The safety of our clients and staff is our number one priority. Therefore, JWD would like to issue the following update statement 11th July 2020:
A number of weeks ago saw the releasing of lock-down restrictions in England meaning that all house movers were now safe to move provided they did so safely and within the current COVID-19 guidelines, Wales followed. Due to the amount of delayed transactions now being able to move at the same time, this has seen a spike in demand for completions in June and July, putting pressure on mortgage lenders, removals and law firms.
We are experiencing this ourselves and are putting in place safeguards for our clients and our staff to ensure all completions run smoothly and without last-minute complications which can lead to delayed completions on the day or worse. One of the key measures is that we will in all cases advise on 7 days between exchange of contracts and completion. This is to ensure mortgage lenders can send mortgage monies to us in time for completion (and without delay) and give time for any last-minute issues to be resolved. This is also better for you because you have time to plan your moving day.
Simultaneous exchange and completion (SIM) - We have updated our terms and conditions relating to this. We understand this is sometimes the only way our revised terms and conditions reflect the extra work in dealing with these types of matters.
Price reductions – we are experiencing some clients insisting on last-minute price reductions, sighting the fact the property market “may” crash.
We assure you that we are experiencing a bounce-back of the market over the past 3 weeks and there are absolutely no signs of the recent events having a long-term effect on the property market. Last-minute reductions will cause delay because all contract documentation and mortgage offers will need to be reissued before being able to exchange. This will also result in additional charges as per amended terms and conditions. Price reductions for the right reasons (like an adverse survey) are expected and quite normal.
Please be patient – The delay in house moving since March has caused increased anxiety and stress for most people. We have continued to work through lock-down to keep our client’s matters moving. We are now experiencing a significant amount of our client base coming to the same position in the transaction at the same time, this needs to be managed carefully by our team to ensure we have smooth completion days for our clients. Please keep this in mind when speaking with our team and with the requests for timescales that you make. We will always try to deliver your requests and timescales but in some cases, it may not be possible. We understand this may be disappointing, but we would also ask that you remain respectful. We will not tolerate unreasonable behaviour towards our staff who are here to help you.
Thank you for your understanding, we are looking forward to you all experiencing a smooth completion soon.
How to contact us
For case updates and general information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org which is the quickest way to get a case update.
Please also remember that emails are processed in a date received order and it can take up to 24 hours to reply. This is our standard response time which has not changed even during this challenging time. Please be advised that we can't reply to everyone’s email immediately so please allow us some time to process your email and reply to you.
If the matter is urgent and cannot wait, please let us know.
The preparation of Wills.
Our team have been busy preparing lots of client Wills over the past 2 months. We have developed a low-cost online process which allows us to draft your Will without you having to leave your home. If you would like further information about this service, please email us at email@example.com for further information.
Clients have been contacting us to ask if we can act in the Administration of Estates which follows the death of a loved one. We are pleased to confirm that for our existing clients we are already doing this and there is no need for you to attend any face to face meetings. Our service can be provided remotely. We also have a fixed fee offering. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Previous Update - 28th May 2020:
With the government extending the current lockdown for a further three weeks, we thought it is a good time to update you on matters here at JWD and update you on how we are progressing our client matters. We continue to work remotely to ensure we comply with the government advice to keep people safe. Our clients should have received direct dial contact details for the JWD team member that is dealing with their case, but if you have not please contact us on the email below. Our offices remain closed during this period and would ask that all documents you are sending to us are scanned and emailed to us in the first instance.
We are still completing matters every day. If you are moving to a vacant property your move can still go ahead but be sure to follow social distancing rules. If the property is not vacant, its strongly advised that you agree on an alternative move date when the lockdown is over. However, please contact us if you feel you moving is unavoidable during the lock-down.
Previous Updates - 15th April 2020
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, we have decided to re-organise our team with immediate effect to meet the changing needs of our clients and to ensure we are following the Governments' advice.
For some of our clients this means your matter will transfer to another team member immediately. If that applies to your case, you will receive a separate email from us explaining this further and providing direct contact numbers for your case handler. Please allow us a short time to contact you before contacting us to avoid a spike in incoming calls/emails which will impact how quickly we can reply.
If and when you would like to contact us or would like a case update, please email email@example.com and we will reply to you within 2 working days for non-urgent matters. This is the best and quickest way to gain non-urgent case updates and we would ask that you adhere to this advice to help us manage all client matters efficiently. Please also rest assured that we are and have been progressing your case as normal and will continue to do so for the foreseeable and until your matter can complete.
Advice about Exchanging and Completing
Following guidance issued by HMG aimed at protecting the NHS and saving lives, we are strongly advising against any exchanging of any further contracts, until further notice, for the sale or purchase of domestic properties where people need to physically move. This is to protect you and to ensure you do not risk significant financial loss or risk to life. However, this does mean we can continue as normal with completions of re-mortgages, right to buy, new build or vacant properties until some of the present restrictions applying to COVID-19 are lifted. If you believe special circumstances apply to your proposed transaction, and you would like to complete during the current pandemic, then please speak with the person dealing with your matter to discuss further so that you fully understand the risk that you are taking.
We are truly sorry to make this announcement, but HMG has identified the danger, not only of the spread of the disease but of the risk that people may leave one house but not be able to move into another because of the disease; thereby rendering themselves temporarily homeless at this very difficult time.
By way of reminder, here are the best ways to contact us.
Discussions between the Law profession and Central Government are ongoing. In the meantime, if you are someone who has exchanged contracts and has a completion/moving date booked over the next few days, and you are able to proceed, there is currently no Government guidance to prevent you doing so. This is, of course subject to following current guidelines in respect of public health. Properties not being occupied with cases (or suspected cases of) Covid-19, occupants not being in a state of isolation, and if all parties are able to abide by the social distancing rules. Further guidance is likely to be issued.
Previous updates - 27th March 2020:
We have been working hard to keep matters moving last week with a full team in place. Our team are fit and well and have shown amazing commitment. We need to consider the health of our team and other people and therefore will be making some changes to operations.
Today we have been implementing the second phase of our Business Continuity Plan and deploying more of our team to home working. As previously stated, many of our staff have had the benefit of remote working for many years so this is not a difficult transition for us. Contact us:
Email - please continue to email if you would like an update on your case.
Newport office - We will close this office until further notice. You are welcome to deposit through the letter-box; no copies can be taken onsite at this point.
Chepstow Office - We are operating on skeleton staff until further notice at the office, to observe the social distancing advised by the Government. Please do not attend our offices at all (We are sorry for this).
Sending Post to us - At the moment the post service is running well, but we can’t guarantee how long we will be able to rely on this. For that reason, please return all post or documents to us by scanning and emailing to wherever possible. This will ensure safe receipt and no delay to us getting it. If you can’t, then please send as normal. If you do send us post in this way, we will always acknowledge receipt so that you know we have received it.
JWD are working hard to keep cases moving forward. We will update again when possible. Please speak with your Lawyer if you have an up-coming completion date which may be affected by the current situation.
Please stay safe.
17th March 2020:
All of our team are safe and well and have been in the office working on your case which is a priority for us. Personal hygiene in the workplace has always and will continue to be a high priority. Therefore, to safeguard our staff and clients, we ask that all visits to our offices are kept to a minimum and are for essential appointments only.
If you do need to visit, we will ask that you observe the advised 1 metre no-contact range where possible. We will also refrain from shaking hands; please do not take this personally as this is solely based on the advice given by the public health departments. We will also be asking that you wash your hands in our w/c facility before coming into the office to see us.
Our team will ensure they are fit for work and in the event of any staff feeling unwell with any one of the symptoms as described by the public health departments, they will be self-isolating at home for 14 days in line with current advice and will work from home so to limit and reduce the risk to others. Please rest assured that our team have been working remotely for a number of years so this way of working is not new for us.
Should your lawyer be working from home, you will still be able to talk to them on the telephone and they will be progressing your case just as if they were in the office. If you would like an update on your case, we would ask that you email us on to reduce our call volume down which gives us more time to work on your case. Should one or both of our branches be forced to close temporarily due to staff illness or ‘work from home’ government advice, we will still strive to maintain high levels of service at all times. We are dedicated to ensuring no loss of service to our clients, so this will only occur in extreme circumstances. However, our ability to work without disruption does not mean that other firms of solicitors will be able to do the same so we believe there may be some slowdown in the overall timescale because of this and until the country moves through this phase.
Please check on those that are most vulnerable; friends, family and neighbours. Should you require any assistance from us or are genuinely concerned about any aspect of COVID-19, or require clarification of the contents of this statement, please contact a member of the JWD team.