Coronavirus COVID-19

Dominic Harrison
Dominic Harrison
Chief Executive Officer

 
The UK government released updated guidance on the containment of coronavirus yesterday, substantially increasing the rate of self-isolation across the country.  Part of this recommendation was that those who can work from home should do so. 

I wish to reassure you that your safety, your matter and your data remain our highest priority and subject to the very highest standards of professional conduct.

CONTINUITY OF SERVICE

MW has robust, resilient, and tested Business Continuity and Business Recovery plans, so we can maintain the levels of service you would expect from us despite the external disruptions.  These plans are now coming into effect.  In the coming days we will significantly reduce the number of staff who are required in branch offices, with no compromise to service levels. 

HEIGHTENED RISK OF FRAUD

Times of disruption present opportunities for the unscrupulous to take advantage of heightened confusion. 

PLEASE TAKE EXTRA CARE, PARTICULARLY WHEN MAKING PAYMENTS TO OR RECEIVING MONEY FROM MW, THAT YOU OBSERVE HIGH STANDARDS OF CAUTION, INCLUDING:

  • Noting that MW Solicitors will NEVER change our bank-account details mid-transaction

  • Making sure that you confirm transactions verbally with your original Solicitor, and never to rely exclusively on email communication

  • Treating any communications from new or unrecognised sources, particularly any communications that express urgency or require you to move quickly, with the utmost scepticism

 

STAFF AND CLIENT WELFARE

To preserve the health of our staff and clients we have been operating policies of restricted travel and meetings.  Only essential meetings and inter-office travel have been permitted for the last week.  This has now extended to self-isolation in line with government advice.  This may affect our ability to conduct face to face meetings, but it will not prejudice our ability to deliver outcomes for clients.

REMOTE WORKING

MW Solicitors works on cloud-based infrastructure, meaning our staff can log in and access their client files privately from any computer.  This access is protected by two-factor authentication, ensuring no compromise to security for client information. 

Further, all of our critical support functions, including finance and compliance, are maintained on the same cloud-based infrastructure.  This allows supervision, audit and client payments to also be made as normal even when our staff are working away from their normal office locations.

We will continue to monitor guidance from government as this complex situation continues to evolve.  You can always be assured that:

  • Your Solicitor’s contact details remain the same and are still functional.

  • Your rights as a client are unaffected.

  • Your data remains safe.

  • Any funds you have with us remain safe.

TRANSFER OF FILES

With effect from Monday 23rd March 2020, the majority of our staff shall be working from home.

This will mean that we may need to take your file of papers or certain documents from the file home with us.  We can assure you that these will be transported in a safe manner. These files or documents will remain in your legal representative's home and will be kept private until such time as they return to the office.  This will enable your legal representative to continue to progress your matter.  We will continue to adhere to our data protection policies and procedures during this time of homeworking.
 
Please rest assured that we take client confidentiality extremely seriously and the files and documents will only be seen by your legal representative.

HELP US, HELP YOU

To mitigate the risk posed by the current outbreak of Coronavirus, we will be sending all correspondence wherever possible by email and ask that when sending correspondence to MW Solicitors that you only send hard copies when absolutely necessary, for example when an original signature is required.  If you need to send original documents to us please continue to use your usual correspondence address. 

Please note that MW Solicitors will also, until further notice, agree to accept service of proceedings and documents by email.  Service of proceedings and documents by email should be sent to service@mwsolicitors.co.uk. It remains the position that we do not accept service of proceedings or documents by fax.  Please note that these arrangements do not include service of documents by Local Authorities in relation to care proceedings who should continue to serve documents on the MW Solicitor instructed.

FURTHER COMMUNICATION

We are communicating to you as a critical part of the client-care we owe to our clients.    If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please contact your solicitor in the normal way.  If you wish to contact MW Solicitors regarding a new matter please use our Contact Us to arrange a callback at your convenience.

International Women's Week takes place from the 8 March 2020 and aims to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women.


Joanna Bailey
Joanna Bailey
Partner - Head of Personal Injury

The 2020 campaign is themed #EachforEqual. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day where we can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements.

I am proud to work for MWSL in a business which supports and recognises the work and progression of our female staff at all levels whilst being the most socially diverse firm I have worked for in relation to gender, race, religion and sexual orientation. We acknowledge the support of our male colleagues in our progression and look forward to celebrating International Men's Day on November 19 each year.

We Can Help

At MW we recognise the efforts and contribution of those committed to helping when things go wrong whatever your background. If you would like to talk to us about your case, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us page to arrange a call back at your convenience.

questions

 

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which gives chosen individuals authority to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to.


Katie Woodcock
Katie Woodcock
Solicitor - Estate & Trust Disputes Specialist

As a population, we are living longer and recent research by Alzheimer’s Research UK shows that sadly, 1 in 3 of us will be affected by the disorder. In addition, long term conditions and mental health concerns can also affect our capacity to make decisions.

As a contentious practitioner, I see many disputes between Attorneys who were, in the first instance, appointed by loved ones with the very best of intentions. Breakdowns in family structure and relationships can lead to dispute and differing of opinions which, if not managed correctly and discussed on an open basis, can fester and lead to expensive and unwanted litigation.

How do we choose who we wish to make those very important decisions when we are unable to and what should we take in to account when deciding who should be our Attorney? The question of whom to appoint is very important and the following points should be discussed with the person(s) you are considering appointing: 

  1. What is their understanding of Lasting Powers of Attorney?
  2. What are their motivations to be your Attorney?
  3. Do they understand the legal implications of becoming an Attorney?
  4. Are they willing to take on the responsibility?
  5. How will they work with their co-attorneys?
  6. If you are appointing Attorneys for property and financial affairs, how financially savvy are they?
  7. If you are appointing more than one Attorney, are there any pre-existing issues between them?
  8. If you are appointing just one Attorney, would you appoint a replacement in case they cannot act?
  9. Are there any issues which are likely to arise between your Attorneys?
  10. Do they hold different moral standards or beliefs from each other?
  11. Do they hold any views that may conflict with your views and prevent them from acting in your best interests?
  12. Are they financially secure themselves?
  13. Have they ever been bankrupt?
  14. Do they have any criminal convictions?
  15. Are they in good health?

Approaching these questions on an open basis with your Attorneys prior to appointment could prevent disputes arising further down the line. It is also important to keep lines of communication between you and your co-Attorneys open; the role of Attorney places strict legal obligations upon an individual which should not be entered in to without appropriate legal advice.

The costs of resolving disputes between attorneys and indeed, litigation in itself can be high and so I advocate the use of mediation and round table meetings in an effort to resolve disputes. Of course, the Court of Protection is a last resort should discussions and resolution not be possible. However, the most cost-effective and speedy way of resolving is often to talk and mediate disputes.

We Can Help

At MW Solicitors, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those who need to appoint or resolve disputes between Attorneys. 

Katie Woodcock is a specialist solicitor in our Estate and Trust Dispute Team. She would be happy to talk through any issues you may have on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback with our Estate and Trust Disputes Team.

National Careers Week

 

National Careers Week is a week long celebration (2nd to 7th March) which raises awareness about improving careers education in schools and colleges. 

Government evidence shows that this is an area that needs improvement in order to ensure that future generations will benefit from quality, meaningful interactions which help them to understand the links between courses, skills and the pathways they open up.


Jessica Kinnear
Jessica Kinnear
Trainee Solicitor

Today I started my fourth and final seat in my training contract with our Personal Injury department. This is part of my career progression to becoming a qualified solicitor. This has been my ambition since I was 15 and I have gained valuable legal work experience along the way.  I am looking forward to my next 6 months in which I will learn how to represent the victims of accidents and how the legal system compensates them.

MW Solicitors supports schools and colleges by giving talks on how to obtain a legal career and what life as a lawyer is like.  Joanna Bailey, the Head of Personal Injury gives an annual lecture to Middlesex University on exactly this, whilst last November our departments para legal, Shazad Ali returned to his old school to do this too.

MW Solicitors partners with the award winning social enterprise, Enabling Enterprise, who work with primary schools, secondary schools and businesses to bring the world of work into the classroom through lesson-time projects, challenge days and inspiring visits to businesses.  If you (or your school) would like further information on the programme, please contact Enabling Enterprise via their website.

You can find out more about National Careers Week at nationalcareersweek.com or get involved in the chat on Twitter using the hashtag #NationalCareersWeek .         

We Can Help

At MW we recognise the efforts and contribution of those committed to helping when things go wrong having dedicated their careers in doing so. Our Head of Department, Joanna Bailey, and our team have years of experience in acting for client’s entitled to make a personal injury claim. We are "small enough to care, big enough to make a difference".

If you would like to talk to us about your case, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us page to arrange a call back at your convenience.

Druds Smuggling Conspiracy

 

MW Solicitors Partner and Deputy Head of Crime and Extradition Team, Christopher Maynard, has successfully defended a 39 year old man in a drugs conspiracy case.


Christopher Maynard
Christopher Maynard
Partner, Deputy Head Crime & Extradition

The client, a man of previous good character, was alleged to have been involved in an international cocaine smuggling ring. The case brought by the National Crime Agency at Lewes Crown Court alleged that the Defendant had been part of a gang which had smuggled up to a tonne of high purity cocaine into the United Kingdom in the space of 4 months last year.
 
It was alleged that blocks of cocaine with a street value of up to £100 million were secreted within pallets of frozen meat, which were then broken up in Sussex and distributed to local drug dealers.

Christopher Maynard conducted detailed analysis of phone records, cell site material, forensic reports and surveillance and, after a three week trial, the Defendant was acquitted by the jury.

All other Defendants in the case pleaded guilty at earlier stages in the matter.

Christopher Maynard instructed Salma Lalani of 1 Mitre Court Buildings Chambers.

We Can Help

At MW Solicitors, Our Mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those arrested or charged with drug offences.

If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact our specialist Criminal Defence Solicitors without delay on 020 3551 8500 or or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback.

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