Whilst we very much look forward to welcoming you to our offices in Milton Keynes and Northampton, we also think it is best to keep face to face meetings to a minimum. As such we will be contacting clients with existing appointments to see if these can still be held by using a different solution such as telephone, video-conferencing and the like. Going forward we shall endeavour to ensure that all future appointments are conducted on a remote basis until government advice relaxes the rules around social distancing. However, if meetings are essential we will be observing social distancing guidelines and trust that you will understand our reasons why.
I want to personally reassure you that owing to many years of resilience testing and significant investment in technology means that you will continue to experience the same high levels of service from us as you have come to expect.
As of 16th March 2020:
In light of the ongoing situation with COVID 19, we want to take this opportunity to inform you of the steps that we are taking as part of our Business Continuity Programme and to ensure that we can continue to deal with matters upon which we are instructed. You will appreciate that this is a fluid and ever-changing scenario within which to operate but we believe these steps are proportionate and of assistance in allowing us to keep our client’s matters moving along.
At this time our offices in both Northampton and Central Milton Keynes remain open, operating at normal levels and with the IT infrastructure in place to allow us to continue working on clients’ affairs. We have also put in place a series of sensible precautions to restrict, as much as possible, and any inadvertent issues around COVID 19.
Firstly, we have implemented a policy whereby only clients who have pre-booked an appointment will be able to meet with team members dealing with their transaction. That way we can plan, in an orderly fashion, for client meetings and ensure that the room facilities are kept hygienically clean. We will also be offering clients the ability to have meetings with us on a remote basis using facilities such as Microsoft Teams, Facetime, Video Conferencing, telephone appointments and the like. If you are due to see your lawyer or one of the team but would prefer not to come to our offices, then please make contact with a team member in order that an alternative method of facilitating your meeting can be arranged. In addition, where a request is made for a face to face meeting, we will be asking whether you have recently visited any of the high risk areas or whether you consider yourself to be in a high risk category.
Secondly, whilst there is no enforced “work from home” rule in force at this time, we are taking steps to ensure that our staff can, should the need arise, be able to work from home using remote access to our IT systems. We anticipate that, should the need arise, all of our staff will be able to access our systems and their client files on a remote basis thereby minimising any interruption to client matters. You will of course appreciate that delays may occur due to reasons beyond our control such as other firms or parties involved in the transaction not having similar IT capabilities. As Government advice develops then we will remain agile to any changes that may be required to these policies and procedures.
Thirdly we are limiting non-essential business travel and this ties in with our policy regarding meetings above. This could mean, therefore, that rather than us travelling out for meetings that such meetings are held using an alternative method.
Finally we have asked all our staff to confirm whether they have recently visited a high risk area or if they have exhibited any symptoms around COVID 19 and then, in accordance with the current Government guidelines, we have asked them to self-isolate.
These are unfortunate and unprecedented times and we want you to be assured that we regard this matter with the highest level of concern and which reflects the trust and confidence you have placed in us in instructing the firm on your matter. We will be keeping this policy and the advice from both Government and Public Health England under constant review.