COVID-19 Alert Level 3

April 24, 2020

in COVID-19

Farry and Co has continued to provide services to our clients during the level 4 lockdown working remotely and utilising systems and procedures we implemented to enable this to happen.

The New Zealand government has announced that New Zealand will be moving back to alert level 3 at 11:59pm on Monday 27 April.  For Farry and Co, this means we are able to return to our offices on a restricted basis from Tuesday 28 April.

Farry and Co is committed to providing a continuation of services to our clients within the framework of a safe and effective environment for our employees and our clients.

In this regard, we have implemented certain processes and procedures and will continue to update these as circumstances change including the government alert levels.

Keeping safe and avoiding transmission continues to be a key focus at a personal, business and national level for us all.

One of the immediate consequences that we have implemented is to restrict face to face contact with our clients. We have the ability to conduct most business by telephone / video link.

We have also implemented procedures for execution of documentation remotely in conjunction with government departments and the banks.

This will include a combination of physical documents being emailed to clients together with audio / visual link up for execution where required.

We will provide clear and precise instructions for clients on a case by case basis on each occasion.

Also during this period:

  • All non-essential travel continues to be restricted.
  • Contactless collections / deliveries will occur.
  • All in person events e.g. seminars, conferences and social events remain cancelled.

While we will aim to continue to provide our full range of services to our clients, it is inevitable during this time that there will be some disruption to work flow and timetables.

Where there are mandated settlement dates  we will continue to attempt to achieve those but we ask our clients to understand that we are dependent on a number of external factors including other parties, such as banks, government departments and other lawyers.

Certainly it is important that clients understand that they must try to maintain reasonable time frames for any transaction they wish to undertake and that where last minute or urgent matters occur that there is a high probability that proposed and/or stated dates may not be able to be met.

Regrettably, given the situation that exists and the macro environment with the circumstances largely beyond our control we must emphasise that while we will take reasonable steps to meet our clients needs and turn around times, if these time frames are not able to be met we ask you to be understanding and accept that we are not able to underwrite any implications that flow from that while we may be back in our offices other parties may still be restricted in their environment

The Law Society has issued a non-mandatory direction to lawyers to try and cooperate in this regard and to show some degree of reasonableness. Again, on a case by case basis the question of whether any default and penalty charges may be payable or additional legal costs will need to be addressed.

We continue to advise on additional contractual provisions for contracts as they come in to try and minimise the downside for clients particularly in terms of contracts which are sale and purchases or back to back transactions. We will discuss this with clients on a case by case basis.

Most of our clients will be familiar with our mantra that you should contact us before signing any documents. At this time it is very important that you maintain that principle and if in any doubt contact us before signing any document. If we recommend additional provisions to protect you we can incorporate those if the document has not already been signed.

If you have any other questions around business continuity during this period please get in touch with your normal contact at our firm or alternatively contact:

Paul Farry
Managing Partner
pfarry@farry.co.nz
09 353 6671

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