Frequently Asked Questions
The Listing Office receives hundreds of enquiries every day. Very often the information sought is already available online. Most answers can be found in the 11th Edition of the Commercial Court Guide (PDF) which was published in 2022.
However, some of the most common questions asked are assembled below.
What forms do I use for a case in the Commercial Court?
The forms for use in the Commercial Court were updated in 2022 and are found in the Forms section on Litigating in the Commercial Court.
PLEASE NOTE: A form or document is likely to be rejected on CE file if an incorrect or out of date version has been used.
Please see Fees Filing and Forms for further guidance.
The Issues Team can be contacted in the event of queries on 0207 947 6112 or 0207 947 7783.
How can I transfer a case into/out of the Commercial Court?
Requests to transfer should be addressed the Judge in Charge and submitted via email to the Listing Office using email@example.com
The consent of the Chancellor of the High Court is needed before a transfer from the Chancery Division can be considered and any application to transfer from the Chancery Division should therefore also be notified to Chancery Listing using firstname.lastname@example.org
What is an ‘ordinary application’ and what is a ‘heavy application’?
Application hearings in the Commercial Court are divided into ‘ordinary applications’ and ‘heavy applications’. Different rules (set out in detail in the Commercial Court Guide) apply to the 2 different sorts of applications.
Ordinary applications: Applications listed for half a day (2.5 hours) or less.
Heavy applications: Applications listed for longer than half a day (2.5 hours).
When estimating time for application hearings, please be realistic. Failure to do so can result in hearings being stood out of the list.
- Section F 2.9 of the Commercial Court Guide
- The Additional Guidance and Practice Statements section of this website for more information.
Please note that different rules apply to applications on the documents (i.e. where a hearing is not required). Please see section F4 of the Guide for further details.
How much court time will we need for an application hearing?
Please see F5.5 of the Commercial Court Guide.
Unless permission has been granted for a longer hearing, the Commercial Court Listing Office will not list an oral hearing with an estimate exceeding an applicable maximum in the following list:
|1 hour||Hearing to seek Disclosure Guidance|
Application for security for costs
Application for further information (Part 18) or to amend a statement of case
|2 hours||Application concerning disclosure*|
* i.e. under CPR 31 or the Disclosure Pilot Scheme pursuant to PD 51U
Application to set aside default judgment
|½ day (i.e. 2.5 hours)||Hearing to settle and approve Disclosure Review Document (when not dealt with as part of the Case Management Conference)|
|4 hours||Application to challenge jurisdiction/service|
Application for summary judgment
Application to set aside/vary interim remedy
An application for a longer oral hearing than a maximum in the list above should be made in writing specifying the additional time required and giving reasons why it is required. The written application (which may be by letter, and should be agreed where possible) should be filed on CE File as an Application to a Judge – Application to Judiciary on Paper, and sent to the advocates for all other parties in the case at the same time as it is filed on CE File as an application for a Judge on paper. For further guidance about using CE-File, please see Electronic Working in the Litigating in the Commercial Court section.
How long will I have to wait before my hearing?
In general the Court can hear ordinary applications within about a month. Trials and longer applications have longer lead times.
Details of the Court’s lead times (external link).
If a case is urgent one or more of the parties may apply to have it heard urgently or expedited (see further below)
Who serves applications, documents and orders?
Claim forms are now generally issued using CE file. Where CE file is used for issue, it is for the claimant (rather than the court) to serve the claim form.
An exception is available for litigants in person, though they are strongly encouraged to use CE Filing. Court Staff will provide guidance to new users if contact is made via 020 7947 7156 / 7357 during office hours. Please also see section M of the Commercial Court Guide.
More detailed guidance can be found on the Electronic Working page within Litigating in the Commercial Court.
Where the claim form is to be served out of the jurisdiction, it is always for the claimant (not the court) to serve: King’s Bench Guide (PDF) para 5.23.
The Court’s Issues Team will electronically return the sealed and issued claim form, appeal notice or originating application to the party’s CE file account and notify the party that it is ready for service. The Issues Team can contacted in the event of queries on 0207 947 6112 or 0207 947 7783.
Applications and other documents: Unless the Court orders otherwise, any document filed by any party or issued by the Court using CE File, which is required to be served shall be served by the parties and NOT the Court. It is the responsibility of an applicant to ensure that an order is served upon the other parties.
Urgency, Expedition and Vacations
How do I make an urgent application?
Please see F2.2 of the Commercial Court Guide.
If the application is genuinely urgent, contact should be made with the Listing Office via email@example.com or on 020 7947 7156 / 7357.
PLEASE DO NOT email an individual Listing Officer or apply via CE-File.
- First: let the Listing Office know about the likely application, how urgent you think it is and how much reading and hearing time you think it will need. The Court will not list applications before it has received the application documents (the hearing bundle and skeleton), confirmation of the pre-reading and hearing estimate, and an explanation of the urgency. However it will start to plan for the likely application from the time it is informally notified to the Listing Office. The earlier informal notification is given, the easier it is likely to be for the Listing Office to have a judge ready to hear an urgent application.
- Second: when the application documents are ready, submit them and an explanation of the urgency to the Listing Office. If the application is urgent, the Commercial Court Listing Office must be given a clear explanation in writing, certified by the legal representatives of the applicant if they are represented, of the degree of and reasons for the urgency. Just because an application is being made without notice does not mean that it is urgent. The two points need to be considered (and justified) separately.
- Once the application documents have been submitted, the application (including any skeleton) and the explanation for urgency will go before a Judge who will decide if the application is urgent, and if so, the degree of urgency.
How do I get an urgent hearing outside of Court hours?
If a hearing is extremely urgent – i.e. so urgent that it cannot wait until Court hours the next day, it is possible to make an application to the Out of Hours Judge. Such an application should only be considered if the case is genuinely extremely urgent.
Full details of how to make such an application – and the steps which MUST be complied with are set out at section P.2 of the Commercial Court Guide and the King’s Bench Guide (PDF) (paragraphs 11.18 to 11.21).
How should I make an application for expedition?
Please see F3 of the Commercial Court Guide.
If one or more of the parties requests an expedited hearing, that request must be made prior to any listing appointment. Any such request should be made in writing, addressed to the Judge in Charge via the Listing Office on firstname.lastname@example.org setting out why an expedited hearing is said to be required.
The approach of the Court will be similar to that taken to requests for an expedited trial, and parties should understand that any expedition request has to be properly justified by reference to the relevant factors (set out at paragraphs F3.2 as well as J1.3 of the Commercial Court Guide.
How can I get a case heard in the legal vacation?
Please see P1 of the Commercial Court Guide.
During the long vacation (August and September each year), the Listing Office is open and a duty rota of Judges of the Commercial Court is operated. For urgent business that can be dealt with during Listing Office hours, parties may contact the Listing Office and/or file applications via CE File as during the Court term.
Out of hours: see above.
During the short vacations (Christmas, Easter and Whitsun), if an application cannot wait until the following term, parties must make the application to the King’s Bench Duty Judge sitting in the Interim Applications Court (‘Court 37’) or, if justified, out of hours (see above). There may be a Judge of the Commercial Court available to assist that Judge, if required, but parties must not assume that will be the case.
Where an application is filed for consideration by the King’s Bench Duty Judge during a short vacation as referred to in this paragraph, the party making the application should explain within the application both:
(a) why it is said that the application needs to be dealt with during vacation; and
(b) why it is said that it was not possible to file the application in the Commercial Court in time for it to be dealt with before the end of the preceding term.
If a deadline is set to expire during a short vacation, any application for an extension of time should be filed via CE File, wherever possible, at least a week before the end of the preceding term, so it may be dealt with before the start of the vacation and an application to the King’s Bench Duty Judge pursuant to P2.1 may be avoided.
Applications on Documents
Which Judge will be considering my paper application?
The Court considers over 4,000 paper applications a year. All the Judges of the Court take turns in considering paper applications. It is not possible to provide parties with information as to which Judge will consider a paper application.
I submitted an application notice to be considered on paper (ie on the documents) but it is no longer needed. Will the court refund the fee which was paid for the application notice?
Payment is required upon the application being issued. If the application is subsequently withdrawn because the order is no longer needed, a refund will not usually be payable.
Preparing for the Hearing: Documents
Does the court still require a paper bundle?
Not unless the Judge has requested this.
How do I prepare an electronic bundle?
There are rules for electronic bundles. They are clearly set out in this general guidance.
Bundles which do not comply may be rejected or may result in a costs sanction.
When should electronic bundles be filed?
- Applications: F6 and F7 of the Commercial Court Guide.
- Trials: J4 and Appendix 7 of the Guide and on the Preparing for a hearing page.
- Are normally listed on a Friday unless they have been listed with expedition.
- Application bundles and the case management bundles must be provided to the Listing Office by 12pm one clear day before the date fixed for the hearing together with a letter from the applicant’s solicitors confirming or updating the time estimate for the hearing and the reading time required for the Judge For an ordinary hearing listed to take place on a Friday, the application bundle and case management bundle must be provided by 12pm on Wednesday.
- When making this calculation, a party should disregard any Friday eg: For an ordinary hearing listed to take place on a Tuesday, the application bundle and case management bundle must be provided by 12pm the Thursday before.
- An application bundle and case management bundle must be provided to the Listing Office by 4pm two clear days before: (a) the date fixed for the hearing; or (b) the first day of the required reading period.
- When making this calculation, a party should disregard any Friday.
Problems with providing bundles or skeleton arguments should be notified to the Commercial Court Listing Office as far in advance as possible. If the application bundle, case management bundle or skeleton argument is not provided by the time specified, the application may be stood out of the list without further warning and there may be costs consequences. Please see F6.8 of the Commercial Court Guide.
When should skeleton arguments be filed?
Please see Preparing for a Hearing.
Applications: see F6 and F7 and Appendix 5 of the Commercial Court Guide.
Problems with providing bundles or skeleton arguments should be notified to the Commercial Court Listing Office as far in advance as possible. If the application bundle, case management bundle or skeleton argument is not provided by the time specified, the application may be stood out of the list without further warning and there may be costs consequences. See F6.8 of the Commercial Court Guide.
Trials: see J6 and Appendix 5 of the Commercial Court Guide.
Preparing for the Hearing: Attending a hearing
Will the hearing be taking place remotely?
The expectation is that any application up to and including half a day (2.5 hours) will be heard remotely. The Court will consider a live hearing in such cases only if there is a particular reason why an in person hearing is more appropriate.
You can find full details in the Remote Hearings Guidance.
Can I have a link to the remote hearing?
The Clerk/Usher will contact the parties with a link. As a general rule, members of the public, including members of the press can also request access to a remote hearing via remote link. Any link is provided for your own use only. You should not forward it to anyone else. If you wish to add further attendees, please consult the Clerk/Usher.
Will the hearing be in person?
The expectation is that any application with a time estimate of one full day or more will take place in person, although a remote or hybrid hearing may be ordered by a Judge in appropriate circumstances on the application of one or more of the parties. The overall criterion must be the interests of justice in all the circumstances of the case. This criterion will produce a range of different answers in different cases.
The hearing is taking place in person. Can remote access be provided?
Public access to a hearing taking place wholly or partly in a court is normally via live attendance at court only.
The hearing is expected to last several days. Why is it not listed on a Friday?
As a general rule, the court lists short applications on a Friday. This enables the Court to deal with urgent interlocutory hearings promptly.
Which Judge will be hearing my case?
Parties are told which Judge will be hearing their case once a decision has been made. This is ordinarily not until the pre-reading day but parties may, on occasion, be informed in advance if the court is in a position to do so.
Which Court Room will we be using?
The daily cause list on GOV.UK (external link) or new link will provide this information. This should be available by 4.30pm the working day before the hearing but this can be subject to change.
If parties are aware of specific requirements it is important to address this either (preferably) at the Listing Appointment or in the period before the hearing.
How do I book a conference room?
Please see information about the Rolls Building Facilities.
Obtaining Hearing Materials
How do I obtain a transcript of a hearing?
You will need to fill out an EX107 form. A link and details of how to file can be found on the Fees, Filing and Forms webpage.
Can I have a copy of the papers in a case?
Please consult CPR 5.4 (external link) and onwards. This section of the CPR sets out the relevant procedural rules. These vary depending on whether the applicant is a party or a non- party to a case.
Requests for Office Copies should be made via CE-File. The Issues Team can be contacted in the event of queries on 0207 947 6112 or 0207 947 7783.
There is also a general discretion for the Court to order provision of documents which have been read in open court (or are to be taken as having been read in open court). Sometimes the parties are prepared to consent to the provision of documents. A request for such documents can be made to the Court informally (via email to the judge’s clerk) or to the parties. Where the parties do not consent to provision of documents to the person seeking them, and application will need to be made to the Court pursuant to CPR 23 (external link).