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  • John Pratley

Will the coronavirus emergency affect my court case?

Updated: Mar 25

The coronavirus/covid 19 emergency is having an effect on many aspects of our lives as the governemt instructs us to limit social contact and most people are under lockdown.

I am working remotely for the time being and I will only visit the offices when absolutely necessary – I can accommodate that change quite easily but it will mean that our meetings will need to be by phone or Skype unless it is essential that we meet face to face, and incoming post may take a little longer to reach me if admin staff have to take time off. Otherwise I don’t think the service I provide will be seriously affected and it is business as ususal.

The courts are determined to continue working. In the Family Court most hearings will be dealt with by phone or video link, and where possible applications will be dealt with by the judge on paper. The courts are issuing new guidance pretty much every day so precisely how it will play out on the ground is yet to be seen and there will probably be some regional variation But most courts and judges are accustomed to telephone hearings which have become increasingly common so that is likely to become the norm with video conferencing etc becoming more common as the courts are equipped with new kit and the judges learn to use it.




John Pratley is an expert divorce lawyer, who has more than 25 years experience advising clients purely about divorce and related family law issues, such as the financial consequences of separating and divorcing. After establishing the first niche family law practice in Bristol, and going on to senior management roles in a national firm, John set up Apple Tree Family Law in 2018. Apple tree family Law solicitors specialise in advice about divorce and financial issues.

We are based in Bristol and Exeter, but we have clients all over the UK and further afield. We offer, simply, clear and accurate advice about divorce and family law issues, and the very best client service, for a clear and reasonable price

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