“We’re special” said my colleague Mayumi Hawkes and naturally, I agreed. Whilst enjoying her observation, I wanted to make sure I knew what she meant. I’m pleased I asked as she explained how the way we work at Cognitive Law gives us so many advantages. I joined the team in January as a HR Consultant and as we’re all remote, I haven’t yet met some of the other consultants. You see, here at Cognitive Law, we all work from home so although we have a head office in Brighton, we are all based in different parts of the UK and work remotely with our clients and each other. My colleague commented that although we hadn’t yet met, there was an implicit trust between us. We have the enormous benefit of knowing that if Lucy Tarrant has brought us on board then we automatically accept and trust each other. Apart from feeling included and having all the benefits of working remotely, we are ahead of the game in terms of regulation and client confidentiality too.

At a recent team meeting (via Zoom) we received an update on our responsibilities under the Anti Money Laundering regulations (AML) to ensure we continue to be compliant. In the meeting we were told we’re ahead of the game as we don’t keep paper client files at the office. They are accessible on a case management system. Furthermore, all our billing, AML processes and client care is set up to be completed securely from wherever we are working. We already had laptops and business numbers directed to our home or mobile numbers. So, when the coronavirus pandemic meant we had to close the head office, the transition was smooth. Essentially very little has changed in the way we work. We continue to work remotely, from home, working when we want, and with who we want. We could keep calm and carry on; continue to advise clients and keep in touch with each other.

However there has been noticeable positives in adapting to the pandemic. Whilst the firm and consultants very much adopt a team approach in supporting one another, since the lockdown it feels we are closer than ever before. There were a few new things set up to help us adapt such as a ‘chat’ app and this has morphed from regular check ins to sharing recipes and funny photos of pets. Regular video meetings have meant we’ve seen each other more and general team spirit has enhanced greatly. Perhaps this is a reflection of how communities across the country have come together in support of one another. Our own small community, or network of consultants have also pulled together.

Perhaps our team is closer as a result of letting each other in to our homes and our lives a little bit more. I’m certainly grateful for being able to continue working with great people during these difficult times.

Claire Carson