Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Changes to the court process in insolvency proceedings
Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Changes to the court process in insolvency proceedings

The following Restructuring & Insolvency guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Changes to the court process in insolvency proceedings
  • Are the courts still open?
  • Judicial guidance
  • Insolvency and company work at the County Court at Central London
  • Business and Property Courts work
  • How are the courts approaching remote hearings in practice?
  • The Temporary Insolvency Practice Direction (April 2020)
  • The Coronavirus Act 2020
  • Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction 51Y
  • Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction 51ZA
  • more

The UK Government’s policy of social distancing in order to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has prompted temporary new working rules in relation to the court process. This Practice Note focuses on the implications for restructuring and insolvency work.

For the implications for litigation generally, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19) implications for dispute resolution.

Are the courts still open?

The Supreme Court building has closed, but hearings and judgments will continue to be streamed where possible and the Supreme Court is looking to use video conferencing technology to allow it to operate key functions. See: LNB News 24/03/2020 59.

The Court of Appeal will continue to hear urgent cases (applications and hearings). The Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ) Court of Appeal has clarified that urgent work means applications where it is essential in the interests of justice that there be a substantive decision within the next seven days. The Court of Appeal’s counter is now closed.

The RCJ remain open but are operating with a reduced staff. From 1 April 2020 the RCJ fees office is closed until further notice.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has published a ‘courts and tribunals tracker’ listing which courts are open to the public, staffed but are not open to the public, and temporarily closed—see: Courts and tribunals tracker.

Judicial guidance

HMCTS website sets out