Shropshire law firm FBC Manby Bowdler says its family law team has been busier than ever during the coronavirus crisis as demand for legal help has increased during lockdown.
Lawyers at the firm – which has offices across Shropshire, the West Midlands and in Redditch – say they have been working around the clock to help families despite being unable to hold face-to-face meetings since the end of March.
FBC Manby Bowdler family team solicitor Elizabeth Scrivens said that in collaboration with barristers from London and Birmingham they had been able to use digital and video technology to offer an uninterrupted service during the lockdown period – and are now working to safely resume face-to-face meetings after the reopening of the firm’s offices.
During the lockdown the firm had:
– Taken part in multi-day trials by video link
– Held remote financial dispute resolution meetings and directions hearings
– Submitted a number of urgent applications in respect of children
– Held initial appointments with new clients remotely by telephone and video conferencing to ensure their problems were dealt with
Elizabeth said: “We have been open remotely for business throughout the lockdown. Now, in addition to seeing clients virtually, we are working on plans to have in-person meetings with safeguards and social distancing in place so that everyone can be confident of their safety.
“The lockdown has not meant that many of the problems associated with family life that we help to resolve have gone away. In fact in many cases the restrictions on movement have exacerbated issues as families have been confined together and we have been busier than ever as a result.
“That is why it is so important that we have kept working through the challenges of the last few months, supporting people who need our help at some of the most difficult times of their lives.
“We have had to adapt to a range of new working practices – such as trials being conducted by video link – which has been very successful and the flexibility of working from home and remotely has also allowed us to hold meetings with clients outside normal office hours to fit in with their schedules.”
The firm has now re-opened its offices across the region following the introduction of new safe working measures, a social distancing policy and investment in a new desk booking system.
Offices are open to the public via a strict appointment-only service.