A new season – what next?
It has been a harsh start to the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness with a poor UK arable harvest due to the wet weather in August and in some parts of the world the worst storms in a generation. Weathering the storm may become the norm over the coming months.
It always helps in the face of uncertainty if we have all our usual bases covered; some good techniques for dealing with urgent and important changes if necessary and strength and resilience to face the unexpected. For many of us this comes from being rested after a summer break; getting and keeping good health, if at all possible, and being clear about our goals.
Firstly – competence plans
Almost a year ago you will have sat down and written your first competence plan for November 2016-17 as part of the new approach to CPD. How is it going? You set yourself some goals and hopefully you have met some, if not all, of them. Have you recorded your progress? If not, now is the time to review the plan and update your records ready for the new CPD year in November.
I find it a challenge to keep a record of what I do as I go along but I pulled up my plan and went through it in August; looked at my calendar and checked the sort of details relevant to my professional bodies such as Association of Tax Technicians, STEP and the SRA. One thing each requires is one hour of ethical training each year so I listened to a webinar on the Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation changes which came in on 1 March 2017 and to which all tax practitioners and STEP members are subject. I also read the new 4th Anti Money- Laundering Regulations. Have you got up to speed with that and its impact on your practice?
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Secondly – insurance
I no longer have my own law practice (I wound it up in 2013) but I do act as a consultant for a few firms, which means they put me on their insurance cover. It keeps me in the loop as to what areas of practice cause most concern so that my writing and lecturing is pertinent to practitioners. Are you ready for the insurance renewal season?
Thirdly – the unknown, unknowns
We have to be prepared for the unexpected – this week in 1930, Stromboli volcano (Sicily) threw out 2-ton basaltic rocks 2 miles into the air. There are some things we cannot anticipate but even if we get some warning, like the recent storms across the Atlantic, we need emergency plans which work in place to deal with them such as business continuity plans. I can only imagine what lawyers in the Caribbean must have had to do in the past few days and how on earth life for them and their clients will get back to ‘normal’ in the coming months.
Personnel are much more mobile than 25 years ago. What if someone announces they are off or will be going on maternity leave or are in need of time out for caring or health reasons? Are you prepared? In 1962 Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best as the drummer in the Beatles. I expect that was pretty traumatic at the time for an established group but a fresh face with new ideas could be the making of your team if you let them in and integrate them well.
At LawSkills we continue to provide webinars and courses which we hope will be of assistance and are in the process of preparing new topics for 2018. If you have a topic which you feel is not being addressed or which you find particularly troublesome let us know using the contact form on this page and we will see what we can do.
Otherwise, I hope you will weather any storms which might come your way and find safe passage through the autumn season.
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