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Michael Hardacre of Slater & Gordon elected the President of Manchester Law Society

Michael Hardacre 1

Michael Hardacre of Slater & Gordon was elected the President of Manchester Law Society at the AGM on Monday, 7th December 2015.

Michael studied law at university, but then embarked on a career in sales and marketing with a London-based publishing company. However, after five years the law beckoned and he started the LPC. It was the first year of the LPC and Michael found that the greater emphasis  on practical skills was ideal after being away from the law. He adds “The LPC was great at transferring that confidence and ability to sell yourself and your skills to potential clients into a legal context.”

Michael took his training contract with Sedgwick Phelan and Partners in Old Trafford when he returned to Manchester. Michael says that working in a small firm was fantastic experience in dealing with clients on the front line. He adds “I was straight in at the deep end. The firm gave me an excellent grounding and I had my own personal injury caseload from day one.”

Michael qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and saw an advert for a vacancy at Pannone and Partners.   Knowing the great reputation of Pannone for personal injury work, he was delighted to be offered the job.  He became a partner in 2001 and joined Slater & Gordon when the firms merged in 2014.

In 2002, Michael took a 12 month sabbatical and had a wonderful time travelling, taking in India, SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand and then back to Europe. “I was lucky enough to be offered a career break by Pannone and I’m still grateful now to have been given that opportunity by Joy Kingsley and Carol Jackson”.

Michael joined the Council of Manchester Law Society in 2005 and became the Honorary Secretary in 2007. What had quickly become apparent to Michael was that Manchester Law Society is an organisation that ‘punches above its weight’ and that it offers its members some real and tangible benefits. We are a relatively small organisation with a small team of staff, but the Chief Executive, Fran-Eccles-Bech is unique and one of the reasons that the Manchester Law Society is held in such high regard. Clearly, the Manchester Legal Awards have become a highlight in the legal calendar, but the Society also offers other excellent networking opportunities such as the Professionals Dinner Clubs, which give members the opportunity to meet in a relaxed and informal environment.

Michael says one of his aims is to encourage members to become more involved with the Society, whether that be through attending one of the many courses and conferences offered on a whole range of legal and practical topics, or by taking advantage of inter-professional and networking opportunities which are organised by the Society.

Looking to the year ahead, Michael’s theme will be to promote a better understanding of what other solicitors do. He says “We are all lawyers, but we tend to work in isolation, not knowing or understanding the work of our colleagues in other firms, or even in other departments within firms. Clearly some practitioners, particularly those in crime, employment, and family and personal injury are facing tough very challenging times and I think it is time for greater solidarity amongst across the profession.”

Away from the office Michael takes part in triathlons, and trains by running between 20-30 km a week and in the summer months cycling into the office. He is also having swim training, to improve his crawl stroke. He adds, “I think this may be the onset of a mid life crisis, but also I want to prove to myself that I can do this, and it does provide a great sense of achievement!”

Michael also enjoys going to the theatre and museums. “One of the greatbest things about living in Manchester is seeing how it has become such a great place for cultural activities in the last few years”.  He also spends as much time as he can with his children. Michael’s older son is autistic, which is why Michael has chosen ‘Forever Manchester’ as his charity for the year. Forever Manchester is a charity that funds and supports thousands of community projects, including for children with additional needs, across Greater Manchester and over the past 25 years has distributed £35m in financial support. Michael adds “They do great work and it is a charity close to my heart.”

Julia Baskerville

Baskerville Publication

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