HHJ Johns QC and HHJ Dight CBE’s new protocol for insolvency and company work at Central London County Court in light of COVID-19 and the increased use of remote hearings comes into effect from today (7 September 2020). The Protocol deals with the bulk lists and some other work heard by Business & Property District Judges and replaces the protocol dated 24 March 2020.
The New Protocol at Central London County Court
- The protocol will apply from 7 September 2020 to insolvency and company work in the County Court at Central London. It deals with the bulk lists and some other work heard by Business & Property District Judges and replaces the protocol dated 24 March 2020.
- Bankruptcy petitions will be listed for remote hearing. The current platforms are Skype for Business and BT MeetMe. For petitions by HMRC, there will be 15-minute time slots in each of which 2 petitions will be heard. For other petitions, there will be 30-minute time slots and only one petition will be heard in each. The certificate of continuing debt and of compliance with Rule 10.23 of the Insolvency Rules 2016 should be sent to .
- Other creditors intending to appear on the hearing of a petition must give notice in accordance with r.7.14 of the Insolvency Rules 2016 and should make a request by email to to be joined to the remote hearing.
- Claims for extension of time to register company charges will continue to be listed for the purpose of the Judge considering the claim on paper. There will be no attendance. The Court will order a hearing only where, on considering the claim on paper, it considers it necessary to do so. The requirement to produce the original charge is waived in this period and evidence of solvency will be accepted by email to .
- Claims for the restoration of companies to the register will be listed for the purpose of the Judge considering the claim on paper. There will be no attendance. The Court will order a hearing only where, on considering the claim on paper, it considers it necessary to do so.
- Public examinations will be listed for a face to face hearing in a courtroom with Covid-19 precautions.
- Insolvency applications will be considered in the first instance on paper and standard directions given where possible.
- The most common company applications, being for rectification of the companies register and to extend the term of an administration, will be listed for remote hearing. The current platform is BT MeetMe.
- HMRC will supply to other parties the link for Skype hearings of HMRC petitions. For other remote hearings, parties will be requested in advance of the hearing to supply to the Court their email or telephone number for the purposes of being linked to the remote hearing.
- Before all remote hearings except for those in the bulk petition lists, the Court will also request the filing of a bookmarked, paginated, searchable electronic pdf bundle. For the remote hearing to be effective, it is imperative that this request is complied with.
Download the Protocol for Insolvency and Company Work at Central London
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