Autumn greetings to you all from the Team here at Parnalls Solicitors. As the year begins to draw to a close we reflect on what has been achieved and whether that is enough and whether we are playing catch-up or enjoying the harvest! Autumn is a time of change, transition, and it feels like we have weathered a long period of change and transition through the pandemic. It is incredibly important to be able to adapt to changing times and demands and all businesses I am sure have experienced that, but I think these times also remind us how important it is that there are some things that are constant in life, that don’t change too much and that we can rely on when the need arises. That is how I feel about what we have been doing here at Parnalls throughout this year and probably last. What we have aimed to do, and what we have done, is to continue to provide the legal services our clients need whatever they may be, broadly in the same way with adaptations and certainly at the same level of service, and not compromising on results.
So it has been an interesting time for property work this year. Here in Devon and Cornwall we have been in a highly desirable area for property purchases and work has been very busy indeed, aided by the Stamp Duty holidays. We deal with all types of property transactions from the largest to the smallest including agricultural and commercial. Our Property Department have worked flat out to ensure our client’s transactions have been progressed and actioned to completion in accordance with the time limits set.
One might have thought during the pandemic that litigation would slow down as people had other things to think about. But for existing matters the Courts have continued to run and nothing has been put on hold so client’s matters have still been progressed in the normal way. Yes a lot of Court hearings are now remote via telephone hearings or Teams. That is no bad thing and saves costs in the long run and I think is here to stay. Mediations and client meetings have continued in the normal way but again, usually remotely, but now the technology is on everyone’s desks it is cost effective and there is no prejudice to the end result. We have never stopped seeing clients. If a client wants to come in and see us that is fine and there is no substitution for the initial face to face meeting and discussing the matter in depth in that personal way. I believe you need to have a personal relationship with your professional adviser such that you know the face and have a visual on who you are dealing with but how the relationship continues depends on practicalities and what the client wants. So, whether it be employment disputes, property disputes, debt or contract disputes, construction, family disputes, accidents etc. we have continued our service to clients in the same way throughout the difficulties of this year.
Our wills and probate service has remained constant and available for our clients. We have had to take extra precautions with clients who are vulnerable and we have made sure that they are protected, but can still get the service they require.
I am really proud of the Team here at Parnalls, because essentially work, and therefore service to our clients, has continued as if the pandemic hasn’t happened. This year we have all been here working in the office as normal, seeing clients, actioning clients’ matters, speaking to clients, dealing with hearings, completing property transactions etc. If a client phones, we try to be available. If a client comes into the office we are usually available. The pandemic is there but, as I say, has not altered our working practices to a great extent and certainly not that client service is prejudiced.
I think this has happened for a number of reasons but one of the most important ones is our commitment to our clients and our belief that this is the best way of providing a legal service to them, being here, being available, having that seamless service. It works and we don’t want it to change. Plus, we are a team, a collective, a collaboration, of people with the same aim, providing legal services of the highest quality to our clients.
So, in terms of what we have achieved this year it is broadly that we have maintained the service we provide, and for last year and this year that is an achievement.
Thank you to all those who have made it possible and particularly to those of you who are our clients, either existing or soon to be!