Lord Chief Justice’s Report 2020: courts in strong position despite pandemic

The Lord Chief Justice’s Report 2020 was laid before Parliament yesterday. It notes, unsurprisingly, that the last seven months have been dominated by the courts’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic – a response which has been remarkably successful in civil commercial cases, with a widespread move to video and telephone hearings to allow the administration … Read more

Commercial Court 125 virtual seminar: insights on virtual hearings, the disclosure pilot and witness evidence reform

On Monday 7 September, the Commercial Court presented its first virtual seminar as part of the celebration of the Court’s 125th anniversary, entitled: “Year 126 and onwards: planning for the future of London’s Commercial Court“. Chaired by Lord Justice Flaux, the Supervising Lord Justice for the Commercial Court, the event comprised panel sessions on virtual … Read more

The impact of Covid-19 on civil justice in England and Wales

The Civil Justice Council (CJC) has published its report and recommendations following a “rapid review” of the impact of Covid-19 on the civil justice system. The review was undertaken in the first half of May 2020 at the request of the Master of the Rolls. Unsurprisingly, the report states that the measures put in place … Read more

High Court declines to adjourn five-week trial due to COVID-19 pressures

In a recent case, the High Court has rejected a party’s application to adjourn a five-week trial that is due to commence in June this year, where that would have meant a year’s delay before the trial could be held: In the matter of One Blackfriars Ltd [2020] EWHC 845 (Ch). The decision underlines the … Read more

COVID-19: The evolving picture for remote hearings in the English courts

In our post last Friday, we outlined how the courts were adapting to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis, and in particular the announcement from the Lord Chief Justice that hearings would be held remotely where possible. Since then events have moved quickly, with the Prime Minister’s announcement earlier this week essentially putting the … Read more

COVID-19: Impact on civil litigation in England and Wales

With the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak continuing to take hold on nearly all aspects of day-to-day life, what does this mean for the continued operation of the judicial system, and more specifically any court proceedings that businesses may be involved in or contemplating? Where proceedings are already on foot, businesses may have dates fixed … Read more

New president and justices of the Supreme Court announced

It was announced yesterday that Lord Reed will succeed Lady Hale as President of the Supreme Court when she retires on 10 January 2020, having served as president since September 2017. Lord Reed is currently Deputy President, and therefore a new Deputy President will need to be appointed. Three additional appointments were also announced, to … Read more

Government consults on introducing fixed recoverable costs for claims up to £100,000

On 28 March 2019, the government published a consultation seeking views on implementing the proposals in Lord Justice Jackson’s report on fixed recoverable costs (“FRC”) for civil claims, which was published on 31 July 2017 (see this post). The consultation will be open until 6 June 2019. Lord Justice Jackson’s report recommended extending the current … Read more