We realise that it is especially important to treat clients who are older or who may be vulnerable, with additional consideration by being both sympathetic and sensitive to any issues they may have and ensuring that our firm and all our staff them with dignity, kindness and respect at all times. We extend the same sensitivity and courtesy to their families and representatives.
- It is important to us that our clients feel at ease in their dealings with us. We recognise that many people feel nervous at the prospect of meeting lawyers, and we strive to support our clients’ ability to participate as equals in our relationship: for example, having a trusted friend or relative present when we meet. At the same time, due to the nature of our work it is often important that we have the opportunity to see our clients alone at some point, and where this is necessary we will do our utmost to make sure that our client is happy to do so, and understands why. We keep notes of our meetings, including a record of the people who were present.
- We are happy to meet clients in their own home if appropriate, and we aim to make our office a welcoming place to visit. Our premises are wheelchair accessible, and our meeting rooms and toilets are on the ground floor and are accessible. We have onsite parking spaces which can be reserved in advance for our clients.
- We use clear language. Where legal terminology is unavoidable, we take care to ensure that our client understands what has been said and will not proceed until we are satisfied that our client is comfortable.
- We will make sure that the pace and duration of each meeting is aligned to the needs of our client.
- We are alert to the problems that can be caused where there are communication barriers, e.g. where English is not our client’s first language, or where the person concerned has other communication difficulties. We will deal with these issues appropriately, e.g. by having the assistance of an appropriate independent interpreter, or a person that our client trusts to ensure that our client understands what is being discussed.
- We will take steps to make ourselves aware of any potential capacity or physical limitations such as mobility, continence, hearing or visual impairment. Please tell us if you would prefer our communications in large print, or if there are any other ways in which we can communicate with you more effectively, e.g. Braille.
- We are obliged to obtain identification from our clients when we begin to act for them. However we are sensitive to the possibility that some clients may be discomforted if they do not have current passports or driving licences. Extra care is therefore taken not to cause our clients any embarrassment, while ensuring that money laundering requirements are met.
- We ask that any person signing in a representative capacity for our client (e.g. as attorney or deputy) is able to satisfy us about their identity, so that we can be sure that they have authority to act on our client’s behalf.