SWS Lawyers and our clients are not immune from the multi-faceted global issues that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like other businesses, SWS Lawyers is implementing contingency plans to minimise the risks to our staff and clients, while also limiting disruption and maintaining a ‘business as usual’ approach to our provision of legal services.
As long as it is safe and we are permitted to do so, SWS generally expects to keep our office premises open. However, we will follow best practice and all official directions to protect our employees and clients and participate in the broader fight against the spread of COVID-19. If we are obliged to close our office, SWS has existing contingency plans to enable all staff to work remotely should this be necessary. Our people have access to a range of cloud based technology and, as we have invested heavily in appropriate document management and document production software and storage services, SWS is well positioned to be able to continue serving our clients.
In the meantime, consistent with current best practice, we will be minimising, if not eliminating, face to face meetings for the time being. For any meetings which cannot be avoided, we will implement protocols to maximise ‘social distancing’ – so we apologise in advance for not shaking hands. We also ask our clients not to come to our offices without an appointment and trust you understand that we will make every effort to be able to do what needs to be done without the need for face to face contact. If you require access to documents we hold in safe custody, please contact us with as much advance notice as possible so that we can make appropriate arrangements. We also have protocols for signature of documents and verification of identity, when required.
For existing clients, we ask that you stay in touch with your SWS contacts through your usual channels of communications. If we do need to close the office premises, calls made to direct lines will generally be diverted to the individual’s mobile, or to a central monitored number, from where you will be put in touch with your contact. All professional staff have remote access to their SWS email accounts and, unless the sender is advised otherwise, will be in a position to respond to emails in the usual course.
For general enquiries, or if you experience any difficulties contacting any individual, please call our switch number +61 2 4040 9640 or send us an email at [email protected]. These are the general contact details, whether the office is closed or not.
If there are any changes to our arrangements, we will update this statement on our website.
In the meantime, we look forward to continuing to work with our wonderful clients and talented co-advisors as we meet the challenges of this global crisis.
For updated information, please refer to our recent statement.