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Disputes advice during Covid

The challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic continue to change on a daily basis. Our disputes advice aims to provide you with all the latest news and information on your legal rights and issues to support you through this challenging situation.

 

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At Tozers our specialist solicitors have the experience and expertise you need. With legal experts working in specialist fields across commercial, personal and specialist sectors. Call us now on 01392 207 020 or contact us online

 

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I am involved in a dispute, are the courts still operational?

The clear intention is that as many hearings as possible will take place remotely, although a small minority of hearings may have to be done in a court room.

 

What if a remote hearing isn’t possible?

If a remote hearing is not possible the case is very likely to be adjourned. However, the courts have made it clear that hearings will go ahead, unless there are exceptional circumstances or both parties prefer to adjourn.  In some cases, going ahead may mean having an in person hearing but whether that can be achieved or is even desirable will depend on the location of the hearing, the capacity and resources of the relevant court and the circumstances of the parties and their witnesses.

 

How will a remote hearing be arranged?

The court will contact the parties in good time before the hearing date about how the remote proceedings will be conducted. It will be decided whether they will be video or audio proceedings and the software that will be used. The main options being BT MeetMe, Skype for Business, Zoom, court video link, BT conference call or an ordinary telephone call. The court will record the hearing, but the parties will not be allowed to do so without the permission of the Judge.

The parties’ representatives are expected to be proactive in relation to remote hearings. They should try to agree the hearing method, time estimate, and how the documentation will be made available electronically. Remote final hearings (or trials) will not be held without a prior interim telephone hearing to discuss the suitability of the case for a remote hearing and the preferences of the parties and the Judge.  The Judge and the parties’ representatives will discuss any outstanding procedural or practical issues.

Many interim hearings already take place by telephone, and we are already used to dealing with those. Arrangements can be made for you to attend such hearings by conference call.

 

Are partly remote hearings possible?

Yes, in principle a hearing may be held with only part of the evidence or submissions being given or made in person and part remotely.  Usually this will be because certain witnesses have an issue with attending court, but the advocates and other witnesses do not.  The interest of justice is always paramount and each case will be looked at according to its own circumstances and partly remote hearings will be fairly unusual.

 

GET LEGAL ADVICE AND SUPPORT

Contact our legal experts

At Tozers our specialist solicitors have the experience and expertise you need. With legal experts working in specialist fields across commercial, personal and specialist sectors. Call us now on 01392 207 020 or contact us online