COVID -19 – Staying Covid-19 secure – updated 22nd September 2021
During the pandemic we have complied with guidance issued by the Government on managing the risk of COVID-19 and have maintained our services throughout the period to ensure our clients are supported.
Covid infections have decreased but it is still present, and we are still working safely and following government guidance.
Visiting our Office
Please call us before you attend our office.
If we can’t deal with your query immediately, we will assess whether you need a phone appointment or a face-to-face appointment with one of our solicitors or lawyers.
We also offer face-to-face appointments by Teams if you can’t travel to our office and have access to Teams.
If you have documents to return to us, please call prior to visiting our office. Our staff will advise how you should plan your visit.
If your signature is required, our staff will guide you when you arrive as it will mean entering our office.
We will take your temperature and ask you to use hand sanitiser and we would prefer you to wear a mask in our offices and can provide one for your use.
Please do not attend our offices if you have Covid-19 symptoms.
If a face-to-face appointment is arranged, we will only admit the person who needs the appointment. Any additional persons will be asked to wait outside our offices during the appointment, unless needed at the appointment.
Please try to make payments by card rather than in cash.
We can make home visits for our clients who cannot travel to the office due to disability or infirmity. There are no extra charges made for a home visit but we normally limit our visits to a 15-mile radius of our office.
If possible, face coverings should be worn during the house visit, but we accept that this may not always be possible due to medical conditions, sight, and hearing loss. It is sometimes difficult to take instructions or give advice wearing a mask as the discussion must be heard clearly.
Sometimes, we require two members of our staff to visit your home, as a witness to signatures may be required.
- Please let us know if someone in your household/premises is unwell or is self-isolating and or shielding prior to our visit.
- Please sanitise your hands prior to our visit.
- Please arrange to maintain a distance of 2 meters throughout our visit to your home and ensure internal doors are open. If it is possible to open a window please do so, but this may not be possible during bad weather.
- We accept payments by debit card, and you can call us during our normal office hours to make payment rather than paying in cash at the time of the visit.
Residential care home and hospital visits
If we need to visit a residential care home or hospital for an appointment, we will follow the guidelines advised by the home or hospital.
This usually involves taking a lateral flow test prior to the visit which our staff report online.
Staff making home visits have been double vaccinated and will not attend if the lateral flow test is positive or if they are feeling unwell.
Children and Family
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need urgent help in a domestic abuse situation or if the Council has contacted regarding your children and their care.
We are taking appointments for initial advice for family matters, where possible these appointments will be conducted by telephone, and our staff will advise you if a face-to-face appointment is necessary.
For help or more information please call 01019 4555361 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Courts are still open with some Court hearings being provided by phone or video conferencing only. In some circumstances the Courts have resumed face to face hearings which will take place in the Court buildings. Guidance should be followed on attending the hearing.
Please remember that buying and selling a house may take longer because it is still taking longer for searches to be processed and the banks and lenders are still working from home.
Estate Agents appear to be back at work in their offices but may offer remote viewings. Surveyors may take longer to arrange surveys. Please make allowances for any delays.
We will explain to you how we conduct the identity and sources of funds checks at the beginning of your transaction.
The stamp duty arrangements revert to normal on 1st October 2021. Please contact us if you have any stamp duty payment queries.
We offer a service to assist you to reclaim a stamp duty refund if your circumstances allow it.
How to move safely during COVID-19 – read the guidance here
It is especially important to have a Will if you are living with your Partner but not married. If you are married and do not have a Will it is usual for the surviving spouse to inherit, but where there is no marriage the law regarding inheritance is not beneficial to the remaining partner unless there is a Will in place.
For a Will to be valid it has to be signed by the person making the Will and a further two other persons who sign to attest that they have witnessed the person making the Will sign the document. The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the Will and must sign their signatures at the same time that the person making the Will signs their signature.
When you call us, we will explain how we manage the process for you to ensure that a valid Will is produced.
Please call 01019 4555361 or email: email@example.com
Ways to contact us
The best way to contact us presently is by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 0191 4974630 or 0191 4555361
- If your children’s well-being and care is being reviewed by the Local Authority, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
- If you have any issues relating to domestic violence, please don’t hesitate to contact us. There is more information here
- If you require a Will, please phone our office and we will advise on the procedure for making a Will while maintaining social distancing.
- If there has been a death in your family and you require assistance, we can support you.
We would urge everyone to follow Government advice – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Our present working hours are: 9am – 5 pm and we can be contacted on 0191 4555361.
Any call received on Saturday, Sunday or during a Bank Holiday will be returned on the next working day.
We do not offer criminal defence services – please call a firm that deals with criminal defence if you need help in that respect.
When our office is closed it is best to email us: email@example.com