Interview: Connor Hegarty, CJCH Solicitors
The Covid-19 pandemic has understandably led to some law firms in Wales putting a hold on new starters - or stopping the recruitment process while they put modern measures in place for employees and support clients through the crisis. However, Legal News has heard that things are changing and not all law firms find themselves struggling to recruit or create new opportunities for lawyers. CJCH Solicitors is just one of those. The firm recently placed experienced solicitor, Connor Hegarty into its Court of Protection Team. Connor (CH) and Senior Partner, Jodi Winter, at CJCH spoke to Legal News about what it's like to join a new firm and integrate a new member of the team in these very different times.
How did you feel about starting a new job while on lockdown?
Nervous! Starting any new role is a slight step in to the unknown but doing so when self-isolating (my wife had COVID symptoms at the time) was truly not something I had expected would be the case when I accepted the job a few months previously.
What has been the most challenging aspect of the process?
As with any new job, knowing where to turn when you have a query is hard to begin with. Having questions and the inevitable IT concerns to start with when sitting in your living room can be dreadful. Thankfully I have been very well supported from the time I started.
How do you feel as a member of the team now that you have been with the department for over a month without having been to the office?
I think I have integrated well with the team – they have made me feel very welcome. We check in at least once a day which has been very helpful for me during this time.
What has made the transition easier for you?
The flexibility of the team, and our clients. The team was very quick to get me set up with all of the IT equipment I needed to allow me to put together a home work space.
“"Our clients have been fast with embracing new ways of working and providing instructions via video and telephone conferencing which has allowed me to get working from day one."”
Any suggestions or considerations you would raise for future people who might have to start a new role under similar circumstances?
Keeping up communication with your team and wider colleagues is really important. It might feel a bit more awkward to send a mundane new-starter question (as I have done many times now) via an email or Skype but remember that your colleagues are there to help.
How has the firm dealt with remotely 'on-boarding' a new member of the team? Especially in light of bonding with colleagues?
It has been a new way of thinking for all of us.
No matter how prepared we all thought we were for any scenario, no amount of preparation could adequately cover the Covid-19 total lockdown.
Having Connor join our team during this period has been refreshing, as we’ve seen someone with dedication and professionalism come into a new environment and just become part of the team.
“We arranged to have his laptop delivered to him, and for HR and IT to onboard him remotely, and he then just became one of the team as if he’s always been with us.”
The CJCH Team have always been proud of our ability to deliver, no matter what, and this has been no exception. Just goes to show, anything is possible with the right team!
Connor Hegarty is an experienced solicitor who has recently joined the Court of Protection team at CJCH.
He is comfortable advising on complex and sensitive issues relating to mental capacity, deprivation of liberty, serious medical treatment, and inquests.
Connor moved to Cardiff from Ireland in 2012. He completed his LPC, part-time, at Cardiff university in 2015. Following qualification with a national commercial firm, Connor began his career at an international firm advising on mental capacity, mental health law, healthcare regulatory issues, and inquests.
He has also worked in-house for the NHS refining his specialist advice to mental capacity law, serious medical treatment, and inquests.