Circuit Commercial Court – FAQs
Most answers can be found in the 11th Edition of the Circuit Commercial Court Guide (PDF) which was published in 2022. The Guide explains in every day language the procedure adopted in the Circuit Commercial Courts. It contains detailed guidance as to how cases in the Circuit Commercial Court are managed and tried and includes a menu of directions used in the Circuit Commercial Courts to manage its cases.
However, some of the most common questions asked are assembled below.
Are the Circuit Commercial Courts different from the County Court?
Yes. The Circuit Commercial Courts are specialist courts that are a part of the Business and Property Courts, a cross disciplinary group of specialist courts within the High Court.
How are the Circuit Commercial Courts different from the Commercial Court?
The Circuit Commercial Courts have their own procedure – based on that of the Commercial Court but suitably adjusted for the types of commercial cases which they hear, where the sums in issue are often lower and time to trial is shorter.
Is the Circuit Commercial Court different from the Business List?
Yes. The Business List is part of the Chancery Division. The Circuit Commercial Courts are associated with the Commercial Court and are part of the Queen’s Bench Division. The Business List covers some of the same work as the Circuit Commercial Courts, but all cases in the Circuit Commercial Courts are case managed and decided by a specialist senior Circuit Judge.
If I issue a claim in the Commercial Court can it be transferred to a Circuit Commercial Court?
Yes, if a case is assessed as being more suitable to be heard in one of the Circuit Commercial Courts – typically if the sum in issue is smaller or if the case has strong links to the area of one of the Circuit Commercial Courts – the Court Office will send a notification to the parties asking them to indicate if there is any reason why the case should not be transferred out. Once the parties have given their response a judge will decide whether the case should be transferred.
If I issue a claim in one of the Circuit Commercial Courts, could it be transferred to the Commercial Court?
Yes. But if a case is issued in a Circuit Commercial Court because it has strong links to that area it is more likely that it may be identified as suitable for trial in the Circuit Commercial Court by a High Court Judge.
Do the Circuit Commercial Courts have their own forms?
Yes. The Appendix to Practice Direction 4 contains all the forms needed to commence and continue proceedings in the Circuit Commercial Courts out of London (prefixed “RCC”) and in the London Circuit Commercial Court (prefixed “LCC”) and is accessible online at GOV.UK (external link)