Julie Tierney, Partner
What’s your normal role in Edwards & Co.?
I am a partner in the firm and lead the family and matrimonial team. I specialise in divorce proceedings and asset division to help clients move on with their lives financially after separation.
Have you been able to keep working through lockdown?
Although the court is not currently listing divorce matters for hearing, or finalising any financial settlements, there is still lots to get on with at this time, and I have thankfully been able to keep pushing matters forward for my clients. I am working from home remotely and sharing childcare with my husband, who is also working from home. Thanks to the wonders of technology, I can keep in touch with my team from the office on a daily basis, perhaps more if we are particularly busy. I can conduct telephone consultations with clients and have arranged quite a number of Zoom conferences between my clients and their barristers, which has proved to be very efficient.
How is your work different now?
The only real difference at the moment is being unable to attend at court and meet with clients personally. Because I can do so much online, I can get on with a lot of work for my clients and still keep in touch with them. Despite the court not listing divorce maters, if anything is considered urgent the court will deal with these matters and thanks to the protocols in place by the Court service, I can contact the court office directly by email to arrange this. I should say my working times however are not my usual office hours with juggling childcare, but that simply comes down to creating a new schedule, our own new normal, and being a lot more organised with our time.
What is Edwards & Co. doing (in your area of work) to make sure clients are still looked after?
We are continuing to engage in financial negotiations for our clients with their ex-spouse’s legal team, and conducting the exchange of all discoverable documentation by email to keep moving their cases forward. If clients wish to move forward with divorce proceedings, although the court office cannot deal with any new business at this time, we are still proceeding to prepare all the necessary documentation for our clients for lodgement with the Court office, to avoid any further delay for them as soon as the Court re-opens for such applications. We are also arranging Zoom conference consultations for our clients with their barristers to issue proceedings or discuss their ongoing cases.
What’s the hardest part about the current restrictions?
I hate not being able to meet with clients face to face when they are going through such a difficult time. I miss my team and all my colleagues at Edwards & Co, and particularly our coffee catch ups.
Are there any benefits?
Absolutely. I think less time spent travelling to work and attending court creates more time in your day to work on case files. It is also great to be at home to pop down for a cup of tea and see my husband and daughter at the same time.
What do you miss most?
Helping my clients finalise their cases and let them move on with their lives.
What are you looking forward to most when things get back to normal?
Giving all my friends and family a very big hug when this is all over!
Contact Julie Tierney on firstname.lastname@example.org