The first lockdown came on so rapidly that the effect was almost seismic for most firms. Working from home was what happened in the evening and at weekends and only affected the few. Firms adapted as quickly as they could but for some it was easier than for others. Here we are one year down the line and many of us haven’t been back into the office since. So, what does that mean for the future of the legal office building?
Santokh Chhokar, Senior Partner at Chhokar & Co. recalls the onset of lockdown:
“It all came as a big shock to us. You would never have thought that having your abilities to travel and associate freely would be restricted so severely in Britain.”
“Some of our team absolutely loved the idea of homeworking and adapted quickly. Others were more wary and tested the waters with a degree of circumspection.”
“There is no doubt in my mind that the cloud aspect of our practice management software came into its own. It enabled us not only to carry on our work but also to recognise that a more hybrid solution to the office of the future may be the way forward for us.”
Sneddon Morrison were ahead of the game. With uncertainty looming, Partner Eric Lumsden and his team trialled homeworking and then implemented it smoothly when the first lockdown arrived. Eric stated:
“Of course, we had teething troubles, but we quickly resolved them and our team hit the ground running. Our cloud-based practice management system and other communication tools delivered the goods for us and the whole experience led me to take a long hard look at whether or not we need all our offices when things return to “normal”.”
Blair Cadell have a different take on things. Managing Partner, Andrew Macdonald, believes the future of the office is assured:
“Delivering certain types of legal services remotely can be done effectively. However, our practice is a major provider of property and personal legal services which work best with the personal touch, and whilst use of Zoom or Teams video links have their place, in-person communications particularly for more elderly clients or those with complex requirements, will remain central to our strategy beyond the pandemic.”
“The key issues in our line of work are mutual trust and reliability. Face-to-face contact in an office environment is the best way to cement lasting, personal relationships.”
Maybe it’ll be back to normal before we know it. Whatever the case, there is no doubt in my mind that the law office of the future will be different. The challenges are technology, communications, recruitment, induction, storage and, if / when these can be dealt with effectively, then perhaps the office is no longer a place, but rather an experience?
To find out how cloud-based legal software can help you plan your future office, contact us on 0345 2020 578 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
© LawWare Limited 1995-2021
Our clients range from small start-up legal practices to multi-partner, multi-site firms.
Another great customer service experience from LawWare. My laptop had to be stripped back to factory settings as part of a repair - taking hours! In contrast, restoring LawWare took one phone call to the support team and I was up and running in 6 minutes. If only everything was so easy!
As the first commercial user of LawWare back in 1998, we have had no hesitation in remaining with the product through its development. We thoroughly recommend it to any firm looking for a practice management system.
The helpdesk is exceptionally good. Whatever the query there is always a human being there to help. No leaving messages or being advised to go to a website. The best computer service for solicitors I have ever used!
The linking of documents and casefiles saves so much time! I have experience of several accounts packages and I like that LawWare is simple to use and easy to learn. Support is quick and effective and staff are helpful and courteous.
I have worked with a number of Case Management providers over the years but have not come across anything with the attention to detail and thoroughness of LawWare. My colleagues and I have not been disappointed.
I can’t imagine trying to be a law firm in the 21st Century without 21st Century IT systems. Having a ‘single system’ that underpins all the work, whether we are in the office or out, is an integral part of what we are building.
The level of support is the main benefit using this system. The system itself once you have had training is simple and easy to use. We have a great relationship with LawWare and the ongoing support is second to none.
Significant preparation was required to configure and import the data from our old firm. We had to get all clients onto the new system and then learn how to use it. We just find it very easy to use, much easier than our old system.
Being a busy litigator with a growing firm it is incredibly useful to be able to view my files from any location with some form of internet connection. I am a fan, and want to keep working with LawWare to make a good product great.
The switch to the new LawCloud system, which is still on-going, has gone very well. We found the LawWare team without exception to be very helpful and knowledgeable. All queries are followed up and dealt with promptly.