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The DELSOL Avocats newsletter
DELSOL Avocats faced with Covid-19
Xavier DELSOL Chairman
of the Board
Given the circumstances of the past few weeks, which have obviously been extremely difficult for all of us in both human and professional terms, each of us has had to find a delicate balance between the evident need to protect health, and the necessity for somehow keeping our economy going, to avoid the remedy proving worse than the cure.
This country steered the best course it could, as did so many others, each in its own way, each with its own false starts and uncertainties, facing a risk that, however new, found us ill prepared, reeling under a barrage of scientific facts - all too often risky or unproven - and subject to constraints at best restrictive and at worst draconian.
This crisis will leave its mark, in terms of human lives lost, and in terms of failed businesses, with all the sometimes serious consequences that ensue, but a semblance of a more normal life is now beginning to resume and, as Rudyard Kipling said: [...] If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; [...] Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build em up with worn-out tools: [...] You ll be a Man, my son!
Like many others, this firm and all of us who are part of it have found ways to adapt and work to the best of our ability, first and foremost in support of our clients, to stand by them in this crisis as we all try to cope with these challenging circumstances. We have relied on teleworking, video conferencing and other means of communication, to maintain even at a distance the quality of the relationship so precious to us, whilst at the same time doing everything possible to protect the wellbeing of all, and their personal and family life in particular. This adaptation was only made possible by unfailing commitment from all concerned, and I would take this opportunity to thank them all, individually and collectively.
All our teams are thus available and primed to respond as needed to all those of you reading this newsletter (for once, in digital format only with no printed version, in view of the circumstances), ready to carry out our tasks and negotiate a smooth return to real life.
Let us take from this period its most positive aspects in particular, a new way of working together and a new collective organisation - to get back to business as usual as swiftly as possible, working together on a basis of trust, with our eyes firmly fixed on the future.
#22 July 2020
As of 16 March this year, we were quick to reassure our clients that all our services would be maintained and all deadlines met, in full compliance with the protective measures ordered by government.
Throughout the period of lockdown, our key concern was to keep clients abreast of all the latest news regarding the health crisis and its repercussions for the business world, through a series of newsletters and webinars. We also made every effort to continue offering counsel and support remotely.
At the same time, DELSOL Avocats is also made up of over 120 lawyers and legal advisers and some 60 employees based at two sites (Paris and Lyon). Just like our clients and partners, we had to deploy solutions to allow people to work from home and to dematerialise our internal procedures to ensure the continuity of the firm s activity whilst maintaining links between colleagues via
solutions such as audio and video conferencing.
Finally, 55 days after the lockdown began, we were able to re-open our doors. Once again, this new phase has had to be carefully organised, in strict compliance with the Covid-19 protection measures agreed in consultation with the Economic and Social Committee and the occupational health service. A gradual return to the office environment was implemented for some of us, while others have continued to work from home.
You too will have gone through these various phases. You too will have found that every day calls for new ways of adapting to these new working conditions. From the very outset, we at DELSOL Avocats have always defined ourselves as a firm of entrepreneurs and, as such, we feel we are now closer than ever to our clients. More than ever, we are at your side as we all confront the post- Covid world.
Grégrory SANDBRAND, Information Systems Manager, DELSOL Avocats
What measures did you introduce when the lockdown was announced, in preparation for the inevitable shift to teleworking?
We had to buy and configure additional laptops so that we could provide hardware for colleagues not already equipped for working from home. In fact, it was our Italian correspondents who alerted us to the need to gear up for the teleworking that seemed increasingly likely, and we placed a number of orders three weeks in advance of lockdown in order to meet any needs that might arise. This meant we were able to equip as many people as possible.
No particular modifications or upgrades to the firm s server infrastructure were required, but we did see an increase of almost 13% in resource utilisation during lockdown as compared to normal operating conditions.
In what ways did you need to adapt your pre-pandemic activity?
Remote support and new procedures were introduced to make it easier for colleagues to learn how to use the IT and communications tools provided by the firm.
Did you encounter any new difficulties?
Continuity of service was our key priority. Over the lockdown period, we noted an upsurge in attempted phishing scams and using fake invoices to transmit viruses, and there were even two attempts to scam the Chairman! Luckily, we have a very effective firewall in place, meaning we were able to fend off these attacks without any risk to our systems.
In common with the companies and organisations we advise, we too have had to adapt to the unprecedented situation posed by the Covid-19 pandemic