Meet Stuart Nevin, Associate Director in our Dispute Resolution Team

Associate Director, Stuart Nevin, joined Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s Dispute Resolution team in November 2023. Here, Stuart explains what led him to a career in law, the key challenges facing commercial clients in 2024, and the importance of being adaptable.

Why did you choose a career in law?

I have a literary brain and as an undergraduate I studied English & Theology.  When considering a career, I knew this skillset, along with an interest in business would complement legal practice. I had taken work experience with a law firm when I was at school and during my time at university which I enjoyed.  During my legal studies I embarked on a ‘year-out’ to work for a Christian legal charity in Kenya which provided me with my first real experience of interacting with clients.  While this was very different from a corporate law environment in the UK, it provided me with the opportunity to meet the challenge of deconstructing, understanding and advising on legal problems – something that I now do on a daily basis!

What made you want to join the Dispute Resolution team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin?

Cleaver Fulton Rankin is widely recognised as having one of the leading dispute resolution departments in this jurisdiction and I was keen to work with some of the best dispute resolution lawyers in NI.  I knew that Cleaver Fulton Rankin would provide me with the platform to advise a stellar list of clients and also build on my career as a dispute resolution specialist.

What are the main challenges facing your sector currently?

Continued high inflation, increased interest rates and government instability has had a profound impact on the property market, particularly in Northern Ireland.  As a consequence, our homebuilder clients face a sharp adjustment in the cost of borrowing, our retail clients must navigate the ebb and flow of consumer confidence, while our developer clients cautiously approach the increasingly demanding investment and lending criteria put in place by most financiers.  Until such times as the UK can reduce the burden of high inflation, the property market will experience uncertainty and instability which ultimately leads to decreased investment.

The UK economy has been threatening to dip into recession for a number of months. A distressed market generally leads to more disputes and for that reason the world of dispute resolution (and litigation) has been busy recently.

What has been the most important lesson you have learned in your career so far?

One crucial lesson I’ve learned as a lawyer is the value of adaptability.  Being able to embrace change and learn new skills has been key to navigating an ever-evolving profession.  Working remotely, incorporating AI or learning new areas of law often requires a dynamic approach to each day.  One thing is clear that each day in a legal role presents new challenges and while they can be pressured, overcoming those challenges can be very rewarding.

How do you achieve a good work/life balance?

I’ve realised that there is always more work to be done and so I try to draw upon the diverse skill-set of the team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin to ensure that our clients’ needs are met to a high standard while in turn allowing me time to spend with family and friends.  This is a marathon, not a sprint!

Find out more about Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s Dispute Resolution services here.

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