to progress their careers?
You need to be a good trainee. You will be receiving training from someone who has a significant amount of experience in the field in which you hope to carve-out a career so tap into this experience as much as you can; listen to what you are being told; and, finally, ask questions and discuss issues that you either don’t understand or disagree with.
Always be willing to do the jobs that nobody else wants to do. This way you will gain experience in unusual or niche areas which will make you stand out from your peers.
What has been the most interesting case you have worked on?
I’ve dealt with so many fascinating cases that it’s impossible to pick just one. There are some I would love to mention, but which I can’t talk about for various reasons! Of the rest, my top three (in no particular order) would be:
1) A case involving a luxury sports car which developed a fault that prevented it from going faster than 30mph whenever it rained. The supplier of the vehicle argued that this was a minor problem and the Claimant was not entitled to reject the vehicle. The Claimant was eventually successful.
2) Beard v Azur Villas. A dispute in which a television personality Claimant and her captain-of-industry husband falsely accused a property letting company of defrauding them. Various Freezing Orders were obtained on a without notice basis and criminal allegations were also pursued by the Claimant. What was expected to be a relatively quick trial ended up consuming nine days of the High Court’s time and the Court bundles comprised over 4,000 documents. The case concluded in the Defendants’ favour.
3) From a costs point of view, it would have to be Kelly v Black Horse which, it is hoped, has opened the door for easier challenges to exorbitant ATE insurance premiums. Historically, a party wishing to challenge the level of an ATE premium would need to provide expert evidence in support of their argument. Such evidence was notoriously hard to come by as only those who set ATE premiums are in a position to provide it and are therefore reluctant to suggest that such premiums are overpriced. Kelly confirms that such evidence is not necessarily required.
My appointment as a Director.
Spending the best part of four hours on a train to a remote County Court and then walking through torrential rain only to discover that, due to a listings error, there was no Judge available to hear us.
Which book would you recommend?
Anyone who is embarking on a career in the law – whether they are university students or non-lawyer costs draftsmen – should read Glanville Williams: Learning the Law. The book was first published in 1945 and is currently in its fifteenth edition. It provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of the legal system and the skills required to make it as a lawyer.
Another worthy read is One Red Paperclip by Kyle MacDonald. It charts the true story of a man who starts off with a single paperclip which he trades for a novelty pen. He then trades-up the pen for a ceramic doorknob and so on so forth until, at the 14th trade, he manages to trade-up to a house.
Where is your most favourite place to be in the world?
Longsands beach in Tynemouth. It isn’t exactly a glamorous (let alone a warm!) location, but I spent a lot of my childhood there and have some very happy memories.
Who is the most interesting person you have ever met?
Trevor Bayliss acted as a patron of a charity which my dad was involved in, and I met him on a few occasions. Trevor is the inventor of the clockwork radio, which he developed with a view to spreading information about AIDS to parts of Africa where power supplies were scarce. He struggled to find any backers which would help him put the radio into production, but his perseverance eventually paid off and, quite apart from making him a household name, his radio allowed vitally important information to be provided to remote communities.
To make him even more interesting, before finding fame as an inventor, he worked as a circus performer, an escapologist and a stuntman.
What would you put into Room 101?
Toyota Yaris drivers – the world would be a safer place if the DVLA revoked the licence of anybody who so much as thought about buying a Toyota Yaris.