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The Chancery Division is the successor to the Court of Chancery. The Court of Chancery was originally a largely administrative body headed by the Lord Chancellor which became a largely judicial body in the 14th century. It developed the doctrines of equity, but came to be criticised for the slowness and high costs of its procedures. The Court of Chancery was dissolved and its jurisdiction transferred to the Chancery Division of the High Court as a result of the Judicature Acts 1873 and 1875.

During the 20th century Chancery Division grew steadily and specialist Bankruptcy, Companies and Patents Courts were established as part of the Chancery Division, In addition, a number of regional centres outside London were created to supplement the historic jurisdiction of the Vice-Chancellor of the County Palatine.

More recently, the former Patents County Court was reconstituted as a specialist list of the Chancery Division under the name Intellectual Property Enterprise Court with effect from 1 October 2013.