Cases listed before the Chancery and Probate Master

19 March 2020

 

The Chancery and Probate Master has directed that in light of the escalating issues around COVID -19 there will be no further oral hearings with the parties and or their legal representatives until further notice.

Solicitors acting for banks and building societies may submit a written submission in respect of every case they have in the list each day specifying the relevant points and the relief sought. Any submission must be sent by email to the Chancery Office chanceryoffice@courtsni.gov.uk’. However it is anticipated that the majority of practitioners will simply wish to adjourn the case and in that event they should email the Chancery Office to request an adjournment and the Master will adjourn the case generally rather than fix a date. Matters can be restored to the list once the current exceptional circumstances have abated.

The Master will only make final orders in cases where he is satisfied that it is right to do so. If he has any concerns whatsoever about prejudice and the fairness of the process he will simply adjourn the case. Solicitors should check ICOS to confirm adjournment dates or contact the Chancery Office.

The Chancery and Probate Master has also directed that no new business should be issued until further notice unless it is urgent, in which case the reasons must be clearly specified in writing.

The arrangements above also apply to all non-contentious probate business.  However no further Grants of Representation will be issued with effect from 20 March 2020. In the event that a Grant request is made for what is considered a critically urgent reason, the applicant must provide details for the Master to consider and he will determine if the grant may be issued.

Please refer any queries to the Chancery Office chanceryoffice@courtsni.gov.uk

Master Hardstaff

19 March 2020