Law firm abandons desk phones…

The end of the world will follow shortly after.

lawyer headsetA solicitor speaking to a client in a soon-to-be-realised dystopia

From Roll On Friday 28/09/14:

“CMS Cameron McKenna is getting rid of landlines in its London office.

Next year the firm's City staff are moving to new premises on Cannon Street, where they will use a mobile phone and a headset to connect to a Microsoft product called Lync, freeing themselves from the tyranny of wires.”

Oh let the good Lord help us.  A law firm embracing technology.  That never ends well.

Ok - now I’ve got that customary knee-jerk reaction out of the way, I accept that this isn’t exactly ground-breaking news.  However, it does make me nervous about the encroachment of technology into the work-life balance of people generally, but particularly lawyers.

Granted - getting rid of a desk phone isn’t going to kill anyone.  I can’t imagine there are many lawyers who don’t currently have a work-issued mobile phone either.  But what scares me is that tying a person to a mobile phone might be just one step away from senior partners and clients daring to think that fee earners are on round-the-clock call for them personally.  

Oh wait - they already think that, don’t they?

By the by, I’ve never really got on with phone headsets.  The nearest I got to embracing one was a short stint using a Bluetooth ear thing about three or four years ago.  I quickly abandoned it after a couple of days’ use.  I’m not sure which influenced that decision more: finding the thing hard to operate, or the fact it risked making me feel like a taxi driver!

Maybe what also alarms me about this story is that I hate the thought of lawyers sat at their desks with headsets on, clucking away like a warehouse full of battery hens. It’s bad enough when colleagues choose to pace about in the office talking on their mobile (apparently pacing helps some people to think).  I don’t like having to contend with any kind of phone at work, quite frankly, but having a deskphone with a receiver you can slam down occasionally works wonders for stress management.  Whipping your headset off and lobbing it at your nearest colleague the wall just isn’t the same thing.  

As I see it, lawyers shouldn’t be relegated to legally trained call centre operatives - even in a world where clients are ‘users of legal services’ and solicitors are just an increasingly unpopular grade of fee earner.

Ditching the deskphone could be a slippery slope, folks.  And that scares me.


  1. Michael!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe your blog is still going :D

    1. Andro!!!!!!!!! *blinks disbelievingly*

      Good to see you're still about. :-)

      I know - it's hobbling along. I think it's only Law Actually and Aimless Wanderer still going now.

  2. *Waves at Andro*

    I'm going to investigate. I know a few people at CMS...!


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