Continuing our series of Adviser Diaries, giving a glimpse into the daily routine of our team members during lockdown, we meet Philip Jordan, Director, Corporate Law, Progeny.
Philip is a member of the Law Society’s prestigious Company Law Committee and has been elected as the annual President of the Leeds Law Society on three separate occasions.
Philip, what does your lockdown office look like?
I’ve set up at one end of the dining table, looking out towards the garden. Laptop, mouse, mobile telephone and the ever-present mug of tea are all to hand.
Talk us through your new daily routine.
I think it essential that one should maintain some level of routine during the day. I ensure that I am at my “lockdown office” by 8am and remain there until noon when I take a one hour break for lunch and to listen to the news. After lunch I return to my desk and continue to deal with emails and telephone calls until 4pm when I take another one hour break. My final session lasts until 6.30pm when I turn off the laptop.
What are your proudest professional achievements of the lockdown period?
That as part of the corporate finance team we have been able to successfully complete three corporate finance transactions. All were substantial refinancing matters and involved a number of different banks and finance companies. The corporate finance team has remained in very regular contact with our clients and this has been rewarded with four new acquisition transactions being instructed during the lockdown.
What are the biggest professional challenges you’ve faced during lockdown?
We are all into the routine of remote working and virtual contact now but initially it was challenging to be away from the office and regularly liaising with colleagues, clients and intermediaries in person. Obtaining signatures to documents and having deeds executed has also proved to be challenging on occasion but we have found ways to work round this, and as a result Progeny have even issued guidelines for clients on how to witness signatures while abiding by the lockdown rules.
What has changed about your role to enable you to continue to operate?
I have certainly become more IT proficient. The value of Webex meetings has been immense.
What has stayed the same?
The need to maintain professional care standards for clients remains as vital and important as ever. It is unacceptable to deliver a lesser standard because of having to work from home.
What have you learnt from working remotely?
That there is no absolute need to attend the office five days a week. Homeworking has become a reality and could now be embraced and adopted, depending on the individual and how and when they are needed to be present in the office. This would, of course, have to be a flexible arrangement so as to meet the requirements of a transaction or the needs of a client.
What will you/we continue to do once lockdown is over?
We will endeavour to continue with the delivery of a high standard of professional service with a very personal and pragmatic approach. That is what the corporate legal practice has been built upon and separates us from the much more impersonal offering of larger law firms.
What are the positives we can take away from it?
That Progeny has not just continued with its business but has grown by taking a positive stance and attitude from a negative economic situation.
What are you looking forward to doing most once lockdown is over?
Putting on a suit, shirt and tie and returning to the office environment.