COVID-19 (Corona Virus) Update – Bark & Co Solicitors18.03.2020
CLIENT UPDATE – BARK & CO SOLICITORS STATEMENT ON SERVICE DELIVERY
|We wanted to update our clients in relation to how Bark & Co Solicitors will continue to serve our clients during the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Normal Levels of Service
As you would expect, we have been monitoring the situation closely and have had a continuity plan prepared for some time which is now in action to ensure you continue to receive the highest levels of service. We are focused on two things: the health and welfare of both our clients and staff, and our ability to continue to support clients.
Remote Working & Closure of the Office at 14 New Bridge Street
Following the advice of the Government, the Bark & Co offices at 14 New Bridge Street have now been closed, however Bark & Co Solicitors will continue to operate as normal using remote technologies. Our telephone systems, case management systems, email and other communications systems have been geared for remote working for some time now. Therefore, normal communications with your Solicitor will not be disputed and our working patterns remain unchanged. Delivery of key case information will continue to use secure electronic methods, as we have been undertaken for some time, to enable secure access to the information you need.
Conferences with your Solicitor
Because of the Government Policy of Social Distancing, and for prudence to your health and wellbeing, we will be conducting meetings via the telephone and/or via remote video conferencing if preferred, so that there will be no interruptions to the preparation of your matter and the conference time that is needed to discuss and fully take instructions. Rest assured that all of our team are using the latest in secure cloud based Legal technology to allow them to continue to work as efficiently and securely as they would do whist in the office, a practice that we had put in place long before the Pandemic hit.
Inevitably there will likely be some consequences of the pandemic caused by factors outside of our control. One of these is yesterday’s announcement by the Lord Chief Justice that criminal trials in the Crown Court that are estimated to last longer than three days and listed to start before the end of April 2020 will be adjourned. Your Solicitor will update you as soon as we receive further news in this regard if this applies to your matter.
Employee and Client safety
The health, safety and well-being of our staff and clients is of paramount importance to us. We are therefore closely monitoring and implementing official guidelines from the Government and health organisations in respect of Contra Virus. Specific actions taken include:
Signs of Sickness:
We are asking staff to stay at home and self-isolate in line with current guidance.
Continuity in event of Government ordered shutdown:
In the event that Government advice recommends all workplace closures, we have already implemented a full remote working policy to avoid disruption to your case.
Hand washing facilities/hand sanitisers were already available throughout our office for both our employees and clients and we put in place vigorous cleanliness policies for everyone entering the building.
We have asked staff to respect the health needs of our clients and refrain from face-to-face meeting where possible. Instead, conferences can be facilitated by telephone, video conferencing and Skype.
In the current circumstances, we believe that facilitating meetings by video conference or telephone is best practice, but we remain responsive to client needs in reasonable and appropriate circumstances. Bark & Co will be refurbishing the offices during the closure.
Summary: Bark & Co Serving Your Needs
The Corona Virus outbreak is clearly a constantly evolving situation both in terms of infection rates and the personal impact on our clients. While we cannot predict when the pandemic will subside, we have put in place robust measures to ensure that you are best served.
If you have further questions, then please do not hesitate to contact your Solicitor.