By Kevin Donoghue, solicitor director of Donoghue Solicitors
In a short period of time, coronavirus (Covid-19) has upended the country, caused devastating losses, and impacted our working lives. The government issued a “stay at home” order on 23 March 2020 to help slow the spread of infection and support the NHS. It has three parts:
- Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
- Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
- Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.
The order will be reviewed in three weeks, but it might be extended. I expect it will.
Adapting to the Stay at Home Order
This is how Donoghue Solicitors has adapted and the steps I have taken to look after clients and staff:
- Because we specialise in compensation claims, Donoghue Solicitors is not considered an exception to the second point (above). So, our offices are temporarily closed.
But we are still open for business.
All staff are now working remotely, and I have told them not to visit clients. This is in line with government recommendations to limit exposure to the virus.
- Donoghue Solicitors has invested heavily in IT and infrastructure to enable remote work. I anticipated a “work from home” order and prepared as follows:
- I bought staff fast, new, laptops in advance of the lockdown. I got software installed and paid for licences to enable remote working.
- The new equipment means that my team can connect remotely to our dedicated servers to:
- work on our clients’ cases, and
- review enquiries for legal help.
- We are also using video conferencing and other secure systems to maintain contact and work together.
- I have put systems in place to handle new enquiries by phone and website. As before the shutdown, requests for legal help are taken by members of our new enquiries team. Every enquiry we receive gets full consideration by a qualified lawyer and a response. It might take a little longer due to us working remotely, but the process is the same as before the lockdown.
- Calls to our offices are diverted to the remote working team. Our lawyers continue to make and receive calls with clients and others. I would ask people to be patient if they do not get straight through and use email or our website contact form where possible. Client emails and website enquiries are getting through to us without difficulty.
- I am monitoring website enquiries and social media. I am available if anyone has any problems getting in touch. Feel free to reach out on our twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts.
Why We are Reducing the Risk of Covid-19 Infection
I hope that setting up remote working and taking these steps will reduce the risk of covid-19 coronavirus infection to staff, clients, and other visitors to our offices. It should help lessen the burden on the NHS and other front-line workers. And, by staying at home and practising social distancing, my team will stay healthy and on the job.
All of us hope that these stay at home measures will be temporary, and that we can soon get back to working in the office. Practising law is a team effort, and best done when we’re together. But, in the meantime, the lawyers at Donoghue Solicitors are using technology to adapt to the new and difficult circumstances in which we all find ourselves.
Contact Kevin Donoghue for help with your compensation claim here.