Throughout the crisis, we are highlighting positives, good news stories and examples where members have helped each other or the wider public.
LOOKING AFTER OUR LITTLE ONES Gesmer Updegrove, member firm for Massachusetts has come up with a novel way to help their lawyers and clients with young children overcome the lockdown blues with a ZOOM party.
MACKRELL INTERNATIONAL – STRENGTH IN UNITY (even when we are apart)
Capturing the Mackrell International spirit, Gunnar Hjertquist, our ex-Chair,from WSA in Sweden commented very powerfully recently:
“…strength comes from unity. And that is not just something dropping down from heaven. It is hard work to unify people. Not in the sense of having people uniformed, but instead to aim at a common goal with respect for the individual person.
That is what Mackrell is all about. Different people, different minds, cultures, nationalities and legal systems, but unified with the idea to help each other when need be.”
MASKS FROM THE HEART
In every society, there are those who lead and those who follow.
Marc Stehlin, of Stehlin & Associés in France has shown himself a true leader recently.
Frustrated with the bureaucracy preventing critically-needed masks getting to keyworkers in France, he helped create a not-for-profit collective to get masks from China imported swiftly and distributed to the Covid-19 front line.
The initiative is Masques du Coeur – Masks from the Heart: http://www.fam.fr/coronavirus/les-masques-du-coeur/
Bravo, Marc !
HOPE COMES FROM THE EAST.
Our Managing Partner Forums have provided insight across the network.
And this has included the unexpected.
On any normal day, BC (before Corona), the news that two MI members had met and had lunch - and that one of those members had just been on a business trip, would simply not be news.
But with many of us not having seen friends, family, clients or colleagues for weeks and even next-door neighbours only at a 2 metre distance, this is a big deal.
And more so, since it involved Jun Yang from Jade and Fountain and David Ettinger from Keller & Heckman, both in China, (Shanghai) which got Corona-clobbered first.
Reportedly, lunch and the catch-up was excellent and there were hundreds of others also out and having lunch. The trust is rebuilding. And for all the hardship and gloom, stories are emerging about the businesses that adapted and innovated to survive.
Both law firms are busy and largely back at work and ‘un-masked’ at their desks, though masked when travelling in. For all the recent video-calling, Jun was specifically requested by a key client in a neighbouring province to attend a face-to-face meeting to progress matters. Another sign of progress.
The message to us all still in lockdown across the world, is ‘hang in there’ – we’ll get there…
AND FROM PALESTINE
It may be one of our smaller jurisdictions and one that certainly has its challenges, but our member firm there, Kamal & Associates, constantly look for opportunity in adversity and have a dynamic approach to business development.
As Covid-19 hits the Middle East, Managing Partner, Rasem Kamal provides food for thought and a word on investment, in the broadest sense:
“I try to see the positive side of any situation I am in. So now, with the slow business and markets down, I see the opportunity to spend time with the family, hire excellent talent, finish work that has been hanging there for a while (and buy stocks that are currently undervalued!). So in short, I see this as a good period for investment; whether investing in family time, talent, business development, or even the stock market! Eventually, we’ll emerge from this situation, and reap the rewards of the investment!”
Next is heart-warming and MI ‘family support’ of the highest order.
The team at Jade & Fountain in Shanghai are not just providing a gleam of hope for the rest of the world as the Coronavirus wave is flattening there and things are starting to open up again – but they are also supporting others in need, like sending masks to their MI ‘cousins’ at Santiago Mediano in Madrid.
That’s the Mackrell International spirit!
WE'VE GOT IT COVERED
In this most testing of times, we are all seeking some reassurance.
So surely the words our clients across the world and our other Mackrell International ‘cousins’ want to hear right now are: “Don’t worry, we’ve got it covered – and we’ve got you covered.”
The message is loud and clear.
Whatever legal advice you need to help you realign, restructure or reset - personally or professionally – and wherever you are in the world, the Mackrell International legal network has you covered.
Here’s a snapshot of the MI ‘family’ of law firms, open for business and showing you that they’ve got it ‘covered’:
Powerful and positive spirit has been shown by both our China firm, Jade & Fountain and our firm in Milan, Northern Italy, Studio Legale Bonora. Despite being hit first and then hardest by the pandemic, their resilience and positivity shown has been exemplary – the fact they have sent solidarity and support to the whole network in their time of crisis is testament to them and to the type of people Mackrell International attracts.
I also want to highlight Berninzon & Benavides in Peru who, because of their connections with embassies and consulates, have been working 24/7 to help repatriate many of the 20,000 foreign nationals stuck in the country after it closed its borders.
As Eduardo Benavides said: More than 2000 people repatriated, most of them Brits. For some of them who were in remote areas of the jungle, we sent buses for pick up. Some people spent 2 full days and nights in buses and straight to the military base where they boarded the airplanes. I spent Friday and Saturday night on the phone making the buses go through military barricades because of the night curfew.
This has been one of the most challenging duties of my life professionally & also on the human side. We established close bonds with many of the guys stranded in remote places because it took almost 2 weeks to complete this operation. I couldn’t hug these boys, girls, & families when they were boarding the aircraft, but today I got so many thank you emails from the UK and Ireland. It was amazing and paid for all the hard work and night without sleep.
The impact of the tireless efforts of Eduardo and his team are wonderfully summed up in this thank you note he received, clearly from a delighted and grateful parent:
Ciara and James landed in Dublin airport at 14:55 this afternoon, along with all of the other Irish citizens who were trapped in Peru.
My wife Mary and I and our family simply cannot thank you enough for your excellent support, your constant empathy, your consistent efficient responses and, most of all your hard work in the process of evacuating and repatriating Ciara, James and all the other Brits and Irish.
Ciara told us that she actually spoke to you in Lima and that you are everything we pictured, friendly, composed, empathetic, professional and extremely hard working.
Also, congratulations are due - for the 3rd year in a row, our Mexico member, Gonzalez Calvillo, has been included in the 2020 Latin Lawyer Elite Firms: bit.ly/LatinLawyerElite2020
Many of our lawyers and attorneys across the network are actually considered ‘essential workers,’ either in the fight to maintain social and business structures or to maintain the rule of law. Here is our Czech firm, SDA Legal, on the ‘front line’ in Prague.
Hoge Fenton has been busy battling the stress and hardship caused to clients by COVID-19.
• Hoge Fenton (HF) attorneys have collectively donated 10+ hours of free COVID-19 legal education via webinars
• HF have discounted our rates on two matters related to COVID-19 aid
• HF’s IP group has prioritized COVID-19 related patents over other applications
• HF have formed a Rapid Response team for COVID-19 related issues
Hoge Fenton COVID-19 resources page includes videos, our Rapid Response team, and other information on COVID-19
In a recent update, WA Shashila from Ram,Caroline Sha & Syah our Malaysian member reminded us all of something very important:
… by staying at home, we have been able to do things that we had been putting off (trying new food recipes, gardening etc!). Family bonding has increased and we have been able to relax more, minus the work stress and fast paced life we were used to. Perhaps it's nature’s way of telling us to 'slow down,' stop and smell the roses!
I am reminded of the words of Robert H. Schuller - "Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do.' I believe the Mackrell International Family is certainly in this tough group of people.
In Indiana, USA Bose McKinney & Evans is doing what they can to help clients and communities and make a difference even in these challenging times.
Bose client, Dallara was featured in the Indy Star for its efforts at creating gowns and masks from its Speedway facility to assist in the fight against the pandemic and both the firm and Partner Scott Tarter are specifically mentioned in the article.
Keep up the good work! https://eu.indystar.com/story/sports/motor/2020/04/01/dallara-transforms...
Across the world, countries have been coming out to show support and appreciation for the extraordinary selflessness of our front-line carers, staff and health professionals.
In the UK, the nation has come out at a designated time to clap for the health service, the NHS; in Pennsylvania, Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti led the charge for the ‘Illumination Ovation,’ a sparkly and warming way to show appreciation