30th Jul 2020 | News

Article today in the Legal 500’s fivehundred magazine about the trial completed earlier this month (judgment awaited) in which Simon Davenport QC and Tom Poole acted in the UK’s longest remote hearing.


Inside the UK’s longest remote hearing

After 25-days the trial of One Blackfriars Limited (in liquidation) concluded in July 2020. The Applicants were represented by Simon Davenport QC and Tom Poole of 3 Hare Court and instructed by Humphries Kerstetter. The five-week liability and quantum trial (professional negligence claim against administrators worth £250m) was the subject of two PTR orders, providing for it to be heard fully remotely each day comprising two sessions of two hours each (10:30-12:30 and 14:00-16:00). The trial day was ordered to be punctuated by stenographer breaks which lasted around 10 minutes. Typically the hearing day ended with a 16:20 finish.

Each party had a day to open orally (and respond to each other’s written opening), closing submissions were in writing and each party had a right of reply (in writing). Four lay witnesses and 13 expert witnesses gave evidence. The trial was broadcast publicly online by Vimeo and (usually a couple of seconds ahead) participants joined by Zoom call.

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