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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
What might otherwise have taken a good many years has been achieved in months as solicitors adapt to new ways of working because of the Covid19 pandemic.
Our serious injuries specialists are no exception. We might not be meeting in person quite so often but it is very much a case of shaping a new business as usual. It works.
Meetings - at the outset we would have met with you, now we will meet via a video conference. In our view it doesn’t beat the in person meeting but a video call is the next best thing. You simply need access to a device which can receive the call.
Communications – where it was in person it is probably now a video call; where it was by telephone it probably remains a telephone call. You choose.
Documents – most if not all communication tends to be by email, but where it is preferred we can still send by post. Where things need to be signed and returned specialist software helps. Paperlesser if not paperless!
Experts – most will use video calling where previously they might have met you in person. Medical examinations do still happen in person where necessary but most experts are used to engaging using video calls.
Barristers – meeting in person still has a role but most conferences are by video. That certainly saves travel time where barristers and experts are based all over the country.
Opponents – no real change from previously, save that harnessing technology to do things better is a profession-wide endeavour and solicitors tend to be problem solvers.
Court attendance – the Court has really embraced changes that would otherwise have taken years to change. Telephone hearings were used pretty widely previously but video hearings, paperless bundles and e-filing are revelations for all concerned. Of course there are still hearings that must be attended in person but those tend to be rare.
Settlements – joint settlement meetings (where most cases are resolved) and mediations were previously entirely in person but again seem to have adapted to video conferencing entirely or where some of those involved are attending remotely.
Teamwork – we are in the office much less than we were, though we have restructured how we work to ensure we are together when we can be. We pride ourselves on our very close team working approach to our work. It is not lost on us how important it is for us to be together in person when that is possible, but outside of that and by using a range of new technologies we are in near constant communication as often as necessary. Working remotely allows so much more flexibility, but equally the importance of what we achieve together has never been clearer.
It is actually difficult to imagine returning to working like we used to work before anyone knew what Covid19 was and how it would impact on each and everyone of us. But challenges are there to be overcome - threats are often opportunities. Onwards and upwards to a new business as usual.