Since we are in the middle of the holiday season I have noticed how some people are reporting that going on, and coming back, from holidays is a stressful experience. I asked the lawyers (and others) on Twitter to give their advice on reducing the stress of holidays. Here is the advice so far. More contributions are welcome.

Mike Hill @michaelghill1

My specialist subject. Really. 1: Decide, a fortnight before, which papers will be done before you go. Secure homework extensions on all the others. Simply explain. About 33% of your instructing solicitors will say “I’ll be on holiday anyway so no problem” and all the others will 3: out of office goes on at midday on the last day because you cannot react properly to things that come in after that. Out of office goes off at 9am on first day back even though you start at 7.30am. Put it on timer.5: (4: is somewhere else in the thread) if you’re in clin neg, book out all school holidays as soon as published by the local council. Clin neg trials are often scheduled well into the next year, before you have made arrangements. ….be gracious and happy to be kept in the loop. 2: leave some emergency slack in that fortnight. Some big part 36’s will come in and will need dealing with.

Chris Topping @ChrisPTopping

As a solicitor leaving a “holiday list” of files where you anticipate something happening whilst you are away a) concentrates your mind on what is really important and b) gives your team an idea of what to look out for. Means less stress all round


Well, two things: 1) I am clear with everyone that ‘lazy’ queries (eg is the blue file on your shelf?) are ignored by me, but ‘real’ queries (when you proofed Mr Watson did he say red or maroon?) I address as soon as I can. 2) I tend to think that rather than expect an uninterrupted holiday/evening/weekend nowadays, lawyers should expect to be interrupted but what should come with that is a greater tolerance on the part of the employer for eg working from home, personal appointments in daytime etc

Sam Raincock @SamRaincock

I have given up for now thinking about holidays. I don’t even feel I can have a day out. A day in hospital and my inbox was full including one person who wanted a response that day even though I’d already said I was going into hospital. Was it vital – probably to them but no.

Steve Cornforth #justicematters @SteveCornforth2

1. Preparation – check and check again for things that need doing or matters that may develop 2. If possible discuss with trusted colleague (s) and leave them in charge 3. Make sure office has mobile number – just in case 4. Disable emails!!

Grant Evatt @grant829

Leave iPhone in the car at airport, have a pint in the departure lounge, a snooze on the plane, arrive at apartment (villa for PI barristers), drink wine, enjoy holiday #switchoff folks.

Tim Collins @wowthankyoutim

1. Out of office message ahead of time highlighting when I’ll be away. 2. Change message when I’m actually away explaining that I’ll respond w/c X/Y. 3. Prioritise messages, respond and then plan next holiday! 4. As only me, recognise I can’t do everything and accept it.

David Pilling @DavidPilling2

Plan and book holidays as far in advance as possible. Tell regular instructing sols a few weeks before when you’ll be away. Always take an extra two days either side of physically being away to concentrate on outstanding papers/clear desk before going and to “ease” back in!