It used to be said that “may you live in interesting times” was an old Chinese curse disguised as a blessing. In fact, the saying is not Chinese at all and the phrase was most likely coined by an English politician in the Edwardian era. But the sentiment stands: we’d all rather live in settled and certain times than an age of turbulence and disruption – nor do any of us need to be reminded that those turbulent times have suddenly arrived, whether we like it or not. In just a few short months, the coronavirus has spread around the world. And now we all have challenges to meet and decisions to make.

Businesses must find a way to continue meeting their customers’ needs whilst also protecting their health – as well as their health of the staff. As a legal firm we are fortunate in that we can continue to do so in a variety of ways. While we all watch the coronavirus crisis develop, life continues, as do family concerns. But we live in the age of the internet and the video call, and many of the mainstays of family law now have a significant online element: divorce is a prime example.

So while events develop, we will remain firmly open for business at Major Family Law, although there will be some changes to our way of working. Most of our lawyers will be spending the majority of their time working from home, communicating with clients who prefer to remain at a distance via email or through telephone, FaceTime or Skype when a face-to-face meeting might previously have the go-to decision. We have always offered clients such facilities but a little more emphasis will be placed on them for the foreseeable future.

Of course, we will still accommodate clients who prefer face-to-face meetings in our offices. We will just ask them to confirm that they are well and alert them to the fact that our offices will be operating with a skeleton staff for the time being.

Of course, we are not the only members of the legal world to be taking such an approach: the Lord Chief Justice has just announced that the family and civil courts will be making a decisive shift towards remote working during the pandemic, making maximum use of telephones, video conferencing and Skype. All our solicitors are well versed in remote work of this kind and it has some real advantages: significant cost savings for our clients by completely eliminating the need to travel to court, alongside greater speed and efficiency for the otherwise overstretched courts themselves.

Image by velkr0 via Flickr (Creative Commons)