Brisbane law firms are being forced to evacuate staff and close their doors as the rapidly rising Brisbane River invades the CBD.
CBD-based firms, such as Blake Dawson, have closed their offices and will do so for at least a week. Business continuity plans have been implemented, which include arrangements for staff to work from home or from interstate offices.
"There may be some delays in response times due to the load on Queensland's telecommunications systems and infrastructure. However, our team is committed to maintaining business as usual to the greatest possible extent," said a Blake Dawson spokesperson in a statement released today (12 January).
Allens Arthur Robinson has also evacuated its office, advising clients that the office will be closed "until further notice".
Corrs Chambers Westgarth has advised clients that "due to the current flood warning for Brisbane, Corrs' Brisbane office has been closed and will remain closed until the weather situation has eased and our people can safely return to the building".
Corrs has also established a Corrs Emergency Line on which staff can get the latest information about the flood situation, and staff members directly affected or needing emergency accommodation are being asked to call a Sydney-based help desk.
Mallesons Stephen Jaques has also closed its office until further notice, activating an emergency response plan which includes an emergency information line which has been activated to provide staff with regular updates and allow them to leave messages. The firm has also initiated an SMS emergency response system to contact all staff to determine their safety status.
"First, our thoughts are with all of those who are affected and suffering as a result of the unprecedented flooding across Queensland," said Mallesons' chief executive partner Robert Milliner.
"As the flood crisis in Queensland worsens, we are focussing on the wellbeing of our staff, their families, and our clients."
Milliner added that the Mallesons in the Community program is currently arranging for ways in which the firm and its people can contribute to the fund-raising effort currently underway.