It may sound surprising but one positive effect of Covid-19, at least in the way we operate, is that it has led to cost savings for our clients.
Since the start of the outbreak, we attended a number of hearings by videoconference, including final hearings in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and a trial in the Federal Circuit Court. Some of these were interstate matters for which we would ordinarily have to travel and appear in person.
We have not experienced any problems with video and audio quality, even when our client joined the videoconference from Cairns, while we were in Brisbane and the Tribunal was in Sydney. Substantial costs savings all round.
It will be interesting to see if courts continue to adopt new technology as things go back to normal. Queensland courts have recently started trialling the electronic filing of consent orders. Frankly, this is well overdue, especially considering that in the federal court electronic filing of all documents has been standard practice for many years.
Still, there are signs that the provision of legal services is finally starting to catch up with technology – making legal services easier to access and more affordable.