Learning from the pandemic
When Bath entered full lockdown in March 2020, local law firm Stone King - together with all businesses - faced the challenge on several levels: as an employer of people; as a firm striving to deliver uninterrupted services to clients, many of whom in need of legal support more than ever; and as a business determined to adapt and survive. As the city emerges into a new normal the firm has a new perspective on community, risk and what matters most.
Alison Allen, Stone King’s Chair and Head of Private Client, said: “Adapting to the pandemic involved perseverance and creativity. We have had the privilege of supporting many individuals and businesses through their own uncertainties, as well as ensuring that important processes, such as care planning, house moves, probate and divorce proceedings did not stop in their tracks.”
Each Stone King team quickly adapted their working practices to ensure they could continue providing all client services, making necessary adjustments. For example, in the firm’s family team, mediation sessions for separated couples were moved online to support clients at a particularly challenging time. Similarly, for services involving essential physical paperwork, such as probate, team members arranged to visit the relevant office to process this safely.
The firm also realised that keeping up with updates from government and other bodies and understanding their significance was a challenge for many. To help provide some clarity, the firm’s lawyers quickly prepared FAQs and guidance that was regularly sent out to mailing lists and shared with followers on social media. The result was a doubling in volume of visitors to Stone King’s website, showing how much people were looking for information.
The firm also set up a schedule of free webinars, open to all, to offer guidance and support across its sectors of Personal Law, Business, Education and Charity & Social Enterprise. These have welcomed well over 5,000 attendees to more than 70 free webinars so far.
Alison adds: “We have supported clients and others wherever possible and many at Stone King have been involved in charitable covid-19 response work. The wellbeing of our people has also been a priority throughout. With our Private Client team having joined forces with Bath firm Mowbray Woodwards in December 2019, we have experienced a lot of change in the past 12 months. With our offices now stocked with reusable facemasks and sanitiser stations, we have learned just how much can be achieved – and how quickly - by pulling together and being open to change.”