Question

COVID-19 - FAQs for LOD lawyers

TIME & PAYMENT

Will I be paid on time during this period of uncertainty?

You absolutely will be paid on time. The LOD finance team are all working remotely but we understand the importance to all our lawyers of reliable cashflow and payment dates. You will still need to record your time and invoice us promptly of, course. This is more important than ever during this time – any issues with that, just let us know.

I’m usually at the client site but now working remotely – how do I record and invoice that time?

We are of course all in the same situation. This brings some productivity challenges (and maybe even some upsides – see below) but we all understand this, LOD and clients alike. Freelance LODs should be recording days and invoicing us in the same way as usual at the end of each month. As normal, you should not of course invoice for days where you have not done any work because you are on holiday or off sick. If you are concerned about ongoing availability or productivity issues, please do let us know so that we can resolve together with your client.

What do I do if the changes mean my workload has radically changed (whether up or down)?

If this has happened then as usual please let us know and we will work with you and the client to try to find a solution.

What happens if the client asks me to stop work?

Well, the good news is that we have not seen this approach from our clients. But if it happens, again please just let us know and the relevant client account manager will help look after the issue, working with our lawyer care & development team.

THE WIDER MARKET

So, what’s happening in the market - are all the roles drying up?

Different industries are affected (or not) in very different ways. We’re still seeing new LOD assignments coming through and starting but things have understandably slowed in the short term. The biggest challenge for new assignments has been each client’s on-boarding process. This has caused some delays but our clients are adapting, like all of us, and we’re working hard to keep the assignments flowing. Of all the innovations in law over the last decade, LOD’s flexible models are very well suited to the new way of working being forced upon us and we’re always open to adapting more to whatever our clients and lawyers need.

What government support is there if I were to be out of work as a freelancer?

This is changing and clarifying daily but at the time of writing:

  • Self-assessment income tax payments (due in July 2020) can now be deferred (until January 2021)
  • The government has confirmed support for self-employed workers. This seems unlikely to be helpful to the majority of LOD lawyers due to the restrictions which apply.

HOME WORKING

How do I ensure that I have the right technology for effective home working?

If this is a problem, do contact LOD’s tech team through our email helpline continuity-uk@lodlaw.com. We will do what we can to help guide you through effect technology setups.

Please will you help look after my kids / elderly parents?

Though we can’t be hands-on with this, we know it is an issue for many people. As a GC client said in one of our recent session – “Everyone’s muddling though – there’s a general understanding that we’re all juggling”. Clients will understand that many of us are having to compromise to fit in our work. In case it helps keep your dependents amused, we are producing some tips that will be available over the next few days.

What about my own wellbeing?

This is of course fundamentally important. As well as following government guidelines generally, please let us know if you need any support. Maybe use the time saved from commutes as time to exercise or relax if you can. In any event it would be good to know if you are sick and so taking time off so that we can help the client to manage this and leave you to concentrate on getting well.



v1 - 27 March 2020