As at Saturday 4 April 2020 (1:50 pm)
- We remain at Stage 2 of our plan (see below).
- Do not attend our office unless you have a prior arranged appointment. Our doors are locked.
- All clients are experiencing a significant delay to our previously communicated service delivery times.
- Conveyancing matters are starting to be affected by delays beyond our control – if your matter is affected, we will be in contact with you, but otherwise, Settlements are still occurring on time.
- Unless your matter is urgent, please do not call the office – email us at Law@BradshawLawyers.com.au.
- We are all working at capacity to ensure your matter is progressed – please ensure we are aware of any urgent or changed circumstances.
- If you do have changed or urgent circumstances, please email Law@BradshawLawyers.com.au. If we have not acknowledged your email within 30 minutes, please call our office on 07 3886 1938.
- The link will provide up to date news on the Courts.
- Courts remain open but with significant restrictions – please read the link for up to date information.
- Practice Direction 2 of 2020 has been issued.
- Do not attend court unless and until we discuss your matter with you – if in doubt, call us.
How can you help
Please be alert for signs of illness before attending our office.
Like all small businesses, we will be highly susceptible if any of our staff become ill.
Like all small businesses, we may need to support our staff through periods of closure.
We therefore ask that you attend to payment of your accounts on time. This will also allow us to ensure that we settle our accounts with other local businesses on time.
If you have visited our office or had any personal contact with a staff member within 14 days of being exposed, please immediately email Matthew@BradshawLawyers.com.au so that we can escalate our management plan and alert any other clients who may have been inadvertently exposed.
This does not affect limitation periods. If you have a limitation period expiring within the next 6 months, it is essential you plan for additional time to complete the legal work required to commence proceedings.
There are many legal processes with short response periods, such as your company being served with a Statutory Demand.
If the Registered Address of your company is not within your control, you may wish to change it to avoid missing the strict deadline for seeking to have a Statutory Demand set aside.
Contracts & Conveyancing
Just because you are required to self-isolate, or are quarantined or even hospitalised, will not remove your contractual obligations.
We are advising all clients to be flexible during this period. You may need to make a request for an extension to either a Special Condition, or Settlement.
You may also receive such requests. While this is not unusual, we anticipate the frequency of such requests may increase.
If you are required to undergo Verification of Identity (VOI) procedures, please do not delay.
We are exploring the use of software to facilitate VOI if required but are not yet able to offer this facility.
We also need to be able to ensure we obtain original signatures and are exploring options for this if you are not able to visit the office.
We have alerted local estate agents that we have the option of electronic settlements; we are registered to do these but there are many firms in Queensland who have not registered.
This may delay completion if they are unable to complete electronically and the usual arrangements are disrupted.
Stages of our Plan
Stage 1: Review Procedures and Plan. Monitor advice from Government, Law Society, and Lexon.
Stage 2: Operate office with a skeleton staff. Appointments at discretion of staff member and by prior arrangement only. Office otherwise closed to clients with staff working remotely.
Stage 3: All staff working remotely where possible. Physical office closed except at the discretion of the Legal Practice Director. Appointments by telephone or video only.
Stage 4: Decreased ability to offer legal services. Your matter may be handled by another staff member if staff are ill and unable to work remotely.
Stage 5: The firm has closed and is unable to offer continuous legal service. The Queensland Law Society and Lexon will be notified and may provide emergency locum practitioners to work on essential matters.
If that person asks you to deposit funds into any account other than the usual Trust or General accounts for our firm, please telephone the QLS to discuss the matter with them before you deposit funds. Please remember that the confusion surrounding COVID-19 is an excellent opportunity for scammers to take advantage.
Flexible Working Arrangements
Our solicitors and conveyancing staff are all equipped with laptops which contain all of the equipment they need to work remotely including phone, email, your electronic file, and access to the internet. They have each been asked to leave with them each evening to ensure they are ready to work remotely if the advice changes suddenly.
We are working with our IT support to create a virtual environment for our receptionist to continue to answer and direct your calls to staff. We expect this to be in place by Tuesday.
If we move to Stage 2 of our management plan, we expect to operate our office with a skeleton staff member. It is anticipated that only 1 staff member will be in attendance each day.
If you have documents which require signing, the staff member responsible for your matter will make arrangements with you. This may mean attending the office for a scheduled appointment with the attending staff member.
During Stage 2, it is anticipated that only one client will be permitted in the office at any one time and only scheduled appointments will be seen.
If you are unwell, we will not be able to attend on you and you may need to instruct us to seek an extension from the other party.
As has been communicated by official sources, the message remains clear that good hygiene is the greatest way to reduce the spread of viruses.
Queensland Health has published a thorough and practical everything-you-need-to-know page in easy-to-understand language, which includes detailed information about hand washing. I commend this page to you.
Please note that the Australian Government is regularly reviewing the list of travel restrictions and there are further measures currently being announced. These extended measures serve to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission in Australia.
I continue to recommend to you the Queensland Health and Australian Government websites. These sites are progressively updated and enable the public to stay in touch with the latest factual information.
If you have any questions, the best way to contact us in the first instance is by email:
New Contracts: Conveyancing@BradshawLawyers.com.au
We appreciate (and share) your frustration and your patience as we attempt to navigate these unusual conditions.
As always, I wish to thank you for your continued support of our small local business.
Legal Practice Director