Covid-19 - Update on visiting procedures for Chilgrove offices
02 November 2020
Information notice updated on 2 November 2020 - N.B: Please note that this policy applies to our Chilgrove offices only. We are not presently meeting clients at our serviced office facilities in Chichester and Petersfield but will update this policy if lockdown restrictions are eased.
In line with government advice, we have put in place rigorous systems to protect clients visiting our Chilgrove offices and our staff working there. All our staff have been working from home during the pandemic and members of our team continue to work from home where they can.
Any work undertaken at our offices in Chilgrove is done under the terms of a full risk assessment which we have updated at all relevant points during the pandemic, in line with up to date government guidelines, and with substantial social distancing and other protective meausres in place. We have a number of large rooms and are located in a rural area which is not accessible by public transport. All surfaces and door handles are wiped down before and after any meetings and meeting rooms are kept ventilated.
Save where it is necessary for you to visit us in person, we conduct all appointments by video conferencing (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and other platforms). We have been undertaking online client appointments, remote court hearings, online mediation, conferences and settlement meetings throughout the pandemic and are very familiar with using a wide range of online platforms.
However, we recognise that there may be circumstances where clients will need to meet with us face to face.
In those circumstances, we are happy to arrange this (at our discretion), subject to the procedures set out in this document being strictly adhered to. Please note, however, that if you are defined as clinically vulnerable under government guidelines, we will not be able to meet you face to face at this stage.
Please therefore read this notice carefully before visiting our offices for a pre-arranged appointment. We will ask all clients to confirm that they have read this document before attending an appointment with us.
1. If you wish to meet with a member of our team in person, the appointment will need to be arranged in advance. Appointments can be arranged by calling our office on 01243 769001. We will ask you when you call whether you or any member of your household is displaying any symptoms of the virus and if you are presently required to self-isolate under government rules, you will not be able to make an appointment.
2. Our offices in Chilgrove are in a remote, rural location which is not accessible by public transport – you will need to travel by your own private car. This in itself substantially mitigates the risk to clients and staff of being exposed to the virus on your journey to meet with us. We have ample free car parking at our offices.
3. When arriving at our offices for an appointment, you will enter the building into a porchway where you will need to sanitise your hands at the santisation station in the porchway before entering the building. We will then buzz you into the building. You will be required to bring a mask with you to your appointment, which you will need to wear at all times unless we advise you that you can remove it.
4. Upon being buzzed into the building, please walk straight up to the stairs to the first floor where a member of our team will greet you from a four metre distance straight into one of our two large meeting rooms (the door to a meeting room is kept open before appointments but will be closed once you have entered it). You will then take a seat at the far end of one of our two meeting rooms to await your appointment. Please sanitise your hands upon entering the room.
5. During the meeting and at all times, your lawyer (who will be wearing a protective visor) will stay at a distance of well over the government-advised distance of two metres and will not come within two metres of you at any time.
6. We will not provide any refreshments (food or drink) to clients at the present time. We would therefore strongly recommend that you bring a drink with you.
7. If you need to use the toilet facilities, these are cleaned regularly, and we would ask that you ensure that you thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before leaving the toilet.
8. All surfaces that you may come into contact with, including door handles are wiped down after every client meeting.