Q&As

The police or regulator is conducting a search of my client’s premises but my team and I can’t attend because we are self-isolating. What can we do?

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Produced in partnership with Jamas Hodivala of Matrix Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 31/03/2020

The following Corporate Crime Q&A produced in partnership with Jamas Hodivala of Matrix Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The police or regulator is conducting a search of my client’s premises but my team and I can’t attend because we are self-isolating. What can we do?
  • Where there is no legal professional privilege (LPP) material on site
  • Where LPP material is, or may be, on site

The use of video-conferencing technology has become essential for lawyers since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. If your client wishes you to attend rather than provide advice over the telephone when required, you will be better prepared if you have taken the advance steps set out in this Q&A.

You should encourage existing clients to download video-conferencing facilities onto their smartphones now, before any issues arise. They should try and keep their phone battery well-charged, particularly overnight. Clients may need your advice urgently and you may need to see documents quickly in order to provide that advice. Offer your clients a ‘test call’ using this video-conferencing technology to ensure that, if they ever need to use it, they are familiar with the procedure for getting in contact with you.

If you are required to advise a client during a search, the best advice is to use this technology to be ‘present’ as far as possible during the search, and at the outset to make clear to the officer in charge of the search the limitations involved in you advising your client whilst you are self-isolating.

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