Range of Commercial Court disputes

The Court has for many years been a preferred forum for the determination of a wide range of international business disputes.

Somewhere between 65% and 75% of the Court’s business is involves one or more international parties. About 40% of the Court’s business involves no domestic parties.

Approximately 800 claims are issued in the Commercial Court each year, and roughly 1,000 hearings take place.

The types of dispute brought before the Commercial Court reflect the full range of commercial disputes. Disputes frequently litigated in the Commercial Court include those concerning:

  • Agency and representation agreements
  • Arbitration (including matters pertaining to international arbitrations; the enforcement of Awards and appeals from arbitrations under the Arbitration Act 1996)
  • Aviation
  • Banking, financial markets and financial products
  • Commercial agreements of all kinds, including business ventures, asset sales and exchange transactions
  • Commercial fraud (including freezing injunctions and asset recovery)
  • Commodities, energy and natural resources
  • Digital commerce
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Shipping and carriage of goods
  • Admiralty work (the Admiralty Court is joined to the Commercial Court)

The Admiralty Court which deals with Admiralty work including collision and salvage claims is joined to and shares judges with the Commercial Court. Between 100 and 200 claims are brought in the Admiralty Court each year, with around 100 effective hearings.

A survey of the Court’s work is produced every year in the form of an Annual Report. See all available reports on the Reports and Guides webpage.

The Court’s role in resolving business disputes is supplemented by the work of the Circuit Commercial Courts which sit at key commercial centres throughout England and Wales. The Circuit Commercial Courts follow the Commercial Court model of ensuring commercial disputes are tried before specialist judges, and benefit from “hands on” case management.

Specialist Judges

The Court was founded in 1895 to serve the specialist needs of the business community by using judges with extensive experience of commercial law and practice. Those specialist judges provide proactive case management through all phases of a Commercial Court action.

The Commercial Court has 14 dedicated judges, each of whom is a specialist in commercial disputes. The judges of the Commercial Court have extensive experience in commercial litigation, having worked in private legal practice for several decades prior to their appointment to the bench. Commercial Court Judges were formerly either Queen’s Counsel, now King’s Counsel (a senior barrister or ‘silk’) or senior solicitors at commercial law firms. The judges therefore have a deep understanding of the types of issue they now hear in the Commercial Court.

Mr Justice Foxton is the judge in charge of the Commercial Court.

Find more information about individual judges, details of the judges and their clerks.