Strength in numbers: leveraging legal networks


As many interactions with clients remain virtual, legal networks seek to help lawyers and clients strengthen those relationships during an uncertain time.

Over the past year, customers have faced a multitude of challenges as the pandemic continues to develop and the impacts become increasingly complex.

While there are obstacles to overcome, opportunities also exist in this rapidly changing climate. But to make the most of the “new normal”, seeking support, asking tough questions and looking ahead are key, says Adam Cooke, executive director of the Law Firm Network. Multilois.

As parts of the world lift emergency restrictions, cases decline and immunization campaigns intensify, “clients face the immediate challenges of reopening their offices and encouraging staff to return. or keep them closed and continue to encourage staff to work from home for now, ”he notes.

Meanwhile, as leave plans begin to end, clients turn to legal counsel for employment law advice on layoffs and layoffs, and on complex issues such as ” whether or not it is legal to require all their staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to work. “

“This is uncharted territory for many clients, and they look to their trusted legal advisers to help them navigate a degree of normalcy,” Cooke said. The pandemic, which continues to persist, has triggered “vast amounts” of government legislation covering workplace health and safety and business support programs, requirements around national and state borders, and procedural changes. judicial; and these are all complex areas that customers can navigate.

“Our law firms have worked extremely hard to produce up-to-date, real-time advice so that clients can quickly rotate their businesses as needed in order to continue to operate effectively in challenging environments where circumstances can literally change times. in an hour, ”Cooke said.

Meanwhile, “urgent” cross-border work during the pandemic has made legal networks even more critical because “clients during a crisis don’t have the time or inclination to look for businesses in different countries, they need help. ‘a network they know and trust that can provide advice quickly and effectively in different jurisdictions where they need it.

For lawyers, the inability to travel and build relationships with the same ease remains an ongoing challenge, and networks are eager to help alleviate.

“The events of the Multilaw network continued virtually throughout the pandemic; and, in fact, we’ve tripled the number of events we’ve had in the past year compared to the number we had in 2019. Firms were able to send far more lawyers to our virtual events than they did. were unable to send any to our people and as a result the proportion of lawyers who now have direct contact with the network through attending events has increased dramatically, ”says Cooke. “As a result, the engagement between our companies and the network and with each other has increased dramatically.

The network has also developed its own global COVID-19 resource center and has focused on developing tools for clients, tasked with addressing diverse and evolving challenges. These approaches will “absolutely” remain in place after the pandemic, Cooke told ALB, noting that the network’s brand has been “propelled … into the modern era” as it seeks to “end the distance in cross-border business. “.

“In a sense, there is no going back. In fact, the whole experience of the pandemic has prompted us as a network to think about how we might emerge stronger and better able to meet the needs of a post-pandemic world. “

The opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which, under the principles of trust, is committed to respecting integrity, independence and freedom from bias. Thomson Reuters Institute is owned by Thomson Reuters and operates independently of Reuters News.

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