As we return to business after the Easter break and school holidays, we start our fifth week of working from home. The whole team has settled well into our new routines and although working entirely from home has taken some adjustment, we have been able to get on with business as usual with relative ease. We are fortunate that Gilson Gray as a firm have long since invested in technology that allows the vast majority of staff members to work from home where necessary. In the past, that ability has been utilised primarily by fee earners who are working flexibly and/or outwith normal business hours. It has however also allowed support staff to work from home where required. All of this has been invaluable in the current circumstances because the adjustment for us as a firm, and as a team, had been less significant than it may be for many others.
With all that is going on, and with significant numbers of our clients affected by the current crisis, we had anticipated fairly significant disruption to business. It is undoubtedly the case that a proportion of our work is impacted by the fact that the courts are generally only dealing with urgent business, but otherwise, I have been surprised by the extent to which we have been able to continue pretty much as normal. The various technologies available to conduct online meetings and so on have proved invaluable – having never heard of Zoom until a few weeks ago, it is now a part of my daily routine. We have regular team meetings in this way, and now have a regular Friday evening slot where the team catch up via Zoom over a glass of wine (or two…) and do an online quiz (with varying degrees of success!).
Clients can continue to communicate with us as normal, and many have commented very positively on the fact that they have noticed no difference whatsoever in the delivery of our services. Insofar as new clients are concerned, it is very often the case that a new client will prefer to meet in person rather than conduct an initial meeting by telephone. However, the availability of Zoom and other measures has allowed us to continue to meet the desire of new clients to “put a face to the name”. Likewise, with the ability to verify identity through online means for the purposes of satisfying the anti-money laundering regulations, we have been fortunate that the disruption to the business of the Family Law Team has been kept to a minimum.
The team are available and contactable by the usual mechanisms – all direct dial numbers will automatically divert to the relevant mobile telephone numbers and accordingly, there should be no issues in you getting hold of the relevant team members. Although we cannot meet face to face at the moment, we can and will utilise the various technologies to continue to deliver our services effectively.
If there is anything we can do to assist, please do not hesitate to contact me, or indeed any other member of the team. In the meantime, please stay safe.