EXCLUSIVE: From rags to legal profession riches
A former member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) who applied for 872 jobs without even getting an interview has landed the top role at the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx).
Martin Callan — who is a senior lawyer with over 16 years of professional experience under his belt — will be made president of CILEx at an inauguration taking place at the Supreme Court this evening.
But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Callan (pictured).
According to an article published on the Mail Online in 2009, Callan — who is currently CILEx’s vice president — responded to over 872 job advertisements over a period of six months, failing to land even a single interview.
Speaking candidly, Callan reveals how he lost his job as a lawyer at East London law firm Bowling & Co.
On “the edge of bankruptcy” and owing £50,000, Callan explained that as well as receiving jobseeker’s allowance, his mother would send him £25 a month from her home in Cardiff.
After almost six months and still without an interview to his name, he contacted a debt consolidation firm in relation to his bleak financial situation.
Ironically it was this call that finally put an end to Callan’s run of bad luck. A member of staff — having enquired about his skills and experience — thought he might be suitable for them and invited him to come in for an interview.
Commenting on the Mail article, Callan this week told Legal Cheek:
With regards to previous news coverage, yes I like a lot of lawyers faced difficulties during the 2008/9 financial crash, and was happy to share my story at the time. I am pleased to say that I am now happily running my own business.
Fast forward to today and the Welsh lawyer is currently the director of a London-based consultancy firm. He has also maintained an active political presence as a keen supporter of UKIP, although in the wake of the nation’s vote to leave the EU has opted not to renew his membership of the party.
Regularly sharing UKIP stories to his 45,000 Twitter followers, Callan tweeted back in 2011 that he was considering voting for the party that is often dogged by controversy.
I think I will be voting UKIP next time around, because the three major parties all made the same EU promise and all failed to deliver
— Martin Callan (@martincallan) October 23, 2011
Then, in 2014, Callan took to Facebook to explain why he “will still be voting UKIP.”
In a post that has since disappeared — but remains in the Google cache — he explains that “uncontrolled migration exposes the UK to unsavoury individuals” who are free to engage in “criminal activity.” Continuing he claims that the “Westminster elite” are too scared to act for fear of being “unjustly branded racists.”
Speaking about his political views, Callum told Legal Cheek:
It is correct that I have been a member of the United Kingdom Independence Party, although I have not renewed my membership. My reasons for joining were that I wanted to see a referendum vote on our membership of the European Union, which ultimately happened and so I am now no longer affiliated.
The Welsh lawyer, who currently holds the position of vice president and will attend an official inauguration ceremony held at the Supreme Court this evening, continued:
I want to make absolutely clear though that I do not intend to use my position in CILEx to espouse a particular political view. CILEx is not a political organisation, we are non-partisan, we work with all elected representatives, and we did not take a position in the referendum. CILEx is a broad church, with members from all backgrounds and political leanings, and I am proud to be a part of an institute that is so welcoming to so many people. My singular focus as president will be to promote our members and work in both their interest and the public interest. I think it speaks volumes that CILEx is a home to such an array of diverse students and professionals, and that is why we are able to work independently and constructively with a wide range of people and organisations regardless of political affiliations.
Callan was first elected to CILEx’s national board in 2004, representing the constituency of Wales and later, London. He takes over from David Edwards as president.