Blandy & Blandy Solicitors

Working remotely, we are here to help new and existing clients >>

Insights // 02 November 2020

Will Courts and Tribunals Remain Open During Lockdown?

Chairman and partner Brenda Long explains what impact a new national lockdown will have on Courts and tribunals. 

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday 31 October that England will enter a month long ‘tier 4’ national lockdown from Thursday 5 November, the Government has confirmed that Courts and tribunals (in England and Wales) will continue to remain open during this period.

Back in March, as the country entered lockdown for the first time, the work of Courts and tribunals was consolidated into fewer buildings to minimise the risk for all of those involved in proceedings. As the system slowed down, delays and a growing backlog threatened to worsen a system which was already under pressure.

In response, and as it quickly became clear that lockdown would not be short lived, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) brought forward reforms that were already being discussed prior to the pandemic, allowing for traditional face to face hearings to be conducted remotely (i.e. by telephone or video and occasionally ‘on paper’).

This was already the case for some short hearings in certain types of proceedings, but the rapid transition in April 2020 meant that nearly all hearings in which our clients were involved – family cases, litigation cases and employment cases – were conducted remotely.

Despite the relaxation of restrictions throughout the summer, many hearings have continued to take place remotely and it is anticipated that in many circumstances these changes may become permanent. Certainly they are with us for now.

In early summer, HMCTS accelerated the rollout of a new cloud video platform (CVP), to provide a secure network through which all proceedings can take place.

Although not always ideal, with the cooperation of all involved and some creativity, these hearings can still be very effective. The hope is that this time round the Courts, the system and all parties are better prepared and accustomed to working in this way and that it will allow proceedings to be handled in a prompt and effective manner.

As a firm, we are experienced in working with our clients remotely and adept at dealing with matters in this way, meaning that our clients can continue to expect the same expert legal advice and excellent client care on which out leading reputation is based.

For further information or legal advice, please contact law@blandy.co.uk or call 0118 951 6800.

This article is intended for the use of clients and other interested parties. The information contained in it is believed to be correct at the date of publication, but it is necessarily of a brief and general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice.

Brenda Long

Brenda Long

Chairman & Partner, Family Law

Read Bio

News & Insights

What is Family Mediation?
Tasha Bevan-Stewart

Tasha Bevan-Stewart

Partner, Family Law

Remote Family Mediation - What are the Benefits?
Paul Linsell

Paul Linsell

Associate Solicitor, Family Law

Redundancy FAQs – A Guide for Employees
Andrea Corr

Andrea Corr

Solicitor, Employment Law

What is Family Mediation Week?
Claire Dyer

Claire Dyer

Partner, Family Law

How Small Firms Will Benefit from the Supreme Court’s Decision Regarding Insurance Claims
David Murray

David Murray

Partner, Dispute Resolution & Insolvency

John Dingle Contributes on Property to International 'Trends Magazine'
David Lamont

David Lamont

Marketing Manager

IR35 and the Interrelationship With Employment Status - Are You Ready for the Changes on 6 April 2021?
Sue Dowling

Sue Dowling

Partner, Employment Law & Venue Licensing

What is a Business Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)? And Why They Can be Useful
Caroline Casagranda

Caroline Casagranda

Partner, Wills, Probate Tax & Trusts

Scam and Fraudulent Emails – Please Be Aware
Jessica Irwin

Jessica Irwin

Compliance Manager

View More