A bright side to Terry having more downtime is more family time!
ACG Member Since: 2015
ACG Involvement: 2020-2021 Board Member, Chair of the Golf Committee, and Co-Chair of the Sponsorship Committee
Like most businesses, switching to a remote working environment resulted in substantial changes to the everyday life of all lawyers at Calfee and we had to adapt our business model quickly. For example, shortly after we began working from home, the CARES ACT was passed, bringing with it significant implications for almost all of our clients and making PPP a household name. We immediately formed a cross-practice, internal working group (everything from corporate and tax to labor and employment and estate planning) to keep our clients fully apprised of the changes to this law, which seemed to occur on a weekly basis. Our government relations teams in both Washington D.C. and Columbus also worked around the clock to provide us real-time updates on updated and proposed legislation keeping us one step ahead when at all possible. I’m really proud of how quickly the entire Calfee team mobilized to provide these needed services to our clients.
As for what hasn’t worked, I did not appreciate how much is lost by not having daily interactions with your colleagues at the office. Calfee has done a nice job keeping our firm virtually engaged with weekly Zoom meetings for practice groups and partners, but I think we can all acknowledge at this point, it’s just not the same. I’m looking forward to getting back and collaborating with our full team, whenever that will be.
I’ve been most surprised by how quickly Calfee and our clients have been able to adapt to working remotely. We have continued to close transactions, both buy-side and sell-side, all while working from home. I know everyone is anxious to get back to normal, but it looks like that may not happen for longer than many of us originally expected, so the ability to continue working seamlessly in this environment makes me optimistic that we will come out stronger on the other side.
Virtual events and Zoom calls have been a nice way to stay connected and I’ve never been on the phone more, checking in with clients both professionally and personally. My AirPods are getting a lot of use! Outside activities, like golf, have also been a great way to see people in person while also maintaining social distancing.
Without a doubt. Even though working remotely presents its challenges, it also has introduced a lot of efficiencies. Working from home, even on a part-time basis, is here to stay as it helps professionals achieve the work-life balance that many of us find so difficult.
There have certainly been economic winners and losers during this period. Which ones have surprised you the most?
The winners that have surprised me the most are the businesses that were able to rapidly change their business models and pivot quickly to provide entirely new products or services to fulfill needs during the pandemic. A few of our clients retrofitted their facilities to manufacture personal protective equipment, for example. While not an option for most, the resilience of the businesses that have been able to not only pivot but then execute in this way has been surprising and impressive.
From a professional perspective, working with clients and colleagues during this difficult time has forged even stronger relationships. Personally, I have enjoyed spending more time with my family, and eliminating the commute has certainly helped. I have a 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old twins, and being at home with them and my wife Kara has been a bright spot during the lock-down.
The Deal Maker Awards is my favorite ACG event. We have such a great transactional community in Northeast Ohio and Deal-Maker's not only brings everyone together, but it also attracts professionals from outside our region to celebrate the best deals that have closed in the last year. The networking in just a few hours at Deal-Maker's every year can’t be beaten.