There is a clear public interest in the continuation of the administration of justice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the Commercial Court and Quadrant Chambers have promptly risen to this challenge through a rapid expansion in the use of remote hearings.

As from the beginning of June 2020, the Commercial Court has arrangements for there to be 4 types of hearing available. First, there are fully remote hearings with the Judge at home. Secondly, there are remote hearings with the Judge in their office or Court in the Rolls Building on Fetter Lane. Thirdly, there are hybrid hearings with the Judge and some participants in Court, and others participating remotely. Fourthly, there are normal physical hearings in which all participants attend in person. Within the first 3 categories, both video and telephone options are available, although telephone will generally be appropriate only for short interlocutory hearings.

From the beginning of lockdown until 9 July 2020, barristers at Quadrant have been involved in almost 150 remote hearings. These comprised 101 remote court hearings, 41 remote arbitration hearings and 3 remote mediations. These numbers are expected to increase significantly in the weeks and months ahead and, as lockdown restrictions continue to be eased, more cases may begin to fall within the second to fourth categories. What is clear is that Quadrant Chambers continues to trailblaze the 'new normal' of Court hearings.

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