Mark Day, Verisona Law
Mark Day is the Chief Executive Officer at Portsmouth based member firm, Verisona Law.
After studying a degree in economics & philosophy and an MBA with a five year commission in the Royal Navy in between, Mark began his corporate career in the management of Vickers Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd in Barrow-In-Furness.Mark then moved to Portsmouth in 1992 to become the first full time Commercial Manager of Crew Services Ltd, and went on to manage the UK’s most durable law firm Thomson, Snell & Passmore, which can trace its origins back to 1570. Now Mark has returned to Portsmouth with a mission to fulfill the potential of its most innovative and forward-thinking law firm.
How would others describe you in three words?
Clear, constructive, supportive
What was your favourite subject at school and why?
It was always History although I took Economics all the way to degree level. I have always been fascinated by how the human condition and people’s behavior seems to be pretty much constant through the ages but the different times made for different stories. I am still fascinated by the social history behind things like family history.
What has been your best professional moment to date?
I have been lucky and enjoyed many good times in business. I guess being asked in 1999 to be Managing Director of a consultancy business in Portsmouth where I had done so much a part of a great group of people since 1992 was very satisfying but taking a 400 person company through to gain Investors In People Gold from scratch (the first ever company to do this) will be a highlight, especially as this should help great stewardship of the people in the business by management.
Tell us about one surprising thing you’ve learned about working in the legal sector so far?
Lawyers are intelligent people (that’s not the surprising bit) and usually successful but, simplifying greatly, they often do not appreciate the great contribution they make to people’s lives, the important difference they make.
What aspect of Law first attracted you to the industry?
As a non-lawyer it was the people and the parallels with other professional services businesses which meant I could provide the vision, business direction and support infrastructure needed to create sustained success.
If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be even more bold in making the changes you believe in as soon as practicable so that you get to enjoy the benefits sooner. Having said that it is important to do proper due diligence and manage staff expectations.
What has been your most embarrassing professional moment to date?
I don’t really do embarrassment (ask my wife!) and because I tend to select objectives because they are the right thing to do I haven’t had any notable failures. I guess there was one innovative project involving using an outsource supplier in quality and risk management that was rejected at the 11th hour and that caused me some embarrassment as I had championed this and believed in the supplier.
Who (or what) inspires you?
At work it is great teams and great managers achieving things together that give me the feel good factor.
What is your favourite film or book?
I used to really enjoy the Jack Reacher novels, not because I am 6’5”, although that was a factor in my great disappointment when tiny Tom Cruise bought the rights to make the film!
Name one of your favourite places in the world
We love Brittany, and now having returned to Hampshire, we look forward to reacquainting ourselves with the great Breton coastline and buerre sucre!
Complete the following sentences:
By this time next year... I will have my dream house.
If I won the lottery I would... buy a big boat!