Despite the majority of the country’s workforce being asked to social distance from each other, for the time being the message from HM Court Service is that it is very much business as normal.
While longer criminal trials have been postponed, for civil matters the Courts are, at present, trying to carry on as best they can.
Payment of debts can still be chased. Letters before action can be processed as normal and claims can be issued online at the touch of a button.
Our process servers are still able to personally serve documents, be it statutory demands, bankruptcy petitions or winding-up petitions. Petitions are still being issued as normal. Even if this can’t happen in London, it may still be possible in other parts of the UK (as other District Registries of the High Court are still open as normal) in order to avoid claims being delayed and monies owed still being recovered.
Even in the event that civil claims are postponed and face-to-face meetings discouraged, parties can still seek to resolve their differences via mediations, with mediation providers offering both telephone and video conferencing mediations.
This article represents our understanding of the law in England and Wales as at 19 March 2020. Its contents are not intended to serve as legal advice and should not be considered as a substitute for taking legal advice.