Name: Gareth McCay.
Business Name: McCay Solicitors.
Location: John Wesley Street, Strabane and Ebrington Square, Derry.
How long have you been in business? Just coming up on six years.
How many staff do you employ? We currently employ 10 staff.
What are your strengths? We have a fantastic team who provide clients with a fast and efficient service and we provide advice in a number of niche areas such as employment law and commercial law which are not readily available in the north west.
What are your weaknesses? We have found recruitment quite tough over the years when we have tried to source senior lawyers in certain practice areas. Certain skill sets are not readily available in the north west but we have been lucky to recruit some great young lawyers returning from England and Belfast.
Has Covid-19 affected your business? Not so much as we have excellent IT systems in place, all of our staff have laptops and we work with a cloud system which has enabled our staff to work from home or the office if they prefer. We have been closed to the public since March and all of our meetings are online. Our employment law team have been exceptionally busy but at the same time there was a period where we could not get a house purchase over the line for love nor money. Covid has been a challenge but we have adapted and re-positioned our business so there are positives and we will come back stronger.
What makes your business unique? Whilst we practice traditional areas like property, probate, and personal injury, we are very business focussed and provide a number of niche services such as employment law and commercial law which are not readily available in the north west.
What does your business mean to you? In many ways it is an extension of my family. We try and provide opportunities for people to progress and then we all work together for a common goal and to strive to be the best in our respective fields.
Aside from family and friends, who has been the greatest influence on your life? Outside of family and friends I would have to say some of the football coaches that I had growing up. They instilled values of work ethic, professionalism, selflessness and competitiveness which have remained with me and I still rely on those values to this day particularly when the going gets tough either personally or professionally.
What are your plans for the future? We had some further expansion plans when Covid-19 kicked in which we have put on hold for now. However, the move to virtual meetings certainly presents great opportunities for us as a number of our lawyers are qualified in other jurisdictions and location has now become irrelevant in our industry.
Any advice for anyone starting out in your industry today? It’s a tough industry to start out in. I think everyone has to make their own path and part of carving a career is making mistakes and learning from them. So the advice would probably be to treat every mistake and every knock-back as a lesson, readjust and come back better.
If you weren’t in this field of business, what would you be doing? Once I realised I wasn’t going to play for Leeds Utd or Barcelona I have never really considered any other career. I suppose I probably would have remained in football as a coach or as an agent.
What do you do to relax? I have three kids, with two under three, so relaxation is an alien concept. I so enjoy clearing the house on a Saturday afternoon to watch the football and horse racing.
What would you do if you won the lottery? I’m happy enough with life as it is so I’d keep enough that I was comfortable then I would sort out my friends and family and give the rest away to local community groups.
We might be limited in our travel at the moment but where is your favourite holiday destination? I like getting away in the winter months so it would be Matagorda in Lanzarote.
What do you miss most about Tyrone when you are away? I grew up in Sion Mills but moved away when I was 11, I think the thing I have missed the most is the sense of community and the walk down by the swinging bridge.
If you could swap lives with someone, who would you choose and why? Would have to be a Leeds United player – our best player at the minute is Stuart Dallas so stepping into his boots for a day.
And finally take the chance to give a shout out to another local business who you think is doing great things (expand on why you’ve chosen them)? Hard to look past my uncle’s business Frylite which I have watched grow from a start-up on the Dublin Road into a phenomenal success with bases throughout Ireland. Eamon has provided so much employment in the area and the company is very forward thinking in terms of its company values.
If you would like your business featured contact Terence on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 028 7188 2100.