New meeting room and catering arrangements at the Privy Council
Since Easter 2014 the Privy Council has introduced changes to the way that bookings of private meeting rooms are handled.
These changes were designed to help reduce the court's costs to the UK taxpayer and to bring the JCPC's policies in line with those of other senior appeal courts situated in London.
Private meeting rooms
Lawyers wishing to book private meeting rooms while they are appearing at the court now have to pay a daily hire charge of £100+VAT. Parties need to fill in a meeting request form in advance of the hearing; JCPC staff are not able to arrange private meeting rooms on the day of a hearing. Blake Morgan, when acting as agents, make these arrangements.
Private meeting space will be made available freely to lawyers acting pro bono or under a legal aid certificate.
Access to the Lawyers Suite is no longer freely available for counsel's use.
Whilst this adds an administrative burden and cost to those preparing for a hearing, on the plus side the JCPC has dispensed with the need to apply for lawyers' passes before a hearing. Instead lawyers simply sign in at reception on the day of the hearing.
The JCPC also has new caterers in place. Sandwiches, snacks and coffee are available to visitors and those attending court hearings in the Café in the basement. In addition catering can be ordered in advance and delivered to meeting rooms before or after hearings and at lunchtime. Catering requests for private rooms must be provided at least two working days before a hearing. Blake Morgan make these arrangements when acting as agents.