Home / Annual Review 2019 – 2020 / Navigating a changing world / Working through the COVID-19 lockdown
  1. Facing the future
    1. Advising on a EUR 1.1bn Bulgarian gas pipeline procurement
    2. Selling the Merkur offshore wind farm
    3. Solving global challenges
    4. The green economy: identifying primary risks and key opportunities
    5. Ukrainian Gas Transmission System unbundling
    6. ALPLA expands its global plastic recycling capabilities
  2. Navigating a changing world
    1. Data and risk: challenges in an uncertain world
    2. CMS advises on major East Africa paint transaction
    3. Commerz Real lands the largest deal in its history
    4. Helping Teyliom Hospitality’s expansion in Central and West Africa
    5. Shaping the new normal
    6. Working through the COVID-19 lockdown
  3. Harnessing technology
    1. Technology: a unifying force
    2. Online gambling grows as Gamesys is sold to JPJ Group
    3. CMS advises on first ever European real estate transaction using blockchain
    4. CymbiQ Group on expansion course
    5. CMS helps Korean investors acquire prime real estate assets
    6. Lupl delivers transformative open industry platform for legal matters
    7. MultiChoice separates from Naspers and lists on JSE
    8. CMS advises on ‘Train Maya’ rail project
    9. Smart living: creating a framework for disruption and innovation
    10. CMS helps the BBC launch the streaming service BritBox in the UK
  4. Managing risk
    1. The true cost of ESG
    2. CMS advises Blackstone on its investment in Carrix
    3. CMS advises Zentiva on its acquisition of Alvogen
    4. ST Pharm establishes new medical testing and analysis business line
    5. Colgate-Palmolive acquires premium anti-ageing skin care brand
  5. Inside CMS
    1. CMS Academy adds participants through digital learning
  6. CSR and Diversity & Inclusion
    1. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF): CMS Charity Partner
    2. Diversity and Inclusion at CMS UK
  7. Interviews
    1. Interview with Gabriela Staber
    2. Interview with Sophie Marquet
    3. Interview with Courtney Rothery
    4. Interview with María González Gordon
    5. Interview with Mariel Dimsey
    6. Interview with Nedžida Salihović-Whalen
    7. Interview with Annemieke Hazelhoff
    8. Interview with Michelle Barclay
    9. Interview with Deepa Vallabh
    10. Interview with Gerlind Wisskirchen

Working through the COVID-19 lockdown

Q&A with Melania Kozyra

What has been the most challenging aspect of living through the COVID-19 restrictions and what did you miss most? 

For the first weeks, it felt like I was in a science-fiction movie. But I’m very proud of the speed with which CMS adapted to the new situation. All our meetings moved into the virtual world and work continued as normal. We are talking about thousands of people suddenly working from home.

I head the International Business Development team, which is a virtual team. So, one might think not much has changed for us. But this is not true – we moved to working from home overnight, some of us for the first time. It was therefore my most important task to keep the team together and keep the morale and energy up. 

Personally, the most challenging aspect was to maintain a work / life balance – it felt as if we never left work and there was a lot to do at the same time. It was like running an ultramarathon. 

How did you manage at home during lockdown? 

I’m very lucky to have a good internet connection and teenage kids who can cook, so no problems there. It was business as usual. I enjoyed not needing to commute and being able to have lunch and dinner with my family on some days. 

What routines will you continue after the COVID-19 outbreak is brought under control? 

I will try to keep the family going for a walk together and keep up my running. Sport and running help me cope with stress and build resilience. 

What have you learned about the working environment during COVID-19 and how might we change the way we work in the future? 

I read research by Gallup which said that over 50% of surveyed employees do not want to go back to the office. Imagine the impact it will have on the office market. Several companies are already reducing office space or limiting office days. 

Also, the cooperation between teams has got better and they have often worked together to make the impossible possible. For example, developing multi-jurisdictional Expert Guides for over 30 countries within a week. 

To what extent has client service or client interaction been impeded during the COVID-19 restrictions? 

Communications channels have changed, but client interaction has not suffered. Client communications have moved to telephone/video conversations and into the digital realm: webinars and the website played the main roles. Our dedicated COVID-19 Insight page experienced a record number of visitors.

As for client service, we have delivered high level legal advice on multiple topics in a timely manner, which is sorely needed in these uncertain times.