ARMSTRONG SOLICITORS STATEMENT REGARDING COVID19 / CORONAVIRUS
30 March 2020
UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS / COVID19
We're posting another update on what's happening with Armstrong Solicitors. When we posted last week, we suspected that events would probably overtake what we said then, and we were right.
Although we remain open for business remotely, our office locations are closed. As a responsible employer, we don't believe that it's fair to put our staff at risk by asking them to come into the office, and ironically today, our 5th birthday in our Glengormley office, there is no one in the building to mark it. All things being equal, that's hardly a big issue at the moment, but I do want to record here my appreciation for all the support that the community has given Armstrong Solicitors in the past 5 years in welcoming us to Glengormley.
Many firms are advertising "business as usual", but let's be honest, it's not. For many businesses, our own included, it's not perfect working from home, and although we do have access to our software and our phone system, we do ask for your patience in responding to your queries. I also realise that it's not easy for our team to make the transition from a big, boisterous office environment to spending all day on their own, and I would therefore request that at this time particularly you show them a little love and patience when you contact them; they in turn will continue always to do their best for you!
At the moment, it would be helpful if you don't post documentation to us whilst we set up our mail re-delivery; as it now seems likely that the stay at home period will last longer than the initial 3 weeks outlined, we are taking this pragmatic step. Given however how many applications Royal Mail are probably being processed at the moment, you should maybe delay posting to us for a week or so; I'll report on Facebook when the service is up and running.
In terms of our service areas, we will contact our clients directly about what the Covid-19 pandemic means for their case. Court hearings have been impacted, although we understand that emergency hearings for domestic violence cases in particular can still be progressed. Law Society of Northern Ireland has issued guidance for execution of wills during the period of social distancing although the situation is far from ideal, we can certainly assist you in cases where a will is required urgently; contact us for further details.
For clients moving house or remortgaging, we'll contact you by email to outline the current position, which is currently quite uncertain.
Finally, we'll keep in touch. This is such a difficult time for everyone and we're all worried about our health, our families and friends, and our businesses or jobs. I know that some businesses will stay open and proclaim "business as usual", but we know it's not, and as a High Street business whose office is currently not open on the 'High Street' (well, Antrim Road!), it's not easy. That said, WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS, you can obtain a fee quote (www.armstrongsolicitors.com/get-a-quote) and instruct us online, you can review your property case on our web app, and you can still speak to and email our team. We are still conducting virtual meetings, and we are still advising our clients on property transactions.
I've taken the decision to close our office building because I want to support and protect my staff who did so much to support and protect Joanne and me as we tried to cope with the final weeks of my mum's life just before Christmas. So stay at home everyone, stay safe, and pray for the heroes in our families and in our community who are on the front-line of this pandemic.
Thank you again.
30th March 2020