'We need more high quality apprenticeships'

Design teams must be competent in modern energy efficient design - including understanding the engineering and technical requirements of construction, says Philip Lee.

7th September, 2017
Philip Lee of Philip Lee Solicitors

What's your name?

Philip Lee

What position do you hold?

Managing Partner of Philip Lee Solicitors. I am also vice chair of the Irish Green Building Council and chairman of a sports governing body

How long have you held the position?

I founded the firm in 1993 with one secretary and one client. We are now a strong firm of over 100 talented people. We have more than one client now!

What are your day-to-day responsibilities?

My responsibilities are to make clients happy, provide a good work environment for everyone in the firm, provide a vision for the firm and ensure that we continue to have the ability to offer the most insightful and high quality legal advice to clients.

What is your professional background?

I hold a law degree from UCD, a post-graduate degree in European Law from Bruges and a legal diploma from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. I trained with Max Abrahamson, spent eight years with Shell in the UK and Ireland and several years working with Fyffes plc, mainly dealing with Central America and international trade such as the import rules for Europe. I established Philip Lee, the law firm, in 1993.

Tell me about yourself away from work?

I believe in a good work/life balance. My true passions away from work are fencing and France. I plan to combine both of these passions by taking time in the autumn to stay in Paris and fence competitively. I enjoy my family, friends and thought-provoking books like Harari’s Homo Deus, a brief history of the future, and Ian Robertson's The Stress Test

Tell us something very few people know about you?

This question would appear to be a contradiction in terms. If I tell you, it will no longer be something very few people know about!

You are speaking at the 2017 Construction Industry Federation conference. What are you speaking about?

I am sitting on the closing panel at the conference that will look ahead to 2040. With my fellow panel members, we will look at the future of building an international construction industry and implementation of the 2040 National Planning Framework. I will give my perspective on areas like sustainability and skills development.

What challenges do you see for the construction sector?

The biggest challenge the construction sector faces is building efficient buildings in terms of cost of construction and energy efficiency. This requires a much better focus on training - at both tradesman and design level. We need more high quality apprenticeships. Design teams must be competent in modern energy efficient design including understanding the engineering and technical requirements of construction.

Where would you like to see the industry in 10 years’ time?

In 10 years’ time I would like to see the Irish construction industry at the global forefront of intelligent design, supply chain management, and construction technology. This undoubtedly means a comprehensive review and revamp of training throughout the industry.

Philip Lee will be appearing at the Construction Industry Federation's Annual Conference at Croke Park on October 12th. For more information on tickets, which are open to members and non-members, please visit CIFconference.ie.

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