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Many clients are asking whether hearings fixed to take place over the next few weeks will still be taking place. The answer to that depends on what kind of hearing you have but, where possible, the Court’s protocol is to hold hearings remotely.
Obviously in some cases that simply won’t be possible – for example, where you have a long trial with witnesses needing to travel to Court from distances throughout the UK and from abroad. However, for applications which do not involve witnesses, the hearings are likely to go ahead remotely.
There will doubtless be teething problems while everyone feels their way through this. In some cases, it may be necessary for the Court to fix an additional hearing for case management so that arrangements can be made and agreed between the parties as to the way the remote hearing will take place.
It is good news that the Court is working hard to keep processes in motion to avoid delays in what can often be a long process anyway. There is much work that can be done now in ongoing litigation which does not require face-to-face meetings and indeed pre-action work which can often be time consuming can be undertaken now in preparation for the issue of claims.
If you require our guidance on this subject, please do get in touch.
This article represents our understanding of the law in England and Wales as at 24 March 2020. Its contents are not intended to serve as legal advice and should not be considered as a substitute for taking legal advice.