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Utilising technology in time of crisis

Covid-19 has brought about many significant challenges and it has forced sectors, where possible, to implement remote working. This means embracing technology.

In the disputes arena, where parties would normally attend court for their dispute to be heard in person at a hearing, or Trial, at the moment the courts are trying to reduce the need for this. It is possible for Trials to take place virtually but there a number of important considerations, for example:

  1. All parties and the Judge must be willing to participate in a hearing/ Trial via video link or something similar.
  2. You must properly explore IT service providers and their capabilities to support.
  3. Ensure you consider encryption and IT security to properly protect any confidential information.
  4. If you are instructing counsel for a Trial or hearing, check that they are comfortable proceeding remotely- it could have implications for cross examination for instance.
  5. Will any witnesses that are to be called have access to technology that is required.
  6. Would it beneficial to seek to adjourn or to continue remotely. For high value cases this might mean you lose a Trial date which could delay matters for many months if not years if it needs re-listing.
  7. Do you require a translator and if so will they be able to provide instantaneous translation remotely.
  8. Can you ensure you have a quiet space to make a remote hearing/ Trial work.
  9. Costs involved in remote hearings.
  10. The difficulty and extent of the evidence.


It is reassuring to know that justice can still be accessed in these difficult times but it doesn’t mean that remote hearings are appropriate in all cases.

If you would like to discuss support with disputes, contact Becky at SHU Law.

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