Building Legal Solutions
A Day in the Life of a Feldon Dunsmore Human
- AuthorBethan Blackburn
You have read what a day in the life of one of our Directors Of General Sociability involves (see Beatle’s blog), but what does a typical day for one of the Humans in the team look like? No two days are ever the same as a commercial property solicitor (which is one of the things that initially drew me to the career) but here is an example of what a day can involve, whether working remotely at home or in the office:
The first task of the day is usually reviewing and actioning e-mails received over the last evening, or weekend if on a Monday. It is usual for each lawyer in the team to receive upwards of sixty e-mails in any one day (sometimes more towards two hundred!) – I’m willing to bet that that’s more balls than Beatle could retrieve in a day, especially given how far his Daddy throws them! Following our initial review in the morning, we all check e-mails throughout the day and action/respond to them as soon as we can.
In accordance with current government guidelines, most of the Feldon Dunsmore team are working from home and we have just one or two team members in the office each day to receive and send out post, scan and produce hard copy documents. As a firm we try to be as green as possible (in the environmental sense as well as in our branding!) but the nature of our work is such that production of hard copy documents is sometimes unavoidable.
As many people are experiencing at the moment, working remotely does have some disadvantages – we’ve found that one is not being in the same room as colleagues to easily discuss particular matters or tasks. We like to work in sub-teams on certain deals in order to make the most of each person’s skillset. It is important that we maintain communication and support when needed within and between our sub-teams and at the moment that means regular internal phone calls and virtual meetings throughout the day – before lockdown it was much easier to shout across the office (politely of course!). On the plus side, having regular contact with each other gives each of us the opportunity to give support and brighten spirits when needed.
Next on the agenda may be a conference call with clients, other lawyers, accountants and/or agents, - where we all brace for the most used phrases of 2020/2021: “You’re on mute”; “Can you hear/see me?”… Then it’s time to follow up points from the conference call and take any required actions.
Personally, I try to go for a short walk at lunchtime to have a break away from screens, take in some fresh air and re-charge ready for the afternoon. As Amy mentioned in her recent blog, getting outside is a great way to improve your well-being, especially during current circumstances.
After having a bite to eat, it’s on to some drafting. Beatle’s Daddy uses the analogy of the concentration required to thread a needle to describe the level of concentration we dedicate to our whole working day. When we’re drafting documents, an even higher level of focus and concentration is required, often for prolonged periods of time. During these intense periods of concentration we may occasionally be unavailable to take calls: Please do leave a message or e-mail us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Some legal research may be required as part of the drafting and we are lucky to be able to access most of our research resources remotely when working from home.
There may be a couple of completions to see to in a day. Each completion typically involves carrying out pre-completion searches, checking we have signed documents on file, receiving and sending monies out to/from clients and other parties, liaising with clients and the lawyer representing the other side to legally complete the transaction and then dating multiple documents. After completion has taken place, it’s reporting completion to all relevant parties, arranging for dated documents to be sent out to the relevant places and making an application to the Land Registry for registration where applicable.
Of course, we receive and make regular calls to clients, lawyers, agents, colleagues throughout the day – often a welcome break from speaking to those we are locked down with! It is an important part of our job to look after clients - which to the Feldon Dunsmore team means not only taking instructions on the particular deal in hand, but also taking the time to check in with clients to see how they are.
Before we know it, it’s 5.30pm and the end of our working day. We are committed to providing high quality, efficient service which sometimes involves working later into the evening when required.
After the end of the working day it is more important now than ever that we take the time to unwind in the evening (Beatle chooses to lie upside down on the sofa but my preferred wind-down activity is cooking or reading a good crime thriller), ready to start the next day afresh.
Author: Bethan Blackburn
12 February 2021