The 80-strong team at Prettys Solicitors, based in Ipswich and operating across the county, has pledged to provide firms in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk free advice on difficulties they face because of the coronavirus outbreak under a new pro bono scheme called Covid Assist.
Experts will help employers negotiate restructures and redundancies, corporate property disputes, insolvency and debt recovery, health and safety and risk assessment requirements and contract terminations and employment tribunal claims under the programme.
Ian Carr, CEO at the firm, said: “The outbreak and rapid spread of the coronavirus disease has shaken markets, disrupted supply chains and left a lot of businesses firefighting.
“Many are having to confront a lot of very tough questions about how they can continue to operate, how to cut costs and how to navigate new legislation and this is causing a bit of a stressful time for employers who are having to make fast decisions and drastic changes they feel ill-prepared for.
“In this sort of situation, if they don’t seek the right advice, they could face some very challenging, time-consuming and expensive legal battles in the months and years ahead which could add an extra threat level to their chances of survival.
“With this in mind, we wanted to do something to help companies in the area to access some help free of charge before they decide on next steps.”
Each of the solicitors who work at Prettys has pledged to set aside an hour of their time each day to do this pro bono work – at the cost of a quarter of a million pounds to the company.
The offer is only open to East Anglian businesses who are invited to apply for a one hour slot in which they can access legal advice relating to issues they are facing as a result of the pandemic.
They can also access free employment webinars which take place every two weeks on a range of subjects.
Mr Carr said: “Our business experts are primed to provide specialist advice on corporate and commercial, property, employment and commercial disputes.
“Whether you have a question about business contracts, restructuring, employment matters or disputes that have arisen because of the pandemic this a chance to obtain free legal advice with absolutely no obligation.”
He added: “As the legal, regulatory, and commercial implications of COVID-19 continue to evolve, our team is committed to helping people navigate the complex considerations that companies are facing and develop plans and strategies in response.
“We have always played a key role in the wider business community in the East and this is our way of giving something back during a time when businesses might need us most.”
To ensure that an appointment is booked with the right specialist you will need to provide your name, the nature of your concern, name of your business, business location and your contact details.
Photo shows Mike Fisher from Resin Master in Rendlesham receiving free legal advice from the Prettys team