This update is the third part in the BBW Lawyers’ series considering the COVID-19 crisis and its effects on Commercial Law, and Legal and Debt Recoveries.
The first part of our series provided a summary of the temporary measures implemented by the Federal government: see COVID -19 -Effects on Legal and Debt Recoveries Part 1. The second part of our series provided a summary the Electronic Transactions Amendment (COVID-19 Witnessing of Documents) Regulation 2020 under the Electronic Transactions Act 2020, and what that means when swearing or affirming documents.
This part looks at the transition from COVID-19 restrictions to a business as usual approach.
Statutory Demand and Bankruptcy Notices
The Government’s Temporary relief measures, relating to Statutory Demands and Bankruptcy Notices, which came into effect on 25 March 2020, continue to apply.
We will provide further updates on these temporary relief measures as the circumstances change.
The Courts in New South Wales
The Courts are beginning to implement a progressive, phased return to in-person hearings which is expected to be seen in the coming months, and will reflect the advice of the Government.
By way of summary, please see below the updated position in the different Court Jurisdictions following the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions:
Court Jurisdiction: Local Court of NSW
The Local Court of NSW Sydney Civil Registry is in the process of progressing to a phased return to in-person hearings for General Division matters. This includes confirming previously allocated Hearing dates which were vacated due to COVID-19.
We expect that these measures will eventually extend to Small Claims Division matters as restrictions continue to ease.
Court Jurisdiction: District Court of NSW
As at 1 June 2020, the District Court of NSW began to allow some in-person attendances for certain matters, however, the general position of the District Court is to limit in-person appearances where possible, through the continued use of the Virtual Courtroom.
Court Jurisdiction: Supreme Court of NSW
As of 9 June 2020, the Supreme Court of NSW, implemented a staged return to in-person Court attendance.
Matters will continue to be case managed to ensure that limited in-person attendance is required, with matters to be undertaken via audio-visual links and other means where possible.
Court Jurisdiction: Federal Circuit Court
Current Federal Circuit Court listings are subject to a face-to-face in Court protocol.
In addition to only providing the ability for urgent listings to be held in-person (provided that they are unable to conducted via telephone), the number of people in each Court has been limited, with strict social distancing measures being enforced.
Working with you
Following the recent relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions by the Government, the team at BBW Lawyers returned to work at our office in Martin Place, Sydney (ensuring all staff continue to abide by its own COVID-19 policy).
Our offices are equipped with facilities to ensure that any face-to-face meeting can be conducted within social-distancing requirements. In the event that your organisation wish to return to face-to-face meetings, we are more than happy to accommodate you at our office.
However, should your organisation require its staff not to participate in any face-to-face contact, we will continue to work with you to meet your preferred form of engagement.
For further information or should you require any assistance, please contact John Fairgray (Partner)