Is it me?

By Anita Jaynes on 21 December, 2020

John Davies is a senior corporate partner at leading commercial law firm Thrings. As a TBE columnist, John regularly addresses a topical news or business-related issue.  This time he shares some seasonal cheer.

Every now and again I put something ‘out there’ on LinkedIn. It’s a strange platform in many ways – sometimes my musings get a limited response, while others surprise me with the number of ‘likes’, ‘comments’ or ‘shares’ they receive. I often get a bigger response from posting something personal than I do from something legal. Make of that what you will.

I recently posted about a conversation I’d had with a client. It simply said that we’d had a great chat and that his company was thriving, despite world events. It was more poignant because we worked together on his MBO at the start of the year (quite a year to invest and go it alone!). 

The key word in this exchange was ‘despite’.

Despite everything – the world being brought to its knees by Covid-19; UK and European uncertainty surrounding Brexit; global economic and geo-political worry driven by the US election; the apparent demise of the Welsh rugby team – his business is going from strength to strength. What’s more, he’s not alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not trying to play down everything 2020 has thrown at us – both in terms of the economy and our own, personal situations, but it’s not all doom and gloom. And it’s important that somebody says it out loud.

Over the course of the year I’ve spoken to loads of clients, fellow professionals, friends and even other lawyers (yes we are civil to each other), and there are plenty of success stories and reasons to be cheerful. There is certainly appetite for the right deal or the right investment. Contracts are still there to be granted and to be won. Businesses and people have found ways to change, adapt, progress and even grow, ‘despite’ everything we’ve had on our plates. My team alone has, during 2020, completed transactions in software, hardware, technology, leisure, consulting, financial services, education, manufacturing and more.

I’m writing this in the middle of a flurry of breaking news about three possible vaccines which look like they’re going to help humanity. Virtually every day, sitting behind the troubling stories, are tales of resilience, of victory, of endeavour and of courage: Captain Tom; frontline workers; the NHS; success in space; a growing realisation that the world needs to be kinder to the planet (and, dare I say, to each other); scientific breakthroughs; and a British and Irish Lions tour on the horizon. 

I know it’s difficult at the moment, but we need to give ourselves a little bit of time and space to remember our ‘list of good things’, despite the other stuff.

So there you have it. Hopefully a few grounds for optimism as we head out of 2020 and into a new year. Am I alone on this or am I onto something? Either way I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts. 

In the meantime, please continue to take care of yourselves, enjoy this ‘different’ Christmas and I look forward to the new world of 2021.

John Davies

e: jdavies@thrings.com

t: 01793 412634