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No.7 – Dinosaurs

No.7 – Dinosaurs

Whilst longevity can bring experience, solicitors are often criticized for their failure to adapt to modern times, retaining a pompous attitude and a failure to recognise legal practices are a business offering services like any other, albeit of a legal nature, and cannot rest on their historic reputations to acquire new customers.

As a firm we are fortunate enough to have a long history and we have been assisting customers with their legal needs across Darlington, the Tees Valley , County Durham and North Yorkshire for nearly 50 years. Our stability means our customers can have peace of mind that we have the experience to handle their matter, but we recognise that continuously need to evolve in how we operate as a business and deliver our legal services in a modern, professional manner.

We have invested heavily in updating our IT infrastructure to make us more robust, increase our digital capabilities and allow greater flexibility in our working capabilities. This has placed us in a much stronger position to continue to operate during the current Covid-19 pandemic where our solicitors are able to continue to work remotely. In April, the next part of our flexible working programme arrives with the deployment of a  new phone system across providing us with a suite of features for flexibility.

In the summer of 2019 we introduced a strategy to recruit the legal talent of the future across our management and core areas of law, Family & Divorce, Residential Property, Private Client and Dispute Resolution.  Two new Partners joined us in 2019. Alister Jones in the Property team bringing significant experience in property sale & purchases, but also one of the few solicitors in the region experienced in equity release. Alex Spurr returned to Darlington from one of North Yorkshires leading regional firms bringing a wealth of experience in Will writing, Lasting Powers of Attorney and estate administration and increases our capabilities to undertake complex trust work and inheritance tax planning for business and agricultural clients.  We have recruited into our Property and Family team and also have one of the rising stars of  Family law joining us later this month as we continue to cement ourselves as the largest Family law team in Darlington.

Some of our readers may have also noticed a change in our marketing at the end of 2019, commencing with the introduction of our Zebra and continued use of our black and white colour scheme emphasising ‘clarity.’ We have a new website in development that will continue to enhance our brand and more importantly, enable clients to access digital resources and have increased capability to instruct us online.

Whilst we have a strong history as a legal firm, we are continually seeking to improve our services and take on board the feedback from our clients to ensure that avoid becoming legal dinosaurs and remain the first choice of legal provider for our customers.

To find out how we can help you during the Covid-19 pandemic, please call your local office, email enquiries@clarkwillis.co.uk or visit us at www.clarkwillis.com.

Corona Virus (COVID-19) Service Update

COVID-19 Statement – Clark Willis Law Firm

(Updated 2nd April)

In light of the latest Government guidance to combat Corona virus, including restrictions on movement and self-isolation, we wish to re assure our clients that we remain open for business and so please do contact us in relation to your existing matters or indeed any new matters we can assist with. We will continue to operate a range of legal services during this period with sensible adjustments inline with Government guidance.

We fully appreciate that certain clients, especially those elderly and vulnerable, may be rightly concerned about accessing legal services given the magnitude of the COVID-19 virus and its consequential impact on personal interaction. As a business we have therefore implemented a number of practical measures to ensure you will have a continued service, whilst safeguarding your health and safety, and that of our team: 

  1. As of the 24th March 2020 we have closed our receptions to the public and so customers will not be able to visit our reception areas as normal. This applies to both Darlington and Catterick Garrison.
  2. To protect our employees, a number of our team are working remotely.
  3. Customers are asked to email documents to us rather than post to assist the provision of services due to postal delivery restrictions and remote working employees. We are however, still accepting and sending post where email is not possible but are mindful of Post office service disruption. 
  4. Appointments are being undertaken by alternative means of communication, such as telephone or video call, where their matter is able to be dealt with in such manner. Please do not hesitate to contact us.
  5. We have increased our flexibility with appointments to assist those on the front line in accessing our services. Pre arranged appointments on an evening and weekend are available with priority being given to NHS and emergency services for these times.
  6. Our Wills team have put in place special provisions to provide an effective service, especially to those at high risk or required to self-isolate in order that they can still instruct us. This includes instructions via telephone, video call, email, post. We have also put in special arrangements for signing at our office and off site to manage risks to our staff and clients.

We are confident that we are able to continue to progress matters appropriately and have support and systems in place to ensure that, should members of our team be required to self-isolate, your matter will not be adversely affected but please be aware that timescales for completion of matters may be increased where government restrictions advance.

We are monitoring closely the developments relating to the spread of COVID19 and noting the updates and advice given by the UK Government, the World Health Organisation and other UK public bodies.

If you have any concerns please feel free to contact us via telephone at your local office or email enquiries@clarkwillis.co.uk.

 

Flexible Opening and 20% NHS Discount (Covid19 Support)

Suporting our NHS –  Flexible Appointments & 20% NHS Discount

As a firm we recognise that the current Covid-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for the NHS workers and other emergency service to access legal services during our normal service hours. For that reason, we have increased the number of evening and weekend appointments available to make it easier for those on the front line to access our legal services around their increasing shift patterns.

Appointments will still have to be pre booked and can be undertaken via telephone or video call. Will writing can also be undertaken via email or postal questionnaires for those who want to put provisions in place but with greater flexibility.

As an additional thank you, we are also including a 20% discount for all new matters we are instructed on after the 13th March 2020 to NHS staff (see terms & conditions below)

At a time when the NHS has become the front line against the pandemic, it is a little way to say thankyou.

*Terms and Conditions.
  1. Discount is on new instructions from the 13th March 2020 and cannot be applied to pre existing matters.
  2. Evidence may be required as to entitlement.
  3. Discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
  4. Discount is not applicable to public funded matters.

No.6 – Wiser than Online

No6 – Wiser than Online

There is a wonderful mug available to purchase “Don’t confuse my law degree with Google.” The internet is a wonderful thing and often is the first source of information for people when they have an enquiry. This may be to check a store opening time or answer a general knowledge question through to trying to find the answer to  medical or legal concern.

Whilst the internet can provide generic advice or have examples of how situations have impacted on a specific person and relate to their specific circumstances, it really cannot provide the dedicated, specific advice that your local GP or solicitor can provide.

Whilst the law is set down in statute or developed over time through cases brought before the court, it is how that law applies to the specific facts of an individuals circumstances that is key to your own legal matter. What is relevant to one person may not match your own predicament and so caution should be exercised when taking advice on the internet as gospel.

In addition, the quality of legal advice can vary greatly both online and off and whilst solicitors all have a minimum qualification level, there are further accreditations and qualifications that can be obtained in specific areas of law to ensure that those solicitors are at the forefront of their profession.

The firm as a whole has been awarded Lexcel status due to its quality in client service and care. Our Family team include solicitors who are members of Resolution, Collaborative lawyers and the Children panel and our residential property team are part of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme. On the Private Client front, the team who deal in Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Trusts and Probate, include members of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and Solicitors for the Elderly and our Dispute Resolution team includes specialists on the Mental Health panel.

The definitive list of accreditations of the firm are too numerous to list here in full but the above is sufficient enough to demonstrate the expertise within our firm. When you need a solicitor, whether getting divorced, buying a new house or making a Will and planning for the future, you can rest  assured that you are in good hands if you speak to us.