Society's News


The President’s Charity of the Year 2017/18

                      Please see Freewheelers Leaflet 2017 for the fabulous work these volunteer riders undertake to assist the NHS in moving vital supplies and equipment  around the county. Who knows which one of us or someone we know may have already benefited from their amazing work?


Welcome from BLS President 2017/18 – Gary Lightwood

                    Gary Lightwood is the Managing Partner of Pattinson & Brewer Solicitors’ Bristol office. During his career he has specialised in personal injury litigation, clinical negligence and family law. A former Officer in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy, Gary then qualified as a Solicitor in 1996 after joining … more


BLS Conference and Meeting Room Suites Room Hire Information

Bristol Law Society’s suite of conference and meeting rooms are conveniently located in the centre between the Waterfront Area and the Old City in a modern building situated on the corner of Colston Avenue and St Stephen’s Avenue.  There are a number of large public car parks within a 5 minute walk from the rooms. For full information on our … more


Recent Court Notices


Easter Closing times for Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre

Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre will close at 4pm on Thursday 13 April 2017 and will re-open at 9.30am on Tuesday 18 April 2017.

Any Solicitor that requires an emergency order during this closure period may contact the Urgent Court Business scheme by telephoning 07795 302944

This scheme includes the following business:

  • Injunctions e.g. Anti Social Behaviour Orders obtained in the County Court
  • Children Act applications (for example child snatch cases where a residence order has been made in the County Court and the child has not been returned )
  • Domestic Violence Injunctions with a power of arrest attached issued in the County Court under Part IV Family Law Act 1996,
  • Other urgent applications where an individual’s personal safety, well being, business or assets may be at risk.

Civil Court user meetings

The court currently hosts a number of meetings on the following subjects:-

Bristol Administrative Court user meeting chaired by the Honourable Mr Justice Singh

Court of Protection users chaired by His Honour Judge Marston

Civil court users chaired by His Honour Judge Denyer QC

Chancery Clerks meeting chaired by His Honour Judge Paul Matthews

Chancery Court user meeting chaired by His Honour Judge Paul Matthews

Mercantile Court user meeting currently chaired by His Honour Judge Havelock-Allan QC – successor to be advised

Technology and Construction Court user meeting currently chaired by His Honour Judge Havelock-Allan QC – successor to be advised

 

If anyone wishes to be considered to becoming a member of these groups, please e-mail the Civil Delivery Manager- Jerry Fowler jerry.fowler@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk


Subject: Civil Hearing (trial) Fees – Refunds

HMCTS kindly inform Solicitors of changes which will come into effect from 6 March 2017.  The new provision will remove the right to a refund of a hearing fee if the fee is paid and settles before the trial hearing.

This change does not affect any case in which the court gives notice of the trial date or the start of the trial period before 6th March 2017. A refund will be due in line with the current process and rules for all such cases.

In addition, there are the following associated process changes to Money Claims which are also being brought in on the 6th March.

Payment of the hearing fee (2.1 of the current Civil Fees Order) for the trial of hearing of a case allocated to the Small, Fast or Multi Track either in the County, Queens bench or High Court, is now required no later than 28 days before the trial takes place.

Alternatively, a properly completed “Help With Fees” application should be filed with the court no later than 28 days before the trial takes place.

In the event the hearing fee is not paid or a properly completed “Help With Fees” application is not filed at least 28 days before the trial date, the court will issue an automatic strike out order of the claim/counterclaim.

If your claim is struck out, it will no longer exist.  The hearing will be vacated, unless a counterclaim survives the claim being struck out. If you wish to start fresh proceedings, a new claim must be filed. An application to reinstate the claim can also be made together with the appropriate fee or application for help with fees.

In the event the hearing fee has been paid and an agreement/settlement is then reached the hearing fee is non refundable. If a consent order settling the matter is requested after the trial fee has been paid, then the consent order fee is still payable.

Further information and leaflets explaining more about how to pay a court fee or how to apply for help with fees are available from the court office or online at:

https://www.gov.uk/court-fees-what-they-are


Introduction of online customer feedback

At the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre we have started accepting online complaints through Resolver

The online customer feedback system has been designed to help customers make a complaint through the HM Courts & Tribunals Service process. It will also help us to learn from customer feedback in an automated and more systematic way than we are currently able to achieve.

If you, or your clients have a complaint about the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre please send it to www.resolver.co.uk/companies/bristol-civil-and-family-justice-centre-complaints

Complaints for other services

Please note that not all HM Courts & Tribunals Services are set up for online complaints at the moment, and these will be referred back to https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-courts-and-tribunals-service/about/complaints-procedure

Privacy

Resolver is a portal, and complaints submitted will be investigated and responded to by HM Courts & Tribunals Service staff.

To find out about Resolver’s privacy policy, see http://www.resolver.co.uk/our-privacy-policy

Your comments

If you or your clients use the online complaints system, any feedback about the online system will be gratefully received to help improvements. Please let us know what worked well, what could have worked better and any other comments you have. Send your emails to csdivfeedback@justice.gsi.gov.uk titled ‘Resolver feedback’.


Red Dot Assessment Security Policy

The Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre wish to make Law Society members aware a policy which is in existence within this Cluster of courts in relation to security measures and actions that will and can be taken by the court in advance of any hearing.

It will assist the court a great deal if you can advise the court on any cases either waiting to be listed or have been listed where you have some security concerns in relation to anyone attending a court hearing at the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre. This will allow the court to risk assess the situation and put in additional security measures which may include additional security and any reasonable adjustments that may be required. Your co-operation would be appreciated


See below link to HMCTS  ‘Justice matters. How our change programme will make services better for everyone who uses them’

Stakeholders – Justice Matters v10