Dispute resolution and COVID-19

Written on 8 Apr 2020

In this series of articles, we look at how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the resolution of commercial disputes in England and Wales.

How is coronavirus impacting courts and tribunals?

The UK government's emergency legislation to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic included provisions to rapidly expand the use of remote hearings, in a bid to reduce the risk of spreading infection - making remote hearings the default position. Even after the crisis has subsided, this may become the new normal for civil justice in England and Wales.

The first article in our series examines how things will work in practice.

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Resolving commercial disputes through remote mediation

Remote mediation will come into its own in the coming months as businesses grapple with disruption in the court system and a need to resolve disputes without meeting in person.

Mediation is already extremely popular with parties because, very often, it results in a settlement which saves them from the further costs and disruption that continuing with litigation would entail. But how can you mediate if you cannot meet your opponent in person with the mediator and lawyers also present to guide the process? In the second article in our series, we consider the possibility of holding a mediation online.

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The impact on Disclosure

In the third article in our “dispute resolution and COVID-19” series, we consider the impact of the crisis on how litigants manage disclosure risks, and how best to comply with ongoing disclosure obligations to the court where proceedings are already in progress.

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