The 12th Floor remains open, although the majority of counsel are working remotely. Our barristers continue to provide advice and represent their clients in courts and tribunals using telephone and video. Members can be contacted on their chamber’s telephone numbers and email. Our clerk, Trish Hoff, can assist you in getting in contact with counsel or providing electronic or hard copy material to them. Trish can be contacted on clerk@12thfloor.com.au. You can read further updates about our working arrangements here.

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In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Courts have implemented measures to minimise face-to-face hearings and the virtual courtroom has become the norm. A summary of changes for NSW Courts can be found here, and for Victorian and Commonwealth Courts here.

Virtual hearings are not a novel phenomenon. Members of Chambers have been appearing in virtual hearings in the High Court of Australia, in particular, for many years. More recently, and in response to the pandemic, members of Chambers have appeared at hearings in the Federal Court, the Supreme Court of NSW, the Land and Environment Court of NSW, the District Court of NSW and various State and Commonwealth Tribunals by audio-visual means and by telephone.

The preparation of a case for a virtual hearing and the conduct of those cases by audio-visual link or by telephone requires a refined skill set that only comes from experience in the field.

Members of Chambers can assist solicitors and their clients in navigating the intricacies of online courts and attend hearings including any urgent interlocutory applications. You can read our tips for virtual dispute resolution here.