THE (NOT SO) LONELY LITIGATOR’S CLUB 26: GABOR COVAKS: THE MANDOLIN PLAYING SOLICITOR’S TALE

The Club may be unique in legal history  because, in addition to promoting knowledge and skills about litigation, the constitution also has the aims of promoting laywers playing and listening to mandolin music.  That is just one of the reasons we have gone to Portsmouth for our next member.  Solicitor Gabor Covaks is a keen photographer and mandolin player in addition to his legal practice.  (The photograph is a close up of the D strings and 12th fret of Gabor’s mandolin).

 

Where are you working from now?

After working at home for a while, I have now been furloughed for a few weeks. So my work is on other projects. It is a long time since I put in so much work in the greenhouse and garden! Also, I have been carrying on my mandolin lessons via Zoom, which has worked really well, and I have had a lot more time to practice, and work on a new skill of reading music. My other project has been photography: in lockdown I have been taking a lot of macro (close up) photographs, such as this one of my mandolin (I wiped the strings down with a duster, and one of the fibres caught!). I have been learning the full intricacies and capabilities of my photo processing software. Also, I have been active on the committee of Bishop’s Waltham Photographic Society, where we have rapidly devised a programme of online meetings – I ran the competition evening we had a few weeks ago via Zoom, with 40 + members participating and also an external judge, and tonight we will be showing and discussing 20 portfolios of members’ lockdown images, all run from my pc.

What has been most difficult about working remotely?

Before I was furloughed, the biggest problem was getting access to documents that were not on the file in electronic format. I was fortunate in having full access to my firm’s systems – it really was like being at my computer in the office. Also, in January I upgraded my pc to something quite high powered, to cope with my photo processing software, and so I did not experience the problems i would have faced had I still been using my old laptop.
I am fortunate in having a house where we can each have our own space, and a garden. Also that my daughter, who has been with us since just before lockdown is 26 and not 16 or 6, so we do not have the difficulties of home schooling etc.

What has been your biggest technical challenge?

Sourcing a webcam! In late March, these things were like gold dust!
I feel quite lucky that in January I upgraded my pc to something quite high powered, to cope with my photo processing software, and so I did not experience the problems i would have faced had I still been using my old laptop.

Is there anything (work wise) that you wish you had with you?

Actually, while I was working, there was nothing apart from those paper documents that had not been scanned.

What has been the most helpful thing you’ve learned.

That we can cope!  That we do not need to be in the office all the time.

Do you think this is going to change the way you work in the future?

Absolutely! First of all, I will make sure everything that comes in is on the electronic file: this will accelerate our move towards “paper light” working. Second, we do not have to be in the office all day every day. Third, We can hold meetings via Zoom or similar. From my work with the Photographic Society I am sure that I will be able to discuss and draft documents using a screen sharing facility.

What is the first thing you are going to do when you are out of lockdown?

It will have to be visit my parents. They are both in their 80s, and I have not seen them for more than 2 months.