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Update from Andrew Parsons, Senior Partner, July 2020

Welcome to my latest monthly update.

The months since the pandemic hit seem to be passing increasingly fast, and since my last briefing there have been significant advances in reducing the lockdown and restrictions in place. Just last weekend the restaurants and pubs opened, although it remains to be seen how well alcohol mixes with social distancing!

The Government is clearly balancing the need to protect health with the need to resuscitate the economy. That said, RadcliffesLeBrasseur has continued to provide services across all our specialist sectors without interruption throughout the period of the pandemic. Work on health and social care issues has remained in demand, and debt or liability re-scheduling has been needed by some. Other clients have taken the opportunity to use the time at home to put their affairs in order, perhaps putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (to cover the possibility that someone else needs to manage their affairs if they are very unwell), or revising their Will to ensure it remains tax effective if it was written a few years ago. Many are now thinking ahead to plan for the possibility of tax rate increases to recoup some of the economic support funds expended by the Government over the last few months.

Hopefully the economy will start bouncing back. The property market may well benefit from a possible stamp duty holiday or cut, if this is implemented. Commercial work is beginning to see green shoots, and some parts of the court system are either re-opening or finding new ways of operating using video technology. There is talk of opening up unused space as additional courtrooms, to cut the backlog of cases.

Most of the staff at RadcliffesLeBrasseur continue to work from home. Those responsible for running public transport are definitely keen for that to remain as long as possible as transport is a key area of infection risk. Working from home does not however present any difficulties as our IT systems mean that everything can be done remotely to ensure clients receive a full service.

I understand the centre of London is still very quiet in many areas and a number of London offices have already taken the decision not to reopen before September. We are continuing to monitor the position, although some staff do now go into Fleet Street to work from there. The office remains closed to the public though.

I will update you again in August. By then we will be in the middle of the summer holiday season. I suspect it will be very different this year but hopefully you will be able to get some form of holiday time during the summer. In the meantime, on behalf of everyone at RadcliffesLeBrasseur, I wish you and your loved ones our very best wishes.

Andrew Parsons, Senior Partner