The UK courts are changing quickly as we enter the second month of lockdown. Two months ago, if we had asked most courts “Could they take electronic bundles?” they’d have said “No!”, and demanded everything by paper. Now everyone is more than happy to take electronic bundles (usually PDF files) by email.
This is a risky decision for a local authority or law firm sending a bundle. Should they be sending what is often very sensitive documents by email? At best, the email could be accidentally sent to the wrong person, with all the pain and risk that entails, or perhaps someone interested in the case will compromise the email and use it to see what’s happening in a better light, or perhaps your team will just struggle to chop up a PDF into pieces small enough to fit into a courts’ email inbox. Then there’s regulatory compliance, the SRA advise nothing personal be sent by email, and the ICO demand it – with the threat of fines.
Let’s look at the two processes here: one, how do we create a bundle, and two, how do we send it securely?
This is best achieved using a specialist bundling tool, which makes the whole process slick and efficient. The two we see most often are PDFDocs and Zylpha. These tools will take any source files Word documents images etcetera, and turn them into a beautifully generated bundle complete with slipsheets and your company’s standard formatting: letterhead, fonts, etc. This saves a vast amount of time versus manually creating an electronic bundle using something like Adobe Acrobat. Pricing is usually per user per year, but Zylpha have an innovative, cost-effective model where they charge a fixed price per bundle.
Sending bundles to courts in a secure fashion is actually quite tricky. There is not always just one sole person available to receive the bundle, more often than not it is a shared role. This means that conventional file sharing tools like Egress often aren’t much use as they demand recipient passwords and accounts. Our safedrop sharing solution works really well here as security can be achieved with a choice of email tokens, short expiry times and self-destruct Messages. This provides you with the flexibility and assurance that your bundles can be retrieved securely.
Which courts will accept my electronic bundle?
Zylpha have created a really smart online map, which shows most of the UK courts and their current status regarding opening and which email address you can send documents to. Check it out here!
How can I try this out?
We have partnered with Zylpha to offer you a free trial account that will create three bundles, and three free months of Safedrop. This means you can test a few bundles and send them live to court, at no cost. If you already have bundling, why not grab a test Safedrop account for free here. This is a fantastic opportunity to get your bundles to court with ease!