David Sturgess, Partner
What’s your normal role in Edwards & Co.?
I lead the Property and Private Client department and have been Partner in the firm since 2017. My main case load is predominantly property based acting for many Housing Associations in their acquisition and sale of properties. I also deal with residential conveyancing.
Have you been able to keep working through lockdown?
Absolutely, I would normally work from home at the weekends and evening so remote working would be nothing new to most solicitors given the 24/7 nature of the business pre-lockdown. Emails, calls to mobile, Zoom calls all make work easier in these days of the new normal. However, certain aspects of social distancing have made conveyancing grind to a halt since there is uncertainty with the Land Registry being effectively closed as the Government deemed its role to be “non-essential”. Most transactions are on hold pending clarity but all conveyancers are attempting to bring all matters to the best position they can to ensure that things can return as smoothly as possible in early course. One thing that is evident is everyone’s understanding and collaboration due to everyone being in the same boat.
How is your work different now?
Things are less fast-paced at the minute with everyone getting used to the lockdown and working from home. This means more time is afforded to consider more complex documents. The closure of the Land Registry is perhaps the most challenging of aspects currently and whilst the closure is preventing the majority of completions, there are still plenty of clients enquiring about all aspects of property.
What is Edwards & Co. doing (in your area of work) to make sure clients are still looked after?
Communication is key as would be in normal times and today it is no different. Social distancing means that meetings are remote via video conferencing. Execution of documents is more challenging but we are working with social distancing measures as needs be and provided there are no breaches of any other COVID regulations.
What’s the hardest part about the current restrictions?
The reduction in face to face contact with clients and colleagues which is something we may have to get used to in the short to medium term. Every day there is a new practicality we have to overcome (and generally do) which we would have taken for granted and must not from now on.
Are there any benefits?
No commute, working more effectively (most days), can make better coffee than I do in the office.
What do you miss most?
The hustle and bustle of the office and Hill Street and all the faces and personalities that you bump into in the way to and from work. Hope they all are doing ok.
What are you looking forward to most when things get back to normal?
Contact David Sturgess on: firstname.lastname@example.org