Business courts bolstered by pandemic pragmatism as remote hearings rise

Business courts across England & Wales, including the Commercial Court, have faced many challenges since the outbreak of COVID-19, forcing them to adapt to new ways of pursuing proceedings.

Recently, The Law Society of England & Wales issued a report stating that the Courts have risen to those challenges. Statistics suggest that during lockdown, 85% of court business - whether interlocutory or final hearings – proceeded remotely through online video platforms. 50% of all hearings in the Chancery Division lasted less than an hour, and 70% lasted less than two hours. If this new trend continues into 2020, London’s strong position as a litigation centre could weather the upcoming turmoil caused by Brexit negotiations.

London Partner, John McElroy, spoke to Ben Rigby of Global Legal Post: "With some temporary insolvency measures due to come to an end this autumn, insolvency focused claims will also increase,” adding that “in line with the Society’s findings, he expected 2020 and 2021 to show an increase in disputes on 2019.”

As spokesperson for the LSLA, he continued: “the accelerated and extended use of virtual hearings demonstrated that efficiencies could be made, without impeding access to justice,” citing, as an example, electronic bundling as being “much easier to use than expected, and so much faster.”

The full article, featuring  input from other leading lawyers as well as commercial claimants views.