St John’s Family Forum

21st April 2020

Over the past few weeks we have missed seeing you all at and around Court. To that end we would like to share our new initiative:

‘St John’s Family Forum’: a regular weekly 20-30 minute online presentation on a relevant topic, followed by a Q & A session and an opportunity for an exchange of information. The first forum will be via Zoom on Thursday 30 April at 5pm, when we will look at the practicalities and pitfalls of remote hearings in private and public children law cases. If you wish to attend and claim CPD, please email [email protected] for the link details.

We look forward to seeing you there. It will be good to see your faces!

  • The Children Law Team is committed to providing its usual high standard of service to you throughout the pandemic. As a team we have the skills, capacity and creativity to be able to adapt to any new developments in governmental guidelines, policy and ‘Lockdown’ restrictions.
  • Our clerks and barristers are working from home and can be reached on the usual telephone numbers and email addresses. Counsel all work remotely using MS Teams, Zoom, Skype for Business and can set up conferences and advocates’ meetings and conduct hearings on any of these platforms (as well as on the telephone). In addition, we will shortly be trained in using the HMCTS Cloud Video Platform and will be able to add that to our skillset. We are all operating paperlessly. We continue to be able to advise on appropriate remote forms of ADR.
  • All members are familiar with Mr Justice MacDonald’s ‘Guidance’ set out in the Remote Access Family Court document (v4), can advise you as to whether or not a case is suitable for a remote hearing, and have experience in putting these arguments before the (virtual) court. During any remote hearing we will retain our commitment to client care, either by ensuring that a separate conference room is set up for (you and) your client, or by communicating with the client at appropriate intervals by Whatsapp or similar text based chat platform, or telephone.

Abigail Bond, Head of Children Law Team

21 April 2020

Download PDF here: St Johns Family Forum