COVID-19: Upper Tribunal, Lands Chamber Guidance

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COVID-19: Upper Tribunal, Lands Chamber Guidance

Published 25 March 2020

For our clients and colleagues alike, there is now welcome guidance on the conduct of proceedings in the Upper Tribunal, Lands Chamber (“the Tribunal”).

Picking out a few of the salient points:

  1. The guidance applies to all proceedings in the Tribunal with immediate effect.

  2. It should be read alongside the Pilot Practice Direction on contingency arrangements in tribunal, here.

  3. The Tribunal will be flexible in its approach to deal with cases fairly and justly.

  4. Per (rule 13(1))1, the Tribunal makes clear that email is a permitted method of delivering documents to the Tribunal, and is the preferred means of communication for all purposes. Any document which is required to be delivered to the Tribunal may be delivered by e-mail to and will be treated as having been delivered at the time it is recorded as having been received in the Tribunal’s inbox.

  5. It is presumed hearings (where required) will be conducted remotely by telephone or video link. If not fair or practical, a hearing may be postponed.

  6. Its expected to be “business as usual” for matters appropriate for the paper procedure.

  7. Parties are expected to co-operate and assist the Tribunal to determining what cases can proceed by video link, but it’s presumed cases involving limited oral evidence or evidence from only a small number of witnesses can proceed remotely. Ditto, where only one expert on each side is required to give evidence.

  8. Where there are significant disputes of fact or valuation opinion which would normally require oral evidence and cross-examination, the Tribunal anticipates adjournments. But no case will be postponed indefinitely. The Tribunal will fix a new hearing date or will fix a date, three or four months in the future to review.

  9. A case management hearing may be listed to discuss the most appropriate procedure.

  10. The Tribunal has, once more, stated its preference for concise bundles and well-focused statements of case, issues and agreed facts.

  11. The Tribunal will determine, case-by-case, the preference for electronic or hard copy hearing bundles.

  12. The Tribunal will maintain a robust policing policy of extensions and stays, so that:
    1. Where in existing cases the parties are permitted to extend the directions, the parties may now agree (without further order) an extension of up to one month for any step, provided they also agree any consequential extensions of other time limits and inform the Tribunal, and provided the hearing date is not put at risk.
    2. In other cases, although the Tribunal is likely to be sympathetic, an extension should not be taken for granted and a proper explanation why it is required should always be provided.

  13. Finally, an Appendix is provided giving guidance in relation to electronic bundles. 

As a real estate team specialising in the rapidly evolving area of telecommunications law we have a full service offering and are ready and able to advise and answer any questions or concerns that you may have in relation to this new guidance.

1 Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) Rules Consolidated version – as at 11 March 2020


Kai Ricciardiello

Kai Ricciardiello


+44 (0)113 251 4886

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