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Samuel Phillips Law

A year in the life of a commercial and litigation solicitor

Commercial and Litigation

Thursday, December 9, 2021

It has been a strange couple of years. Many terms have become all too common in our vocabularies during this time including Covid-19 and furlough, whilst technology and hybrid working have been forced to the forefront of our day-to-day working lives.

My area of specialism in the law is Litigation and Commercial Law.  Fortunately, my life has been made much easier, thanks in part to the really positive approach taken by fellow lawyers, Barristers and the Courts.

Who would have dreamt back in early 2020 that Live Remote hearings (and e-bundles!) would now be commonplace, saving clients both time and cost.

When the first lockdown was announced back in March 2020, we initially experienced Court delays, although (thankfully) now that the technology has been introduced and working very well indeed, we appear to be over the worst of this with the Courts slowly returning to normal.

Home offices have steadily progressed too with people moving from a computer on a dining room table or a desk shoved in the corner of the spare bedroom to full setups to allow a seamless transition from office to home working.  New businesses have been formed, and this has kept me particularly busy with Shareholders Agreements and commercial transactions.  It’s such a positive this year to be a part of the setting up of so many businesses and not, fortunately, working to close businesses down; which at the beginning of the pandemic I would have expected to have been the case.

Ultimately both hybrid working and the technological advancements are here to stay and so they should be. Hybrid working allows for greater flexibility, work-life balance and, ultimately, productivity. The technological advances save time and more importantly, costs for clients. The ability to meet clients over Zoom or Teams has been transformational for both parties.  It has allowed us to accelerate the speed of many transactions plus it has  mitigated travel time, parking costs and the potential risks of Covid-19 that meeting in person brings.

From a personal view, 2021 has been an excellent year! Yes, the uncertainty remains, but some brilliant results have been achieved for clients including 100% of damages recovered and some very good (and occasionally unexpected!) settlements reached. I was also promoted to Associate in September. This is an exciting opportunity with more responsibility and autonomy which I am thoroughly enjoying!

Many of you reading this will also be aware of Cooper, my two-year-old chocolate lab. In fact, I know many of you are only reading this in the hope of a pup-date and/or another photo of him. I am pleased to report that he is well and as lovely as ever. He continues to interrupt almost every Zoom call and steal the show. Long may that continue. He is currently lying on my feet and acting as a hot water bottle as I write this.

Turning to 2022, what can we expect? Further advancements and an accelerated use of technology is a given. As is the inevitable fall out between businesses as a result of Brexit (which seems to have been somewhat overlooked as a result of the Pandemic).

With Christmas party season upon us, it is time to enjoy ourselves and spend the weekend nursing a sore head before spending the holidays with family and friends. Next year we go again, making it bigger and better than ever.

I am now at the sign off part of this. The inevitable slightly awkward part of thinking of something memorable to take away. As nothing immediately springs to mind I shall cheat and quote our Senior Partner Robert Gibson, who has regularly vlogged throughout this year: Stay safe and wash your hands!

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