0370 270 6000

Business and Property Courts: remote hearings to remain, for now…

28 September 2021

The civil justice system embraced remote hearings during the Covid-19 pandemic because it had to. There has been speculation as to whether courts would continue to work remotely, post-Covid.

The Business and Property Courts are now leading the way with confirmation that until further notice, all hearings under half a day will be held remotely, unless there is a particular reason why an in-person hearing is required.

For hearings longer than half a day, parties will be asked to express their reasoned preferences and the Judge will decide on the mode of hearing based on the parties’ preferences and the interests of justice. Judges will have the full range of options at their discretion, including hybrid hearings ranging from fully remote hearings to there being some participants in court and some joining remotely.

While this new guidance will remain in place until further notice, so could be reversed, it looks like the Business and Property Courts are embracing remote ways of working to drive efficiency, subject to the overriding principle of the interests of justice. In time, we expect that other courts will follow suit and that remote or hybrid hearings will become the norm within the civil justice system.

For business disputes, it looks likely that remote hearings will be an option into the future.

Related opinions

The Future of Mediation

In an effort to build a stronger justice system, a shift in priorities has emerged away from adversarial court battles and more towards opportunities for consensual resolution. As one of the most popular forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), mediation has become increasingly encouraged.

View blog

Insights from the DfE on pandemic recovery and major policies

On 21 September 2022, we had the pleasure of hosting a Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG) lunchtime briefing, delivered by the Director General for the DfE’s Strategy Group, Julia Kinniburgh.

View blog

Sequana: Supreme clarification on the duty owed to creditors

The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed the BTI v Sequana appeal and reviewed the existence, content and engagement of the so-called ‘creditor duty’; being the point at which the interest of creditors is said to intrude upon the decision-making of directors of companies in financial distress.

View blog

Unfavourable treatment

The Employment Appeal Tribunal’s recent decision in the case of Mr Michael Cowie & Others v Scottish Fire and Rescue Service provides a useful insight into favourable - or unfavourable - treatment in the context of discrimination claims.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up