Launch of Business and Property Courts

Business and Property CourtsNews

The new Business and Property Courts of England and Wales are to be launched this evening at an event at the Rolls Building in London.

The event is the first of a series of launches across the country to mark the roll out of the courts across the country. The other launches will take place in Birmingham (6th July), Leeds (10th July), Manchester (11th July), Bristol (14th July) and Cardiff (24th July). The ‘go-live date’ for all of the courts is 2nd October 2017.

The new arrangements will enhance the connection between the specialist Business and Property work undertaken in the regions and in London.  In London, these specialist jurisdictions operate together at the Rolls Building. The new arrangements will enhance the connection between the courts in London the regions.

Business and Property Courts will be the new name for England and Wales’ international dispute resolution jurisdictions and will act as a single umbrella for business specialist courts across England and Wales.

It will encompass these specialist courts and lists of the High Court:

  • the Commercial Court, (including the Admiralty Court and Circuit Commercial Court, formerly Mercantile Court),
  • the Technology and Construction Court (“TCC”),
  • and the courts of the Chancery Division (including those dealing with financial services, intellectual property, competition, and insolvency).

The new arrangements will preserve the familiar practices and procedures of these courts, whilst allowing for more flexible cross-deployment of judges with suitable expertise and experience to sit on appropriate business and property cases.

This new structure together with Financial List and the Shorter and Flexible Trial Scheme, will enhance the UK’s already respected reputation for international dispute resolution; and will play a part in ensuring that Britain continues to provide the best business court-based dispute resolution service in the world, served by a top-class independent judiciary.

Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court of England and Wales, said:

“I am delighted about the enthusiasm, even excitement, that the launch of the Business & Property Courts has generated amongst the legal community and business users generally, both in London and in the regions.  When the Business & Property Courts go live on 2nd October 2017, the specialist jurisdictions of our courts will all be using names that national and international business people can readily understand.   The judges of the Business & Property Courts are high calibre forward looking people, who understand the importance of providing a state of the art service to court users.”

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, said:

“The judiciary is committed to maintaining Britain’s reputation as the best place in the world for dispute resolution. These changes will ensure that our courts and judiciary continue to lead the world in this field.”

Sir Brian Leveson, President of the Queen’s Bench Division, said:

“Cross deployment of judges across the Chancery and Queen’s Bench Divisions for the purposes of Financial List has demonstrated the real value of flexible deployment in appropriate cases.  This development will be of benefit both to the courts and the users of the courts.”

Notes for Editors

  1. All the judges, masters, and registrars in bankruptcy of the Rolls Building will be involved in Business and Property Courts, as will many judges in the specialist district registries of the High Court outside of London.
  2.  The current position is that judges who are experts in a particular area are not readily deployed to sit in cases in that area in another court.  For example, highly expert competition law judges in the Queen’s Bench Division cannot easily sit on the bulk of competition law cases that take place in the Chancery Division.
  3. The courts or lists that will make up Business and Property Courts are be as follows:
  •  The Admiralty Court.
  •  Business List
  • The Commercial Court (covering all its existing subject areas of banking and finance, shipping and insurance, trade and energy, and international arbitration, as well as the Circuit Commercial Court, formerly Mercantile Courts.)
    Financial List (covering some of the most significant cases in the banking and financial markets).
  • The Competition List.
  • Financial List (covering banking and financial markets).
  • The Insolvency and Companies Court.
  • Intellectual Property List (Including the Patents Court and the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court, the “IPEC”).
  • The Property Trust and Probate List.
  • The Revenue List.
  • The Technology and Construction Court (covering all its traditional areas of major technology and construction cases).
  1. This video shows the Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Geoffrey Vos talking about Business and Property Courts
  2. Further information about the courts are available on the judicial website
  3. For further information please contact Michael Duncan at the Judicial Press Office, 020 7947 7836 or email