A recent meeting of the High Court Users Group has flagged up a reminder of the importance of paragraph 12 of Practice Direction 10B (Urgent and Interim Applications), which provides that:
“When a hearing is to take place by telephone, if practical it should be conducted by tape-recorded conference call and arranged (and paid for in the first instance) by the applicant. All parties and the judge should be informed that the call is being recorded by the service provider. The applicant should order a transcript of the hearing from the service provider."
The view of the Group was that recording should happen in all cases: it is both good practice and also ensures that there can be no subsequent doubt as to what evidence/submissions were made to the judge. The Court does not at present have facilities to arrange conference calls with recording out of hours; it is therefore up to the Applicant’s Counsel/solicitors to set up recording. If the worst comes to the worst and it is not possible to arrange a formal conference call by a commercial service provider, a fall-back (which should be noted expressly with the judge) is for the advocate to record the telephone call by way of recording facilities available on most smartphones.