The Chancery Guide provides important practical information about the conduct of litigation in the Chancery Division in the Rolls Building in London. The Guide had become out of date due to the rapid pace of change over the past few years and it became necessary for it to be substantially re-written. This task has taken many months of hard work but is now complete.
The main changes to the Guide are to take account of:
- Costs management and the other reforms arising from the report by Jackson LJ
- The Chancery Modernisation Review conducted by Briggs LJ
- Removal of most of the restrictions on the jurisdiction of Chancery Masters
- Recent initiatives including the Financial List, Shorter Trials and Flexible Trials
- The introduction of CE-file and electronic filing.
New sections have been added to the Guide to deal with specialist work such as bankruptcy and company proceedings, intellectual property proceedings, pensions and competition claims, and there is an extended section on litigants in person.
A process of triage is now carried out in every case when the particulars of claim are filed. If the court considers the claim should be transferred out even at the early stage an order for transfer will be made. A further triage of claims is undertaken prior to or at the first CMC. The Guide sets out the criteria the court will apply.
The Guide is now in a chronological format starting with applications made before a claim is made and following through the steps which may be taken to trial and beyond. There is no index but there is an extended table of contents which, on the justice.gov website, will link to the text. All this should make the Guide more accessible. The Guide will be updated on the website from time to time and changes will be listed on the Guide’s cover.
The Guide will not be printed separately but will be available in the main procedural publications as well as on the website via the link below.
I am delighted with the revised Guide and would like to express my gratitude to those who have worked so hard to produce the current issue.
Sir Terence Etherton
Chancellor of the High Court