You might not think it possible, but Damien Lehmann is able to make tax law sound interesting.

Damien, the 229th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, is a lawyer who specialises in helping clients structure their financial affairs and solve tax disputes.

Damien is passionate about the subject, which is one reason he’s able to bring it to life. Another is that he looks beyond the numbers and the laws to the people; he sees tax law as a way to help his clients run better businesses and overcome commercial injustices.

I was quickly impressed by Damien’s conversational skills and sense of humour. So I was surprised to hear that he used to be very shy as a teenager, and had actively forced himself over the years to become more outgoing. I could relate – one of the main reasons I started this #500lunches journey was to improve my social skills.

Damien is also a really nice guy. Towards the end of our lunch, he wanted to know if there was anything he could do to help me; not out of politeness, but because he genuinely cared. I asked if he could introduce me to someone – and, within a couple of hours, he’d spoken to the person, gotten his approval, and sent an email introducing the two of us. That’s the sort of person Damian is.