BT has been selected as an approved audio conferencing provider by the Ministry of Justice. The service – called BT Legal Hearings – is an easy-to-use, secure audio conferencing service that allows law firms to book audio conference court hearings
either by phone or by its new bespoke website booking service – visit www.conferencing.bt.com/legal Users can book, amend and update telephone hearing calls online in real time.

Under the recently revised contained Civil Procedure Rules, telephone hearings will now become the default position unless otherwise ordered by the court for
• Allocation & listing hearings
• Interim applications, case management conferences & pre-trial reviews with a time estimate of less than one hour
• Any other application with the consent of the court and all parties.

Users of BT Legal Hearings receive instant confirmation emailed to them when they book their calls online. When the call is due to take place, an agent will phone all parties involved and then conference in the judge. Account set-up is free and can be managed online 24/7, users will be able to view their bills online and allow them to cross-reference calls to bill back to individual client accounts.

Emma Rice, Procurement Manager, Ministry of Justice said: “BT’s Legal Hearing service will enable the Courts and legal profession to benefit from innovative technologies to use a secure, online, one stop shop service for those conducting legal telephone hearings which is now required for certain types of civil hearings. The service will allow users to book and manage all their legal hearings online which will help to increase efficiency, reduce associated travel cost and enable secure recording and costing transparency to all our members”.