Covid-19 : necessary modifications

17 March 2020

In view of the Government’s recent announcement that non-essential contact and travel must be avoided save by key workers we are continuing to adjust the various steps we are taking to reduce risks to our clients, contacts, barristers and staff while ensuring the efficient operation of Chambers. They are currently as follows :

  • With effect from 1st April 2020 and the virtual “lock-down” rules now in place, and the courts’ and tribunals’ directions that the default position for most types of case is that they be dealt with remotely or on paper, all barristers and most staff will be working from home, with just a skeleton team at Norwich, Ipswich and Chelmsford. This is our latest interim measure, and we shall be making further adjustments as government, NHS and MoJ advice develops.
  • We will have full access to our system and emails will be dealt with as usual. Calls to Chambers will be forwarded to relevant mobile numbers, but if you can email rather than telephone us (or email and ask us to call you back) it would greatly help us in maintaining the prompt and effective service that you expect from us.
  • If you have to provide large sets of instructions or trial bundles in hard copy please email us first and we will be in touch to discuss the most suitable means of delivering them to the barrister concerned. For preference, and certainly for normal sized briefs or sets of instructions, please scan and email the bundle to us. If you do not have the email address of the person you wish to communicate with please use clerks@ealaw.co.uk
  • We shall also be encouraging the use of telephone conference calls, Skype or Zoom for conferences for the time being.
  • We are already set up for remote working so there is no reason why the provision of written advice or drafting work need be placed on hold, and we fully support the use of telephone and/or video hearings where practicable
  • Where physical attendance at court is essential for urgent cases – and Chelmsford, Cambridge and Norwich Crown and County Courts remain open for urgent business – then members will comply with HMCTS and other guidance on social distancing, etc. If you as a client are required to attend court, and there is no medical reason why you should not, then please bring your own bottled water with you as no carafes or plastic cups will be provided at court.

[revised 31st March 2020]

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