As the coronavirus continues to spread across the UK, some law firms have been taking precautions beyond plastering their office walls with posters on how to wash your hands. Magic circle firm Linklaters, for instance, cancelled its annual partner meeting at the end of April (it will hold a ‘virtual meeting’ instead). A global property conference in Cannes has been postponed until June after major firms dropped out.
However, Obiter was slightly taken aback by the extent to which social etiquette has been thrown out the window to avoid catching Covid-19.
Attending an event at a law firm this week, a QC refused to shake Obiter’s hand, stating (politely): ‘Forgive me, I’m old.’ This came moments after Obiter was greeted with a rather feeble handshake from someone who had covered the hand with their sleeve (Obiter’s hoping this particular handshaker hasn’t been using their sleeve to catch a cough or sneeze). Could be worse - they could have shaken Obiter’s hand then immediately headed towards one of the several hand sanitiser bottles in the room.
A more helpful cue comes from the Law Society president, who reportedly greeted a solicitor with an elbow-bump yesterday. That sounds healthier all round.
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Coronavirus: handshake gets the cold shoulder