In line with government guidance our offices are closed and our solicitors and support teams are now working from home. As you would expect, Ashfords has detailed and tested business continuity arrangements in place and we wanted to provide you with assurance that we are prepared and able to continue providing our usual high level of service to you.
Ashfords is fortunate in that homeworking is a regular facet of business life, we have a large IT support team with dedicated specialists managing telecommunications, infrastructure, case management systems, accounting systems, hardware and digital apps and we have a secure Virtual Private Network ("VPN"), that enables us to connect to those systems from anywhere you can get an Internet connection.
An example of some of the measures we have in place are:
- The vast majority of staff (including support teams) are equipped with laptops and we have ensured that our Virtual Private Network is sufficiently robust for everyone to work remotely.
- All communication uses the highest levels of security (we are Cyber Essentials Plus accredited) to maintain confidentiality and we’re able to access documents via document and case management systems.
- Our teams are well versed with Skype and Microsoft Teams so we can host and join meetings remotely.
- Heads of department have been working with their teams to consider and put in place:
- plans for client service continuity
- any practical arrangements e.g. court processes, individual client needs.
- arrangements for access to and safe storage of files and key documents.
- file handover notes if matters need to be picked up by another team member at short notice due to absence.
- Phones will be diverted to appropriate alternate numbers to ensure your calls will always be answered.
- We have designated team members who are able to access (subject always to it being deemed safe to do so) the office to collect physical files and papers. Staff have been reminded of measures they need to take to ensure any client information is protected if taken out of an office.
If you have any queries, or would like any further detail on our plans, please phone or email your Ashfords contact.