Dear members and colleagues,
We trust that you are keeping safe and well in the current situation.
As we all appreciate, these are trying times both personally and professionally as those on the frontline battle to keep our loved ones well and we conduct our own skirmishes in managing our businesses and client expectations in a world on lockdown.
As an Association, we need to consider how best we can respond to the challenges we now face.
Already, we know from the HM Courts and Tribunals Services guidance published on Monday that most hearings are to be dealt with remotely, either by video link or telephone; if this is not possible, then they will be adjourned.
We have had questions raised about the annual conference scheduled for June and, flowing from those questions, others about the provision of CPD for 2020.
To consider these issues, the ACL Council intends to convene a meeting to discuss and make decisions which will affect us all going forward and which will allow our profession to progress in a positive manner.
We hope that you will support and actively participate in this process by alerting us to any further concerns you may have.
Any decisions arrived at will be communicated via our excellent eBulletin and the ACL website. There are, of course, the forums to allow members to exchange views on the issues too. For those who have not been reviewing these, please consider using them because they help us understand what your concerns are.
As an independent practitioner, I understand that some of the membership may feel ill at ease with working in an individual environment when they have been used to the camaraderie of a team. We may have to distance ourselves from one another, but we should not feel that we are alone. Pick up the telephone, use social media; remember that we live in a society of electronic and virtual interaction, so use them!
We all work within the legal system and keeping ourselves abreast of changes there is a necessity. To that end, any information on the courts working position in your area will be gratefully received and communicated to the wider audience of members using the tools mentioned.
It would be wrong to say it’s ‘business as usual’ – clearly, at this time, it’s not. But, as a group, Costs Lawyers have always adapted and we will continue to do so in the situation we find ourselves now.
Finally, I reiterate: to you and yours, keep well and stay safe.