We would like to reassure our clients that we are able operate with minimal disruption for the duration of the pandemic. Since becoming paperless a little over two years ago, all our platforms are now cloud-based, and all of our staff are able to work from home. In particular, all our solicitors will be working from home until further notice. Our telephone system is capable of remote operation and accordingly our secretaries also will be rostered to provide a combination of working from home and a minimal presence in our Chancery Lane office, dealing with basics like post, court deliveries and courier services.
We can maintain our high level of communication with our clients through telephone and email. For longer scheduled appointments we would encourage our clients to meet us through a video link. We are using the Zoom platform. Once we schedule a meeting, all you, as a client, will need to do is to go to the personalised web link sent to you prior to your meeting. There is no requirement to download any software or application.
The court system has been slow to adapt, and current court arrangements are unsuitable. Our view however is that most personal attendances by clients should be avoided and we will make suitable remote arrangements on a case-by-case basis. Although the courts have for many years claimed to use telephone and video links for hearings, they have very rarely actually utilised them. For that reason, we expect that we will continue to have our reliable pool of barristers attending court in person, but we will set up remote arrangements for them to have live instructions wherever possible. When personal attendances are necessary we will be looking at all sensible precautions.
At the moment we do not anticipate that the speed at which matters are completed will materially slow down, and we think that the time estimates that we have given you will probably hold good.
We understand that some clients may have unexpected financial difficulty at this time. It is most important that you tell us if this is the case, and we can mutually discuss possible solutions. The worst thing would be not to tell us and simply not pay, because that is going to materially impact on our relationship and accordingly on your representation.
We suspect that this situation will continue well into summer, and we are presently working on the assumption that we will not be resuming earlier arrangements sooner than July. No one should be expected to put their lives on hold for such a long period of time, and we are confident that we can continue to progress matters for you despite whatever nature throws at us with this virus.