Our spotlight on our solicitors series gives us the chance to showcase the talent of our legal professionals. With these interviews, we uncover more about the experts behind the advice. This week, we spoke to one of the newest additions in our commercial team, Kevin Manship. Kevin joined the team at Harper James in August 2022 as senior commercial solicitor, following an extensive career at top 50 law firm Blake Morgan.
Who inspired you to begin practising law?
‘My mum! After finishing school, I was struggling to decide what I should study at university. My mum told me I would make a good lawyer.’ said Kevin. ‘As any good solicitor would, I did my research into studying law and decided to try it out, and when it sparked my interest, that set me on the path to becoming a solicitor.’
How does Harper James compare to other places you have worked at?
‘Helping lawyers provide top quality client service is at the center of everything Harper James does. I was worried there would be a lack of work, but I soon found out it was quite the opposite. Here, I’m given work that is varied, thought-provoking and challenging – no two days are the same!’
Define commercial law in a sentence
‘Commercial law covers a wide scope of subjects. Generally, I’d define it as an area of law that stipulates the rules and regulations that those involved in business and commerce must follow when selling or trading goods and services.’
What’s the best piece of commercial advice you could give a business?
‘Pay close attention to your contractual agreements before you sign them and afterwards. So many of the problems I’ve dealt with over the course of my career could have potentially been avoided altogether or resolved quickly if clients contacted a solicitor from the outset to review their contracts' explained Kevin. ‘Having proper contract management when agreements are up and running is also key. I feel as though some businesses think legal advice is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be – seeking correct legal support is an investment which could save businesses a lot of time, hassle, and money.’
What do you think clients value the most about how you work with them?
‘I always strive to take a flexible, commercial and pragmatic approach to the work I’ve been asked to carry out, with the aim of guiding the client through the process to ensure they meet their goals.’
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Kevin previously worked on the Welsh Government’s roll-out of superfast broadband, Superfast Cymru, which delivered broadband capability to over 700,000 homes and businesses across Wales.
‘Broadband has become such a huge part of our lives, but even now, there are still parts of Wales, particularly rural areas, that are still struggling to get decent internet speeds. I was involved with the project for five years and was involved with the contract from start to finish. It was really rewarding to see the contract work in practice and deliver such great results that will have a long-lasting impact for the future.’
Any hobbies? What do you do to unwind?
Outside of work, Kevin is a football and rugby fanatic and is an avid supporter of his home teams, the Welsh national football team, and Dragons RFC.
‘I love to go outdoors and explore with my family and our two crazy beagles! I’m also football and rugby mad!’