Thomas Long working from home during lockdown.
What happened during the emergence of COVID-19
London went into lockdown during the six-month exchange. Did it disrupt them?
“Actually, surprisingly not,” Long says. “Everyone at ArgoGlobal transitioned to working from home really smoothly. Things have been very much busier.”
Hogg’s experience has been similar. “Keoghs had to react very quickly, but it worked,” he says. “We all adapted amazingly well and work levels stayed very high, with the added benefit of less commuting.”
He has also been pondering the future of the city and how the pandemic has possibly changed the culture forever.
“Home working was already becoming more common before COVID-19, and I can see many city firms reviewing their need for large, expensive offices,” Hogg says. “Particularly, in the insurance industry, with the emergence of digital platforms that enable people to write business from anywhere.”
How they summarise the experience
“These types of opportunity are rare in law firms,” Long says. “Law firms never want to lose their trainees, as they are a very valuable resource at the junior level and a big investment for any firm. Conversely, big companies like Argo rarely want to trade out established staff in place of someone with less knowledge and experience, so it takes someone like Stewart to see the bigger picture and the long-term benefits.”
“It has been fantastic,” Hogg says. “Going to a top law firm has shown me how focused you need to be to become an expert in the area of law you are working in – that has been really eye opening and stands me in very good stead for the future.”
“The exchange went far better than I imagined, and I’m really pleased for both Brad and Thomas that they’ve benefited from it,” Muirhead says. “I look forward to working with Brad as he completes his qualification towards becoming a solicitor, and also Thomas now that he’s back in private practice.”