Just A Minute: Arran Dowling-Hussey
This week Arran Dowling-Hussey, a barrister-at-law, adjudicator, arbitrator and mediator in Dublin, speaks to Irish Legal News for our regular Just A Minute feature.
ILN: What has been your best experience as a lawyer?
I’d hope that my best experience is before me but in this instance to answer the question, whilst I am based in Dublin, and have very much enjoyed working on cases with colleagues in the Law Library such as Michael MacGrath SC and John Gordon SC.
The most memorable case to date was one I worked on in the last year or so in London with Ely Place’s Head of Chambers William McCormick Q.C. The clients ran a large educational establishment and were in a substantial multi-million pound dispute with their landlords. If the outcome had been different the operation of the educational facility would have been compromised. It may be a little bit of a blunt instrument to measure memorable cases but helping to secure the viability of something used by a lot of people was satisfying.
ILN: What has been your worst experience as a lawyer?
There’s been moments that seemed worse at the time than they do now. Several years ago I was absolutely kicked about the place by a now retired judge in front of a packed court in a manner that seemed especially unfair and the experience lingered for a while.
ILN: Why did you choose the law?
Much to my family’s delight I took quite a circuitous route to being a lawyer. Instead of taking a MA in history following my UCD degree in that subject, I took an inter-disciplinary MEconSc at the Dublin European Institute. I was, as an undergraduate, interested in modern European history, and we took modules in politics, economics, business and law. The law modules very much appealed to me.
ILN: Who or what has been the greatest professional influence in your life?
Several people such as John Tackaberry QC, the consultant editor of the textbook I co-wrote, have been extremely kind with their time and advice, but the greatest influence on my career has probably been Professor Brian Hutchinson in University College, Dublin. He taught a Diploma in Arbitration course I took just before I was called to the Bar. Brian’s excellence as a teacher triggered an ongoing interest in Alternative Dispute Resolution.
ILN: What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in the law?
To follow the chances and opportunities that may present themselves and not to have a closed mind. Whilst I am in as far as I am known by colleagues associated with ADR and construction law I do do work in other fields that on my call to the bar I would have then thought ‘were not for me’.
ILN: What would you want to be if you were not a lawyer?
Like many barristers I have taught law and have enjoyed working over the years at Dublin City University, Maynooth University and the Law Society.
ILN: How do you relax after work?
I’m a reader. It’s nice to read books that aren’t connected to the law. I don’t watch that much TV apart from the news but I occasionally get caught up in something that’s on -recently my guilty pleasure was Lilyhammer.
ILN: What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
I’ve been to about 50 countries around the world but have lots of places I’ve yet to see like Brazil which I’m looking forward to visiting at some point. To date though my favourite destination that I’ve been to is Cape Town.