Following the World Health Organisation classifying the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as a global pandemic and the ever increasing restrictions being imposed by the Government in the delay phase, I wanted to reassure you as to the plans we have in place to mitigate and manage any impact.
As ever at Woodfines, we believe that communication is key to understanding and hence if anyone is concerned, then we invite you to contact us. I and my colleagues are still working and will continue to do so!
Our approach to date
The health and well-being of our people, clients, contacts and suppliers is obviously of paramount importance to the firm as it will be for you and your businesses. I, the Partners and the Management team have been keeping up to date on all of the developments, as I am sure you all have, and whilst watching with increasing surprise, we have been taking stock and planning for the unexpected and as far as possible, the extreme. This has resulted in regular advice being issued internally to reassure and direct approaches, as well as limit contact and the potential for spread of any illnesses. This advice includes following the recommended approach to personal hygiene; as well as managing and controlling travel, internal meetings and external events and ensuring we are notified straight away of anyone that has been put at potential risk, however arising. This is, no doubt, consistent with steps you have been taking too so it will not come as a surprise.
You may well have noticed that we have encouraged more electronic based communication rather than our preferred face to face approach. Again, a deliberate but subtle way of mitigating risk for all, whilst at the same time not causing or adding to alarm and importantly ensuring that we continue to operate fully.
Should the pandemic result in office closures, or quarantine for any of our people, then we have implemented strategies to ensure continuity of business and client service. Our suppliers have been highly supportive of our approaches and we are grateful for that.
We are set up to enable homeworking for the vast majority of our people, and we are able to forward our main telephone lines either to mobiles or other numbers so that calls can be directed and managed as required. This may result in you initially speaking to a different person than you usually would, but ultimately you will be connected with those that you need or wish to speak to, or somebody familiar, should anyone be incapacitated. All communications are stored electronically, and as such, we can access all matters remotely and continue to act fully for you – the only aspect which would inevitably be impacted is access to non-electronic paper based historic documentation, which is on occasion required. Solutions in this respect are limited, but ultimately we will work with you to find them in any event.
If you or your business are affected by Coronavirus
The potential impact on you or your business and worry this causes is not lost on us, and we are of course here to assist as ever and work with you, provide support, guidance and a listening ear, to see us all through this current situation and back to a more normal life and usual business operations. Your usual contacts at Woodfines will be happy to assist with any concerns, worries or problems you have and continue to seek to provide the service you expect.
It goes without saying that I wish you, your families and your businesses well in these unprecedented times.
Our Employment team have put together a Coronavirus FAQ document which we hope you will find useful.