The UK is home to the common law, and to that law as a business law of choice, nationally and internationally.
The Financial List is part of an active and forward-looking strategy for the UK with regard to commercial dispute resolution.
The strategy is judge-led. There is an important public interest in the just resolution of commercial disputes. For the judiciary, this is the essential starting point.
Business is changing, rapidly, the world over. The dispute resolution needs of business, nationally and internationally, are affected as a result. More than ever, efficient markets are important – and markets are most efficient when their actors have mechanisms to resolve uncertainties quickly and definitively.
The Financial List is designed to respond to users. UK commercial dispute resolution, has historically worked with business – British business and international business – to ensure a business-relevant law. This has involved keeping up to date with the business field.
The underlying fundamentals of English law are, as proven over the last century and more, able to address the changing needs of business. The combination of flexibility and certainty that English law offers is attractive to business. International confidence and trust in the UK judiciary is a matter of record. So too is the quality of the legal profession with expertise in English law.
The Commercial Court was the first of its kind in the world and is now over 100 years old. It was developed in response to user demand. The majority of its users are international users. The Chancery Division has an even longer history and the compass of its business work, like the work of the Technology and Construction Court too, has developed in areas of real significance to international users.
Together these three courts make the Rolls Building the largest dedicated business dispute resolution centre in the world.
Another part of the strength of the UK system is that dispute resolution is seen as working through the courts, through arbitration and through mediation, together and harmoniously. The combination enriches the system.
An understanding of the importance of the rule of law, including to business, development and prosperity, is increasing internationally. Commercial dispute resolution contributes to the broader development of the justice system and to the rule of law internationally.
The judiciary intends to maintain an active, coordinated, long term, strategy to ensure that UK law and legal services continue to play their leading part in the just resolution of commercial disputes internationally, and in the interests of strengthening the rule of law globally.
This is the context for the Financial List. It is also the context for the Shorter and Flexible Trials Pilot Schemes.