Has Covid brought any positives to the legal process?
As a solicitor, as for everyone else, packing up my office space in March and moving to a new home office indefinitely was a nerve wracking time with an abundance of ‘what ifs?’ It was not just us solicitors that needed to move quickly into an almost exclusively electronic world but the courts needed to change quickly to keep things moving.
When progressing a clinical negligence claim we could commence court proceedings in the County Court or in the High Court. As of March 2020 County Courts claims had to be commenced on paper by posting or hand delivering a Claim Form to the court for issue, but like everyone else, court staff had to decamp home. The wheels of justice had to keep turning and the court needed to find a way to cope. A pilot scheme for electronic issuing was already in a test phase and quickly the pilot became a way that all Claimant’s could continue to pursue their claim without Covid bringing things to a halt for months on end. Now commencing a claim can now be almost instantaneous with no backlogs and delays waiting for a Claim Form to be issued by the court.
Electronic issuing was the courts’ dream that would likely have taken years to put in the mainstream and Covid pushed this into a reality in a matter of weeks. Claimant’s were no longer having to wait months. A tiny glimmer of good that we can take with us into the ‘new normal’.