Will Glassey, Mayer Brown training principal

Name: Will Glassey

Firm: Mayer Brown

Position: Partner and Training Principal

Degree: LLB (Hons)

University: University of Auckland

Hobbies: Golf, running, family

Area of practice: Professional Liability, Insurance

Will Glassey, Mayer BrownWhen and why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

As a teenager. I liked to debate.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

Solving seemingly intractable problems for professional firm and insurer clients; and building a business with my colleagues.

What are the worst aspects of your job?

Replacing the paper in the printer (I usually mess it up).

What’s the main issue that lawyers in your field are thinking about at the moment?

Cyber risks for law firms: new technologies giving rise to age-old problems like breach of confidentiality, causing risks to firms and their clients.

If you weren’t in your current field, what other area of law would you like to work in? 

I nearly became a tax lawyer: I like the idea of combining contentious and non-contentious work, and tax has always struck me as a lot like solving hard puzzles.

What’s the biggest misconception that students have about life as a lawyer?

That law firms are arranged in a spectrum of success and importance, and that each graduate must aspire to join the law at the most successful and important point possible on that spectrum. To the contrary, law firms are very, very different businesses, and time spent by graduates in understanding the business, the approach, and the culture of different law firms will be time well spent.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).

  • I played rugby for the All Blacks.
  • I have triplets.
  • I once had to have a broad bean surgically removed from my left nostril.

In one sentence, what’s the one key thing that students should understand about your firm?

We do top quality work for first-rate clients, but it is a nice place to work.

What was the oddest thing you were asked to do as a trainee?

I trained with Chapman Tripp in Auckland, New Zealand. For one of the firm’s clients, we succeeded in getting an Order for Arrest from the High Court, over a container vessel moored in Auckland Harbour, to secure payment of a debt owed by the ship’s owner to our client.

I was charged with attending the ship to nail the Writ and Order to her mast, which was what the Court Rules required to complete the process.

The ship’s Russian-speaking captain was as confused as I was, but he was perfectly co-operative. When we did find the ship’s mast, it was made of steel, so I had to put away my hammer and nail and he kindly supplied some sticky tape, which seemed to do the job well enough.

What’s your best friend from law school doing now?

I didn’t have a best friend at law school! Many of the people I went through law school with are still working as lawyers, but in a very diverse range of jobs, including government lawyers, barristers, law firm partners, in-house roles in industry, and several are working in non-law roles in business: qualifying as a lawyer is a great platform for working in business.

60-second interviews