Baker McKenzie and KPMG teamed up to run a survey considering this crucial question.

Figures show that more than 85% of hearings before the English Business and Property Courts were held virtually during the UK’s first nationwide lockdown. However, while the enforced, temporary changes to our lifestyle and the economy are likely to be reversed as soon as it is safe to do so, many question whether the resolution of disputes and the administration of justice should ever go back to the point where in-person hearings are the norm.

With that issue in mind, Baker McKenzie and KPMG teamed up to run a survey in Q4 2020 considering a crucial question: Are virtual hearings and mediations here to stay?

Disputes graphic in laptop mock-up


Respondents included private practice and in-house lawyers, judges, arbitrators, barristers and other clients. While the survey focused primarily on users of the English civil and commercial courts and international arbitrations, participants were based in a number of jurisdictions around the world. The survey excluded other types of legal proceedings, including criminal trials and family court proceedings.

The results formed the basis of a recent webinar of the same name by Baker McKenzie and KPMG, as part of Baker McKenzie’s Future of Disputes virtual series.

This report sets out some of the key outcomes from our survey, exploring whether digital justice is an innovation that will outlast the pandemic or merely one that will, in time, fall out of favour.

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