The newsletter of GBRW Expert Witness
This month has seemed relatively quiet – it feels as if people have been taking advantage of holiday accumulated during the lockdown period, although the UK Government’s approach to imposing and lifting quarantine restrictions on various holiday destinations has made this a fraught exercise for many.
As we approach autumn, new working patterns are starting to become more apparent. The Financial Times reported this week that many financial institutions and professional firms in the City of London are planning for staff to work from home longer term. NatWest Group and Standard Life Aberdeen have already announced that most staff will not be returning to the office until early next year, while companies such as Schroders and Virgin Money are expecting staff to work from home for the majority of their time.
For expert witnesses, the change has often not been that material. Many experts already work remotely, dial-in calls and/or videoconferences with instructing law firms have long been the norm and use of soft copy documents and shared drives has increased steadily. The hourly billing rates charged by litigators and experts have been a strong factor in driving both to adopt working practices which produce the most efficient use of time.
However, we are increasingly aware of one major change, which relates to the delivery of training courses and marketing presentations.
As we all become more familiar with screen based meetings and the various apps which these involve, new approaches to webinars and training courses are developing. While something is inevitably lost compared with face to face meetings, wider acceptance of videoconferencing is creating much greater flexibility in delivering presentations in different countries and across various time zones.
- Our first article in this quarter’s edition of Expertise showcases examples of presentations on specialised topics by my colleagues and myself as well as a series of insurance webinars by Alan Jervis, a highly experienced expert associate with whom we have worked on a number of cases.
- My Singapore-based colleague Martin Edwards then discusses recent developments in trade finance in the region, which have seen the collapse of a number of established trading groups as well as decisions by some major commodity finance banks to exit this business completely. Further disclosures and extensive litigation seem set to follow.
GBRW Expert Witness