The current fuel crisis due to panic buying and HGV driver shortages may affect law practitioners’ ability to attend court and visit clients in person, according to the Law Society.
Some law firms, including Birchall Blackburn Law, will use carpools or public transport where car travel isn’t possible. We will also use remote video calls if there is no other way we can visit our clients or the courts in person.
A spokesperson for the Law Society said: ‘It will be for the judge to decide in each individual case whether s/he will allow someone to appear remotely. There is no automatic right to do so, nor can HM Courts & Tribunals Service issue a directive to require it, but we hope judges’ will be understanding of the difficulty our members and other court professionals and users may face as a result of the shortages.’
Gillian Graveson, Family Law Partner, said: “We remain dedicated to arranging virtual appointments for our clients in whatever format they prefer and can access. Many Family Law court hearings have continued to be conducted as remote hearings since the start of the pandemic and so the current situation of lack of available fuel we do not believe will at all inhibit the level of service that we aim to deliver.”
Robert Jones, Associate Solicitor for our Serious Injury team said: “It is very close to business as usual. I am travelling to see a client in Liverpool this week to honour an appointment arranged the week before last. It would be possible to postpone but this particular client will really benefit from the personal attendance now. I am saving fuel by continuing to work at home on other days and where necessary we can deal with matters by telephone or in video conference calls. One of the few positives to come out of the Covid pandemic is that professionals have learned to adapt to tricky circumstances in order to get the job done.”
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