On review of the Coronavirus Outbreak, I have detailed below an overview on Canford Law’s current and proposed operational changes, to be adopted immediately in attempts to provide some reassurance around a “Business As Usual” approach, in all three of the firm’s offices.
All staff at the firm have been reminded that during this time they should take extra care and;
1. Regularly wash their hands throughout the day
2. Use provided hand sanitiser
3. Use a tissue when sneezing or coughing
4. Adhere to the clear desk policy
5. Maintain a reasonable social distancing
6. Not to travel to the office should they develop a temperature above 37.8C or begin to feel unwell in any sense. By the same token, any employee who begins to feel unwell during a working day, will return home immediately.
Working from home
In the unlikely event of the UK instigating a severe restraint on movement and enforced closure of many workplaces, Canford Law’s operation shall remain largely unaffected. Canford’s infrastructure is supported by a heavily encrypted, cloud-based, case management system. Lawyers at Canford already make use of the benefits of working from home, on a company laptop, for one day a week. By adopting some small changes in relation to postage and administration operations, the firm is confident that little will change in terms of work delivery, should the Government enforce restriction of movement.
Effects on claims
Attendance at court – With immediate implementation the firm has commenced re-contacting all witnesses, to obtain further reassurances from individual(s), that they are still willing and able to attend any pending hearing.
Legal representation – Emails and letters addressed to frequently instructed Chambers have been sent seeking an undertaking, that should any Counsel no longer be able to assist on a case, that the Chambers take the appropriate action to ensure that a suitable substitute Counsel is briefed in good time, in order mitigate any issue.
Settlement – Teams are liaising with their instructing client, in order to revisit any existing, or discuss a newly developed offer, which could be accepted, in order to mitigate any risk of costs associated with postponed litigation.
Postage – Canford operates primarily as a paperless business. The firm is currently reviewing where further changes can be made, to avoid relying on Royal Mail which may be affected by the outbreak of Coronavirus.
Court’s closure – In attempts to minimise disruption, HMCTS have expressly confirmed that their strong business continuity plans, means that they shall continue to act as normal. Any changes to individual hearings will be communicated directly to those affected in the usual way, by email or telephone.
I intend to update again as the landscape develops further. However, in the meantime should you wish to discuss any aspect of the above, or your current portfolio with Canford Law, please do not hesitate to contact me.