I took a moment to reflect the other day as I signed off three employment contracts for new employees. I noted their addresses: Thoresby, Beverley and Carlisle. 2020 marks my 25th year at Pepperells and as you can imagine, I have witnessed many changes in the business over the last quarter century.
When I started at Pepperells, we were a single office high street practice based in Scunthorpe. Every employee probably lived within a 15-mile radius of Scunthorpe town centre.
Of course, this year has been an exceptional one for everybody. Like most businesses, we closed our doors to the public in late March. This thankfully didn’t mean that we stopped working for our clients. We were in the fortunate position of being able to work from home immediately, thanks to our investment in IT which meant that all our teams simply connected their laptops to their home Wi-Fi and accessed their cases digitally. Clients also had the benefit of a fully operational telephone reception service connecting them with their solicitor seamlessly.
It has been commented upon since by an auditor, just how well we have coped with the COVID-19 pandemic compared to most law firms, something which all of us at Pepperells are very proud of.
We have not just coped with the pandemic however: since the lockdown in March we have opened a new office in Beverley and in October we acquired a Newcastle commercial law practice, Millican Law. The latter is particularly exciting to me as I head our Dispute Resolution department and the forming of a strong, diverse Commercial law department will only serve to compliment the services that my department can offer to clients.
It has not been plain sailing all the way, however. Others that we deal with regularly have also had to grapple with the conditions forced upon us all by the events of 2020. The courts and tribunals in particular have had to adopt drastically different working practices at short notice in order to keep the Justice system operational. This has inevitably led to some instances where things have gone awry, but everybody has pulled together to keep matters moving.
I signed the employment contracts in the knowledge that the firm is going from strength to strength and is not going to let a pandemic get in the way of its success.
As we head into 2021, we are thankful for our clients who have chosen Pepperells to assist them with their legal needs in this unprecedented year. We look forward to welcoming our new recruits and being able to offer Lincoln and Lincolnshire clients our growing legal services and expertise.