Business News

Mason Hayes & Curran promoting a well-rounded approach to employee engagement, feeding mind, body and soul

By Business & Finance
20 July 2018
Mason Hayes & Curran are based in the heart of Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock area.

In the Employee Experience series, sponsored by Irish Life, we ask leading companies’ HR departments about their employee engagement initiatives and how they have created the most optimal workplace for their staff.


What is Mason Hayes & Curran?

Established in 1970, Mason Hayes & Curran is a full-service law firm, focused on business and investment with 80 partners and a total of 460 staff working across offices in Dublin, London, New York and San Francisco.

Mason Hayes & Curran’s Employee Experience–exceeding expectations in a competitive market

According to Mary Killeen, Director of Operations and HR at Mason, Hayes & Curran, the legal market is “particularly competitive” when it comes to talent attraction and retention. “We work hard to exceed expectations,” she says.

“Employees expect a comprehensive benefits package and we always strive to match these expectations. Benefits include private health insurance, onsite health screening, onsite fitness room with a range of subsidised classes, and a subsidised Café, to name but a few.”

When it comes to the interior of the working environment, the charms of the company’s fine art collection are surely good for the soul. Mary explains,

Our art collection and work in the sector is well known and dates back to the formation of the firm.  We have one of the top contemporary art collections in Ireland.  It creates a wonderful work environment and each year staff vote on new pieces to add to the collection, which always generates lots of debate.  We also host an annual art exhibition of emerging artists, including our own employees, which allows them to show and sell their work without commission.

Augmenting meaningful work with extra layers

In addition to detailed ongoing technical and soft skill training, the company puts considerable efforts into a well-rounded calendar of social and sporting events.

“The primary focus is to give employees meaningful work, which is well supervised and which allows for development and career progression,” says Mary.

We have a very active sports and social committee and events programme which is heavily sponsored by the firm.  Activities range from dragon boat racing to our annual summer barbecue.

Activities that engage not only the body and the mind are catered for, but also a sense of civic duty, with pro bono and charity work an important part of the company’s ethos.

Increasingly we are also working on a number of volunteering and pro bono programmes with our staff, including a charity cycle and hike which will take place in July. We have an extensive wellness programme with a particular focus during June when we organise a diverse programme of speakers, events and workshops focused on improving employee’s physical, social, mental and financial wellbeing. 

“Feedback has been extremely positive and employees really appreciate the different perspectives and experiences. Examples of activities this year include talks on nutrition, budgeting and positive mental health; workshops on creative writing, self-defence and being cyber safe, as well as a month long team step challenge.”

Listening and flexibility in an ever-changing world

As the world of work changes, Mason Hayes & Curran is cognisant that it must adapt with its employees every-changing needs and be flexible to allow them to mould a work-life balance that fits them.


“The programmes have developed over the years based on feedback and engagement. We are constantly looking for new initiatives to anticipate and respond to staff expectations.  For example, any lawyer who needs it has full IT hardware and software to enable them to work at home or in a variety of locations and times.  We have a number of different working arrangements and are actively looking at enhancing flexible work practices.”

Different voices at the table

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Mary emphasises, “We have a dedicated committee, which focuses on a number of different issues to ensure that everyone feels like they can be themselves at work.

We have benefited greatly from our international hires and offices and the diverse experience they bring.   Also, we have a high percentage of female employees (almost 70%) and this fosters a strong inclusive culture.

Mason Hayes & Curran also puts funding into educational charities and Mary explains that staff volunteering is an integral part of the work they do with them: “We are unique in Ireland with our Engage and Educate fund which focuses on education for the disadvantaged.  We are the only indigenous Irish firm to have such a fund, which is worth 150k per year and benefits up to five charities annually.  We are passionate about the importance of access to education for all and we take part in a number of different programmes such as sponsorships and scholarships and staff volunteering.”

Overall the company is committed to a holistic approach, taking in art, education, physical exercise and wellness to encourage a rounded and fulfilling employee experience.


The Employee Experience Award will be held in October and nominations are open now. If you wish to nominate your company please fill in a very short questionnaire here.