COVID-19 Impact on Advocates
We are trying to keep tabs on the COVID-19 situation as it evolves, whilst evaluating the impact that this may already have had on your practice until now and is likely to have going forward.
For this purpose, the Chamber requests your collaboration in an exercise of data collection, that will enable us to make more informed submissions to Government in trying to secure economic measures of assistance to our profession and to all those employed in our sector.
The Chamber has already been active in making proposals to Government. We have joined forces with other professions in this task, namely the Notarial Council, the Malta Institute of Accountants, the Kamra tal-Periti and the Dental Association Malta. In all, we represent circa 10,000 professionals.
Those proposals pursue a strategy that will allow all professionals to first weather this storm but then allow us to bounce back and hit the ground running once the situation normalises. The Chamber fully understands that the COVID-19 issue is a significant unprecedented national issue and that the priority for all of us is our health and that of society generally. However, the economic impact on the profession generally will be significant. As professional practices we are not immune and therefore will require economic support like any other sector of the Maltese economy.
The Chamber understands and fully appreciates that the Government has had to prioritise in putting together economic measures addressed first at those sectors which are considered to sustain the highest impact. But just like the tourism industry and the retail trade is at a standstill, those lawyers whose work depends on the operations of our courts, are likewise at a standstill. In addition, those of us engaged in transactional and advisory work will likewise have to deal with a severe downturn given that most business is also in a depressed state. Similarly, the collection of past dues from clients will inevitably be a challenge. Now, that the priority high impact sectors have been addressed, we will be engaging more actively with Government with the aim of ensuring that the next round of measures takes into account the professions and all those who depend for their livelihood on our practices.
We have compiled a survey, which we would be grateful if you would complete. The survey is to be completed once per office, so if you are a law firm it is important that you delegate this task to one person to complete it on behalf of the law firm, in order to avoid information being submitted multiple times. The questionnaire is divided into
three sections, as follows:
1. Section 1 – is to be completed by all respondents, it sets out the profile of the lawyer completing the questionnaire;
2. Section 2 – is to be completed by lawyers who are employed in a law firm or with another lawyer; sole practitioners who employ less than 5 people; and each member of those practitioners operating as chambers;
3. Section 3 – is to be completed by all practitioners, including sole practitioners and law firms who employ 5 or more people. Only ONE response should be submitted on behalf of the law firm or practitioners concerned.
An email with the survey link has been sent out to lawyers. Any lawyers who have not received this email and would like to take part in this survey, are invited to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It would be appreciated if you would submit the first round of responses by Monday 30 March 2020 at noon.
This survey will assist us greatly in our discussions with Government and will allow us to present real time data to the authorities on the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak on the profession.