MODEL LETTERS FOR LAWYERS IN THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS
I am grateful to John McQuater, solicitor, for sending me copies of model letters for use in the current crisis. The first is for the client, the other to the other side in litigation.
Emergency 1 – Letter to client
We do, as you know, all face difficulties presently but confirm we will continue, whilst following all the government advice, to be taking further appropriate steps on your behalf.
It would assist us, at least for the time being, to send all correspondence to you via email where possible.
If you need to contact us, please do so by phone or email rather than by attending at the office. Please also bear with us if it takes longer to respond than usual as we anticipate we may have reduced staffing levels in the coming weeks.
If we are following set timescales under a protocol or court timetable it is likely that the dates will need to be extended and that the court would expect all parties to co-operate and agree suitable extensions of time. I will let you know, when I can, if there is any significant variation to likely timescale. I would always hope that any such variations will not have a significant impact on overall timescale, but again will let you know if that does seem likely. I shall proceed on the basis that, in line with the general authority to take appropriate steps to represent your interests, I have authority to agree variations that, in the circumstances, seem appropriate.
I hope it is useful to have this letter and will, of course, keep you up to date with developments as and when I can.
Emergency 2 – Letter to the other side.
We are, of course, all facing difficult times and confirm we are, of course, mindful of the duty to help further the overriding objective and to co-operate.
Whilst we do not usually accept service by email we are content, provided that is reciprocated throughout the period of this agreement, to accept service by email until further written notice. That is, however, on condition that documents which are being formally served are sent to blank with details of the client, our reference and the term “SERVICE” clearly shown in the subject line of that email. Please note that strict compliance with these terms is a limitation on our agreement to accept service by email for the purposes of paragraph 4.2 PD 6A CPR.
If there is anything further you consider would assist at this stage do let us know.
It maybe worthwhile, bearing in mind not all inboxes can accept large attachments and IT teams may not be around , to also add in to the letter details of a secured shared box or Dropbox link or similar to allow documents for both sides to be shared. I did this before the present situation and it worked well.