Doughnut advice and being PM for a day

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Five minutes with DLA Piper partner, James Morse.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?
It's probably a familiar story.  I enjoyed English, public speaking and debating at school (well, I also enjoyed debating at home), and wanted a career where I could continue to enjoy these things.  Law - and particularly litigation - seemed like a natural fit.

How long have you worked at DLA Piper and what brought you to this position?
I joined DLA Piper in 2010.  I had previously worked at another Sydney firm, where I developed a passion for commercial/insurance litigation, and was looking for new challenges.

What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
I doubt I could pick just one.  There are quite a few fraud-related matters that come to mind, particularly those involving people with multiple identities (the litigants, not the lawyers).

If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld and John Oliver.  It would be difficult to find three more amusing yet insightful people.

You’re based in Sydney – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
We are spoiled for choice in Sydney, with many great bars and restaurants.  However one of the best places for a few beers after work would be the concourse of the Sydney Cricket Ground, with a day/night cricket match in front of you.

What’s the best piece of advice (work or personal) you’ve ever been given?
"Don't forget the doughnut".  Too often, we focus on what we don't have - that is, the hole in the doughnut.  Yet much can be done by taking a step back and focusing on what is already all around us.

Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
Away from work, I try to spend as much time as possible with my wife and young daughter.  I also enjoy any number of sports, including cricket, golf, rugby, and tennis; and listening to and playing music.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
… at home more often.

What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in Australia in 2016?
One of the biggest issues in 2016 is probably the same one that has been around for many years already: the rapid pace of technological change and disruption.  Whilst this presents a wonderful opportunity to continually deliver "more for less" by harnessing such technologies, the challenge for the legal space remains ensuring all components work together seamlessly, without compromising the quality of the legal product.

If you had Malcolm Turnbull's job for one day, what would you do?
Take the day off and invite everyone to Point Piper. 

What do you love about your job?
The variety of the work, the quality of our people, and the calibre of our clients - both personally and professionally.

What would you change about your job right now if you could?
Whilst I love Sydney dearly, it would be a nice change if someone asked me to open up a new office in a more tropical location.  DLA Piper Tahiti has a nice ring to it, don't you think?