High Flyers: Matthew believes in never hiding our talents and expertise

In the High Flyers spotlight this week is Matthew Fitzpatrick, partner and Northern Ireland head at HF, a provider of legal services to the UK general insurance industry. He has established a reputation as one of the leading specialist litigation solicitors in the north, with wide-ranging experience handling commercial and insurance disputes, construction disputes and personal injury claims.

What was your first job?

I worked in a local garage at Loughinisland in Co Down. It served the best ice cream and was a hive of activity as a result.

What qualifications do you have?

I’ve a law degree from University of Ulster and completed the LPC in Chester, College of Law. I completed my training contract in HF Manchester, later becoming a manager in the Liverpool office before returning to open HF Northern Ireland.

What do you attribute your success to?

It seems like only yesterday we opened the Belfast office and today it’s the number 1 defence litigation firm in Northern Ireland. I’m simply one member of a team and that’s how we work – if the office is successful, we’re all successful.

How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?

I love getting to know new people and find out their story. I have a good work ethic and believe that in business it’s essential to do your very best for clients.

Who do you look up to in business?

You don’t have to look far in HF to see outstanding people. One person who stands out is Patrick McCarthy, a partner in HF. I’ve always admired the way he treats those who work for him. You know he’s got your back and that’s the perfect way to build a team and a great working environment.

How do you get the best out of people who work for you?

At HF Northern Ireland we’ve had zero turnover in staff since we opened, something I’m very proud of. We’re an ambitious, like-minded team pursuing careers in the fastest growing litigation firm in Northern Ireland. Nobody “works for me”, we’re all members of a great team.

If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

Sometimes people in Northern Ireland hide their talents and expertise. We should be shouting from the rooftops how good Northern Ireland is and what we have to offer.

What website or app could you not do without?

The Irish News app – to keep up with whatever political impasse Northern Ireland is in, as well as the sporting results.

What was the last book you read?

I am rereading Paul McGrath’s autobiography Back from the Brink – sensational, heart-breaking and brutally honest.

What car do you drive?

Mercedes Benz.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

I was on a plane destined for New York on September 11 2001.

What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

Growing up I loved playing Gaelic football. When I went to England I captained St Brendan’s Manchester. The quality of the football wasn’t great but the craic was world class!