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Court reform

  • HMCTS are investing £1 billion in their seven-year reform programme to modernise the courts and tribunals system. The programme aims to create services that are digital by default and design including digitising paper-based services, moving cases online, court closures, introducing virtual hearings, and centralising customer services.

    The Law Society agrees that a modernised court service and efficient use of technology would benefit all users. However, this must not come at the expense of justice. The system must be open, accessible and affordable. Moreover, those who use the system must be able to get independent legal advice and representation from qualified professionals at the points where they need it. To achieve this, we are engaging with HMCTS to ensure our views and the views of our members, and the needs of clients, are fully considered in the development of proposals and design of reformed services.

    Solicitors are integral in shaping the HMCTS programme which will fundamentally transform the role of a solicitor in any type of litigation - from corporate firms to high street firms - and we must ensure it works for them. To assist with this, we are working with our policy committees and the wider legal community to ensure we understand what aspects of the programme cause concern, so we can try to persuade HMCTS to address those concerns.

    To help you understand and adapt to the changes, whether welcome or unwelcome, we will keep you informed of developments, be a trusted source of insight and guidance, and notify you of upcoming HMCTS events including roadshows, workshops, online events and research sessions, which we encourage you to engage in.

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    Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and updates

    We're keeping the coronavirus situation under review and will provide regularly updated advice and sources of information for our members.

    1 April 2020

    Update on courts during coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions

    We're working with the MoJ and HMCTS on how the COVID-19 restrictions affect courts.

    27 March 2020

    New grant of representation application forms for legal professionals

    HMCTS has launched new standard grant of representation application forms for legal professionals.

    25 March 2020

    Online services for legal professionals

    MyHMCTS is an online service which helps firms issue, pay for and manage applications falling within the jurisdiction of the County Court, Family Court and tribunals.

    27 February 2020

    Update on probate service and bilingual grants

    HMCTS have provided an update on their probate service and the launch of their Welsh service.

    24 February 2020

    Call for feedback on the Flexible Operating Hours pilot

    Were you a participant in the FOH pilot? We'd like to hear from you.

    18 February 2020

    Online divorce service for legal professionals

    Solicitors on now to apply for a divorce online on behalf of their clients.

    23 January 2020

    Judges' sentencing to be broadcast from Crown Courts

    Judges' remarks are to be broadcast from Crown Courts under draft legislation to be laid by government.

    16 January 2020

    Online probate service for legal professionals

    HM Courts and Tribunals Service is rolling out a national pilot for probate that will enable legal professionals to access the online service.

    10 January 2020

    Further progress to the probate service

    HM Courts and Tribunals Service state that they're making good progress in terms of reducing the backlog to the probate service.

    29 November 2019
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  • Contact us

    If you have any queries regarding the court reform programme or would like more information on member engagement, please contact Emily Weidner.

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