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The Covid diaries: Day 11 - A hard day's night

The Covid diaries: Day 11 - A hard day's night

A daily fly-on-the-wall blog about running a legal business during the Covid-19 crisis.

By Darren Isaacs - 30 March 2020

I am sick to death of furlough.

In the past few working days, I think I have spent about 20 hours trying to get to the bottom of the UK government's scheme.

How is that even possible, I hear you say?

Well, on the face of it the scheme looks simple enough, and, of course, it is, but equally, of course, out in the real world our clients running businesses have a million real-world, actual business queries - and they all take some thinkin' to get to the bottom of. And unfortunately some of the real world questions have not been dealt with by the government. At all. So we are discussing them a lot internally. Quite reasonably, different legal minds have different legal thoughts about some of the harder questions people are asking, and we have to work through all of this and come to a reasoned view. It just takes time.

As lawyers, we also have this innate need to try and come up with THE solution and THE right answer to every question from every client. At the firm, we really do pride ourselves on offering pragmatic, business-focused solutions. And, psychologically, we absolutely hate it when we can't give rock-solid advice. However, with something like the new furlough scheme we just can't be that precise on a lot of things because the government is making it up as it goes along.

It is teaching me that even as a lawyer who is desperately keen to answer all of his client's questions, sometimes the best answer I can give is the honest one: "we just don't know, so all we can do is work with what we have got". These are uncertain times and even lawyers, who normally love black-and-white rules, need to work with the uncertainty. 

If you would like to read our Covid diaries starting from day 1 please click here.