Global Managing Partner – Walkers, Cayman Islands
1. How has the Covid-19 crisis affected the way you work as a lawyer? What are the key positives and negatives that have emerged out of lockdown?
In terms of the way I work as a lawyer, not that much changed. However, like most people, I have travelled less and done more videoconferences.
Key positives include a boost in innovation and a greater sense of community. The health and safety of our staff and their personal well-being is the most important thing for me.
As a business, we had to find new ways of maintaining connectivity with our clients and our staff. I think the fact that we were all in the same position meant that we quickly bonded over shared experiences. Video calls had the effect of inviting you into a person’s home, which made the experience more personal. Working from home also provided a fresh approach to work/life balance.
On-boarding and training new staff was certainly more challenging during lockdown. We made it work, encouraging teams to check-in regularly, although we can all learn from this experience and be better prepared in future.
2. Will you and your firm continue to use flexible and agile working in the future? Will you reduce the size of your physical office space?
Absolutely. We all need to be more flexible and operating under an enforced work from home environment has demonstrated that we are more than capable of doing that on a global scale (even if there are certain challenges) and it is empowering to know that our firm and many others will be more flexible and agile in future.
I am not sure whether we will reduce the size of our physical office space – in some places we may actually need more of it in the short term. However, in the medium term we are unlikely to expand our office space to accommodate the anticipated growth in headcount.
3. How have you employed legal tech during the crisis? What has been successful and what has been lacking?
We have used legal technology in delivering our services for many years although it is fair to say this has increased of late and we will continue to employ technology to deliver an efficient and consistent service. As lawyers we are very used to working remotely so the systems and processes need to support that. For the most part it was pretty seamless, although we have to continue to invest in this area to ensure that all areas of the business can benefit to the same extent.
4. How do you see the advancement of legal tech affecting the legal industry in the next 10 years?
The legal industry may have evolved more slowly than other industries although it is rapidly catching up. Mainstream technologies including aspects of social media dictate the way a lot of people consume content, so it is inevitable that the legal profession will become more like other solutions-driven businesses in the way they operate and deliver service.
5. Has your firm changed its remuneration structure during the crisis? Will the firm consider using a “Keystone” or hybrid remuneration model in future?
6. Name one key thing that will be different in the legal profession in 10 years time.
The abolition of time sheets!