You may have considered litigation to be expensive, slow and inefficient. The way in which the legal proceedings in England and Wales are conducted has long been perceived as being unreceptive to new trends and technologies developing in other areas of law and business.
However, in the last few years, thanks to the introduction of new technologies, the litigation landscape has been transformed. The last six months, in particular, have brought in rapid changes previously expected to take several years. The recent statistics show that the Business and Property Courts have successfully dealt with 85% of interlocutory and final hearings remotely in lockdown.The Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Geoffrey Vos, has been a vocal supporter of an increased use of technology in litigation and in his view, the courts and the practitioners need to continue the progress made during the pandemic to make sure that the court process is as modern, efficient and as client-friendly as possible.
What does this mean for you and your business?
Businesses are gradually reopening and a rise in disputes related to issues that could not be addressed during lockdown, due to temporary business closures, and issues which have arisen as a result of the lockdown, is expected. We are experienced in advising in this ever-changing landscape and in utilising these new technologies to assist you as necessary.
Location is not a barrier
Thanks to the tech-transformation, location is no longer a barrier to obtaining expert advice. In the era of technology, it is all about making the process simpler, more efficient and more accessible for you, reducing unnecessary costs and opening access to litigation to those of you who previously felt reluctant, discouraged or priced out of obtaining justice.
We advise clients based across England and Wales and internationally from our offices and homes, utilising technology as necessary.
Use of technologies
Over the course of the last year, we have advised in a number of cases, including High Court claims of value in excess of £50m, using new technologies, such as:
- Online disclosure platforms enabling the disclosure process to be run fully electronically with the assistance of Artificial Intelligence and predictive coding, therefore removing the need to attend client premises and go through time-consuming manual reviews and copying of documents;
- Remote Alternative Dispute Resolution, including virtual mediation, saving time and money spent on travelling and thus allowing more flexibility and expedited scheduling;
- Remote court hearings via Skype and other video-link platforms, saving significant time and travelling cost for all parties and their representatives, again, allowing more flexibility as to when hearings are held;
- E-bundle platforms by which court files can be prepared digitally, removing the need for time-consuming transporting, copying, printing and collating of large volumes of hardcopy documents; and
- E-trial platforms which allow for trials and other hearings to be conducted fully remotely or in a hybrid mode (i.e. part-in person, part-remotely) offering access to multiple participants, fully synchronised with e-bundles of documents and with transcripts of the proceedings available on the same day.
What can you do if you require advice?
Geldards has significant experience in dealing with claims of varying value and complexity, including large-scale, multi-party disputes. We are also well-versed in utilising new technologies to assist our clients.
We can guide you through any dispute and will discuss the range of options available to try to minimise the time and costs of the proceedings. For more information, please contact Gosia Evans or Michael Evans of our Dispute Resolution Team.
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