BT has been selected by the Her Majesty's Court Services (HMCS) as an approved supplier for the legal community to facilitate the arrangement of telephone hearings which can also help you eliminate the hassle and costs associated with travelling to a court hearing.
In April 2007, Practice Direction 23, which supplements Part 23 of the Civil Procedure Rules was updated to widen the use of telephone hearings. Telephone hearings are now expected to be the norm for the majority of the types of hearings in the county court listed below:
Telephone hearings are excluded where:
Telephone hearing exceptions:
Such applications will be determined by the court without the need of the parties to attend court for a hearing.
The usual application fee will apply.
The telephone hearing scheme is a nation-wide rollout encompassing all HMCS county courts and law firms in England and Wales to convert face-to-face court hearings into telephone based hearings.
The HMCS telephone hearing scheme has been introduced as a result of the change in law, allowing for certain court hearings to take place as a telephone hearing.
Previously the legal community were only allowed to use the format of 'telephone hearings' if the legal parties applied to the courts for approval first.
The Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA) had run a consultation and pilot programme to investigate if it would be beneficial to the legal community for telephone hearings to be used more widely for certain types of court hearings, removing the need to apply to use audio conferencing to conduct a court hearing.
The results from the research conducted highlighted that by increasing the use of telephone hearings court users benefited by:
The research also showed that audio conferencing has been universally welcomed by law firms for court hearings, meetings and presentations which resulted in a change to The Access to Justice Act.
Therefore from 1st April 2006, the Access to Justice Act 1999 was updated and now stipulates that audio conferencing (also referred to as telephone hearings) MUST be used for certain types of legal case hearings, instead of a face-to-face meeting at court.
Links to further information about the telephone hearing guidelines:
BT Legal Hearings is an easy to use secure audio meeting service that only requires access to a phone to conduct a telephone hearing.
Dial-out service, participants and judges will be called directly and placed into the call by a conference co-ordinator
A fixed charge option is based on a maximum of 5 participants and maximum meeting duration of 40 minutes.
For more information about pricing, please call the BT customer services on 0800 77 88 77 or + 44 (0)20 7402 0303.
All calls are recorded and securely stored by BT for 7 years.
By using audio conferencing to conduct telephone based hearings, you and your firm will:
Two easy ways to book your BT Legal Hearings call
BT Legal Hearings is designed to help you make the most of your busy schedules by offering you the option to book a telephone hearing call:
Note: We advise that if you are a Litigant in Person and wish to arrange a telephone hearing, then you must have an account or set up a new account to use this service. If you’re participating in a telephone hearing that is arranged by you or by another party, then please familiarise yourself with the telephone hearing procedure so that the hearing can run smoothly.
How to book a telephone hearing online
For the simplest and quickest way to arrange a telephone hearing, book online.
Step 1. Have the following information available:
If you don’t have a conferencing legal account, register for a new account today
If you already have a conferencing legal account, but don’t remember your account details, call 0800 028 4194.
Step 2. Login to My Meeting Manager
Step 3. Enter your user name and password and sign in
Step 4. Click on ‘Book an Event’
Step 5. Book a BT Legal Hearing
Step 6. Enter details for your Legal Hearing, read and accept the Terms and Conditions and then click next
Step 7. Enter participant details for the Legal Hearing
Step 8. Review the details you entered for the Legal Hearing and click submit
Step 9. Save your Telephone Hearing details (you can also request an email to be sent to you)
Step 10. Return to My Meetings. There, you can view your Legal Hearing call details.
How to book a telephone hearing by phone
Step 1. Call BT Legal Hearings Customer Services on 0800 028 4194 and:
Step 2. That's it! You’ll then be sent an email confirming your booking.
Following your online / telephone booking, you’ll receive an email detailing all the information about your BT Legal Hearings call.
Here are some hints and tips to help you to make the most of your BT Legal Hearings service.
Book your call online or contact us on 0800 028 4194 and then select option 1.
Be sure to check the accuracy of the details in your confirmation email on receipt.
If you need help during your conference press ‘*’ and then ‘0’ on your telephone keypad and an operator will join your call to help with any requests you may have.
BT reserves the right to apply a cancellation or no show charge in certain circumstances. Details are as follows:
Notice given before the start of a conference and associated cancellation charge:
For situations when it’s not possible for BT to connect all the participants onto the call, e.g.:
then a 'No-Show' charge will be payable.
Also, when a customer organiser requests BT to set up the call for an alternative time, then the organiser will need to cancel the original call and book a new time and date for the call. A 'No-Show' charge will be payable for cancelling the original call booked.
For any call classified as a no show, then a no show charge will be levied at 100% of the full booked value for the call.