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Law Under Lockdown

April 10, 2020 Covid-19

If you haven’t read the thoughtful and comprehensive article from the Law Society, with insight from several firms including from one of managing partners on how firms have been demonstrating resilience and agility in the face of having to work remotely – it is definitely worth a read –

I think the article’s description moving everyone from working in the office to working at home as ‘a quantum leap’ is probably a little sensational, but certainly truer for the legal sector than others who didn’t blink when the remote working tsunami hit. This begs the question; what more is there to adopt that this sector has resisted for too long? Perhaps this will be a turning point for firms that may have succumbed to obsolescence over a longer period of time. Change is hard, but it’s easier when it is obvious – or essential – that you have to.

The article explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed necessity upon firms to invent and specialise in what would have traditionally been classed as non-legal areas such as technology, working practices, morale & wellbeing, communication and culture. And there are others too that are not mentioned; supply chain, service portfolio and governance. There is no doubt that all of these things are important right here, right now, but why shouldn’t they be important part of firm governance all year round? I suspect that COVID has simply exposed the need for firms to think and act more strategically and to ensure they have the resilience to survive the challenges yet to come

Clarity of thought helps here. Two objectives for delivering successful remote working in Jones Whyte were:

These objectives inform and set the bar for testing our technology and culture initiatives and have allowed Jones Whyte to be able to make this move easier than it might have been. By thinking clearly about our strategic objectives in all of the areas outlined above, we can enact better initiatives and become more resilient. Now is a great time for any firm – and in any industry – to do this.

Soon the focus will switch from ‘what are you doing to survive the lockdown?’ to ‘what will forever be better?’ when the lockdown ends. Jones Whyte certainly have this top of the firm agenda.

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