The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted practically every walk of life around the globe. The legal sector is no different and the last few weeks has seen the “new normal” for lawyers – like for other sectors – of mass remote working, webchats and social distancing. The English courts have also seen one of the biggest changes in process in years. The Coronavirus Act 2020, emergency legislation passed on 25 March 2020, allowed for courts to broadcast virtual hearings to the public. 

The first ever virtual case in the High Court – National Bank of Kazakhstan & the Republic of Kazakhstan v The Bank of New York Mellon, Anatolie Stati and Ors – commenced the very next day. It was also the first trial before the English courts to ever be livestreamed on YouTube.