Gilson Gray and TCH Law first to use fully digital process for simple procedure cases

Gilson Gray and TCH Law were the first firms to use the new fully digital process for simple procedure cases yesterday morning.

The full roll-out of the Civil Online service from yesterday allows parties to submit simple procedure cases, pay court fees, submit supporting documents and respond to any claim lodged, all online at any time.

This will allow, for the first time, fully digital hearings with all case documentation available and presented in the courtroom through Civil Online.

David Alexander, partner and head of debt recovery at Gilson Gray, said: “We are immensely proud to have been chosen to assist SCTS with the implementation of the new Civil Online case management system.

“The submission of the first simple procedure action this morning went smoothly thanks to the hard work of all concerned - my team and all at SCTS. Use of the new online system fits well with what we are building at Gilson Gray; teams able to deliver a fast and efficient service using the latest technology available.”

Tracey Campbell-Hynd, principal and managing solicitor at TCH Law, said: “As a self-confessed fan of technology, I was truly delighted to be part of this historic event in submitting one of the first cases through the Civil Online portal. I found the process extremely easy, and submission of a claim took a matter of mere minutes! I cannot wait for TCH Law to be using the system to its full potential. Thanks to the team at SCTS for allowing me to be part of history in the making.”

The first phase of Civil Online was introduced in March last year to allow parties to track the progress of cases in court and was enhanced in December to enable parties to access court documents and receive automatic notification, rather than receiving documents by post.

Since December there have been over 4,000 Simple Procedure cases registered, and 54 per cent of claimants and 33 per cent of respondents have opted for online notification. There are now more than 700 legal firms and organisations registered to use Civil Online.

Eric McQueen, chief executive of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS), said: “Simple procedure was designed to provide an inexpensive and speedy way to resolve civil disputes where the value is £5,000 or less. Through Civil Online we are now enabling secure applications and case management for the first time as a fully digital service. While we are delighted to offer this new service we will continue to support those who cannot use online access to justice.

“This service delivers the modern digital service our users now expect but Civil Online is not about digital decision making. Cases will still be judicially managed and come before the judiciary for a hearing or determination as required by court rules. Evidence can be electronically presented in court from applications and documents submitted online. It is possible to track all the actions relating to a case through the online portal.”

Legal Representatives have to be registered with the SCTS to use Civil Online but others can simply access

The process is governed by the Simple Procedure Court Rules.

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