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Capitalism relies on legal underpinnings – IBEC boss
IBEC chief executive Danny McCoy at the Law Society, on 20 July Pic: Tommy Dickson for Jason Clarke Photograpy

31 Jul 2023 / law society Print

Capitalism relies on legal underpinnings – IBEC boss

Solicitors must be courageous, and have an emphasis on humanity, IBEC chief executive Danny McCoy has said at the Law Society.

“The French for heart is cœur, so to be courageous is to have heart and emphasis on humanity. The future is about the heart or care,” he told new solicitors at a recent parchment ceremony (20 July).

Metric of success

Danny McCoy said that a world population of billions, many living twice as long as previously, was the most powerful metric of the success of humanity.

Such longevity allowed people to spend more time, and create more memories with those they loved and respected, he added.

“This success was delivered by the greatest achievement of society, which is the capitalist system,” he stated.

The rise in global population, and longer and more healthy lifespans, mirrored the rise of capitalism and the creation of the corporation, he continued.

McCoy stated that the recent pandemic would have been much worse, if the capitalist system had not  allowed the specialisation to create the vaccine, and the means to dispense it globally and efficiently.

Intangible assets

The most recent era has seen the rise of value created by intangible assets such as patents, licences and copyrights. 

However, intangible assets required goodwill to be enforceable, he said.

Legal services came into play for the retention or recovery of goodwill when bad will entered contracts or relationships, he said.

Therefore, the capitalist system requires legal underpinnings, with property rights holding the characteristics of universality, exclusivity, transferability and enforceability.

Working with our heads

“We have moved from a time when working with our hands moved to working with our heads as a result of technology,” McCoy said.

He commented that AI technology could replace some brain power, allowing humanity to move to a greater emphasis on care, in all its forms.

These include passing on inter-generational wisdom through coaching and mentoring, along with safekeeping of our elderly and our young.

For photos of the event, see www.gazette.ie/gallery

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland