United Kingdom


England and Wales

The High Court and Court of Appeal are only covering urgent work. The UK’s HM Courts & Tribunals Service (“HMCTS”) clarifies that "urgent work" means applications and hearings only, with hearings to be held remotely. This applies to the Civil and Criminal Divisions of the Court of Appeal, the Queen's Bench and Family Divisions of the High Court, the Business & Property Courts and the Senior Courts Costs Office. However, the counters of the Business & Property Courts and the Senior Courts Costs Office remain open.  

HMCTS is avoiding physical hearings and arranging remote hearings wherever possible.  

The Royal Courts of Justice Fees Office will temporarily close until further notice. However, it provides a list of email addresses for correspondence with the relevant courts. 


The Court of Session, Scotland’s Supreme Court has issued further guidance which is valid until at least May 10, 2020.  The Court is now attempting to deal with routine procedural business, largely by way of electronic documents and remote hearings when required. The Court will continue to prioritise urgent business. Urgent business is likely to include seeking certain interim orders, for example interim interdicts (the Scottish equivalent of a preliminary injunction). No automatic extension of deadlines.

IPO (IP Office)

All deadlines as of March 24, 2020 are automatically extended until further notice. The IPO will provide a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice before ending the period of interruption. IPO is though unable to extend the reply period for designs examination reports but extensions are available. 

As for Tribunals services, where the UKIPO has discretion to do so, any new deadlines set will be doubled, such as periods for filing evidence or submissions. Extensions of time to appeal Trade Mark decisions are possible.   

No hearings in person are being held until June 1, 2020 (this date will be kept under review).   

UK Company Names Tribunal: Existing claims will not be progressed. New complaints can still be lodged by email, but will not be processed.