The Office of the Legal Costs Adjudicators (OLCA) has said that all proceedings related to legal costs will be given a physical hearing from 4 October.
This will be the default position, but adjudications and associated applications can be listed for remote hearing – if they can he heard as fairly and effectively as they would be heard during a physical hearing.
In a notice on the Courts Service website, the office said that, in all cases, parties would be entitled to apply to have the case listed otherwise than in accordance with the default position.
A remote call-over of cases that is held each Thursday at 9.30am will continue to take place remotely.
On the call-over, parties are to inform the adjudicator about the position in cases listed for the following week, and the expected duration of the hearing, to allow proper planning.
Cases will be given staggered times for hearings, to control the number of people in attendance at the hearing rooms, in accordance with public-health requirements.
The OLCA’s general office will be closed to members of the public, except by prior appointment.
The office says that all users will be expected to adhere to several measures – including physical distancing, and the wearing of face coverings – to enable physical hearings to take place in accordance with public-health guidance.