COVID-19: Client Page

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COVID-19: Client Page

Published 4 May 2020

We at DAC Beachcroft are acutely aware of the efforts that you – our clients – are making to deal with COVID-19 and the difficulties that many of you are facing.  We hope you and your families are keeping safe and well.

Everyone in our business has been working from home since mid-March and, as we were already set up to work in an agile manner across all our offices, we have not experienced any drop off in service to our clients.  We remain open for business, our firm is resilient, and we are well equipped to continue working for you. 

Below you will find information about how we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This page is reviewed daily and updated with any changes to our approach.  It will be a constant source of information for you to refer to for any questions that you may have.

Please know that we are ready to help, and we have the systems, agility and, above all, the people who can deliver what you need.

How is your firm doing financially?

Our firm is strong and resilient and we have a well-balanced, diverse business.  Because of this, we are in as strong a position as possible to withstand this crisis. 

What have you done to minimise the impact COVID-19 on your business?

We have taken several steps to protect our business to ensure we can provide a sustainable future for our colleagues and our clients. 

We have put prudent measures in place to maintain liquidity in our business in the short term, including holding back the majority of the most recent partner profit distributions and suspending future distributions for the time being, reviewing our approach to bonuses and pay reviews, and identifying cost savings wherever possible in our operating costs. 

Some of our clients remain able to carry out their normal business activities at the moment.  However, clients in other areas are being impacted more immediately and severely by the COVID-19 crisis.  Therefore, in order to align our resources to the reduced levels of work we are anticipating in some areas and to manage our costs during this period, we have also, as of 1 May:

  • Put in place flexible working arrangements for those colleagues wishing to voluntarily reduce their hours – for example, through unpaid leave and sabbaticals.
  • Asked some lawyers, including partners, in those areas of the business affected by reduced levels of work temporarily to reduce their working hours and pay by 20%.
  • Made careful and limited use of the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for some legal support staff and paralegals. Where the firm has furloughed these colleagues, salaries have been topped up to 100%. 

We feel that these steps are proportionate and will allow us to bring our workforce back up to capacity quickly as soon as things pick up again.

What impact is the current disruption having on your service to clients?

Since the UK began lockdown in mid-March, our colleagues have been working from home with no interruption to our ability to deliver services to our clients.  Providing the highest levels of service to our clients will continue.

The resourcing adjustments we have made will not impact on the service we provide to you.  We are here to help, and we are committed to maintaining at all times our high levels of service to which our clients have become accustomed.

Have you furloughed staff?

In order to align our resources to the reduced levels of work we are anticipating in some areas, and to manage our costs during this period, as of 1 May, we are making careful and limited use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for some of our legal support staff and paralegals in those areas.  Where we have furloughed these colleagues, we have topped up salaries to 100%. 

We are doing everything we can to look after our people during this challenging time.  This step has been taken with our people and our clients in mind to ensure we are able to protect both in the long term. 

How long are you planning to keep your staff on furlough or working reduced hours?

Like everyone else, we are unsure how long the current situation will go on for.  Some of our clients, and therefore our business, will be materially affected by work slowing down or stopping for a period of time. 

The resourcing adjustments we have made remain under constant review.  This approach allows us to bring our workforce back up to capacity quickly as soon as things pick up again.

Are your staff well equipped to work from home?

Yes. Before the COVID-19 crisis we already had agile working practices in place, so all of our colleagues were well equipped for home-working. 

How are you managing the restrictions on people’s movement?

The majority of our colleagues are working from home, but our offices remain open. We have a very small number of colleagues who are working from our offices in order to deliver essential services needed for the running of our business. We have taken steps to ensure these colleagues are able to travel to and from the offices as safely as possible and work in a way that allows them to socially distance themselves from others.  

What will you do if you need to close an office?

Bearing in mind that we have only a small number of colleagues working from our offices and they are working in a way that allows them to socially distance themselves from others, it is unlikely that we would need to close an office. 

However, should we need to do so, we have contingency plans in place to redirect necessary services to other offices while the affected office is temporarily closed.   

What plans do you have in place to deal with a substantial number of your staff being affected by the virus?

As the majority of our colleagues are working from home, the risk of the virus spreading through one of our offices or amongst a number of our colleagues has been significantly reduced. To try and reduce the potential risks to our colleagues further, we have also been sharing the UK Government’s guidelines internally and reiterating our support for them.  

Nevertheless, should a number of our lawyers need time off due to illness, we are set up to be able to redeploy work easily due to our infrastructure in order to meet client demand. However, we are monitoring this closely, given the significant global spread of the virus.

Have you activated your business continuity plan in response to COVID-19 related measures?

We have a robust business continuity plan (BCP) in place which has, in part, been activated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While our offices remain open, following UK Government advice, the majority of our colleagues are now working from home – and doing so effectively with no interruption to our ability to deliver services to our clients.

Can you share your business continuity plan?

It is not our policy to share our BCP externally, but please click here to view our Business Continuity Policy and Framework which gives a detailed overview of how our BCP works.

Have you undertaken an assessment of all critical third parties supporting your activities in the light of the COVID-19 situation?

Yes. This is part of our business continuity plan and is something we have reviewed in the current circumstances.

What is the best way to communicate with you?

Where possible, please communicate with us by email or phone. In place of face-to-face meetings, our colleagues are using Skype for Business and video conferencing – both of which are already integral parts of how we work under our agile approach – to meet with our clients and other colleagues.

How and when will you communicate changes or further developments to your COVID-19 response?

If anything changes which has an impact on our ability to provide services to our clients, those clients will be contacted directly by their client relationship partner (CRP). Any changes made to our current approach which do not have a material impact on our clients will be shared via this webpage.

How can you help us manage our own COVID-19 response?

For some initial guidance on how to manage the multiple business risks presented by COVID-19, we have created a dedicated collection of resources on our website. We are here to help and have the systems, agility and, above all, the people who can deliver what you need. Do contact your client relationship partner should you need anything. 

 

Following a review of this page and the additional COVID-19 resources available on our website, should you require any specific information critical to your business, please contact Morgan Nash.

Key Contacts

Morgan Nash

Morgan Nash

Manchester

+44 (0)121 698 5188

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