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Ch-ch-changes

View profile for Bethan Blackburn
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Over the past 18 months, we have all experienced unprecedented change in nearly every aspect of our lives as a result of the pandemic: From wearing a mask when buying a pint of milk, to not being able to see loved ones, to unexpected financial hardship. With so-called ‘Freedom Day’ on the horizon, we are to brace for yet another change. It’s been all change here at Feldon Dunsmore too: As Sophie reported in her latest blog, we have recently moved offices to Leafield Estate in Warwick. 

Any change can be daunting, particularly those which are outside of our control. However, valuable lessons can be learnt from taking a step back and reflecting on the challenges that a particular change (whether that be a change of circumstances, change of location, change of rules etc.) has thrown up, how those challenges have been overcome and the benefits which can be taken from the overall experience moving forward.

There is no denying that the pandemic has posed challenges which have not been straightforward. For instance, the difficulty of conducting legal transactions, traditionally involving face-to-face meetings, hard copy original documents and wet-ink signatures, while working at home. Stepping back, how has the legal profession overcome this challenge and what benefits can be taken from the experience? A huge uptake in the use of video call platforms has generally made meetings more efficient – cutting down travel time and preventing the need to choose a convenient venue (although we are certainly looking forward to being able to see our clients and contacts in 3D!). E-mailing engrossment documents out to the respective parties for signature and wider acceptance of electronic signing platforms by lawyers and bodies such as the Land Registry has also been seen. This has gone some way to stream-lining the signature process and led to the signature of many documents being turned around quicker than pre-pandemic – a huge plus for time-critical transactions. Further, whilst being required to work from home may at first have sparked challenges such as feelings of isolation and lack of childcare, there are positives which many have taken from the trend – re-claiming commuting time, money and carbon footprint; increased opportunity to exercise and better work-life balance.

The logistics of moving a workforce of 15 has been a challenge for Team Feldon Dunsmore but as we unpack the last of our moving boxes we step back and reflect on the long list of benefits of the change – bright, airy modern offices set in a historic barn in beautiful surroundings: The perfect environment to focus on doing what we do best – building solutions for often complex legal and transactional issues and exceeding our clients’ expectations.

I believe that taking this objective, reflective approach encourages us to focus on the positives brought about by change and can contribute towards ensuring we have the physical and mental energy to deal with any new changes in the future. As a Māori proverb, Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua, tells us: “I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past”.

Author: Bethan Blackburn

9 July 2021