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KDL Law - one of the first to experience the 'new' possession process

27th November 2020

Earlier this month KDL Law saw its first of the new ‘Review hearings’ introduced to the possession claims process following COVID-19 changes to CPR Practice Direction 55C (see here). Not less than two months after the Government lifted the stay on possession actions and a ‘re-activation notice’ was filed with the Court we were notified of the listing of the Review hearing.

Review hearings were introduced as a new intermediary measure, and were said to be an “important new opportunity” for

  • tenants to take legal advice on the free duty advice scheme; and

  • the parties to try and reach an agreement to settle the claim without further hearing.

The Review hearing is a short appointment where the judge will review the papers before deciding whether the claim should either proceed to a substantive hearing for the claim to be decided, or if it should dismissed, or if any other directions should be made. Although the parties are not required to attend any physical hearing, they are expected to be available for the judge if required. Additionally, a bundle must be filed 14 days in advance of the review hearing with all relevant documents.

As expected, the Review hearing for our client passed with very little fanfare. Having waited two months for this date, and our client incurring further legal expense re-activating the possession claim and preparing for the Review hearing as required under the new Covid-19 inspired Practice Direction, there was no contact from the Court at all.

We now await confirmation that the claim will be listed for a substantive possession claim and, importantly, of when that will be. The guidance states that the substantive claim will take place 28 days after the Review hearing, however it remains to be seen whether it will indeed follow quite so promptly and when this longstanding matter will be concluded for our client.

We will continue to share our experience with the new possession process but if you have any queries then do not hesitate to get in touch with us on 01435 897297 or

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