Business and Property Courts of England and Wales are launched


The new Business and Property Courts of England and Wales were launched last night at an event at the Rolls Building in London.

The event is the first of a series of launches across the country to mark the roll out of the courts across the country. The other launches will take place in Birmingham (6th July), Leeds (10th July), Manchester (11th July), Bristol (14th July) and Cardiff (24th July). The ‘go-live date’ for all of the courts is 2nd October 2017.

The new arrangements will enhance the connection between the specialist Business and Property work undertaken in the regions and in London.  In London, these specialist jurisdictions operate together at the Rolls Building. The new arrangements will enhance the connection between the courts in London the regions.

The Business and Property Courts will be the new name for England and Wales’ international dispute resolution jurisdictions and will act as a single umbrella for business specialist courts across England and Wales.

It will encompass these specialist courts and lists of the High Court:

  • the Commercial Court, (including the Admiralty Court and Circuit Commercial Court, formerly Mercantile Court),
  • the Technology and Construction Court (“TCC”),
  • and the courts of the Chancery Division (including those dealing with financial services, intellectual property, competition, and insolvency).

The new arrangements will preserve the familiar practices and procedures of these courts, whilst allowing for more flexible cross-deployment of judges with suitable expertise and experience to sit on appropriate business and property cases.

This new structure together with the Financial List and the Shorter and Flexible Trial Scheme, will enhance the UK’s already respected reputation for international dispute resolution; and will play a part in ensuring that Britain continues to provide the best business court-based dispute resolution service in the world, served by a top-class independent judiciary.

Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court of England and Wales, said:

“I am delighted about the enthusiasm, even excitement, that the launch of the Business & Property Courts has generated amongst the legal community and business users generally, both in London and in the regions.  When the Business & Property Courts go live on 2nd October 2017, the specialist jurisdictions of our courts will all be using names that national and international business people can readily understand.   The judges of the Business & Property Courts are high calibre forward looking people, who understand the importance of providing a state of the art service to court users.”

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, said:

“The judiciary is committed to maintaining Britain’s reputation as the best place in the world for dispute resolution. These changes will ensure that our courts and judiciary continue to lead the world in this field.”

Sir Brian Leveson, President of the Queen’s Bench Division, said:

“Cross deployment of judges across the Chancery and Queen’s Bench Divisions for the purposes of the Financial List has demonstrated the real value of flexible deployment in appropriate cases.  This development will be of benefit both to the courts and the users of the courts.”