Bristol Circuit Commercial Court
Business and Property Courts in Bristol
The Circuit Commercial Court in Bristol is located within the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre, a modern building in the centre of Bristol and at the heart of the city’s legal district.
The Bristol Circuit Commercial Court supports not only the needs of the city which (in place of the traders, merchants and engineers of centuries ago) now hosts a significant number of large financial services institutions, global electronic and aerospace engineering enterprises, and creative media and tech businesses.
The court also enhances the delivery of and access to justice for the business and property community in the wider West and South West of England. The court is part of the single umbrella of specialist courts comprising the Business and Property Courts and the national and international dispute resolution jurisdictions within them.
Bristol has 2 Specialist Civil Circuit Judges serving the Circuit Commercial Court. The court is also able to draw upon the services of deputy High Court judges. The connectivity between the regional Business and Property Courts and the Rolls Building in London means that a Judge of the Commercial Court may sit in the Bristol Circuit Commercial Court in an appropriate case.
Bristol Circuit Commercial Court aims to meet the 3 objectives which were identified when the Business and Property Courts were formally launched in Bristol in January 2018: (1) ensuring that each case is managed to deliver progress to trial without delay; (2) trial by the most appropriate judge (whether a member of the resident specialist judiciary or a High Court Judge); and (3) the provision of an efficient and effective service utilising modern technology to best advantage.
The Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre has the modern facilities required to achieve that 3rd objective. The courts of the Circuit Commercial Judges are able to accommodate a significant number of attendees and are also equipped for hybrid and remote hearings.
The Court Centre benefits from excellent transport links. Bristol Temple Meads railway station is a 15 minute walk away. A bus service from Bristol International Airport to the centre of Bristol takes approximately 45 minutes. The city centre can be accessed from either the M5 or M4/M32 motorways and there is ample public parking in the vicinity of the court. There are numerous hotels nearby.
The Circuit Commercial Court Judges in the Business and Property Courts at Bristol are HHJ Jonathan Russen QC and HHJ Paul Matthews.
Judge Russen QC is also the Technology and Construction Court Judge and holds a chancery ticket, and HHJ Matthew is the chancery judge in the Bristol B&PC. Both judges regularly sit in the Rolls Building in London, and their cross-jurisidictional tickets mean they are able to deal with a wide range of business and property disputes falling within the unified and specialist nature of the B&PCs.
The Bristol Circuit Commercial Court is also supported by part-time Deputy High Court Judges holding the appropriate section 9 ticket.
HHJ Jonathan Russen KC
HHJ Jonathan Russen KC became the Circuit Commercial Court Judge in the Bristol Business & Property Courts upon his appointment to the bench as a Specialist Civil Circuit Judge in October 2017. He is also the Technology & Construction Judge in the Bristol B&PC and holds a section 9 chancery ticket.
He regularly sits in the Circuit Commercial Court and TCC in London.
He was educated at his local comprehensive school in South Wales before reading law as an undergraduate at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth followed by postgraduate study at Cambridge University.
He was called to the Bar in 1986 and practised in the fields of Chancery and Commercial litigation from London chambers between 1988 and 2017. He took silk in 2010 and was called to the bar in a number of offshore jurisdictions.
He is the co-author of Financial Services Litigation (OUP, 2020) and the contributor of a number of chapters in Civil Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure (Sweet & Maxwell, 2019).
HHJ Paul Matthews
HHJ Paul Matthews was appointed a Specialist Civil Circuit Judge in the Bristol Business & Property Courts in February 2017. He holds section 9 tickets in Chancery and Circuit Commercial Court work.
He was educated at St Peter’s School, Bournemouth, and read law at University College London, before postgraduate study at Oxford. He was originally an academic lawyer but went into practice, eventually becoming a partner in a niche firm of litigation solicitors in the City of London.
Subsequently he combined practice as a consultant at a large private client firm with lecturing at King’s College London. In 1996 he was awarded the degree of LLD by the University of London, based on examination of his published work. He has held visiting appointments at St Edmund Hall Oxford, the City University, the University of Aix-Marseille, the Institute of Law in Jersey and the University of Liechtenstein.
In 2002 he was appointed Coroner for the City of London. In 2008 he became a deputy master of the High Court, Chancery Division, in 2010 he was appointed a Recorder, in 2014 a judge of the Court of Trusts and Fiduciary Relations of the Republic of San Marino (all part-time). Then, in 2015 he became a full-time Chancery Master.
He is the author or co-author of a number of works, including Trusts: Migration and Change of Proper Law, Trust and Estate Disputes, The Jersey Law of Trusts, The Jersey Law of Property, Matthews and Malek on Disclosure, Underhill and Hayton’s Law of Trusts and Trustees, and Jervis on Coroners. He was formerly an editor of Hill and Redman’s Law of Landlord and Tenant. He has a strong interest in comparative law.
Contact and other details
Address: Bristol Circuit Commercial Court, Bristol Business and Property Courts, Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre, 2 Redcliff Street, Bristol BS1 6GR
DX: Business and Property Courts in Bristol / Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre
DX 95903 BRISTOL 3
Specialist Listing Officer: Debbie Greenwood
Telephone: 0117 366 4860
Switchboard: 011 7366 4800
Parking and nearby hotels
NCP car parks (external links):
Hotels (external links):
(Clerk to HHJ Jonathan Russen QC)
(Clerk to HHJ Paul Matthews)