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Opening of the Legal Year: Commercial Court event

Cockerill MJ

Mrs Justice Cockerill

Olivier Cousi

Olivier Cousi

Lord Leggatt

Lord Leggatt

As part of the Opening of the Legal Year, judges and legal practitioners marked the 125th anniversary of the Commercial Court by reflecting on its changing role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Around 200 people had registered for the online event, co-hosted by the Bar Council and the Law Society of England and Wales.

Mrs Justice Cockerill, the Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court, Lord Legatt and Mr Justice Robin Knowles joined Amanda Pinto, Chair of the Bar Council, Simon Davis the outgoing President of the Law Society, who co-hosted, and Professor Richard Susskind to reflect on how the Commercial Court had responded to COVID-19, including through its use of technology.

Judges and legal practitioners shared their insights and personal experiences of working in a remote era, including navigating different relationships with counsel and witnesses online, and the potential to reduce costs and delays.

Finally, speakers reflected on the future of remote technology in the next 125 years of the Commercial Court. It was an opportunity to compare different approaches in other international jurisdictions and consider the case for remote working from both the judicial and legal practitioner’s viewpoint.

Mrs Justice Cockerill said: “In these very challenging times it was wonderful to mark both the opening of the Legal Year and the Court’s 125th anniversary with insights from around the world. All of us have learnt so much so fast; events such as this mean we can make the most of all that experience and plan to improve the ways we deliver justice in future. I am hugely grateful to the Bar Council and the Law Society for making this event possible.”

Richard Susskind

Richard Susskind

Simon Davis

Simon Davis

Steven Thompson QC

Steven Thompson QC

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