Lockdown Team Blog - Series 2: Carol Hopwood

09 February 2021

3 minutes to read.

Last year, our teams produced a series of blogs written by colleagues across multiple divisions of the company. They provided a small insight into our evolving working practices and values as we all adjusted to our new post-COVID19 world. Now we're back with our second series!

Here is the fifth in our 2nd series of posts from our Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury, Carol Hopwood.

Working from home or living at work?

"I have never been a fan of working from home.  The physical division of work and home helped me maintain a work life balance and the daily commute gave me an opportunity to read, listen to music or just have some quiet contemplation at the end of a busy day.  I am lucky that I have a designated working space, I have no home schooling to battle and have a dog that will happily sit on my feet under my desk to keep them warm. Yet I cannot wait to get back to work.

We are social creatures and I miss human interaction. Whilst Teams and Zooms enables us to see and speak to others in real time, we can’t offer the same level of comfort to a distressed client or family member over a video screen, we can’t get the same sense of how families are coping, we don t get the same rapport. I’ve lost count of how many hands I have held or hugs I have given as our clients have faced the most difficult times of their lives and I miss that we can’t do that for them right now.

Working through the pandemic, even the most stoical of people have felt the pressure and its part of our role as Senior Leaders to help ensure that our most important asset, our people, are supported as we navigate through.  The firm has been so proactive in supporting the workforce as we all try to manage the seismic changes to our day-to-day lives that the pandemic has brought. Transitioning the work force to being able to work from home, flexible working hours, the introduction of wellbeing ambassadors, on line and interactive professional support, on line social events, competitions, fund raising events, hampers full of goodies to every staff members, on line awards ceremonies, and the inevitable quizzes to name but a few.  The message has been that it is Ok not to be OK, to talk about how we are feeling and to adapt and make changes to get us through.  None of us are immune to bad days but switching on the radio, calling a friend, taking a lunch time walk have all helped.  Our staff have been amazing, just getting on and delivering their usual exceptional service levels for our clients whose gratitude is evident from the daily five star reviews that we get as feedback.

We will emerge from this, more technology savvy, with greater resilience, more efficiencies of working and above all for me, more grateful for all that we have. So just in time, as we emerge from lockdown winter, the daffodils are sprouting, the birds are singing and it is light after 5pm. Small things can lift the spirits."

About the author 

Carol Hopwood, Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury

Carol qualified as a Solicitor in 1993. She is a Headway UK approved panel solicitor, founding trustee and secretary of Headway Sefton, UKABIF and APIL member. She is also the APIL North West Regional Co-ordinator. Having sold her own practice in 2013, she headed the Liverpool Catastrophic Injury Team for another national practice before joining Carpenters Group to become Head of the Serious and Catastrophic Injury Team.

As well as being responsible for the management and performance of the team, Carol sits on the Operations Board and retains a caseload acting for some of our most catastrophically injured clients. She is an expert on brain and spinal injuries, amputation injuries and fatal accidents, last year she secured over £25million for injured clients. With a focus on rehabilitation and working with her clients to help them reach their maximum potential, she is passionate about obtaining the best possible outcome for Carpenters clients. Carpenters Group support Carol in her role with Headway Sefton.

In her spare time, she fundraises for Headway Sefton and The Motor Neurone Disease Association. Carol is listed in The Legal 500 2019 and described as ‘a very experienced lawyer who has a charm and a light touch when trying to get the best outcome for her clients. Clients really warm to her and trust her judgement’.

Carol 013 Edit