In my conversations with fellow professionals (including tax and TP advisers) over the last few weeks, one common theme has emerged of not wanting to appear to be ‘ambulance chasers’. In other words, not wanting to be seen to profit in an environment where so many people in business are suffering.
My personal view is that this fear is misplaced, though understandable. The key thing is the intention to provide true value, in whatever form. This applies as much to tax and legal professionals as it does to delivery services and groceries. That’s not to say that there’s no place for pro bono activities, provided it’s sustainable. I’m proud to say that, since the outbreak of the coronavirus, LCN Legal has given away £327,600 in value of legal resources to date, which in normal circumstances we would have charged for at full value.
In a previous blog article entitled ‘Bad and better’, I wrote about a book called ‘Factfulness’, by Hans Rosling, his son Ola Rosling and his daughter-in-law Anna Rosling Rönnlund. I would highly recommend it as a fascinating read. Hans Rosling worked as doctor giving frontline care in Nacala in northern Mozambique. His background in statistics meant that he became interested in getting clear about the facts, and what really makes a positive difference. For example, spending money on sanitation and education for young mothers can be more effective than emergency treatment. His book is full of optimism, because it debunks many doom-and-gloom misconceptions, and opens up avenues for positive change.
One of the most important questions for all of us in the present environment is ‘how can we best use our skills and resources to benefit the world?’ If you believe, as I do, that business has a key role to play in changing behaviours and mobilising resources for the better, then this question is directly relevant to the world of multinational corporates, and helping them to adapt to the current challenges.