The transition towards a digitalised legal system has long been on HMCTS' cards, however it is only now that real strides have been taken to achieve this. In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, all hearings (insofar as possible) are taking place remotely, i.e. via a video calling platform. Whilst it may appear more appealing to attend hearings from the comfort of your own home, this new method of delivery comes with a host of new practical and technological obstacles.
We recently attended a one-day virtual hearing in the Commercial Court, for which no witnesses were called; as such, it was a gentle introduction to the new age of digital courtrooms. Our experience was positive, with the Judge commenting on how he was encouraged that virtual hearings were entirely workable where there is cooperation between the parties and a good electronic bundle. Good preparation is key. We have detailed below our reflections on the process, along with some practical tips.