Centralisation of court facilities not without its problems 12/03/12

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Posted in:HR and Employment, Litigation|March 12, 2012 | Join the mailing list

As the coalition government dual approach to cut costs and expenditure across the board and centralise the issue and billing of claims is put to the test, various concerns have been raised over Salford Business Centre’s claims processing facilities.

In a recent announcement on the Law Society website, the facility for issuing county court money claims has been altered so that these claims are issued directly at the Salford Business Centre (the "SBC") via its County Court Money Claims Centre. As a result,
claims to be issued at local county courts will now be sent to the SBC, with the SBC now holding the seals for every county court in England & Wales.

In continuation of the recent trend of modernisation towards e-filing and e-disclosure, money claims to be issued at the county court can now be issued electronically through the SBC’s e-filing application. There are also plans to bring in an electronic
payments system to replace the requirement to file cheques with the courts.

However, the modernisation process has left various complaints in its wake. Both solicitors and parties alike have found that contacting the SBC at peak times can be particularly difficult as there was previously no direct telephone line to the SBC. As a
result, the Law Society also announced that there would be a dedicated telephone contact team installed to deal with any future enquiries.

Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunals Service previously announced that the electronic filing and billing systems should reduce turnaround times from 5 days to 1 day, and save up to £3m a year. It may be that if these ambitious long-term objectives can be achieved
then any short-term teething difficulties may well be forgotten.

To discuss how we can provide further advice in connection with these issues, please contact Damian Carter, Partner in our Dispute Resolution department, by email to damianc@berg.co.uk
or alternatively you can call Damian on 0161 833 9211.

The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. No responsibility for article’s accuracy or correctness is assumed by Berg or any of its
partners or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of the contents of this article.

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