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The Conveyancing team at Bray & Bray Solicitors provides an update for clients regarding the impact of coronavirus and how it might affect your conveyancing transaction.

Many of you have been clients of Bray & Bray for years and you know that we are normally a very sociable bunch. We shake hands, we encourage you to come into the office and we like to sit down face to face and discuss your matter with you. Unfortunately, the growing incidence of the coronavirus has meant that we have had to temporarily reconsider our approach and think about the best way to protect both our workforce and our clients.

As things currently stand, we have a full team and it is very much business as usual. However, we have taken the decision to limit where possible face to face interaction with our clients. We hope that you will understand this and bear with us in what we hope is a short-term and temporary situation.

We will continue as we do now to conduct the majority of our correspondence via email. In terms of visits to the office, we are in the process of installing webcams so that where possible meetings can be conducted via Skype if you have a Skype facility. This may include verifying your ID. We would ask that documents to be returned to us are posted or dropped off. From our point of view, documents will be posted or emailed to you according to preference and, of course, your access to good printing facilities. Please do not come to the office without an appointment.

Moving forward, we have had to consider the effect on transactions should the government’s prediction come to pass that at any one time approximately a fifth of the workforce may be absent from the office. This will inevitably (given that it will affect not only ourselves but our fellow firms) affect timelines for your transaction. Unless you are purchasing a newbuild we would ask you not to book holiday or try to fix a moving date until everyone in the chain is actually ready to sign contracts. We appreciate that everyone has work commitments and needs to book holiday, but if we expect the worst and prepare for that then we will be in the best possible position.

In order that we can maintain high standards of service we do not take on a huge volume of matters. Inevitably, however, if teams are depleted response times will be much slower. If that happens, we will ask you to bear with us. If any one of us is away it causes delays and that will be multiplied. If several of us are away it will make things very difficult indeed.

Wherever possible we like to respond to clients on the same day, but in the event of a severely depleted team we will have to prioritise clients who have exchanged contracts or who are actually moving house. We will endeavour to respond to everybody as quickly as we possibly can, but timelines may be disrupted, possibly severely.

We are, as we say, preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.

Amanda Sutcliffe
Partner and Head of Residential Conveyancing