A City Law Firm is a Legal 500 innovative, agile and tec-savvy firm in London. Its experienced, friendly lawyers support businesses and individuals alike nurturing a personal and long-term relationship at very competitive rates. Interview with Karen Holden, CEO of A City Law Firm. Easy Engineering: What are the ranges of services you provide and specialise in? Karen Holden: We specialise in company/commercial transactions and advice for start-ups and large established businesses as well as those scaling and going through investment rounds. This includes getting businesses ready for investment, sales and mergers; protecting IP; employment drafting, disputes and settlements; litigation which includes international debt, civil and commercial disputes be it property, construction or shareholder/business issues; technology law such as drones, AI, automation etc. and family law. E.E: What would you say are the biggest problems that arose for companies with the pandemic and within your field? K.H: Many traditional and less agile law firms may have struggled to work remotely; obtaining signatures and hosting meetings, but we were already paperless, able to work remotely and we adapted quickly. We held weekly staff meetings to keep up communications, training and motivation. However, like many businesses will identify, some staff members struggled with the fear of Covid-19 or the isolation at home. Therefore, mental well-being, risk assessments to have people in the office and addressing those unable to leave home took patience, strategy and foresight. This continues to be an on-going process that needs to vary weekly and per each staff member. E.E: In light of this year what advice would you give to businesses as a whole to prepare for 2021. K.H: Review its legal documents to make sure it has robust and transparent policies: For staff, like work at home policies, risk assessments and using own devices It’s contracts with suppliers and clients so it can be adjusted if it can’t perform its duties or someone cancels or defaults on theirs. A contingency plan is always advisable for all relationships involving cashflowIntegrate technology and embrace being agile and flexible as this will be needed in this current climate and beyond. It’s always best to be prepared for every eventuality.Consider monitoring the wellbeing of staff as this may become a more prevalent issue this yearMake sure they have taken advantage of all government schemes for loans, grants, furlough, training and otherwise Review and understand your insurance protection delving into what it may or may not cover. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends within your sector? K.H: Investment into UK businesses slowed last year, but we have now seen this start to slowly recover. Technology businesses are of interest to non-European investors with there being more government initiatives and grants available. Excitingly we see more businesses looking to trade with the UK. Brexit means contracts and legal rights are reviewed. Covid-19 has bought awareness but also renegotiations and insurance issues, premises are being left unoccupied and working arrangements are changed. E.E: What do you think makes you stand out from other Law firms? K.H: We adapt quickly be it working remotely, new laws and sector coverage and we can embrace new working practices and recession-like scenarios as we are innovative. Our annual retainers and competitive rates allow businesses to rebuild, scale-up and continue without cashflow concerns which have bought over new businesses juggling varying expenses at this time. We are tech-enabled, willing to adapt and we have continued at full pace throughout. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021? K.H: People will have to adapt to different working styles, less travel and office time, work-life balance may be harder as schools are closed so employers are going to need to adapt. Those not previously flexible may see more committed employees as a result. Commercial Property will be less sort after increasing rental costs Lawyers and tax advisors need to adapt to Brexit and new rules and will be busy guiding their clients through this or restructures, insolvency or growth. This will be a good and bad time for clients, and we are committed to being there for them.