It has been confirmed that the Insolvency & Companies Court has adapted rapidly to the existing emergency situation and now intends to progress winding-up cases remotely, so far as possible, rather than continuing to adjourn them.
The court has increased and improved the ways in which audio and video technology can support hearings. Currently, individuals are being provided with automated email when enquiring about the hearings. The email guides parties through the steps that should be taken prior to the hearing:
- Where hearing is listed the Applicant/Respondent/Claimant will be required to contact the court, as soon as reasonably practicable, to inform the court if adjournment is required or if the parties wish for the hearing to progress remotely.
- The onus is on the Petitioning Creditor to keep the debtor informed.
- The remote hearing will be conducted by Skype or BTMeetMe telephone call.
- It is the responsibility of parties to arrange the remote hearing and provide the judge with the details. Depending on the way the hearing is conducted, parties will be required to provide the court with either e-mail addresses for the Skype hearing or telephone numbers for the BT telephone hearing.
- The court is currently experiencing high volume of requests and priority will be given to urgent applications.
Parties should follow temporary Practice Direction 51Y (PD) in relation to remote hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic, for the updated PD see https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil.
Further details on how to arrange hearings will be available on the judiciary website https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/pdf/update/116th-civil-pd-making-doc.pdf.
Further guidance is also expected to be given in due course by the Law Society.
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