Mark Quigley reflects on an unprecedented March

Mark Quigley, managing partner of Sintons, reflects on the past month, which saw Sintons launch its new brand identity only days before the country went into lockdown. Here, he explains how the firm has responded to these unprecedented times to ensure it continues to deliver the standards of legal excellence and client care it has done for the past 124 years

As we entered the final planning stage of our rebrand launch event on 2 March there were storm clouds on the horizon but I doubt that there were many people who joined us at Saint James’ Park that evening who expected the world to change so dramatically so quickly.

We remain in the midst of a public health crisis and, as a firm which is proud to have numerous NHS organisations as clients – Trusts, GPs and Dentists – our thoughts are with all those who are doing so much to help us get through the current emergency.

This is also an economic crisis as virtually every business has been severely impacted as a result of the very necessary measures which are in place to protect lives.  The challenge for law firms is to ensure that we can adapt and change to ensure that we remain relevant to our clients and that we can continue to provide a service which is tailored to meet what will be very different circumstances once the present crisis is over.

The Government has fully acknowledged the financial impact that the coronavirus pandemic will have on businesses and the people they employ.  The scale of the assistance which has been made available is unprecedented but only time will tell whether it will be sufficient to enable good businesses to get through this and do the right thing by their people in the process.  Here at Sintons, we take comfort from the Chancellor’s assurance that he will do ‘whatever it takes’ to help business owners during this difficult time.

Whilst it seems like something from a different era, the reasoning behind the decision to rebrand remains valid; it was to help us articulate our ambition, alongside the heritage and trust we have built up over the last 124 years.   .

Businesses have been forced to redefine their operations and means of communicating with people, in light of Government advice for people to stay at home and to work remotely wherever possible. As a people-focused business, which puts clients at the heart of everything we do, this has meant we have had to quickly adapt so our renowned first-rate client service is uninterrupted.

Our Strategy for Growth has seen us make strong progress throughout the business since its launch almost three years ago, and a key part of that has been to invest in our infrastructure and systems. Our IT has always played a huge role in what we do and the service we are able to provide, but probably never more so than recently.

Through the fantastic work of our team and the capability of our systems, we were quickly able to ensure our people could work at home with full access to everything they would have had they been in the office. While our usual face-to-face contact with clients and intermediaries has not been possible, we have made full use of channels including Zoom, Skype and TEAMS, to ensure our service is as bespoke as possible. We were early adopters of Microsoft Teams, which has really come into its own in the last few weeks and has proven to be a superb tool for keeping in touch with clients and colleagues alike.  In these days of remote working, keeping in touch and providing mutual support to one another is more important than ever.  As a result, we have been able to maintain exceptional levels of client service.

We remain wholly open for business and contactable as we always have been, supported by our website and social media channels which are continually updated with relevant content in these fast-changing times.

As a firm which has been trusted to act for several generations of families and business owners throughout the North East and further afield, we realise that many will need us now more than ever, as these unprecedented times continue to produce new challenges.

We believe that our rebranding enables us to demonstrate how we can continue to support and guide our clients through the bad times (and times are bad) and the good.

Things will get better but, whatever the economic outlook, our core purpose remains the same – to achieve excellence in the delivery of a service which makes a positive difference to our clients.  We are here for you.

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