Leading up to the start of a new year, Dallas Managing Partner Michael E. Taten spoke with the Dallas Business Journal about the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and his hope for 2021.
“We were having a very busy year, and most of our clients were thriving in early 2020. Then as COVID-19 came, it was just a gigantic pivot,” he said.
When the pandemic first swept the nation, Jackson Walker promptly transitioned to remote work to keep our attorneys and staff healthy and safe while equipped to help clients from their homes. Mike noted, “We’re a very sociable law firm. Being remote and not being together has been in some ways harder on us than other law firms, but it’s worked out.”
“Some of our clients, even the ones that held up well during 2020, still had the challenges, whether it was employment issues, remote work, returned to work, or changes in their real estate needs,” he said. “We had other clients who struggled in 2020, especially those in travel-related, hospitality and entertainment businesses. It was a challenging year for our clients. We feel very blessed and grateful that we were in a position to help them and as a result, we ended up having a strong year in 2020.”
On his prediction for 2021, Mike said, “I’m cautiously optimistic for 2021. We are preparing for the worst but hoping and pretty optimistic for the best.”
In the areas of bankruptcy, trial, healthcare, and labor and employment, the Firm thrived in 2020 and will continue to maintain a steady stream of work in 2021. On the other hand, the transactional, real estate, and mergers and acquisitions practices had slowed down during the pandemic but began ramping up in the fourth quarter. “I’m hopeful that it means good things for 2021,” Mike noted.
To close the interview, Mike shared that with a COVID-19 vaccine being distributed in 2021, he hopes that people will feel more certainty and know better about what to expect. “That will help them make decisions about deploying capital and other decisions that they might be holding off on right now,” he said. “That’ll be good for the economy in North Texas and then, of course, good for us and other lawyers who serve them.”
To read more, view the Dallas Business Journal article “Dallas law executive ‘cautiously optimistic’ for 2021” (subscription required).