One of the region’s leading female business leaders, Jane Armitage of law firm Jacksons talks to Tees Business on lockdown, meeting challenges and emerging stronger…
If there’s one thing that comes across when you listen to Jane Armitage speak, it’s that she’s a positive person.
As managing partner at Stockton-based law firm Jacksons, she’s part of the senior management team steering the company and its staff through an unprecedented few months.
Planning and communication have been her cornerstones both before, during and currently as lockdown measures are gradually starting to ease.
Challenges have been thrown up and will continue to be launched but, says Jane, she has huge confidence the business region has managed the crisis well.
“Good will come out of this and so will different ways of working and different businesses, I think the area will be really, really successful,” she said in an interview with Dave Allan for the weekly Talking Business feature on Tees Business’s Facebook page.
“I have huge confidence that we as a region have managed in this crisis really well. There are lots of examples of people being practical and setting their hand to different things.
“As a region, we’re good at doing that. We’ll come out of this period stronger and with new opportunities, we’ll look back and think ‘That was the weirdest year we’ve ever lived.’”
Like many firms around the Tees Valley, Jacksons switched to home working as lockdown was enforced, continuing to serve its business and personal clients with the professional level of service the firm prides itself on.
The safety and well-being of staff has remained a priority with the emphasis on planning and communication throughout.
“My philosophy throughout the crisis has been to plan and then to communicate. We did lots of planning before lockdown – it happened slightly quicker than we expected but we had planned and then we communicated to staff what we are doing,” said Jane.
“We are doing the reverse at the moment – there are lots of plans in place to get back into the office and we are communicating them to staff.
“The important thing is that we shouldn’t sugar coat things for our staff, we need to tell them how things are and what the reality of everything is.”
Challenges lie ahead, she said, and they are the same challenges faced by the firms they serve.
“There’s a massive challenge ahead. Our job will be to get some people back into the office, allow some social distance working, to support our clients who are through this at the same time and help them as they take some difficult decisions. We need to help and guide them with that.
“It won’t be very secure for a quite some time that we won’t have a local lockdown and we all have to reverse this process.
“I think there’s lots and lots of challenges ahead. Jacksons – and the Tees Valley generally – is very resilient. We have seen crises in the past and we know that you rise to the challenge and you work through them, and that’s what we’ll be doing.”