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'For the first time HMCTS has begun to engage in a face-to-face dialogue with family law solicitors generally. This is to be welcomed. The scale of the task should not be underestimated. HMCTS says that the new hub at Bury St Edmunds will eventually deal with just over 40% of work in England & Wales and accepts that this will be ambitious.Below is set out the handout provided to attendees at the event by HMCTS.
HMCTS hopes for economies of scale, not to mention a better service. Indeed, the Service said that there was a backlog of 600 petitions in Brighton and Guildford going back three months and it was decided to transfer the work of those courts to Bury St Edmunds now.
Transfer of work from London was planned for June but is not likely to occur until July.
HMCTS has quoted an alarming 40% of petitions which have to be returned for correction to solicitors’ firms owing to errors in drafting or procedure, for example, failure to enclose issue fees, lack of signature or missing/incorrect details. It will pay practitioners to check and have someone else double check, all petitions they plan to file.
What is clear is that the new legal advisers, who will adopt some of the functions previously carried out by district judges, must not form a judgment on the facts relied on within petitions. HMCTS assures us that family law solicitors will not be turned away from any family court if they have an urgent petition or application. It says that the solicitor submitting the need for urgency will be trusted. Let’s hope that this happens, especially where there is little or no counter service available.
The Law Society is running a series of three seminars on the centralisation of divorce courts in London, on 18 June and then Birmingham and Manchester': http://communities.lawsociety.org.uk/family/events/family-section-events/divorce-centres-what-do-you-need-to-know-london-manchester-and-birmingham/5048388.fullarticle
|Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire||Cambridgeshire & Essex||Kent||Norfolk & Suffolk||Surrey & Sussex|
|Royal Mail||Document Exchange|
|Bury St Edmunds Divorce Centre||Bury St Edmunds Divorce Centre|
nd Floor, Triton House
|St Andrew’s Street North||Bury St Edmunds|
|Bury St Edmunds|
|Suffolk IP33 1TR|
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