CORONAVIRUS: A Message of Support from your President

Dear Member

In these unprecedented times, I am sending this brief update to all our members in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As your local law society, we are keen to support our members and to provide guidance or updates, wherever possible. Times are very difficult and the situation is rapidly evolving. We take the health and safety of our members, staff, patrons and other visitors to our events very seriously. In light of the latest government guidance and acknowledging the role that we all have to play in limiting the impact of the virus, we have taken the decision to postpone our forthcoming events until further notice.

None of us know how long the current situation will last for and I will continue to monitor the situation and the SLS will keep members informed as more information is available.

We are, however, working hard to adapt to the new world and find ways to continue to offer you support, including reviewing the possibility of online alternatives such as webinars and the like.

However, in the meantime, I would like to draw your attention to the following resources and information that I hope will be helpful to you and your firms:

1. For the latest guidance and updates from The Law Society, please click here.

2. Many of our members are conveyancers and many issues may arise during the course of a transaction in light of the pandemic. This guidance should be of some assistance to you.

3. If you use the courts and/or tribunals, the Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland, has put out a statement on the running of the courts during the coronavirus pandemic. HMCTS has also published new guidance on how telephone and video technology will be used to support the justice system during the coronavirus outbreak. The HMCTS coronavirus GOV.UK guidance page continues to be updated as regularly and quickly as possible and should remain the first port of call for court and tribunals information in regard to the pandemic.

4. Contacting the court. The Civil Division of the Court of Appeal has made some temporary changes from Wednesday 18 March 2020 until further notice. 

The following counter will temporarily close and a ‘drop-box’ service will be continued in the same location: E307 Civil Appeals Registry.

You can still contact by email using the dedicated email addresses below:

5. The government has in recent days announced a welcome package of support for individuals and businesses to support them through this period of disruption. For more information on support for your business, please click here.

6. Advice for employers and employees can be found on the Acas website

7. For support with your health and wellbeing:

  • LawCare is operating as normal and has free online interactive resources for all legal professionals – click here.
  • For the latest guidance from the NHS, please click here.
  • For guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK, please click here.

This is naturally a worrying time for everyone and we are keen to ensure that we are providing our members with support to help navigate the situation, both in relation to your business and the practice of law. If there is anything that you (or your colleagues) would like assistance with, please do get in touch. 

Finally, I would like to wish you, your family and your clients the very best of health and to encourage you to play your part in limiting the impact of this virus.

With kind regards,

Nick Ball
President of Surrey Law Society

Sunday, 22nd March, 2020